How My 8-Week-Old Rhodesian Ridgeback Changed My Life (and My Shoes)

Bringing home an 8-week-old Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy? Here's what to expect during their key developmental stages.

Ridgeback Puppy

I’ll never forget the day I brought home my 8-week-old Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy.

I had no idea what I was getting into, but I was sure it was going to be a wild ride. And boy, was I right!

From ruined shoes to destroyed furniture, my life has never been the same. But let me tell you, it’s been one heck of a journey. If you’re thinking about bringing home a Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy, buckle up, because it’s going to be a wild ride.

The Arrival

I had been dreaming of getting a dog for years, and I knew that a Rhodesian Ridgeback was the perfect breed for me. So, after months of searching for the perfect puppy, I finally found one. I was beyond excited to bring my new furry friend home.

However, the excitement quickly turned into chaos once we arrived home. The puppy was jumping around, peeing everywhere, and chewing on anything she could get his little teeth on. My living room had become a war zone. And as I looked around at the destruction, I couldn’t help but wonder, “What have I gotten myself into?”

Puppy running outdoors
Otsphoto (Adobe)

Creating a puppy-proofed living space

Before you bring your new furry friend home, you need to make sure your living space is puppy-proofed. Let’s face it, your Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy will chew everything in sight. You can try to hide your shoes and remote control, but your puppy will find them. Here are some tips for creating a puppy-proofed living space that will help you survive the next few months.

  1. Start with the basics. Make sure your puppy has plenty of space to play and explore. You’ll need a crate or a playpen to keep your puppy contained when you’re not around. Stock up on plenty of toys, chews, and bones to keep your puppy occupied and distracted from chewing on your furniture. Make sure your puppy has easy access to water and food, but keep the food out of reach when you’re not around.
  2. Secure all loose objects. Anything that’s within reach of your puppy is fair game for chewing. Make sure to secure all loose objects, including power cords, shoes, remote controls, and books. Don’t forget to close all cabinets and drawers that your puppy can reach. And if you have any low-hanging curtains, you might want to consider raising them up for a while.
  3. Protect your furniture. Your Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy will have an insatiable urge to chew on furniture legs, corners, and cushions. Cover your furniture with blankets or slipcovers to protect them from your puppy’s sharp teeth. If your puppy does manage to chew on your furniture, don’t panic. It’s all part of the puppy experience.
  4. Keep hazardous materials out of reach. Make sure to keep all hazardous materials out of reach of your puppy. This includes cleaning supplies, medications, and any small objects that your puppy could swallow. If you’re not sure whether something is hazardous, assume that it is and keep it out of reach.

The Adjustment

In the weeks following the puppy’s arrival, I struggled to adjust to Ridgeback puppy parenthood. The puppy’s behavior was all over the place, and the challenges of training him were endless. My shoes became his chew toys, my furniture his scratching post, and my patience was put to the test.

What to Feed Your Puppy
What to Feed Your Puppy

What to feed Ridgeback a puppy

Feeding a Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy a balanced and nutritious diet is essential for their growth and development from 8 weeks to 6 months of age. Here are some guidelines on what to feed your Ridgeback puppy during this period:

  1. Choose a high-quality puppy food: Look for a puppy food that is specifically formulated for large breed puppies. These foods typically contain the right balance of nutrients and calories to support your Ridgeback’s growth and development.
  2. Feed your puppy 3-4 times a day: Young puppies have small stomachs and need to eat frequently to maintain their energy levels. Divide their daily food portion into 3-4 small meals throughout the day.
  3. Monitor portion sizes: Follow the feeding guidelines on the puppy food package and adjust the portion sizes according to your puppy’s appetite and growth rate. Avoid overfeeding, as excess weight gain can lead to health problems later in life.
  4. Provide fresh water: Make sure your puppy always has access to fresh, clean water. Change the water daily and keep the water bowl clean.
  5. Avoid feeding table scraps: Human food can upset your puppy’s digestive system and lead to obesity. Stick to feeding them their regular puppy food.
  6. Treats in moderation: Treats are a great way to reward your puppy during training, but don’t overdo it. Too many treats can add extra calories to their diet and contribute to obesity.

Despite the chaos, there were moments of pure joy. Watching him learn new things and grow into his big paws brought a smile to my face. And as I looked at his goofy grin, I knew that all the chewed-up shoes and destroyed furniture were worth it.

The Transformation

As the puppy grew, so did my sense of responsibility. Suddenly, I had a life to take care of other than my own. I had to manage my time better, plan ahead, and be more patient. But as I learned to care for the puppy, she also cared for me. She brought a sense of companionship and joy into my life that I never knew was missing.

How much exercise does an 8-week-old Rhodesian Ridgeback need?

The general rule of thumb is five minutes of exercise per month of age, twice a day. That means your puppy only needs 10 minutes of exercise, twice a day. That’s barely enough time to finish a cup of coffee!

But don’t worry, there are plenty of ways to get your puppy moving without overdoing it. Short walks around the neighborhood, gentle playtime with toys, and supervised exploration in a fenced-in yard are all great options. Just make sure to watch your puppy’s body language for signs of exhaustion or discomfort.

Remember, your 8-week-old Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy is still a baby. They need plenty of rest and sleep to grow and develop. So, enjoy the cuddles and puppy naps while they last, and don’t stress too much about exercise. Your puppy will have plenty of time to run and play as they grow older.

Watching him grow into a loyal and loving companion has transformed me into a better person. I am more patient, understanding, and compassionate than I ever was before.

How fast do ridgeback puppies grow from 8 weeks to 6 months?

A Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy typically experiences a rapid growth rate in both height and weight. During this time, they can grow as much as 10-15 pounds and gain 1-2 inches in height per month.

How big should my puppy be by the age of 6 months

A male Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy typically weighs between 50-60 pounds and stands at a height of around 24-26 inches. Female Ridgebacks are slightly smaller, weighing between 40-50 pounds and standing at a height of around 22-24 inches.

Age (months)Average Weight (male)Average Height (male)Average Weight (female)Average Height (female)
215-20 lbs12-14 inches12-16 lbs11-13 inches
330-35 lbs16-18 inches25-30 lbs14-16 inches
440-45 lbs20-22 inches35-40 lbs18-20 inches
545-55 lbs22-24 inches40-45 lbs20-22 inches
650-60 lbs24-26 inches40-50 lbs22-24 inches
Ridgeback Puppy Growth Rate Chart: 8 Weeks to 6 Months

You know the growth rates we talked about earlier are just averages, so don’t stress out if your pup seems to be growing at a different pace. There are a ton of factors that can affect growth, like genetics, diet, and general health. If you’re worried about your fur baby’s development, don’t hesitate to chat with your vet. They’ll know best!

3 ways to predict size of a Ridgeback at maturity

There are three ways to predict the size of a Rhodesian Ridgeback at maturity:

  • The Pup’s age. Most Rhodesian Ridgebacks will keep growing until they’re at least 14 months old and possibly even longer, as they put on more muscle and weight over time.
  • Parents. Your puppy’s mom and dad play a big role in determining how much your dog will weigh as an adult. If you bought your Ridgeback pup from a breeder, try reaching out to them to find out more about your dog’s parents’ height and weight. Generally, a puppy won’t grow to be bigger than its larger parent, so that should give you some idea of how big your pup could get.
  • Big paws. A lot of puppies have these huge paws that look totally out of proportion to their little legs and bodies. If your pup still has big-looking paws compared to the rest of them, it’s a good sign they’re still growing and filling out.

The Lessons Learned

Through my experience with Ridgeback puppy parenthood, I’ve learned a few key things.

First, patience is truly a virtue.

When should I start training my Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy?

You might think that the earlier you start training, the better. But here’s the thing: your puppy is basically a tiny ball of fluff with the attention span of a goldfish. Trying to teach them complicated tricks or obedience commands is like trying to teach a toddler calculus.

  • Focus on socialization during the first few months of your puppy’s life.
  • Introduce your puppy to new people, animals, and experiences.
  • Take your puppy to the park, beach, or neighbor’s backyard BBQ.
  • Let your puppy explore their surroundings and learn about the world.
  • Once your puppy is a few months old and has settled into their new home, start introducing basic commands.
  • Use positive reinforcement like treats and praise to encourage good behavior.
  • Keep training sessions short and sweet.
  • Remember that consistency is key.

So, when should you start training your Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy? The answer is, it’s never too early to start socializing and building a bond with your furry friend. But as far as formal obedience training, wait until your puppy is a bit older and better able to focus. In the meantime, enjoy the puppy snuggles and playful antics. Trust us, they grow up fast!

Second, training a puppy is not for the faint of heart.

How can I prevent separation anxiety in my Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy?

Separation anxiety is a common issue for many puppies, but there are steps you can take to prevent it in your Rhodesian Ridgeback.

  • Start by gradually increasing the amount of time your puppy spends alone, starting with just a few minutes and gradually working your way up to longer periods.
  • Make sure your puppy has plenty of toys, treats, and a comfortable bed to keep them occupied while you’re away.
  • Consider using calming aids like pheromone diffusers or calming music to help soothe your puppy’s anxiety.

And most importantly, try not to make a big deal out of leaving or coming home. Keep it low-key and your puppy will learn to associate your departures and arrivals with calmness rather than anxiety.

And finally, the love and companionship a dog brings into your life is priceless.

He chewed on everything in sight, including my favorite pair of shoes, which I had to reluctantly say goodbye to. But even during those frustrating moments, I couldn’t help but feel a deep sense of love and companionship towards him. The way he would look up at me with those big, innocent eyes melted my heart every time. And as he grew older and became more well-behaved, our bond only grew stronger. Looking back, I can’t imagine my life without him, and I’m grateful every day for the love and joy he brings into my life.

How often should I take my Ridgeback puppy to the vet?

  • Congratulations, you’ve got a new furry addition to your family! Now, the question on every pet parent’s mind: how often do I have to drag my little bundle of joy to the vet?
  • The good news is, puppies don’t need as many vet visits as human babies. The bad news is, they still need some.
  • Typically, you’ll need to take your Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy to the vet for a check-up and vaccinations every three to four weeks until they’re around 16 weeks old.
  • After that, they’ll need yearly check-ups and vaccinations, just like adult dogs. So, basically, you can look forward to spending quality time with your vet for the next decade or so.
  • Of course, if your puppy starts showing any signs of illness or injury, don’t hesitate to bring them in for an extra visit. And if your vet starts calling you by your first name, it might be time to start looking into some pet insurance.

To those considering getting a Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy, my advice to you is simple: Be prepared for a wild ride. But also know that the joy and love that comes with it are worth every chewed-up shoe and destroyed piece of furniture.

Embracing the Joy and Chaos

As I sit here surrounded by half-chewed toys and slobbery tennis balls, I can’t help but laugh at the chaos my Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy has brought into my life.

But amidst the mess, there is a sense of pure joy and companionship that I wouldn’t trade for the world.

So, to all the potential puppy owners out there, buckle up, and get ready for the ride of your life!

I'm Emily! I love exploring the great outdoors with my Ridgeback, Charlie. From road trips to camping escapades, we love nothing more than embarking on new adventures together. As a Ridgeback Life writer, I focus on sharing my experiences and recommendations for portable and practical products that make travelling with your doggie a breeze. Join us on our journey and discover the joys of traveling with your furry companion!