Are Rhodesian Ridgeback Good House Dogs?

When you’re thinking of adding a pet to the family, you need to consider how domesticated the breed that you’re looking at is and whether it has the right personality traits in order to be a welcome addition to your home.

This is important to research because some home insurance companies ban certain breeds of dogs, and Rhodesian Ridgebacks are sometimes listed among them.

There are several important things to consider. This includes their:

  • temperament
  • adequacy at puppy training
  • kindness towards any kids or other pets in the house
  • lack of aggression towards others
  • energy levels
  • how well they obey their humans
  • how they react to others when they are walked
  • use as a guard dog (in the event of a burglary)

Let’s tackle each of these traits one by one…

Overall Temperament

Let’s start with some good news. Rhodesian Ridgebacks make for excellent companions. They have a rather gentle temperament overall and are very companionable, and very well-rounded.

They are best suited to assertive dog owners who they will be loyal to.

This breed of dog was bred to hunt and to protect their family, including their humans.

However, they are not overly aggressive when protecting their family from potential threats, and they rarely bark, and will rarely cause too much noise or disturbance.

Puppy Training

Puppy training your Rhodesian Ridgeback is easy. They can tell whether you’re happy or unhappy with them, and you can expect them to want to please you, and as such you get plenty of obedience.

Interactions With Other Pets

You should be wary about introducing additional pets into the home if you are going to have a Rhodesian Ridgeback.

This is because, if there are too many male dogs in the home, this will lead to dominance struggles and maybe even fighting.

In general, however, they do like the company of other animals, and can even be good with cats if brought up with them.

Interactions With Children

One of the great things about Rhodesian Ridgebacks is that they love to play and have some fun, which is perfect for keeping your kids occupied with them when you’re busy doing housework and such.

As a word of caution though, it is important to remember that Rhodesian Ridgebacks tend to be quite big creatures, and as such, they could easily knock down a small child unintentionally while they are being playful.

Energy Levels

Another important point to note about Rhodesian Ridgebacks is that they have very high energy levels.

Thankfully, however, this does not necessarily mean that they will be bouncing all around the house at all times. 

What it does mean, however, is that it is essential that you take them out for exercise.

If they get enough exercise while they are outdoors, this can often tire them out for the rest of the day, and they will become more languid, laid back, and sleepy.

You won’t be able to get away with keeping them at home all day long, however, because they will need considerable exercise.

A simple walk is usually insufficient, and it would be a great idea to exercise them in an open place, where they can run around and play fetch.

Making sure that they exercise is not only good for their physical health, but it also prevents them from getting bored and showing destructive behavior at home.

They make great companions for those who like to go out for a run in the morning or evening.


Rhodesian Ridgebacks learn quickly and always wish to be obedient to their owner. They typically do as they’re told because they are keen to please their human owners.

If you train them properly, they will be eager to obey you without having to be forced.

The best way to teach your Rhodesian Ridgeback to obey you is by using positive reinforcement. You can use treats, toys, praise, and affection to reward them for obeying you.

They may initially resist you, but once they realize that you are rewarding them when they behave well, they will start wanting to obey you more.

Training your Rhodesian Ridgeback can be done on the spot, or you can set aside time every week to work on their training.

It’s recommended that you begin training your dog at a young age so that he gets used to learning new things before he becomes an adult.

Going For Walks

When you take your Rhodesian Ridgeback for their daily walk, it’s almost inevitable that they will come across strangers and other dogs.

Your Rhodesian Ridgeback will enjoy interacting and socializing with these strangers and their pets, and it’s a typical feature of their walk.

They may become so enthusiastic about meeting others that they will attempt to jump up onto people, in which case you will have to tell them off.

Especially if their paws are muddy or if they may knock down a small child.

Guard Dog Capability

As we mentioned earlier, Rhodesian Ridgebacks can be very protective of their human family

And if a stranger were to embark on their family’s territory, the Rhodesian Ridgeback is likely to bark and investigate, at which point it is down to the owner to let the dog know if the guest is friend or foe.

If there’s an intruder when the humans aren’t at home, Rhodesian Ridgebacks can bark really loudly, alerting anyone in the vicinity that there’s something to bark at.

Final Thoughts

So, to sum up, if you want a dog that makes an excellent, loyal companion for your family, then the Rhodesian Ridgeback could be just what you’ve been looking for.

They can easily be taught to behave well through techniques such as positive reinforcement and can become accustomed to living with children and other pets.

They do require exercise and can be great on walks, and will not attack strangers or other dogs.

They have just the right temperament to make excellent pets, and will generally be a joy to be around.