How To Exercise A Rhodesian Ridgeback

Rhodesian Ridgebacks are known for their intelligence, loyalty, and affectionate nature. They also happen to be one of the smartest breeds of dogs.

Rhodesian Ridgeback dogs are often called the “King of Dogs” because they are very intelligent and loyal. They are often used as guard dogs or police dogs. 

The puppies are born with a black coat and white markings. As they mature, they develop a dark brown coat. Their coats come in various colors such as red, blue, chocolate, and tan.

The Rhodesian Ridgeback is an excellent hunting breed that has been bred for centuries. It was originally developed by crossing two different breeds: the African wild dog and the Rhodesian wolf.

This cross-breeding resulted in a unique breed that is still being produced today.

They can grow to become medium-sized dogs that weigh between 50 – 70 pounds. Its height ranges from 20 inches to 28 inches. This makes them highly suitable to be a family pet also. 

If you are interested in owning a Ridgeback, then you might want to have a think about their exercise.

If that is the case, then you have come to the right place. Let us take a look at their exercise needs in more detail. 

How Much Exercise Does A Rhodesian Ridgeback Need?

Ridgebacks are energetic dogs who need lots of physical activity. They love to run around and play. Their owners should make sure that they get plenty of exercise each day. 

Ridgebacks also enjoy mental stimulation such as games of fetch. This is a recommendation for a healthy adult Ridgeback.

The exercise needs of a puppy are different from those of an older dog. A puppy should be exercised for 20 minutes twice daily. Older dogs need 30-60 minute walks once or twice per day. 

Both puppies and older dogs should be allowed access to safe areas such as off-leash parks or fenced yards when possible. A Ridgeback needs daily exercise to relieve stress and stimulate the mind. 

The ideal walking distance is about 30 to 45 minutes per day. Try scheduling this walk for around the same time each day. Dogs need routine, so try to stick to a regular schedule. 

A Ridgeback should be trained to come when called, and he should learn to walk politely off-leash.

He shouldn’t run after small animals, but he might chase larger ones. He should also be taught to wear a weighted vest pack. 

Doing so will help them to strengthen their muscles, just do not add more than 10% of their own body weight as this can do more harm than good. 

How To Exercise A Rhodesian Ridgeback

A Rhodesian Ridgeback needs a lot of exercise daily. Something that burns a lot of energy is preferred.

If they do not receive an adequate amount of exercise, they will be unable to release any pent-up energy. Due to this, they may develop issues with their behavior, or become destructive in the home.

To give them enough exercise, they need to have a daily walk – longer is preferred, so think 60 minutes twice a day – as well as a high-intensity activity, and mental stimulation.

If these needs are met, you will have a healthy Ridgeback. As they get older, however, you will notice that they will have lower energy levels.

Even so, it is still important to keep them active. This allows their muscles and joints to stay mobile, and to keep them in good shape.

Stick To A Routine With A Rhodesian Ridgeback

Rhodesian Ridgebacks prefer a routine, so it is always better to take them on two walks at the same time each day, and for a similar length of time.

The minimum time you should be walking them is around 45 minutes.

A healthy and fit Ridgeback is likely to want to walk all day long, but obviously, this is not ideal. Stick to a good hour and that will be sufficient.

Also, two singular walks each day are much better than a full hike at the weekend, so try to avoid doing this.

Ridgebacks need a lot of exercise, so before you think about owning one, you will need to make sure you can give them the exercise that they need on a daily basis. 

Other Activities For A Rhodesian Ridgeback

Whilst walking is best, they also need other activities to keep them stimulated and happy. The point is to tire them out, but do not overdo it.

They want to have had their pent-up energy removed by being active, not completely worn out that they cannot move anymore.

Extra activity will also help with their physical condition too, such as their muscles, as well as improve their cardiovascular system.

The activity and stimulation will keep them healthy overall, as well as provide some enrichment to their life. 

You can include toys such as a tug of war rope, either held by you or attached to a tree branch where they can entertain themselves (under your supervision, of course). 

Other ideas include playing fetch which is loved by all dogs, setting up an obstacle course in the backyard, swimming, digging, and even playing alongside other dogs, amongst so much more.

Keeping Your Rhodesian Ridgeback Mentally Stimulated

All dogs like to feel mentally stimulated, and it can add an extra form of enrichment to their lives, as well as be a boredom breaker.

Some of these ideas include using a chew toy which is a great way to keep them occupied.

Puzzle toys are good to help them problem-solve and to keep their mind challenged.

Whilst it will not help them physically, items like puzzle toys will keep them fully stimulated in the mind which they need to be healthy overall.

Another great way to keep them on their toes is by introducing scent games where they can use their nose.

Like all dogs, they have a very keen nose so will happily enjoy a game that includes using their sense of smell. 

Learning is another great way to keep them stimulated. This means having them follow your commands, as well as gaining new tricks.

One of the most popular games people do with their dogs is to teach them the names of their toys. It is not surprising that dogs can learn names and words. 

How To Exercise A Rhodesian Ridgeback Puppy

The needs of a puppy are much different from an adult dog. This is because their limbs, joints, and muscles are still growing, and any excessive exercise may actually harm them than do good. 

It is best to avoid long walks, and instead, let them play freely with toys that are suitable for puppies.

As they grow older, you can introduce them to short walks. This allows them to sniff their surroundings and explore. 

A rule of thumb for when walking a puppy is 5 minutes for every month of their age. A quick example is a 4-month-old who will only require around 15 to 20 minutes.

Do keep in mind that an unvaccinated puppy should never be walked in public. 

Final Thoughts

Rhodesian Ridgebacks are a great dog to have around. Not only are they loyal and intelligent, but they will also keep you fit and healthy.

They require a huge amount of exercise daily – around one hour walks twice a day – as well as mental stimulation.

This can include playing fetch or tug of war, teaching them new tricks, or challenging their mind with a puzzle toy.

Just like with most dogs, you will want to stick to a daily routine and give them as much attention as possible to keep them healthy and happy.