The Rhodesian Ridgeback is an active breed, and it’s logical to wonder how many of your favorite dog activities they will enjoy.
Will a Rhodesian Ridgeback Play Fetch?
Rhodesians are an agile breed and are also fast. These are traits that people readily find in breeds that enjoy playing fetch. Does this make fetch a good activity for Rhodesian Ridgebacks?
In short, Ridgebacks are primarily a hunting breed designed to track lions in their native Zimbabwe. Despite their energy level, these dogs are not a breed naturally inclined to fetch.
Although Rhodesian Ridgebacks are not naturally retrievers, they can learn to fetch. You’ll enjoy the possibility of adding games of fetch to your dog’s exercise routine.
What Are the Rhodesian Ridgeback’s Exercise Needs Like?
Chasing down and holding big game animals were some of this dog’s earliest jobs. With that being the case, how does this translate to a Rhodesian’s modern exercise needs?
A Rhodesian Ridgeback requires at least an hour of vigorous exercise every day. However, two or more hours daily are better for this breed, given the energy level.
Fully-grown Ridgebacks do best with interactive activities, which may lead to these dogs learning how to fetch. These include self-propelled toys, including balls that encourage chasing, fetch with other dogs, flirt poles, and running with balls upstairs.
Here’s a closer look at some of the activities that these dogs enjoy:
Chasing Self-Propelled Toys
Most dogs, regardless of the breed, gt excited about toys that move on their own. For hunting dogs like Rhodesian Ridgebacks, these types of toys quickly signal playtime.
When you’re using these types of toys, you’ll want to make sure that your Rhodesian receives supervision at all times. These dogs are strong and can destroy toys very quickly.
There are many toys designed for you to let loose and allow your dog to chase. Some examples are:
The Weazel Ball, a motorized ball with a stuffed weasel attached. This ball brings out the dog’s natural prey drive by giving it an “animal” to chase.
A PetDroid Interactive Dog Ball is a ball that is motion-activated. A Rhodesian Ridgeback may chase a ball like this out of curiosity.
The Wobble Wag Giggle Ball makes giggling sounds if rolled or shaken. Because this sounds triggers dogs’ prey drive, it might motivate hesitant dogs to fetch.
Playing Fetch with Other Dogs
Some dogs who don’t quite get the idea behind playing fetch may learn by watching other dogs at play. If they see another dog running after a ball, they are likely to join in the chase.
Even if your Rhodesian Ridgeback doesn’t quite know what to do with the ball, a good run around the backyard is always beneficial. You might want to consider a playdate with other dogs who enjoy playing fetch.
Consider bringing over other dogs with high energy but relatively mellow temperaments. Examples of dogs that meet this definition include Golden Retrievers and Labrador Retrievers.
Most of these dogs enjoy retrieving and will do so with minimal prompting. One of the good things about their mellow personalities is that they are not as likely to get possessive over balls or Frisbees.
Your Rhodesian may just like enjoying watching the other dogs. When this is the case, it is stimulation that your dog will find beneficial.
One thing that stands out about flirt poles is how similar they are to cat toys. These toys may get the attention of dogs who aren’t otherwise inclined to chase balls very much.
You can swing the lure in any direction when using a flirt pole, including along the ground. Moving the ball in different directions might encourage your dog to chase after it.
One of the advantages of using a flirt pole is the greater muscle conditioning that your Rideback will enjoy. Using one of these poles can be an excellent way to teach your dog to exercise control with a “Leave it!” command.
After getting used to the lure on a flirt pole, Rhodesian Ridgebacks may acclimate to laying fetch.
When they learn that releasing a ball results in it being thrown again, many of these dogs will be happy to give fetch a try.
Taking a Run with a Ball
One of the things you can do to get your get a little more used to playing fetch is running with a ball that catches your dog’s attention.
For example, LED balls are excellent for this method of teaching your dog to fetch.
Even though dogs do not discern color as we do, the flashing lights are a type of motion that attracts Ridgebacks’ attention. Taking a run with a ball like this in hand may encourage your dog to run with you, as they would with their pack in a hunting situation.
Once the dog starts to see the ball as something to pursue, it might show some interest in chasing.
However, getting the dog to give the ball up on command may be a challenge that eludes you in the long run.
Although Rhodesian Ridgebacks are not a breed naturally inclined to play fetch, they are energetic and suited to this game.
You might need to put some effort into getting these dogs to play fetch, but if the answer to will a Rhodesian Ridgeback play fetch in your dog’s case is yes, they will have a source of regular amusement.