Do Rhodesian Ridgebacks Make Good Apartment Dogs?
Can a dog breed that has earned the nickname of the “African Lion Hunter” really be a good fit for an apartment?
This is precisely the question that anyone considering bringing a Rhodesian Ridgeback home must consider.
The hardy, trusty Rhodesian Ridgeback is considered by breed experts to be a “Renaissance hound” with a fascinating history.
Native to South Africa, the Rhodesian Ridgeback was used to track lions and other large game.
However, it’s important to note that these very loyal, family-friendly dogs were never used or trained to kill lions.
The large size, robust stature, and notoriously strong “prey drive” of the Rhodesian Ridgeback can cause some people to wonder if this breed is a good fit for apartment living.
Do Rhodesian Ridgebacks make good apartment dogs? Take a look at what there is to know about housing these gentle, people-friendly hounds!
The Size Factor: Are Rhodesian Ridgebacks Too Big for Apartments?
According to the AKC, the stats on the average male Rhodesian Ridgeback are 25 to 27 inches/85 pounds. Female stats are 24 to 26 inches/70 pounds.
What does this size dog look like in a smaller space?
For comparison, stats on the average male Labrador retriever are 22.5 to 24.5 inches long/65 to 80 pounds.
That means that the average Rhodesian Ridgeback is slightly larger than the largest labs.
There’s nothing wrong with having a dog the size of a Rhodesian Ridgeback in an apartment as long as there is ample space within the layout for the dog to walk around freely.
However, regular outdoor walks and play sessions will need to be worked in to give this dog an opportunity to live out its high-energy drive for running and playing.
If an apartment building has a courtyard or quick access to parks, this shouldn’t be a problem.
However, an owner who knows that getting to an outdoor space regularly is a challenge may not have the right environment for this breed.
The Noise Factor: Do Rhodesian Ridgebacks Bark Too Much for Apartments?
When searching for a dog breed for an apartment, barking is always at the top of the list of concerns.
Nobody wants to be the neighbor with a loud, disruptive dog when living in close proximity to shared walls.
Overall, Rhodesian Ridgebacks are known for not barking very much. The exception is if they become alerted to some type of threat or disturbance.
There can also be some variation from dog to dog.
One Rhodesian Ridgeback may seem to bark more when bored than another Rhodesian Ridgeback. Most people can expect their Rhodesian Ridgeback to rarely bark.
While the reality of owning any dog is that there is never a guarantee against woofing, yapping, and yelping at any hour of the day or night, a Rhodesian Ridgeback is about as close to a bark-free dog as one can get.
The Shedding Factor: Do Rhodesian Ridgebacks Shed Too Much For Apartments?
The shedding question is actually a mixed bag.
Some breeders try to say that Rhodesian Ridgebacks don’t shed at all. This is actually a partial truth.
The good news for future dog owners looking for breeds that will allow them to keep their apartments neat is that this breed doesn’t shed constantly.
However, the Rhodesian Ridgebacks do have a good shed twice a year. There is even a little variance within this shedding schedule.
Many people who keep Rhodesian Ridgebacks indoors most of the time find that shedding is more continual.
Owners who keep Rhodesian Ridgebacks outdoors for large portions of time find that the twice-a-year shedding schedule is very precise.
Due to this dog’s short coat, shedding with a Rhodesian Ridgeback doesn’t mean clumps of honey-colored fur collecting all around the house as you might get with some fluffier breeds.
The Smell Factor: Are Rhodesian Ridgebacks Clean Enough for Apartments?
Those beautiful, wheat-colored coats that Rhodesian Ridgebacks are famous for are notoriously clean.
The “short hair” on these dogs helps to cut back on odors. Rhodesian Ridgebacks are also typically very consistent and effective self-groomers.
Odor certainly shouldn’t be a factor that keeps apartment dwellers from enjoying the companionship of a Rhodesian Ridgeback as long as monthly baths are given!
The Energy Factor: Do Rhodesian Ridgebacks Need Too Much Exercise to Live in Apartments?
This may be the biggest point of concern for anyone considering living with a Rhodesian Ridgeback in an apartment.
This is a high-energy dog.
That means that choosing to bring a Rhodesian Ridgeback into an apartment requires a lifestyle commitment that involves frequent walks and visits to open spaces.
Rhodesian Ridgebacks have muscular physiques that are built for physical activity. How much exercise do they actually need to stay healthy and content?
The exercise requirements for this breed are pretty specific.
According to experts, “Your Ridgeback will need a minimum of two hours of exercise every day.”
It is recommended that this exercise is dived between several long walks and some off-leash fitness in a fenced, safe area.
The sharp, keen brains of Rhodesian Ridgebacks actually require some mental exercises.
This breed is always hungry for fun puzzle games and challenges that require them to chase down objects or follow scents.
Can so much exercise be achieved with apartment living?
It all comes down to access to outdoor spaces and owner commitment.
After all, even a Rhodesian Ridgeback kept in a large home with a sprawling yard won’t necessarily get what it needs if the owner doesn’t take initiative to provide the dog with safe, controlled access to the outdoors.
Final Thoughts on Making a Rhodesian Ridgeback an Apartment Dog
Yes, it’s perfectly acceptable to live in an apartment with a Rhodesian Ridgeback.
However, anyone considering this must really be honest and realistic about what they can offer this dog.
A person planning to have Rhodesian Ridgeback as an apartment dog must have the work schedule, lifestyle, and desire to devote at least two hours of “outside time” daily.
Ultimately, the focus isn’t necessarily on where a Rhodesian Ridgeback lives.
Successfully and comfortably keeping a Rhodesian Ridgeback in an apartment rests on making a commitment to consistently provide a Rhodesian Ridgeback with the amounts of exercise and engaging activity necessary for this breed to thrive!