Whether you’ve got a Rhodesian Ridgeback pup or are contemplating getting one, it’s pretty crucial to know how large they’ll grow and when they’ll hit their full size!
This article will explain when ridgebacks stop growing, and the different stages of growth depending on their age.
Rhodesian ridgebacks typically reach their full height by around 15-18 months of age and their full weight by 18-24 months. Females usually reach their full size and stop growing before males.
When Do Rhodesian Ridgebacks Reach Full Size
Rhodesian ridgebacks are definitely on the large side and take longer than most other breeds to reach their full adult height and weight.
Females typically take less time than males to reach their full size, both in height and weight. This is not only because they are physically smaller but also not as bulky or muscular as the males.
A male ridgeback could take up to 2 full years before they stop gaining muscle and gaining weight. However, most females will reach their full weight by 18 months.
Rhodesian Ridgeback Growth Timeline
Knowing how much your ridgeback puppy should weigh at what age is the next most frequently asked question on this topic.
The following growth timeline is based on the recordings of many previous ridgeback owners, but it’s important to understand that these are just averages. If your ridgeback doesn’t fall in line with these figures, it doesn’t necessarily mean something is wrong.
As mentioned above, it’s important to remember these are just averages. So if your pup is slightly outside of these weights, that doesn’t necessarily mean something is wrong.
On the other hand, if your puppy is drastically over or under these averages, it’s worth extra consideration and perhaps a veterinarian visit if there’s an obvious issue with your puppy’s weight.
How Fast Do Ridgebacks Grow?
Rhodesian ridgebacks grow rapidly in the first 2-8 months of age. Therefore, the biggest increase in both height and weight will happen within these months. After 8 months of age, ridgebacks continue to increase in height and weight but considerably slower.
This initial growth spurt is so important to the overall growth of your Rhody, so it’s crucial to ensure your ridgeback is receiving plenty of rest every day and a healthy, nutritious diet that they get on well with.
How Big Do Rhodesian Ridgebacks Get?
So what exactly is the final height and weight for the average ridgeback?
⭐ The average range for MALE ridgebacks:
Height: 25-27 Inches (63-68 cm)
Weight: 80-90 lbs (36-40 kg)
⭐ The average range for FEMALE ridgebacks:
Height: 24-26 Inches (60-66 cm)
Weight: 70-80 lbs (31-36 kg)
If your pup seems way off these figures, especially the weight, don’t worry! Remember, it can take up to 2 years for most male ridgebacks, and even some females, to reach their full weight.
Again, these are averages, and there will always be a few ridgebacks outside of these ranges. My friend’s ridgeback is just over 90lbs and a full 27inches of height. He’s a true giant! But not all Rhodies will be.
5 Tips To Ensure Proper Growth
Let’s run through a few simple, yet very important tips to be aware of that will ensure your ridgeback grows to their full potential.
1. Avoid over exercise
While exercising your ridgeback is important to stimulate proper mobility and muscle growth, over-exercise will hinder growth and potentially injure your ridgeback.
During that rapid growth phase between 2-8 months, your ridgeback’s body will be growing quickly. This is when his bones, joints, muscles, and tendons are fragile and vulnerable, making it vital to avoid putting too much stress on them while they grow.
It’s a good idea to follow the “5-minute method” exercise plan while your ridgeback is under 12 months of age. Canine-health experts designed this plan to provide sufficient exercise to growing pups without the risk of injury.
2. High-quality diet formulated for puppies
Whether you plan to transition over to a raw food diet at a later stage or not, most owners start their pups on kibble. And that’s fine. However, it is essential to ensure you are using a high-quality kibble that prioritizes fresh and whole ingredients and one that’s formulated specifically for puppies. Avoid “all-life stages.”
Try to avoid kibbles that have a high carbohydrate content, and instead opt for one that has high protein and medium to high fat. Carbohydrates are a common source of inflammation, are usually low-quality, and are just not in-line with a typical wild-canine diet. Prioritize protein and fat over carbs.
3. Ensure your puppy gets on well with his food
I know I just covered diet in the last tip, but this is equally (if not more!) important. You might have done a great job in choosing a high-quality kibble, but if your puppy isn’t digesting it well for whatever reason, then it’s not doing its job, and you’ll need to change.
Mal-digestion or malabsorption of the ingredients will mean your pup doesn’t have sufficient nutrients to support his rapid growth. Watch out for signs of diarrhea, vomit, nausea, eating issues, or discomfort after eating.
4. Allow him to rest and sleep as much as he likes
Ridgeback puppies often surprise their owners with just how much sleeping they do. But that’s completely normal! A puppy can sleep anywhere between 16-20 hours per day during their rapid growth stage.
Ensure your house is as sleep-friendly as possible, so this means letting the kids know not to disturb the puppy while he’s resting.
Most of his important growth will happen while he’s resting. So the more naps he takes, the better!
5. Schedule a vet appointment
Many owners try their best to avoid vet appointments until when something goes wrong. However, this isn’t advised during the puppy stage.
Scheduling at least 2 or 3 appointments spaced out in the first year for a general health assessment and check-up can prove to be very important. Your vet will analyze his growth and may even perform some further checks to ensure his overall health is where it should be.
Why Are Some Ridgebacks Smaller Than Others?
Another common question is based on why some ridgebacks are bigger or smaller than others.
Aside from minimal factors like diet, nutrition, and rest, it mostly comes down to nothing other than genetics.
Suppose two large ridgebacks are bred together (intentionally or not). The chance of producing a litter of ridgebacks that will also be large is likely. Then, if some of those pups go on to be bred with other large ridgebacks in the future, the gene pool is constantly being refined to produce larger and larger offspring.
This eventually leads to some ridgebacks being particularly huge, and the same can happen in the other direction.
The most important factors that determines the size of any ridgeback are their genetics and blood lineage.
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