I know I don't have time for a puppy, but awww, I want!
That last photo with both the head tilt AND the forehead wrinkles is just one of those looks that makes you have to say "Yes puppy, anything you want puppy" I am the biggest sucker for the ears forward, furrowed brow thing when my dog is trying to get a treat/playtime/walk.
He looks like he's going to be a big boy, how much does he weight now? When he is older (full grown) do you plan to do any sports like lure coursing with him?
He weighs around 46 lbs right now. Dad was 115 mom was 85, so chances are he'll be a pretty big boy! I have a puppy but when I look at pics of younger pups I think, could I handle another??? NO way, but oh so tempting!
Oh the ears forward get me everytime, it is very hard to be mad at him when he wrips the toilet paper through the house and is "caught" and gives you that look!!
I don't know much about lure coursing, but would definitely be interested to hear about it. I plan on running with him, I do marathons, and once he's around 18-24 months I plan on taking him on some runs with me, letting him build up slowly bc we don't want to harm his legs/joints.
Does you dog do lure coursing, or shows? He is very similar in color to Tsavo, I love the dark red color.
46 lbs already, wow, he'll probably be nearly as big as dad and that's a big RR.
RRs often excel at lure coursing, if they have events near you, you should watch one so you know if you want to try it when your dog is older.
Chester (my dog) is a rescue so no papers on him, we've done obedience and rally for fun but not shows. Honestly, he has a typical RR mindset and doesn't really see the fun in obedience work like more "people pleasing" dogs do. My pit bull fosters just take to obedience like nothing doing and love it, Chester looks at me like 'Why? What's in it for me?" He'd much rather play chase or hike with his nose to the ground.
We did run regularly, we've stopped due to my schedule and interests rather than his abilities. We trained for a half marathon together and since we trained over the winter/spring, he loved running in the cool weather. I am very glad to see you plan to wait to run with him, you can start to build up muscle and endurance by doing long hikes on hills at about 1 yr old. Dirt paths and a walking pace make it easier on the joints but the hills make them work harder. Swimming is great, since I see you have the one photo in water.
You should also look into nosework (scent detection or tracking). Lots of training places have a for-fun nosework class and any age dog can do it since it doesn't require as much physical work.
That's great that Chester is a rescue, I want to do that with our next dog, we were just a little worried with it being our first dog and having 3 kids. I am already constantly looking at the RR Rescue site, even considering being a foster family in a year or so, once Tsavo is older.
That's funny that you say about the typical mindset, that is so Tsavo, he definitely has a mind of his own and is one willful puppy!! I have been playing a game with him where I hide his treats, and he has to go find them around a room. He loves it, and is getting pretty good at tracking down his treats
How old is Chester, and how much does he weigh? It's hard to tell from photos, he looks like a pretty big boy so I was guessing he was 90-100?
Chester is 78 lbs, I keep him lean because it is so much healthier and easier on their joints. He's fairly tall though, I'm 5'9" and I can pet his head without bending at all or if he stands on his back legs, his head is about my shoulder level. He is 5 years old.
There are two main RR rescue groups but they do work together some as far as finding homes and fosters and passing along information (like if you put an adoption application in with one group, they will share it with the other group if you give them permission to).
You're probably already doing it, but one tip I can give you is to make sure to socialize Tsavo really well with all kinds of people. Although not a protection breed, RR's are the guard dogs of the hound world. I have met a few that were overly protective of their owners/families. Chester was a little bit "guardy" when I first got him, wonderfully gentle with the neighborhood kids but he liked to put himself between me and strangers. Never at all aggressive, just standing tough. Now he will only do that if someone is shady/sketchy. My cousin had two ridgebacks that she didn't socialize well (or much at all) and had to put them outside whenever guests came over and ended up rehoming them.
Introducing your dog to people in uniform like police and firemen is also important- the uniforms and equipment can seem threatening. The easiest way to do this (if you don't know any cops/firemen as friends) is to just go by a firehouse on a quiet afternoon and tell them what you are doing ("teaching my dog that fire trucks and firefighters are safe") and have them feed him a few treats, walk him near the fire engine and feed a few treats. For police, cops that are doing low-key work like traffic for a marathon or event (where they are just standing around most of the day) usually welcome a polite person asking if they like dogs and would be willing to give your dog a treat. Most of the time, the cops are coming to me asking if they can say hi to the dog This can be so important if you ever have an emergency when the dog is around. I once called 911 after walking up (with Chester) on an elderly neighbor who had fallen and hit his head and was incoherent. I tied Chester to their carport and handled things until the fire EMS arrived; the EMS guys all came running up with their bags and equipment and sirens blazing and Chester held his down-stay until I untied him and left.
We are definitely socializing him with both people and other animals, but I never thought about people in uniform, so thanks for the advice!
Wow I can't believe his is only 78 lbs, he looks so much bigger to me, just because of all the other RRs I have met that weighed more and he looks to be as big. They are so muscular that they tend to weigh 10-15 lbs more than they "Look" which is why I was guessing he was in the 90s. I know people tell me that Tsavo is thin a lot as you can see the outline of his rib cage, but from what I've seen and read, he seems to be the perfect thin/athletic build that an RR should have. I have seen pics of fat RRs and I have to say it just takes away from their looks and like you said puts too much stress on their joints.
I am not sure how tall Tsavo is yet, my hubby is 5'9 so when Tsavo jumps up on him when he gets home his paws are about waist high right now. He obviously has a bit of growing to do still. We moved into a new house 3 weeks ago and when we got there he was shorter than the neigbors AmStaff, now he can rest his chin on her head He was underweight when we got him, vet approximated 5 lbs underweight, so in the 9 weeks we have had him he has gone from 19-46 lbs!! When I look at his pics from the day we got him I can't believe how much he's grown, he is already 1/2 way to growing out of his second collar. I honestly love his size right now, and his little puppy face, I would be ok if he stayed just like this!