Before you contact any reputable breeder about a puppy, we hope you have done some research on the breed of dog you want. What type of dog fits your lifestyle, personality, and commitment? Do you live on a ranch or an apartment? Do you love to run and hike and want a dog to come along? Or, do you want a dog you can carry around and is easy to take care of? Every breed has its unique characteristics - that is the beauty of a purebred dog. To learn more about each breed, you can visit the official AKC website for lots of information.
So now you have decided a Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy is for you and/or your family. Make sure to pick a responsible breeder who strives for healthy dogs with stellar temperaments. This breeder should be doing health testings on all breeding pairs and should really only have 2-3 litters a year. This is responsible breeding.
The big question you will get from a breeder is "are you looking for a pet or a show potential puppy?" That is the million dollar question and one you need to give serious thought to before answering. What does "pet puppy" and "show puppy" mean - besides price?
Show Potential or Pet Puppy?
Once puppies are about 7 weeks old, a breeder will typically evaluate all the puppies and decide which puppies are "pets" and which puppies are "show potential". Show potential puppies must have:
Correct Scissor Bite
Ridge with 2 crowns, with only a very slight off-set, and must go down to the hips bones.
If male, both testicles must be descended.
Minimal White Markings
Correct Wheaten Color
Good Bone Structure
No Kinks in the Tail
No Genetic Defects (Dermoid Sinus, Ridgelessness, Mega Esophagus, Heart Murmur, etc.)
Any puppies exhibiting one or more "defects" will be sold as a "pet". Those puppies who have all the above qualities, can be sold as "show potential" puppies.
Show Potential Puppy
Having a show puppy can be a lot of fun. Most show pups are shown in the conformation ring by either their owner or the breeder. Some hire professional handlers to show their pups - it is all up to you. Having a show puppy is no more work than having a pet puppy. Both must be socialized, trained, cared for, and loved. The only difference is you get to take your show puppy to conformation shows and work to become an AKC champion.