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Nico - Rhodesian Ridgeback, Dog (3 Years)

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Nico - Rhodesian Ridgeback, Dog (3 Years)  - Page 4 Empty And now snoozing

Post  Jackie on Sun Mar 11, 2012 11:41 pm

...after two dinners last night. It was purely accidental, but Nico was very quick to cover up Mum's mistake!! He was very tired last night and we think the extra food might have contributed to his grumpiness because he aggressively growled and snapped at my Dad when we put him into his room for the night, but this morning, all was forgiven and as you can see, he's just chilling by the window between Mum and I Very Happy

Nico - Rhodesian Ridgeback, Dog (3 Years)  - Page 4 Nicosn10

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Post  jesses mum on Mon Mar 12, 2012 10:49 am

I really feel you should write a book about your adventures with Nico..I for one love reading them & can't wait for the next instalment!...What a beautiful place to train ,I belong to GVDT club in Herefordshire, we too train in the wind,rain & snow BUT so much nicer than in a hall & great for natural distractions that you encounter in every day walks...Good Luck with your competition they are always fun especially with the unpredictable nature of your Nico & my Jess!!!..never a dull moment lol!

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Post  Jackie on Tue Mar 13, 2012 3:59 am

Don't give me any ideas, Jesses Mum!! I was watching Crufts last night and had my fingers crossed for the Ridgeback to go through in the hound group, and was so disappointed when he didn't. So glad we didn't take Nico though, it wouldn't have been fair on the other dogs - he'd have won everything;) ! Also, on an unrelated note, the Newfie should have won!! & Nico wasn't impressed with mine and mum's attention on the other dogs - we were saying how great the agility dogs were and then Nico got off his bed and pushed a rope toy into our laps to get our attention!!

He's actually calmed down SO MUCH at training. He still needs the little burn off walk so that he can focus, but now he settles so quickly when he's training and just gets on with it. He still can't meet dogs on the lead, but he can down&stay while the next dog along is doing their recall, which is great.

Kevin will be putting Nico in the middle of the group to push him even further. At the moment he trains at the end of the line so that he has the least distractions, but he's doing so well that he's going to progress up the ranks haha. And training outside is better, even if it sometimes felt like we had frostbite! Training is brilliant (and necessary for Nico) - the other owners who started at the same time as us all comment on how far Nico's come and I mean, literally all the owners that started and stuck with training are all positive about Nico, and one couple who had to move to an earlier class time always ask Kevin how Nico's getting on. Makes every step forward 100 times better!
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Nico - Rhodesian Ridgeback, Dog (3 Years)  - Page 4 Empty Dodgy behaviour

Post  Jackie on Sun Mar 25, 2012 10:06 pm

Worryingly, Nico is starting to show signs of toy possessiveness. We already knew he and bones didn’t mix well, and after a short trial period of giving Nico the occasional small bone to build his confidence up around them, we decided to make the house a bone-free zone. He had almost finished a bone and Dad spoke to him quietly and Nico acted very aggressively, so we’ve just removed the source of the trouble.

This morning, Mum bought Nico a new toy; a soft slipper. He adores his soft turkey and it’s become a comfort toy for him. However, the slipper was not a raging success and after licking it, he ripped a hole in it and was pulling out stuffing, trying to get to the squeaker. Dad went to get it from him in case he swallowed anything (very, very calmly) and Nico growled, pawed at my dad and ran off with it, still growling (no waggy tail so definitely not playing). Pawing might not seem so bad, but Dad already has a large scar on his hand from Nico, where he accidentally pawed him - he doesn’t realise his own strength and his paws are huge! Dad dealt with it by firmly and loudly telling Nico ‘no’ and removing him from the room and taking the toy away.

But looking back, this hasn’t been an isolated incident. He’s done the growly thing at me (again, not playing) and stupidly, I backed off which tells him he that growling will get him what he wants. Hopefully by Dad telling him off today, the possessiveness will stop. You can take anything out of his mouth that he shouldn’t have, such as wrappers - you just have to hold his collar and take it out of his mouth, and that occasionally gets a grumble from him, but we haven’t really taken any of his toys...there’s been no reason to, apart from today and if he’s occupied with his turkey then he’s not getting into mischief! If it progresses, then we’ll talk to Kevin about it. Hopefully we’ve all learnt a lesson today in that we don’t back down if he growls...and also, because it was my Dad that told him off, the behaviour might stop because Nico hates being told off by him - and several unwanted behaviours, such as poo eating, has stopped since he was told off by Dad. Fingers crossed!
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Nico - Rhodesian Ridgeback, Dog (3 Years)  - Page 4 Empty Success

Post  Jackie on Mon Apr 02, 2012 6:59 am

Since the slipper incident, Nico hasn't growled when taking anything from him. It's the third thing that Dad has really told him off over and he hasn't done it again, so that's a relief.

Training is continuing to go well for the most part...during the distance control he's twice got up and wandered over to Fizz & Star, but goes back and concentrates when Dad corrects him. Heel work is getting better, considering Dad isn't consistent with it (tut tut hehe) and he doesn't bounce any more. He still lunges towards people, especially when Kevin walks towards him, but that's because they love each other!!

We've also had the front door and living room door open and Nico doesn't bolt at all, which is so different from our last Ridgeback - she did get out once and did a quick lap of honour around the green! But Nico just stands in the door way watching or will go outside and stand on the path by the house watching who ever is out there with him, and always comes when called back in.

Oh, and we've finally got him a new lead - electric blue slip lead which is very fetching. Next up will be a new collar. To summarise, we love NicoNico - Rhodesian Ridgeback, Dog (3 Years)  - Page 4 4253416793 .
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Nico - Rhodesian Ridgeback, Dog (3 Years)  - Page 4 Empty Re: Nico - Rhodesian Ridgeback, Dog (3 Years)

Post  Phil on Mon Apr 02, 2012 7:15 am

Fantastic Jackie.

It just goes to show how important it is to have consistency. plus, investing in a good trainer that will not only help with a dog but his/her owners too is invaluable.

Congrats to you and your family for bringing Nico this far.

I think is also show that Nico is now reflecting back your trust in him by being a well behaved boy.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Phoebe Patterdales are hard work but FUN, Just don't leave the gate open! Very Happy
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Nico - Rhodesian Ridgeback, Dog (3 Years)  - Page 4 Empty Training

Post  Jackie on Sun Apr 08, 2012 9:01 am

Well behaved boy, Phil? Ha!

Actually, training started brilliantly for Nico. His group has been completely mixed up now; there's three new dogs (Freddie the German Shepherd, Thornton the choc Lab, and Daisy the fat yellow Lab) plus Teddy the greyhound and Bo the very nervous Collie, who looks a bit like Sammy, the dog from Goodnight Mr Tom - but I digress. All of the dogs have issues with other dogs, with the exception of Nico. The two labradors have major issues with other dogs. Daisy was attacked, and Thornton was a rescue that the couple (first time dog owners and they don't have any history on him took on because he was going to be put to sleep) is very aggressive.

The first fifteen minutes of the lesson was taken up by Thornton growling and barking and lunging at everything and everyone, and Kevin had to take over which he hardly ever does. Did Nico get involved? Did he heck - he was trotting around with Dad to heel, tail wagging, looking at Dad and looking BEAUTIFUL. I wish I had a camera, because he just looks stunning...I know I'm biased, but wow! So anyway, it's all kicking off with Daisy, Thornton and Freddie and Nico could not care less. We thought he might try to wade into the mix and say 'I'll give you something to bark about mate!' but he wasn't interested!!

Then it came to sits/stays and he was awful. Before, he's been able to do it without a lead attached, but he just didn't focus today or for the past two weeks. We asked Kevin, and he thought it could be the new flavour of food so on the way back from training we got a new bag of James Wellbeloved Turkey flavour. For the last three weeks he's been on the duck flavour, and we've noticed he's become slightly aggressive and always looking for a fight. Anyway, next training Dad will be much stricter with Nico, but Kevin is going to try putting him in with the three newbies. Thornton's owners did look a bit shocked at this because their dog had just had a massive dingdong with another dog, and Nico dwarf's their Lab, but Kevin said 'for all his size, Nico's a very sweet dog who'd rather walk away than fight' and John, Bo's owner, agreed and said Nico never started the problems with other dogs (he just finishes them!) which was very sweet. I'm so glad that Nico can be used as the 'enforcer' to help other dogs with their insecurities. He's confident himself, and will not be pushed around, but he'd rather play than fight.

THEN, at the pet place where Mum and Dad were getting the new dog food, a man came up to my Mum and asked whether Nico was a Ridgeback, and got very excited when we said he was. He commented on how beautiful he was and how gorgeous his black mask is. He has girl Ridgeback, called Sophia. Nico was doing his barky thing and Mum told the man not to worry and the man just laughed and said he knew. His Ridgeback is the same - all bark, but really just wants to lick you death, just like Nico. They're big babies that want to play. They stood there chatting and he couldn't believe we'd only had him six months and that he was a rescue. He's never heard of a Ridgeback being in a rescue, and in a way, i'm glad it's like that. The breed hasn't been abused for profit like the Labrador, German Shepherd or Staffie. Anyway, it's a shame we forgot to ask where he lived, because we'd have loved to have met up with his Phia and our Nico.

Anyway, we'll be taking Nico on a long walk tomorrow morning so i'll try and get a few snaps of him - you know you love his beautiful face really!
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Nico - Rhodesian Ridgeback, Dog (3 Years)  - Page 4 Empty Puppy Love!

Post  Jackie on Mon Apr 16, 2012 12:43 am

Training is still going well. Luckily - and no offence to terrier owners/small dog owners - the class dynamics have shifted and there's only big(ish) dogs there now: a German Shepherd (beautiful Freddie), a Border Collie (beautiful Bo), a Husky (Willow) and a chocolate Labrador (lucious Thornton).

Thornton has issues with other dogs and is uber aggressive, Bo is extremely nervous and reacts with aggression (so nervous that he has to be lifted out of the car and on his first day was physcially shaking, the poor boy, so Mum and I are his personal cheerleaders Wink) Freddie thinks he can do what he wants (but he's so beautiful!!!) and Willow was attacked by another dog and is fear-aggressive.

The actual training - distance control, sits and stays, downs and stays, recalls and heel work went pretty well. Nico's heel work is good and he doesn't lunge anymore, but his distance control has gone down hill so much and his group recall (when he's offlead) is pretty shocking as well. We'll work on it, though. The problem is that he doesn't meet many other dogs off the lead on walks, and we're aware that his size is pretty alarming and understandably, people don't want strange dogs rushing up to them. Also, the dogs round here aren't as well trained as they could be (two of the neighbourhood dogs actually attacked Nico the first night we had him) and we don't want him to become fear-aggressive. We did take him to Mote Park a couple of times and let him run with a long lead attached, because there were kids around, and we tried to do some training with him there, but people kept interrupting and letting their dogs interfere, so it didn't really work out. What we need is someone with a chilled out large dog to let us use as a stooge.

Anyway, during the offlead group walk, Bo started a scrap and escaped pretty sharpish and kept out of it after that. Nico and Thornton had several barky macho moments, but were then playing and chasing each other which was lovely. Kevin is convinced they'll be bosom buddies soon, and the transformation in Thornton after just a week is just amazing. I wish i'd filmed his first lesson to show you the comparison, because he has come on leaps and bounds. Anyway, Kevin's told us that Nico's biggest problem is that he thinks every dog is his best friend, whereas Thornton thinks every dog is out to get him. Next lesson, Thornton will be muzzled up to ensure nothing esculates but we're very proud of Nico's progress. And only our dog could decide that an aggressive Labrador should be his best friend! Bless 'em.
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Nico - Rhodesian Ridgeback, Dog (3 Years)  - Page 4 Empty Training 26/05/12

Post  Jackie on Tue May 29, 2012 7:33 am

Saturday was Nico's group training session and the first time i'd been able to go for a while, due to work hours. He has made a massive improvement, so much so that it's sometimes a struggle to remember what he was really like when we brought him home in September 2011...So much has changed!


First, I think he is much calmer. He still needs two walks (one long, one short) before training at 2.30pm, but then he is a high energy breed. He also needed a quick burst in the 'naughty boy's pen' at the training grounds because he was quite excitable, but then he chilled out in the boot (all doors and windows open!) until it was time for him to go out. Luckily, and I think i've said this before, but our group now only has larger dogs. No offence to terrier/small dog owners, but I think it's better for Nico to mix with larger breeds. The group contains Freddie, the most amazingly calm GSD who has changed my opinion on that breed forever (I want one, specifically him, even if he does pull like a train at the moment!), an Australian Kelpie named Kane, Bo the Border Collie and Thornton the chocolate Labrador. Some background info: Kane is hyper and poorly socialised (rescue dog), Bo is very nervous and can react aggressively to other dogs to get them to leave him alone (but he loves people, especially women, the little flirt) and Thornton is people and dog aggressive, poorly socialised with both and at the moment, doesn't see his owners as his leader (he's also a rescue and was going to be pts by the centre).


The group walk went well - his recall is slightly dodgy in a group situation because he just wants to play, but he does come back. His new best friend is Freddie - they've learnt to play together and had plenty of fun chasing one another. Thornton did try to start a dogfight with Kane, and if the trainer hadn't have grabbed him and dealt with the situation there definitely would have been. That was a pretty scary moment and I think Nico might have leapt into Dad's arms at that pointNico - Rhodesian Ridgeback, Dog (3 Years)  - Page 4 OEyNfV4mWJVbOHvcbABiKNhQwYPtTIXGQlCW7zPpiFZAS_DgWtZ26Kk8tRj8pY4kQ7glSnjTngdJ_oA_G67mZlVQEvTQbtrGfRfF_sfMjfBHUwL-K8c


Nico has also become the class stooge because of his calmness and confidence. He doesn't try to dominate, and he puts other dogs in their place if they get too pushy. Kevin had him in with Kane in the naughty boy's pen. Nico went into the down position and watched him for a while (classic Ridgeback hunting move), then they just got on with their own thing. On the group walk with all the other dogs, they mingled well. Considering that eight months ago, Nico was, in our trainer's words, a 'social retard' with other dogs to being the stooge of choice, I have to say that i'm immensely proud of him and of our own work with him.


His down/sit stays are also back on track - no lead, and no longer at the end of the line. He's now between Thornton and BFF Freddie because he's learnt to ignore others when he's 'working'. Dad managed to get thirty feet away for about two minutes, before going back...if down stays were an Olympic sport, Nico would win gold.
Nico also met our elderly neighbour, Jo, without a fence between them, and was very excited to see her. She loves him, and she loved our previous Ridgeback, and isn't worried by him despite his size and excitability. He was very excited and wouldn't leave her alone, but he didn't jump of act negatively. I got him a treat to refocus his attention, and then he went and laid on his duvet beside Jo. He's great with my aunt, and everyone that meets him describe him as a sweet boy - my aunt, a hardcore Dalmatian lover has even talked about getting a Ridgeback as a companion to her Dalmatian, Flash!


Obviously, he's not perfect and he still has a long way to go, but we knew that when we took him on. Eight months since we brought him home, he's a changed boy and we've changed too. He takes priority and he even has a Thomas the Tank Engine duvet in the living room to make up for the fact that he's not allowed on the furniture.


Nico - Rhodesian Ridgeback, Dog (3 Years)  - Page 4 Nico_e10


Last edited by Jackie on Tue May 29, 2012 7:34 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : paragraphs)
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Nico - Rhodesian Ridgeback, Dog (3 Years)  - Page 4 Empty Update

Post  Jackie on Mon Dec 17, 2012 10:24 pm

So much has changed since May.

In the year and two months that Nico's been here, he's had a birthday (we made it the 29th September) and turned three, had an eye and throat infection, discovered that he doesn't need to rip us up when he has a venison marrow bone, aquired several new friends, met my aunt and uncle and stolen a blueberry muffin from the kitchen counter. All kitchen privileges were removed after that little incident lol!

My aunt came down from Derby for her annual Christmas Kentish tour and Nico was brilliant with her again, although he did want the attention for himself. He also gave Donna a look of pure evil when he was removed from the room for trying to steal her cheese sandwich! She loves him though and is very used to delinquent dogs. She didn't adopt a Ridgeback in the end, but a 2 year old Dalmatian called Phoebe to keep Flash company. Flash is much more mellow and laid back, but Phoebe is a dominant, bossy girl who was bought as a pet for a child before my aunt got her. We haven't met Phoebe yet but we've seen her on Skype - she's tiny compared to Flash and both are tiny compared to Nico haha

We no longer attend training classes with Nico due to working commitments. It's a shame, and we all miss it, but we have maintained his training at home and he still enjoys it. He's met two black Labs which he likes but there doesn't seem to be many dogs around here that he can socialise with. There's two collies that try to attack him every time they see him (they've succeeded once), two aggressive Doberman's and a couple more dogs that you rarely see being walked and when they are, the stimulation is too much for them. There was a St Bernard that lived down the road that was beautiful and gentle and just gorgeous, but I think he's elderly now and probably doesn't want an excitable pup bouncing all over him.

I think we're taking Nico up to see my aunt next year, so he can mingle with Phoebe and Flash. Hopefully they'll get on and if not, Nico can stay with my parents in a holiday cottage not from where Donna lives.

We've also decided to buy Nico a coat (well Mum and I have decided!) because on one walk it was torrential rain just as we arrived at the river and poor Nico didn't want to get out of the car. It needs to be waterproof, warm, durable and comfortable and not ridiculously overpriced so if anyone can suggest any brands, that would be great.
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Post  Jackie on Sun Dec 30, 2012 8:58 am

Second Christmas with the boy!

I'm the youngest in the family (19, but will be 20 soon!) so the 'magic' of Christmas doesn't really exist for me anymore...that is, until you watch a 3 year old Ridgeback open his Christmas presents delicately, tail wagging all the time. He made sure we got a good look at his toy (giant squeaky duck/goose) and tried to 'help' me by stealing one of my presents...to check it was safe to open, i'm sure!

He's doing pretty well with other dogs aswell. He's been getting a long 'burn off' run in the morning and two shorter road walks in the evening because the fields around here are dangerous to walk in the dark (very, very uneven) and he's quite happy with that - typical Ridgeback, doesn't like to get wet and he takes his fire guarding very seriously! Anyway, there's an Akita that lives somewhere near us (we're not quite sure where) which always lunges and barks at Nico, but yesterday I was able to continue walking home with only a stern warning 'no' from myself - Nico looked, then thought better of getting into my bad books! He can flare up where this particular dog is concerned and i'm sure if they were offlead they'd be fine, but he suffers from lead frustration and i'm not entirely confident of the Akita's handler's capabilities.

Nico's almost eaten his paddywack venison chews - they say they're long lasting, but I think they must have tried them on a Chihuahua because they're gone in the blink of an eye! He did like them though.
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Nico - Rhodesian Ridgeback, Dog (3 Years)  - Page 4 Empty Time flies

Post  Jackie on Tue Mar 05, 2013 10:10 pm

We've had Nico a year and a half (roughly) now and he's just brilliant. A complete nutter, but perfect for us.
We've had a lightbulb moment with one of Nico's behaviours - he is very reactive when he is behind glass and he can see something on the other side, such as when he is inside the car or behind the french windows that lead out into our garden. He kicked off majorly yesterday morning at the window cleaner in our neighbour's garden and had the french doors not been locked, I think he could have easily broken them and jumped the fence. From now on, the blinds will be drawn Monday night so that he doesn't get stressed Tuesday morning. We think this behaviour is a result of being teased by a window cleaner when he lived in a flat.
Health wise, he's been a little under the weather so we've been giving him a chicken wing after his evening meal. He wasn't sure at first and took them out of his bowl and dropped them on his bed, but then after a little encouragement, he crunched them up and now they're his favourite thing. He was off his food in the morning as well - cue major panic from us! - but we now believe that it's either a boredom thing (so we've now added a little canned meat) or an attention thing (he misses my Dad when he does a night shift and either sulks or mouths Dad very hard when Dad leaves). Either way, I've found out that nutrients and taste are greatly reduced after a few days of the sack being opened, so we're not transferring his food into large boxes to see if that helps. He's due for his booster jabs on Friday where he'll also be getting his worming tablets, nails trimmed and anal glands cleared. It's a good job he's cute!!
Right now, he's standing at the french windows (there're dogs howling somewhere) with his duvet draped over him like a cloak. I love my boy!
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Nico - Rhodesian Ridgeback, Dog (3 Years)  - Page 4 Empty Update

Post  Jackie on Sat May 25, 2013 3:10 am

Just a short message to say that Nico is perfection in a fur coat.
1. Switched his food to the chicken and rice flavoured Arden Grange from the fish and potato flavour of the same brand. Much cheaper and he's thriving on it.
2. He had a ham bone yesterday to munch on and he was fine with it. Still anxious but no longer aggressive. He was fine with me picking bits of bone up to give to him. The bone wasn't huge, but we reduced his evening meal to 150g and he was perfectly content with that.
3. Met my aunt again - wasn't bothered by her being here but I think he'd rather she hadn't been! He was whinging when she was talking and got out of his bed to lay by us and 'blocking' her, but no guarding whatsoever, thankfully. Really don't understand why people think guarding is good, but that's another thread!
4. We're training Nico to recall to the whistle and he's responded every single time, even mid chase. We're going to pick back up on the training in terms of sit/down stay distance control purely because we let it drop and also mental exercise is very important for Nico. His heelwork is excellent.
5. Had a discussion recently about N's behaviour when he first arrived and we've all agreed that in reality, he was actually pretty good with just a few rough edges. Our biggest problem with him was his health, which obviously isn't his fault.
6. I have been accused of making him too soppy and spoiling him too much...Very Happy He's certainly landed on his paws with this family!
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Nico - Rhodesian Ridgeback, Dog (3 Years)  - Page 4 Empty Lovely Nico!

Post  quirkydreamweaver on Sat May 25, 2013 10:26 pm

So lovely to hear about the fabulous Nico and how he's getting on so well with you all. In fact, I feel inspired so I might just post a short update on my fabulous Denzil Dog too Very Happy I've such a huge soft spot for Ridgy Ridgebacks, I'm sure I'll have one eventually! Shame this forum isn't as well used as the other one was - I don't think very many people know about it - I certainly didn't until Kim told me about it.

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Nico - Rhodesian Ridgeback, Dog (3 Years)  - Page 4 Empty Re: Nico - Rhodesian Ridgeback, Dog (3 Years)

Post  Jackie on Mon May 27, 2013 12:14 am

He's our second Ridgeback, first rescue dog and first male dog. It's always been Ridgebacks for us (can you tell? :p) and I can't really envisage my parents with any other breed. We (as a family) like the larger breeds, such as German Shorthaired Pointers and Weimaraners, but Ridgebacks have that special something. If you are looking to get a rescue Ridgeback, i'd recommend this rescue: http://www.rhodesianridgebackwelfaretrust.com/dogs.html - and as a general rule, males tend to be easier to handle than females.
Denzil Dog - what a beaut! I think dad might have seen Denzil when he went to see Denzil - they might have been kennel neighbours! x
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Nico - Rhodesian Ridgeback, Dog (3 Years)  - Page 4 Empty Re: Nico - Rhodesian Ridgeback, Dog (3 Years)

Post  quirkydreamweaver on Mon May 27, 2013 1:33 am

Yep, we're big dog people too - my husband used to have Leonbergers - enormous great things, more like a shaggy donkey really. Beautiful though! Thanks for the Ridgeback rescue site - I'm always looking on such sites but the ol' man says I can't have another (yet!!)

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Nico - Rhodesian Ridgeback, Dog (3 Years)  - Page 4 Empty Re: Nico - Rhodesian Ridgeback, Dog (3 Years)

Post  Jackie on Tue May 28, 2013 7:45 am

I once saw a tiny lady walking a Newfie, St Bernard and a Leonberger about 20 mins from where I live - to say I was jealous is an understatement! I'm also obsessed (slightly less though) with Springer Spaniels Very Happy
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