Are Rhodesian Ridgebacks Difficult to Train?

Are Rhodesian Ridgebacks Hard to Train? How Do You Succeed in Training?

Anyone who knows about Rhodesian Ridgebacks knows about their loyalty to their families and gentleness with their family members.

These dogs are intelligent, but does that mean you can train them easily?

Are Rhodesian Ridgebacks difficult to train? Yes, but the rewards are worth the effort you put in.

On the positive side of things, Rhodesians are quick learners. On the flip side, they can be very stubborn when they want.

Owners need to show strong leadership skills to make training work. The dogs must have positive yet assertive guidance.

Reasons Rhodesian Ridgebacks Need Training

Ridgebacks require training for the same reasons as other dogs. These dogs need to learn to live well in families.

Another reason for training is to stop annoying behavior.

Any untrained dog can cause frustration. However, the amount of trouble an untrained Rhodesian Ridgeback can get into is staggering.

Inappropriate urination and defecation, destructive chewing, and barking are just a few issues of concern.

Without continuous, consistent training, Rhodesians are likely to continue annoying behavior. Behavioral issues can impact an owner’s relationship with their dog.

However, stopping bad behavior is only one reason for training.

Training a dog can also be life-saving. A dog taught to leave dropped food alone can avoid consuming something dangerous.

Learning recall skills can keep a dog from running in the street.

Benefits of Training a Rhodesian Ridgeback

There are also benefits to training Ridgebacks that go beyond stopping nuisance behavior.

Dogs with better training will have stronger family bonds. Owners can communicate more effectively with a trained dog.

Training can be fun for the dog and owner. A dog’s brain will receive the necessary stimulation with training.

A dog being trained has a “job” to stay occupied.

Dogs that have flaws like shyness or fearfulness benefit from the confidence that comes with training.

Well-trained dogs require less work for their owners.

What Training Methods Work Best For A Rhodesian Ridgeback?

What Training Methods Work Best for a Rhodesian Ridgeback?

The basic training that Rhodesians require for the proper family adjustment can take one of three forms:

Training Classes

Training classes, commonly known as obedience training, are the most popular option by far.

These lessons consist of dogs and their owners together, which helps with socializing. An advantage that these classes offer is the presence of a professional trainer.

Private Lessons

Private lessons provide a one-on-one experience that many owners find more fulfilling.

If your dog is struggling with specific commands, this type of training may help. The one drawback to private lessons is decreased socialization opportunities.


Some more ambitious owners might decide to train Rhodesian Ridgebacks themselves. Taking this path might be difficult because of the breed’s tendency to be stubborn.

Breed guides and other resources might be necessary to make this form work.

Disadvantages of Training A Rhodesian Ridgeback by Yourself

A disadvantage of training your Ridgeback on your own is fewer socialization chances. However, owners will have undivided time to work on issues their dog is facing.

Classes or private lessons are, by far, the best way to train a Rhodesian Ridgeback.

Costs and time considerations can make it difficult for some to use these options. Regardless of the method used, specific commands are essential to know.

Essential Skills for Rhodesian Ridgebacks

All Rhodesians should know a few commands that help decrease nuisance behavior. Learning these skills will help these dogs stay more adjusted to family life.

Skills to Learn Right Away

Sitting on command is possibly the most critical skill a Rhodesian Ridgeback should learn.

Pushing the dog’s hindquarters towards the floor while saying “sit” in a positive tone works best. As with this and other commands, a treat is a good idea.

Stay is vital for helping the dog refrain from rushing out open doors. Gently restrain the dog in their current position while telling them to “stay.”

Other essential skills that a dog should learn to include heeling on a leash and coming when called.

These dogs should also learn not to jump on people and to stay away from the table. There are different ways to teach these commands.

Learning Needs to Stay Interesting

Rhodesian Ridgebacks are eager to learn new things, as long as the teaching method stays interesting.

Commands need to be firm and straightforward to have the best possible impact. When owners act frustrated, a dog will pick up on the frustration.

Training Must Stay Positive

Positive encouragement goes a long way in helping a Rhodesian Ridgeback get the most out of their learning experience.

Abusive behavior, including physical punishment, will make a dog resistant to training. Showing enthusiasm and petting when a dog follows a command makes a difference.

Food Rewards Are Helpful

Tasty treats are one of the most powerful training motivators for Rhodesians.

Small treats that end up consumed as part of a quick bite help show a dog they have done something right. Always include verbal praise along with the treats.

Incremental Teaching with Repetition Helps

Allowing a smart Rhodesian Ridgeback to learn simple commands before moving to the more complex commands makes a difference.

New commands should build on existing commands. Some repetition is necessary to allow the commands to have the maximum impact.

Keep the Lessons Short

Five to ten-minute training sessions multiple times a day will have the maximum impact on a Ridgeback. D

ogs have relatively short attention spans, making long sessions of minimal benefit. Owners should take note of what times their dog was the most responsive.

Use a Distraction-Free Setting

A quiet place with few distractions will help a dog focus easily.

Training can eventually move to busier locations. However, the sessions must stay consistent for the maximum impact.

When Can Training Be Called a Success?

When Rhodesian Ridgebacks consistently follow commands, owners can consider the training successful.

However, continued reinforcement is helpful for providing mental stimulation. Rhodesian Ridgebacks with proper stimulation are less likely to get bored and act out.

Always remember that an active Ridgeback is a happy dog and a delight for its family.


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