Not every dog should be bred... I thought you may like to see some of the things that will sink a show career before the pup is even out of the whelping box. This is NO way undermines the dog's ability to love and function. In litters there are rarely 100% perfect to the Standard pups. The standard was created for our breeding stock. It gives Judges a specific set of guidelines to use in picking the best specimens for breeding in the ring on any given day. Look around at your own family are you all super models?? Most breeder's brag books are set aside for only the Champions they produce. That is kind of sad since they are likely generating a lot of love in each puppy they carefully place.
Just because the dog is not suitable for breeding, does not mean it will not be a Total Rhodesian Ridgeback in every sense of the name. They are a funny, loyal smart breed and as a rule Companion or Pet quality puppies will be placed for a reduced fee.
Many of our friends and Ridgebackers in the US may remember the Saga of Priscilla of Gulf Port, Ms. A purebred who was abandoned to face Hurricane Katrina on her own. Thankfully the local shelter found her and made room. After the Storm, Rescue called me and asked if I could help? I whelped her puppies just as I would one of my own girls, and was a tad surprised by their appearances. Her puppies looked more like Labs than anything else. I was deeply concerned that we would have our hands full for a very long time. I was wrong, Apparently people thought they were fairly amazing as well since the entire litter was adopted out quite easily.
If you are not going into the Show ring you should have the dog altered. longer They will live longer , the males have far less of a chance to develop prostrate cancer among other things. and the female has a zero chance of pyrometra etc after her seasons.
Tails may seem like a simple method of detecting how happy your fur kid is with you , but in reality Tails act to a certain extent like a rudder, helping the dog's movement. Some breeds rely on the tail more than others. ( Labs and other water breeds pop to mind right away) . At a show this year the judge put up what most of us thought was a mediocre dog at best , because" it had the best tail out there" hmmm not sure I would place that heavy a value on it for RRs but then I am not a judge.
Here is a Straight tail , and this one has the traditional Diamond marking , to learn more about the story behind the Diamond marking you will need to go to Elizabeth Acker's Rescue website and read to stories of "Boti"
Starting off let's chat for a moment or two about Kinks. A Kink can be caused by several things. They may have a genetic kink, one that formed while in the womb, or a kink resulting from a break in the Tail. Either way , while not a disqualification they are not something I would wish to waste entry money on in the conformation ring. Below is a photo of a kinked tail. The vertebrae are fused, keeping the tail from ever being straight.
This little group shot shows both Gay and straight tails. The dog nearest the water has a pronounced curve in her tail. Hooking up and over the back. I want to tell you I have seen many dog's who's owner chose to dock their kinked tail. I am not saying they are wrong, only saying there is a world of emotion in the tail , kinked or not... You may want to reconsider docking the tail to bring the dog to your vision of perfection. We know of a Wonderful family with Two rrs, one with a right angle kink the other with a perfect tail. They opted to leave everything alone. Oddly enough in later they ended up docking the "perfect" tail...he was bit by a snake and the tail had to go !! Between the two boys there was NEVER a lack of communication. The big dog with his crooked tail would greet and wag the very best he could the dog with only a nubbin left would dance till you saw just how delighted he truly was! It is not about the tail , It is about the dog !
Bites are a bit more important.The dog must be able to grab and hold prey (to a certain degree). A bite that is wrong may create problems carrying out that task. We are supposed to have a scissor bite. I have friends in another hound breed who after the dog was grown and a champion took him to an Orthodontist for dogs! He would nurse on his teddy bear. This produced very crooked teeth! So they opted to have them corrected. Aside from the obvious expense, they had to travel back and forth to a city about 5 hours from their home to have his adjustments every two weeks. The boy was splendid. His "nursing" was something some dogs do. His owners were in the position to have him deal with an orthodontist. I think the important thing to remember is not HOW to cheat but that in the long run Karma seems to balance everything. He had perfect teeth as a young dog and it was due to his comfort seeking habit they changed. He was finished as a champion long before his teeth shifted.
This is an Overbite... I have seen MUCH worse overbites than this in dogs after nearly 40+ years. ( This boy certainly has sparkling white teeth !!)
The top teeth over lap the bottom teeth .
This is an Underbite... well it will be when I get snap shots...