A puppy has one hour of bowel/bladder control for every months of his life.


A 2-month-old puppy, which is how old your Ridgeback will be when you take her home, needs to relieve herself every two hours.


Your puppy has been given an area in the whelping box with biodegradable, chemical-free compressed wood pellets on which to potty. These pellets are used in wooden stoves and are sold at most feed stores. (I bought mine at the Agway in Hicksville; $8 for a 40-pound bag.) If you like, you can provide a small litterbox filled with the pellets to act as a transition while you teach your puppy to eliminate outside.


Avoid mistakes before they happen by anticipating when your puppy is most likely to need to urinate or defecate: after eating, drinking, playing or sleeping. Take her outside, and praise her lavishly when she potties outside. (Better yet, give her a treat.)


Ridgebacks housebreak easily if they are given consistent training. In the house, do not allow your unhousebroken Ridgeback out of your view for a second; every “mistake” you do not catch will only confuse the puppy more. The ideal is to never allow the puppy to urinate or defecate without being caught, gently corrected and shown the correct place where he is expected to relieve himself.


If you have area rugs, temporarily cover them with cheap plastic sheeting that you can buy from Home Depot. This will save your rugs, and prevent your Ridgeback from returning to the scene of previous mistakes. It will also give you an auditory cue ... when you hear that pitterpatter on plastic, get over there quick!


Crating your puppy in your bedroom at night is a good idea, as your puppy will wake up and whimper when he has to go outside. Expect to be getting up at 3 a.m. until his bladder matures and he can sleep through the night 

Most people start looking for a puppy right before they want to acquire one. If I could give you one piece of advice, it would be: Start six months, or even a year, before your target date of bringing a puppy home. Many Ridgeback bitches cycle every 8 or 9 months, which means there is often a wait for litters. And having a long lead time gives you a leisurely opportunity to meet breeders and make an intelligent decision without the emotional tug of a newly born litter to contend with. A breeder does not have to have puppies on the ground for you to call and say: "I am interested in the breed. May I come and meet your dogs?"

I prefer to meet puppy buyers before the litter arrives -- if possible, months before the breeding takes place. Getting together in person lets you meet and interact with my dogs . And it permits both of us to decide if we are "right" for each other.


I put a great deal of time, effort and love into my puppies. They are truly home reared, raised in my home -- not a garage or a basement -- and they interact constantly with children of all ages, including my three youngsters.

I want potential puppy owners to consider their puppy to be a new family member, not a possession to be acquired and then discarded when it is no longer novel or "exciting." I am not impressed a flashy car, or a rare-metal Amex card. Platinum, shmatinum. What I care about is on the inside.

In turn, I am there for my puppy buyers through the entirety of their dog's life for questions, concerns, and, of course, brags.

What makes a pet-quality puppy? In Ridgebacks there are several cosmetic factors evident at birth that eliminates a puppy's show potential: One of the most common is an incorrect ridge -- one that has more or less than the two crowns, or whorls, required by the standard, or whorls that are incorrectly placed and not symmetrical.

Other factors are excessive white, or a kinked tail. As a puppy grows older, an incorrect bite can also eliminate it from show-prospect status.

Some puppies are born with a congenital defect called a dermoid sinus. Breeders can palpate for these at birth, though some, especially those on the tail, can be hard to detect. Some breeders choose to have surgery on dermoid puppies; others decide to euthanize them. Many breeders whose dermoid puppies successfully heal from surgery sell them for the cost of surgery.

you'd like to inquire about an upcoming litter, or would like to talk about whether a Ridgeback is right for you, please email, or call evenings between 8 and 10 p.m. EST at (516) 676-3398.