Check back in the spring for details.
They are virtually impossible to resist. The innocence, the breath, the… well… just darn cuteness. From this page you will be able to link to current or upcoming litters of Ridgebacks from HPK-Tropaco.
Breeding and whelping a litter is an arduous process. From start to finish, it takes a great deal of time, a full range of emotions and, often, a large piece of one's bank account. It is certainly not for the faint-hearted. It's a lot like what is said by baseball players, poker players and others about their professions: Hours of boredom sprinkled with moments of sheer terror.
Experienced breeding dogs can make breeding a simple process. Introductions, flirting, mounting, a tie, you're done! However, if one or the other is shy, or if the female is "snarky," it can make for a long (and sometimes personally painful - Ouch!) process. Care must always be taken to avoid injury to either, from a variety of causes.
Even more fraught with potential peril is the whelp. Again, when it all goes right, you're barely more than an "assistant" and statistician. When things go "wrong," to any degree, that's where experience is key. We firmly recommend that anyone whelping a litter for the first time have a very experienced Ridgeback breeder assist them, as well as having a veterinarian who is "on call" in case an emergency trip is necessary.
After that, there's the three weeks of no-sleep, super-superheated nights (to avoid canine herpes, the puppies have to be kept warm since their own "thermostat" and fever response don't kick in for about two and one-half weeks). You'll be right beside the whelping box to ensure mom doesn't accidentally roll over or step on her new puppies. Every movement, every squeak requires attention.
That being said, there is nothing in the world more adorable, or beautiful, than a Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy!
To be a reputable breeder, at a bare minimum:
- Both sire and dam must have OFA clearances on hips and elbows. This should be verified www.offa.org; and
- at least one of the parents must be an AKC conformation champion.