Ridgeback owners are dismayed that their dogs, especially their males,
do not "act protective." That is because they have found no cause to be.
The Ridgeback is a very intelligent and discriminating companion. If
and when he needs to defend you, he will. Otherwise, you can expect his
good nature and pack mentality to extend to all those he meets, provided
he has been properly and positively socialized.
Though he is powerful and
stubborn, the Ridgeback is at heart a sensitive soul. He does not
tolerate harsh treatment. He cannot handle the corporeal punishment --
such as constant collar jerks or "alpha rolls" -- that a sporting dog
would just shrug off. The Ridgeback, after all, is a hound, just like a Saluki or an Afghan Hound: He is sensitive. When confronted with abuse or
harsh handling, he either shuts down -- or escalates his response in an
effort to get away. This is not bad temperament: It is mishandling on
the part of the owner.
This is arguably the biggest
lap dog in the universe. The Ridgeback loves his comforts, and will
snuggle with you, cheek to cheek, on the sofa. Like canine canaries,
they prefer to sleep entirely covered. And they love -- repeat, love --
Care must be taken that they
do not get obese or develop the Ridgeback skill of counter surfing: An
unattended loaf of bread is fair game.