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Discussion Starter #1
We are looking for an RR puppy for a family house, in a big city, in a household with small children. We have a back garden and access to parks nearby.

I would love to hear from RR owners about whether a male or female would be a better fit, in terms of temperament? I appreciate that is in part subjective and case-by-case, but any views or experiences welcomed! Thank you.
 

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There may not be any RR owners frequenting this forum, but the question you're asking is not necessarily breed specific. Deciding on a male or female mostly depends on the current dogs in your household, it is usually a good idea not to get two dogs of the same gender if you can help it. RR do tend to lean on the aggressive side of the spectrum which means SSA in males may be an issue.

Do you have any current dogs?
 

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As a general idea, males are often supposedly more affectionate, while females are more independent- supposedly. But really, just look at the individual- talk with the breeder about the puppy's personality. (if, that is, you're sure you don't want to try a breed-specific rescue, or try finding a similar breed at a regular shelter- I'm a shelter person, I realise not everyone is, just felt like I had to add that lol) Unless, as @ClanWorgen said, you have another dog already.
 

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Yes, if you already have a dog, go with the opposite gender.

I'm not personally familiar with Rhodesians, but I have Rottweilers, and have always kept females because they're smaller and physically easier to deal with. I've also always felt males tend to get offended and snotty quicker. Maybe that's only true of intact males. And of course females aren't going to lift a leg everywhere, and I know even some neutered males that are a problem that way.

To be honest, from what I've read/heard and my one experience with one, RR aren't a breed I'd choose with small kids, but then neither are Rotties. Choose your breeder carefully and check out the parents of your puppy and get a feel for their temperament with equal care.
 

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I had a half RR male. My cousin had two full Rhodies.

A wonderful breed IF they match what you are looking for and can provide. Smart, strong, loyal, able to handle many situations.
But: high energy, high prey drive, totally unsuitable for a dog park, the most guardian tendancies of the hound group, and unfortunately also some may tend towards aggression to strangers.

I don't think male vs female is much different unless you already have a dog.

But, do consider your breeder very carefully to select a dog suitable for children and an urban property location.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
There may not be any RR owners frequenting this forum, but the question you're asking is not necessarily breed specific. Deciding on a male or female mostly depends on the current dogs in your household, it is usually a good idea not to get two dogs of the same gender if you can help it. RR do tend to lean on the aggressive side of the spectrum which means SSA in males may be an issue.

Do you have any current dogs?
Hi ClanWorgen, thanks very much for taking the trouble to reply. We don't have any other dogs; we do have a 6 year old Birman cat and our understanding is that it will likely assert its authority over the RR puppy at an early stage. Longer term we have spoken to a number of RR owners and breeders who have seen an RR co-exist with a cat so we hope this will be fine!
 

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I would think that if introduced properly and addressing inappropriate interactions as they come that a Ridgeback would coexist with a cat just fine. Any breeds can develop prey drive and potentially harm a cat so precautions should always be taken.

IME females tend to be more handler focused and sensitive, while males are more adventurous and stubborn. I've worked at kennels and daycares for several years and a vast majority of our problem dogs are male dogs, they just tend to be more ornery. Most of the fearful timid dogs I've dealt with are female (I don't consider timid dogs to be problem dogs). Such traits can largely be predicted by the breeder and what they produce, so even though this is my general experience it doesn't mean a well bred male dog won't be just as biddable, or that a well bred female dog won't be just as confident and fearless.

I chose a male dog this time around because my adult dog is a female. My female also developed a pyometra and with my preference for keeping dogs intact it seemed more reasonable to get a male. The health pros to neutering a male does not outweigh the cons, whereas females can get a pyo and potentially die if not treated quickly. If you plan to spay/neuter then this information isn't relevant. There are also ovary sparing spays and vasectomies that keep those hormones that in my opinion are essential for health.
 

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If your cat isn't dog-savvy (hasn't lived with or spent significant time around dogs), I'd caution against assuming they'll work things out just because the cat's an adult and the dog's a puppy. A dog-savvy cat will often stand their ground and give a puppy a good smack or two if they're too pushy, and that will often teach a pup to be respectful of them... but not always. Some dogs will take even this as play or it'll amp them up to rougher or more boisterous interactions. Many cats who aren't dog-savvy will run, which many dogs/puppies take as play (or worse, a prey item to chase and catch). Remember that dogs and cats speak very different (body) languages and there's lots of room for miscommunication.

What I'm saying is that be very careful to supervise their interactions, and that you need to take the role of stepping in and backing up the cat's "leave me alone" signals. If the cat warns puppy it doesn't want to play, you get in there and remove the puppy. Every time. If puppy is amped up and wild and doesn't seem to have a brain (as is often the case with puppies), make sure it doesn't have access to the cat's safe spaces and can't get in the cat's face, and that the cat (if nearby) has an escape route to somewhere quieter. Especially make sure the cat's food, water, and litter box are well removed from where the puppy will be spending most of its time so that the cat feels secure in being able to eat, drink, and potty. Especially that last bit - both because litterbox problems are super common with stressed cats, and because your puppy will almost definitely think that cat poo is the most amazing treat ever if it has access to the box. I definitely recommend Jackson Galaxy for detailed information about introducing a puppy to your household in a way that will keep your cat safe, happy, and confident.
 

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I have a 3 male dog household, so it can be done, but you have to know your dog. My first (a Dogo Argentino) wasn’t/isn’t a fan of really mouthy tall dogs, and another large breed he always plays ROUGH, and I think he/they would break everything in my house, so I added a Boston Terrier (little but still plays like a big dog)
 

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I just wanted to thank everyone for their thoughts and views - I really appreciate you all taking the time. It's giving us plenty to digest, not just on RR gender but discussions with the breeder, interaction with the cat, neutering vs not, and so on. Let me absorb it all - watch this space!
 

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Hi there, I haven't posted here in years, but your post showed up in my mailbox and I thought I'd chime in. I have two ridgebacks, a male and female. I also have two kids and, like you, live in a large city (NYC) with access to parks and a small yard. These are my first ridgebacks, so my experience is limited to them. My male is by far an easier dog. He's not very high energy, extremely affectionate, and very tolerant of the kids. My female is high strung, has an extremely high prey drive and will growl at the kids if they annoy her. She is very attached to us, but is much more independent, and not all that concerned about pleasing us. She can also be aggressive with other large dogs and is not that great in small dog runs. She's fine in large off leash parks as long as she can have her space and likes to play with smaller dogs. She's also great with puppies. She absolutely could not live with cats, but then she didn't grow up with any, I know our breeder has cats and about ten ridgebacks and they all get along fine. She was very high energy as a puppy, now at nearly five, she's much calmer, though still wants to play and run. Both of them sleep on the couch most of the time, though she is our watchdog and likes to bark at all the delivery people. My boy doesn't even get up when people come by. Again, this is just my dogs, but from knowing several ridgebacks from the dog park, I'd say boys are generally more easy going. If I had to pick just one, I'd get a male, but I love having one of each. If you have any questions, I'd be happy to answer if I can.
 
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