CHOOSING YOUR RIDGEBACK
Before you finally decide on a particular puppy, remember that you are choosing a friend and companion for the next 10-12 years so the decision you are about to make should be based on temperament as much as conformation.
If you are inexperienced, the best way to gain knowledge is to make the time and effort to inspect as many litters as possible.
The most important questions to ask yourself are:
* Can you afford to feed a puppy that will grow into a large dog?
* Can you afford veterinary costs for immunization, worming and unexpected illnesses or accidents?
* Do you have the time to devote to training a new puppy and later exercising a large dog?
* Is your property securely fenced?
* Can you afford suitable housing and care for your dog when you go on holidays?
* Will the breeder you purchase from be available for advice on raising your puppy?
* Is your whole family happy with the characteristics of this breed?
* If you do not intend to show can you afford to spay or neuter your dog or conversely are you happy to have an early neutered puppy on purchase?
* Have the puppies been raised in a clean, social environment and are they happy and inquisitive?
The whole litter should have been wormed every 2 weeks since birth and should have been vaccinated at 6-8 weeks of age for distemper, hepatitis and parvovirus. This vaccination takes between 10 and 14 days to give the puppy immunity.
When you inspect a prospective litter, take a good look at both sire and dam (if available).
1. Do they have any noticeable faults such as undershot or overshot jaws, flat or splayed feet, timid or aggressive temperaments?
2. Are they both physically active and agile with good muscle tone and free flowing movement?
3. More importantly are they loving, confident, outgoing dogs who appeal to you in look and temperament?
4. Have the sire and dam been x-rayed and scored for hip and elbow dysplasia?
If both sire and dam appear to be basically sound in conformation and temperament look at the litter overall.
1. Are the puppies even in size or do they range from tiny puppies to very large puppies? An average litter numbers 8-10 pups; if there are 3 or 4 in the litter did the breeder have to cull any?
2. If so, what were the problems?
3. Was there a large percentage of dermoid sinus (explained later on this page), ridgeless and/or misshaped ridges? Some puppies are born with a lot of black shading apparent through their coat, but if you are looking at them between 6-8 weeks, there should be little or no black shading on the bodies of the puppies. The main coat colour must be wheaten, e.g. honey coloured or reddish gold or shades thereof but not black, cream, brindle, grey/blue or black/ tan/white - while these colours are not admissible into the show ring and must be desexed they can make perfectly acceptable pets.
It is recommended that the puppy you decide to purchase is registered with the Canine Control Council of Queensland (T/as Dogs Queensland) by the breeder.
There is a big difference between a puppy having 'papers' and being Dogs Queensland registered similarly an even larger difference between a breeder being 'registered' (e.g. with the local government under State Government legislation) and being 'registered' with a prefix (breeder identifier) with Dogs Queensland who are the State body of the Australian National Kennel Council (ANKC).
Without the Dogs Queensland registration of breeder and puppy there is no guarantee that the puppy you purchase is indeed purebred. Even though the parents may have registration papers unless the breeder is a registered breeder with Dogs Queensland your puppy will never have Dogs Queensland registration papers with no guarantee of parentage or health testing.
If in doubt contact Dogs Queensland (dogsqueensland.com.au) and check if the breeder is a Dogs Queensland registered breeder.
All breeders listed in the RRCQ Breeders Directory have agreed to abide by the Club’s Code of Ethics and as member of the Dogs Queensland their Code of Ethics as well.
All puppies in Queensland that are registered with the Dogs Queensland must be sold with their papers registered in the new owner's name.
If you have not received your puppy’s papers from Dogs Queensland within 4 weeks of receiving your puppy then do not waste any time and contact Dogs Queensland immediately.