Desta Rhodesian Ridgebacks


 Our litters are carefully planned, often years in advance to produce the healthiest Ridgebacks, with stable temperaments, whose characteristics adhere to the breed standard. Regardless if you are interested in performance or conformation prospect or seeking a  loving family companion, we strive to breed Ridgebacks that will live long and healthy lives as your family companions.

Our breeding stock are AKC Champions, Grand Champions and Dual Champions proving themselves in performance venues along with having correct conformation, not merely having "Champion bloodlines" like many backyard breeders or puppy millers claim.

We perform the following health certifications prior to breeding to ensure we are producing the healthiest puppies possible:

  • Sire and Dam are x-rayed clear of hip and elbow dysplasia and have certifications by the OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals). Only dogs with an Excellent or Good rating are bred.
  • Sire and Dam are blood tested for normal thyroid function prior to breeding. Be informed, a staggering 1/4th of Ridgebacks suffer from Hypothyroidism! Symptoms include hair loss, weight gain, muscle loss, sluggishness, slowed heart rate, toenail and ear infections,      intolerance to cold, aggression, seizures and infertility. RRCUS recommends thyroid function is tested at 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 & 8 years of age.
  • Sire and Dam are DNA tested for Degenerative Myelopathy and Deafness, never breeding Carrier to Carrier that can produce At Risk and Affected offspring.
  • OFA Eye certifications, recommended annually until age 9.
  • Additionally, we often have additional tests done by medical professionals for Cardiac      function, Patellas to ensure there is no luxation (when kneecaps pops out, surgery costs thousand to repair this fault) and BAER Hearing test.
  • We are also dedicated to being involved with ongoing research for health in the Rhodesian Ridgeback. Health that is currently in the research stages are not available as a commercial test such as Degenerative Myelopathy or coat color genes. This means being involved with the Health and Genetics Committee within RRCUS, networking with other breeders and being involved in discussions from researchers from private or public research facilities. Health issues currently under research include Early Onset Adult Deafness (EOAD) and Rhodesian Ridgeback Inherited Ventricular Arrhythmia (RR IVA).

Breeders who do not perform these tests or ensure you that their breeding stock is healthy because they are "vet checked" are not breeding with integrity and are handing you a wolf in sheep's clothing. Many will claim that only show breeders have health issues because they are the ones who are ethically testing their breeding stock. This is not the case, health issues can happen in ALL bloodlines and are far more common in Puppy Mill or Backyard Breeders puppies because they don't do any genetic testing at all, puppies are sold before they display any health issues and they offer absolutely no or limited health guarantee to the puppies they produce. Their breeding stock is often dumped into rescue groups or shelters when they start displaying health complications or are soon as they are past prime breeding age before some health issues have had time to be symptomatic. Responsible and ethical breeders perform genetic testing that is reported to the OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals) prior to breeding.

Don't take a breeder at their word that OFA testing has been completed, or assume that terms such as "vet checked" means the same thing; it does not. Go to the OFA site yourself and confirm the health results of both sire and dam before you put down a deposit on a puppy and ask to see copies of OFA health forms.

If you see a "VPI" next the to genetic test for a dog, this is a very good thing!! This means that the medical professional conducting the test has confirmed the permanent identify of the dog via their microchip. VPI stands for Verified Permanent Identification. This means that someone did not substitute Dog A for Dog B's test to try and falsify passing results.

All Desta Rhodesian Ridgeback pet puppies are sold on a spay/neuter contract with a limited AKC registration and do not leave their litter until they are a minimum of 8 weeks old. If you are interested in showing your dogs or allowing your dog to be shown by Desta Rhodeisan Ridgebacks, please let us know that on your application. Only show quality puppies will be considered for breeding potential.

Our puppies are raised in a HOME ENVIRONMENT, they are not born or and raised in a barn or shed, they go home having been carefully socialized, having received their first vaccinations, are micro-chipped, a written health guarantee in your copy of the contract; copies of health information and certifications for both sire and dam; information on their pedigree, the Rhodesian Ridgeback breed, articles for training your new puppy; food to transition your puppy to their new food in your home along with a toy and blanket from home to assist them with the transition away from their dam and litter. They also come with the life-long support and knowledge of a breeder dedicated to the Rhodesian Ridgeback and every single puppy we produce. We keep in contact with every single puppy home, we love receiving updates; whether it be cards, photos, emails or tags on Facebook! We utilize Puppy Culture protocols with all of our litters.

Click here to learn more about what separates a reputable breeder from a backyard breeder or puppy mill. It is not uncommon to wait 1 year or more on the waiting list of the reputable breeder! If you encounter someone who has a puppy available now and pushes you to purchase, be wary!

The bitterness of a poor-quality dog will linger long after the sweetness of a cheap price is forgotten. It costs a lot of money to breed responsibly. Before you scratch your head and wonder why responsibly well-bred puppies cost so much, I encourage you to read this well-written article. We've also put together a page that details the Cost of Raising a Litter from our own experiences. Remember, you get what you pay for, so do your research! Our pet puppies are priced at $2000; Performance and Show Quality are $2000 - $2500; Pick of litter is TBD.

If you've got this far, thank you for hanging in there through all the above information. We want to make sure you are well-informed about how ethical breeders go about planning litters and maintaining the integrity of their stock and the Rhodesian Ridgeback breed as a whole. Ethical breeders never breed solely for profit, they breed only to improve and preserve the breed as a whole.

Not sure Rhodesian Ridgebacks are the breed for you? We encourage you to reach out to learn more about Rhodesian Ridgebacks or read through our information on our Info & Links page. We often attend Ridgeback meetups and events nearby which is a great opportunity to meet Ridgebacks in a public setting. We only open our private home to serious, screened, approved applicants.

Please use the contact us page that contains our questionnaire to begin the application process.

Thank you so much for your interest, any feedback you have is welcome!

Current Litter Information

Please bear in mind it's common to wait several months to a year for an ethically and well-bred Rhodesian Ridgeback from a Preservation Breeder.

We enjoy sharing information about our Ridgebacks. Please contact us if you'd like to know of performance or conformation events we will be attending, this is a great way to meet several Ridgebacks and be able to talk to several Ridgeback owners and breeders.

Our next litter plans are for 2020.

Please contact us if you'd like to learn more.