"The Fully-Functional Rhodesian Ridgeback"
KKB v4.1 © 1995-2002 by Kimma B. and Kammi K. Hefner

This page was last updated May 26, 2002.

Kushinda Ridgeback

Kushinda Ridgeback

Stud Dogs
at Kushinda
Kushinda Ridgeback

Some of

Kushinda Ridgeback

Kushinda Ridgeback

Meet Kushinda
National Specialties


On this page you will find our thoughts on various topics concerning Rhodesian Ridgebacks. Everything we write about is based on our personal expereinces over the last 17 years dealing with these wonderful animals. Some "excerpts" are taken from our actual responses to someone's email question.

We welcome further discussions on any topic! Email us at

What's an Alpha Dog?

ptd Kushinda's Rahisi TikTok Jasri, CD, JC, SC, FCh, CGC/TDI, OFA-G - TikTok

"Over the weekend, the puppies have really developed and their personalities and strengths have been demonstrated. I have literally spent hours watching them.

I have a male puppy, one of the larger ones, light wheaten, that is really a super puppy. He was the most active (curious and investigative) when I put them in the play room. He tried climbing the steps -- made the first few. He tried going up the steps to go outside all by himself -- I had to retrieve him. He went right up to the dogs in their crates. He grabbed the first stuffed toy he found and took off across the room. He shows no fear. And, he is smart. Remember, he is just 5 weeks old too. When full grown he will look a lot like TikTok in the face, but will hopefully be a bit bigger.

This will be an alpha male with the potential to do anything you want. He will need his mind challenged however, on a daily basis. These types of dogs are not satisfied with just a daily walk ... and generally don't want to pass time by watching TV. They want to get out and go and be productive. They need obedience, and lets do some tracking, oh lure coursing would be great too, and a 5 mile run everyday would be just fine. In other words this is not a couch potato. But an extremely cognitive dog that will challenge you all along the way. He will require more of your time.

But, as your partner you will always be able to depend on him. You could never just turn this dog loose at a park. His natural instinct would kick in and he'd start right after the first bunny he saw!

I thought with your level of education (and some coaching on our part) that you could really have a great experience with this puppy. TIP: And, if you plan on having the puppy at the office you need to start socialization now while he is a baby puppy so he will understand the general nature of your business with many new strangers coming and going on a daily basis. As with my Therapy Program, you will need to work with him as a young puppy because the RR by true standards is standoffish (or aloof) with strangers. However, with training at an early age you can easily over come this.

This light wheaten puppy will truly be your partner. I don't have slave/master relationships with any of my dogs. We are partners; each depending on the other. But when I do put a lot of time into a dog I expect a lot back. This puppy will give it. He is a dog that could eventually be used for Search and Rescue. If you are not sure what all that means check out some of the Search & Rescue (S&R) organizations home pages.

Because a S&R dog is expected to perform on an extraordinary scale you also have to look at the opposite side of things. On a search the dog can't give up just because its cold or wet or he has temporarily lost the scent. They have to be very determined and have great perseverance. This is also true when you put them in a crate, and if they decide they don't want to be in it, they will continue to try to get out until they do. Or, if you put the trash can on top of the refrigerator, they will eventually figure out how to get it. Or, a bitch is in season -- they will find. TikTok is such a dog. You literally have to stay up at nights to keep one step a head of them. They are a very rewarding challenge though.

I have several of these alpha "top dogs." One can only own so many however because of all the time required in literally "managing" their careers. These dogs are so extraordinary you are simply compelled to let them reach their full potential: the 1st year therapy & tracking, at 2-4 years lure coursing, at 3-4 the obedience titles, then at 4-6 years agility. After that you go back and get what you missed or did not have time for. It's kinda like raising a kid, you want to provide them with opportunities to find what they like. Once you find it, then that's where you concentrate your efforts. I like it all, but not every dog likes it all. TikTok, Ben, and Daktari (all brothers) are such dogs -- they are all multi-titled dogs.

These are the true leaders of the pack. For without their kind we would not have any RRs today, because they would not have survived the harshness of the bush. This dog will most likely devourer his food. To combat this problem and the potential for bloat I feed (all my dogs) and then the dogs are up (in their crates) to sleep for the next few hours. I keep a very rigorous schedule. And, I stick to it.

The alphas, are my favorite, and my Mom's too! And, they nearly dislocate your shoulder when they track or are taking to you to the lure coursing line ... Thanks, Kammi"

What is the Availability of Kushinda Puppies?

This is Not McDonald's

From our perspective of breeding, even though we selectively breed for top quality (and usually end up keeping 3-4 puppies from each breeding) that does leave us with remaining puppies to find suitable homes for. To date, we have kept at least two puppies from each litter.

Otherwise, why would we have bred in the first place? Just to sell puppies, we think not. From our 1997 litter we have kept 7 puppies. In our opinion there is no other reason to breed. And with our competitive schedule, showing and breeding (raising puppies) is not a good idea to do all at the same time. When your showing, who is spending time at home with puppies? And, what are the risks involved in having the show dogs bring back some virus to the kennel and expose the new puppies. We don't feel this is smart.

Finding good homes for pet puppies allows the truly dedicated Rigeback fancier to continue the endeavor to improve/maintain the quality of the breed; after all no one can keep every puppy. And someone has to ensure that Ridgebacks still look like Ridgebacks 25 years from now. Our prices reflect our desire to find good homes for our puppies and our appreciation to do so, so that we may continue to make progress with the overall breed itself. We both earn our livings outside the dog world, Kimma is a Sales Manager and Kammi is a Software Engineer. Our dogs are our passion.

So, if you expect to call on Monday and pickup a puppy on Saturday ... you have wasted your dime. But if you are looking for that well bred specimen of the breed and are willing to wait for that selective breeding ... read on!

Where's a good place to
Buy Products for my Kushinda puppy/dog?

Many dog/puppy products are available at your local pet shop or veterinary office; however mail order companies seem to offer the same items at reduced wholesale prices and usually deliver within 3-5 days. Please contact several of the following companies for your personal FREE catalogue and shop around for the best prices:

Breeder's Edge
1 800 322-5500
1 800 824-4464
1 800 343-7680
Master Vaccine/Animal Care
1 800 346-5949
Central Metals
317 5945-7677
Moses (Scott)
1 800 621-6686
Companion Pet
1 800 442 PETS
New England Serum
1 800 637-3786
Discount Master
1 800 346-0749
Omaha Vaccine Company
1 800 367-4444
Doctors Foster & Smith
1 800 826-7206
1 800 548-4786
Doggie Outfitters
1 800 367-3647
Pet Warehouse
1 800 443-1160
Econo Vet
1 800 451-4162
Pro Kennel Supply
1 800 762-7049
JB Wholesale
1 800 526-0388
* RC Steele
1 800 872-3773
816 233-8809
Kennel Aire
1 800 346-0134
Valley Vet Supply
1 800 360-4838
Kennel Vet
1 800 782-0627
1 800 369-8297

* RC Steele was bought by PetsMart in May 95. PetsMart is an animal activist group.

There is a complete list of companies maintained in the Kushinda List. Just go to the Messages link (archived posts) and search for "companies" it's Post Number 1047. You must be a subscribed member to access this page.

What's a CGC?

WOW! What a GREAT response to see so many Kushinda dogs doing their part to present a positive image for dogs to the general public!

Information on the AKC's (American Kennel Club) CGC (Canine Good Citizen) certificate can be found at AKC's CGC site! As most of you have seen this mentioned in the Kushinda Contract, we encourage every Kushinda puppy/dog to obtain the CGC - after 2000, it will be required!

XXII. New Owner understands that the Breeder requires attending one Puppy Kindergarten class and one Basic Home Obedience class. New Owner understands that the Breeder recommends obtaining the America Kennel Club's Canine Good Citizenship certificate. This is a specific requirement in order to receive said animal's registration papers.

Taken from the Kushinda Contract - Word 6.0 doc.

There is also a RRs-ROAR (Ridgebacks in Obediance & Agilty) YAhoo! Group sponsored by Kushinda that focuses on obedience training. To subscribe visit RRs-ROAR! There are even some folks on this list who do clicker training as well!

Obtaining the CGC is the first step in becoming a Therapy Dog !

What's the deal with Children & Ridgebacks?

Had you asked this question in 1994, I would have said "There's NO Deal." At that point in the Kushinda Breeding Program we had many alpha dogs; thus, producing more alpha dogs (than NOT) - which do not always make the ideal family pet. However, in more recent years our Breeding Program has pursued a different direction in which the numbers of alpha dogs we have has decreased. Thus, many more Kushinda puppies are finding their way in to the family situation with children!

But, that's not all there is to it? Still, raising a Ridgeback with children requires the dedication and commitment of family members and lots of common sense. This is a managed arrangement and shuuld never be taken lightly.

In 1999 & 2000, nearly 80% of Kushinda puppies went into homes where:

  • Children were a planned part of the family's future,

  • Children already existed as part of the family unit,

  • Many children already existed as part of the family unit (up to five?), and

  • Children existed, and more children were being planned for!

We have examples of Kushinda puppies making the transition into each of these situations. One case in particular. a family without children obtained their first Kushinda Ridgeback, had child #1, had child #2, then came back for Kushinda Ridgeback #2. Both children in this case were boys! Regardless, we feel we have not only the perfect puppy in our Breeding Program to join a family unit; but we also feel, we have the experts within the Kushinda Family to assist the New Owner in making appropriate adjustments! And, yes, all these folks are on the Kushinda List standing by to answer your questions!

The critical part of this process rests with us, in evaluating a puppy. Sure, we still have the occasional alpha dog appear in the whelping box -- generally, these are keepers! The remaining pups (those we do not keep to show or lure course) are evaluated for potentially becoming a member of a fmily unit with children. So, that also means, if we have a litter of pups, and do not feel we have a suitable puppy for a family with children, then there is no match.

Always remember not every Ridgeback is meant to be raised with children! They must be hand picked and the Breeder is the best person to do this evaluation. If you are in this situation, please contact us by telephone to discuss this further.

What's the RRCUS Code of Ethics?

Whether you eventually adopt a Kushinda Ridgeback or not, you should be aware that anyone breeding Ridgebacks should be a Member in Good Standing of the Rhodesian Ridgeback Club of the United States (RRCUS). This membership hinges upon abiding by the Code of Ethics established by the Members of this organization to protect the breeding of the Ridgeback. In other words, whoever you end up dealing with should be in compliance with the stipulations of the RRCUS Code of Ethics. It's fairly easy to determine this, just print the COE, and start asking questions!

Do I need a
Fenced-In Area for a Kushinda puppy/dog?

At Kushinda, our general policy on this issue is that we do require a new owner to have a fenced-in area for their Ridgeback. This area is used not only for relieving "calls of nature" but also for running, playing, and sun bathing!

Over the years it seems that we have made a few exceptions to requiring a new owner to have a fenced-in area for their Ridgeback. By fenced-in area, we are referring to more than just a 10ftx10ft chain link run. And, in most all of these cases it has come back to haunt us. Kushinda Ridgebacks by nature are very active dogs and like spending time in the outdoors. The exception seems to be with owners who are young and already engage in strenuous outdoor activities and owners who live in major metropolitan areas whose lifestyle lends itself to walking the dog.

The metropolitan owners usually are located near a fenced-in area where their Ridgeback can be turned loose to go and play. There are also "dog parks" where many different pet owners gather and turn all their doigs loose to play. Personally, I have seen the good and bad that "dog parks" offer - and feel it's best not engage in this form of recreation.

When I ask someone why they want a Ridgeback and they say "Oh I just want a companion." I can't help to think that this person will never fully appreciate all that this breed has to offer. Ridegbacks that just sit at home, get bored and eventually become destructive. Obviously, there are a few exceptions to this rule, and we call those dogs "Couch Potatoes." For the most part, if you want a Kushinda dog, you need to be prepared to get involved with your dog. These activities can include anything from getting the Canine Good Citizenship (CGC) certificates, doing agility and therapy, to accompanying you on your 5 mile hike!

By and large however, Kushinda Ridgebacks like to be outside in the fresh air and sunshine. My personal dogs have the opportunity to be outside on an average of 10-12 hours a day. With 2 acres of a fenced wooded terrain including several creeks, my dogs love to spend time outside just exploring and playing. I also have several huge cable spools that the dogs love to sleep on! I have not found too many owners who are willing to sit outside just to let their dog wonder-about for hours on end and sleep in the sunshine!

So, at this time its fairly safe to say that we will not be making too many exceptions to this policy. Providing this FREE outside time makes for a more happy Ridgeback and a less stressed Owner. If you are in this category, it will be a challenge to convince us otherwise, but we certainly welcome the opportunity to discuss your situation.

What Goals does Kushinda strive to meet?

Kushinda employs the Franklin Quest management system to establish values and goals for our kennel and each dog. Listed below are some of those goals.

  • Promote the Rhodesian Ridgeback as a Fully-Functional Performance dog,

    • To date, 5/97, Kushinda has produced dogs with the following titles: 3 Dual Champions (DC); 2 Versatility Certificates (VC), 18 Confirmation Champions (CH); 52 AKC/ASFA Lure Coursing titles (JC, SC, FC, FCh, LCMs); 8 Registered Therapy Dogs (TDI); 6 AKC Canine Good Citizenship (CGC) certificates; 5 obedience Companion Dog (CD) titles; 1 obedience Companion Dog excellence (CDX) title ; 3 dogs ready for Agility competition & 1 dog ready for Tracking.

    • These stats include any dog that a) includes the Kushinda name as part of their American Kennel Club registered name, b) has a sire and/or dam registered with the Kushinda name and/or c) is owned/bred by Kimma, Kammi, and/or Karrie Hefner.

  • Provide public education,

    • Kushinda dogs march in 5-7 parades a year. This is allows the general public to witness a healthy, well behaved "lion" dog in action and to ask questions about the breed.

    • We currently maintain an accurate database of Ridgeback pedigrees on CompuPeds that we would be willing to share. We will also provide a free pedigree for someone if their dog is in our database.

    • We actively participate in dog-related Informational Booths setup for the general public.

  • Demonstrate the Ridgeback's sighthound abilities,

    • The Ridgeback was just recently recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) and the American Sighthound Field Association (ASFA) to lure course. Kushinda appreciates all the efforts of those individuals responsible for pursuing this recognition. On their behalf, Kushinda dogs will continue the endeavor to provide ample evidence Ridgebacks are truly qualified to participate in this performance event!

  • Ensure all puppies remain with their original owner,

    • At Kushinda we go to extreme measures to ensure each puppy is appropriately matched with his/her new owner. In addition to a personal interview and checking references, One of the tools we use to evaluate the potential of a good home is our Our New Puppy/Dog Owner's Interview/Application Form. As you can see this 9 age instrument goes to great length to gather pertinent information in evaluating a potential new owner.

    • Section XIII of our Kushinda Rhodesian Ridgeback Breeder/New Owner Contract and Health Guarantee, states, "New Owner agrees that if at any time he is unable to keep said animal due to change in his circumstances and are forced to seek a new owner for said animal; then at that time New Owner agrees to notify Breeder in writing by registered mail. Breeder has first option of receiving said animal as its new owner before anyone else; and that will be the Breeder's choice."

    • Our Kushinda Rhodesian Ridgeback Breeder/New Owner Contract and Health Guarantee also states that "If you had to relocate, would you find a dwelling that allowed dogs? Yes No If No, do you understand that the dog MUST be returned to Kushinda?"

    • Our Kushinda Rhodesian Ridgeback Breeder/New Owner Contract and Health Guarantee also states that "Do you understand that in the event you are forced to give-up the puppy/dog, that you are required to notify Kushinda Rhodesian Ridgebacks and you MUST return the puppy/dog to Kushinda?

    • All of the instruments are designed to gather information that will assist us in understanding your requirements and in selecting the right Kushinda puppy/dog for you and/or your family. This process provides the basis for establishing a life long relationship with your puppy/dog?

  • Allow each individual dog to develop both mentally and physically, and

    • Each dog is given ample opportunity to discover their strengths and weaknesses. From this evaluation a Versatility Sheet is created indicating when each dog should obtain a certain title. From his sheet their entire career is planned. This includes all the activities leading up to earning a title (i.e., socialization, nutrition, training, conditioning, breeding, campaigning, and retirement).

  • Bred genetically sound dogs.

    • At Kushinda we use the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) to screen all breeding stock for Hip Dysplaia.

What Health Guarantee does Kushinda offer?

In our Breeder/New Owner Contract and Health Guarantee the New Owner agrees that within a period of 48 hours (during normal business days), beginning 12:00 a.m. EST the day following the date of sale, to have said animal examined by a veterinarian of his choice who is familiar with the Rhodesian Ridgeback in order to certify the health of said animal. The examination is at the New Owner's expense.

If after this examination, within the 48 hour period specified previously. If said animal is not found to be in good health by the New Owner's veterinarian the New Owner must immediately notify the Breeder. Should said animal be determined to be in ill health, the cause of which is clearly attributable to the Breeder, the New Owner, upon presentation of written diagnosis from said veterinarian, may elect to return said animal to the Breeder along with all accompanying registration (signed back to the Breeder), pedigree, and information papers for refund of purchase price. New Owner agrees to provide transportation of said animal to return to Breeder.

Taken from Kushinda's Breeder/New Owner Contract and Health Guarantee

What is the Kushinda Discussion List?

The Kushinda Discussion List was started on November 2, 1998. The List is now hosted by Yahoo! Groups. Every New Kushinda Owner is required to register with Yahoo! (obtain an account name [usually your email address] and determine your password) and subscribe to the Kushinda List. You may elect to receive either Individual Emails, Emails in Digest Form (many posts sent to you in one email), or to access the posts via the Kushinda List Yahoo! Groups Main Web Page. Obtaiing your Yahoo! Id will give you total access to all the Yahoo! Groups features that we use to communicate!

The Kushinda List was started for the "love" of the Breed & a compelling need for me, Kimma, to be able to follow-up on the puppies/dogs that we have placed or rescued... so you are probably one of these people or a friend of Kushinda! Kammi and I monitor the List 7/24.

Thus, the Kushinda List is your 7/24 EMAIL HOTLINE for answering questions and/or discussing issues and/or bragging about your Kushinda Rhodesian Ridgeback (you will also have our Cell Phone Numbers for emergencies). This includes everything from what/when to fed; when to switch off puppy food; training the sit, down, and stay; pre-cautions to take when getting spayed/neutered; what are the best vitamin supplements; how much Benadryl to give when stung by a bee; obtaining the Canine Good Citizenship (CGC) certificate; travel; raising your Ridgeback with your children; getting your second Ridgeback; to keeping your geriatric Ridgeback comfortable.

All Kushinda Owners are invited to subscribe to the Kushinda List for the lifetime of their Kushinda Ridgeback. We use the Kushinda List to inform you of the latest health developments & treatments, training techniques, product information, birthday wishes, and to keep you posted of our show & lure coursing schedule. It's not unusual for many Kushinda Owners to met us an event for a visit. We love seeing puppies that are growing up! Potential New Puppy Owners also use this information to schedule a meeting with us to see our dogs.

The posts to the List have a copyright and you must have permission to copy and send them to someone else or post them on another List. In other words, this is a private list by invitation.

I invite you to send an introduction to the List, detailing who you are, how long you have owned a Ridgeback, what puppy/dog you own, and the parents of the puppy/dog.

Yahoo! Groups maintains a complete set of all posts that have been submitted to the List. This is an excellent place to continue your research, hear about Kushinda Ridgebacks from those who own one, and ask your own questions. Once you are registered, you will have access to the "searchable" Message archives.

As you can see, we go the extra mile in keeping in contact with all Kushinda Owners! Owning a Kushinda Ridgeback is like becoming part of a family tradition!


Subscribe to the Kushinda List Today !

Why should I Microchip my Kushinda puppy/dog?

From: Kammi K Hefner
Date: Wed May 10, 2000 12:07pm
Subject: Preventing the "LOST FOREVER" Pet

As many of you I am heavily involved in rescue (of any breed or mixed-breed - we are not selective in who we help) including trasportation, home checks, & foster care. At Kushinda Ridgebacks we advocate that all pups/dogs be microchipped. However, we still at times hear general grumblings about the "safety" of such a procedure. Below is an excellent example of the use of the microchip. Yes, Rainbow Rescue & Adoption was initially involved in the "hunt" for Maverick (thrown from a vehicle during an accident).

So get your pup microchipped today!

Kammi Kai Hefner @
RR&A of WV
37 Friends in Need Assisted "just" Since January 2000

Yes, miracles do happen and there are still good, kind people in this world. As I sit here typing, I'm staring fondly at the most beautiful - now clean - 10 month old Bluetick named Maverick in the world who's sleeping peacefully on my couch. (yes, I'm being a sucker and allowing them on the hair is a small price to pay for having him home!)

I got a call today at about 1pm today from my vet saying that they'd received a call from the AKC Companions (thank goodness for microchips)that Maverick had been called in! So, Kali and I hightailed it out to the lady'shouse - only a block and a half south of where I'd been searching! She said he'd been hanging out there for a few days, eating her dog's food, but had so far been elusive. I walked to her backyard, called his name once....and this curious face peered around the corner, looked at me, and, I swear you could read his thoughts as they were saying...."MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM!!!"

Yes, we all cried and hugged and hugged and cried.I bought thank you gifts for the ladies who called him in, treats for both of my poochers, and a huge bottle of water for my hungry, dehydrated boy. After that, we went to McDonald's b/c I was too happy and relieved NOT to treat him to some serious junk food.We came home, bathed him, snuggled, smooched tons, cried some more.....and now he's sleeping. He seems no worse for wear; he's a little skittish, which isto be expected, but no cuts, limping, worn pads or anything.

Again, thank you to all my angels out there....those that With many smiles,

Hannah, Kali & Maverick

From: Kammi K Hefner
Date: Thu Mar 2, 2000 10:16am
Subject: Microchipping ???s

Some folks have approached Kushinda with concerns about not getting their Ridgeback microchipped (i.e., thinking they will develop a lump, or possibly develop cancer; or they feel no one in there area owns a scanner). Below is a post from Rescue Coordinator Robyn Spano that brings to light the definite need to have your Ridgebcak microchipped. If you Show or Lure Course, you have even a greater need to be concerned about your hound becoming lost due the increase in travel your dog is exposed to and the unleashed status required by lure coursing.

There was a similar incident of a found Ridgeback in Florida, no microchip, no owner found. Don't let this happen to you and your Ridgeback.


Kammi @
Kushinda in WV

Date: Tuesday, February 29, 2000 10:36 PM
From: "Robyn Spano" respano@e...

Hi all,

There is a beautiful female ridgeback in the Fairfax County Shelter (No. Virginia) on West Ox Road. Katie, the Virginia Rescue Coordinator, has gone to see her and was told she's a stray and would be held until March 10 before she is put up for adoption. Hopefully her owners will come for her before then. The dog was picked up in Herndon, Va. She was found with a leather collar on, but no tags, no microchip. Does anyone know of a missing ridgeback?

This situation really reinforces that we need to host a microchipping and/or tattooing clinic right away!

RR Rescue

From: Crystal
Date: Thu Mar 2, 2000 12:38pm
Subject: RE: Microchipping ???s

Hi Kammi,

I agree wholeheartedly about the micro chipping. Weston (from Abigail and Van I) has had his chip in for over 5 months now and he has never had any problems with it. He didn't even flinch when he was getting it...

Crystal & Kushinda's Weston

From: drake
Date: Thu Mar 2, 2000 6:12pm
Subject: Re: Microchipping ???s

Hi Folks.

I've had Simba microchipped when he was 5 months and Blaze at 3 months. They didn't have any problems. We have the HomeAgain microchip. Our vet said the company gives free scanners to police stations, shelters, and vets in the area if any local vet uses their system. This way we know if they are lost someone will hopefully find us. We are just hoping for the day that PA will let the chip be a permanent license like the tatoo.

Cathy, Kushinda's Simba & Kushinda's Blaze

XXVI. New Owner agrees to Microchip said puppy/dog within six (6) months after the puppy/dog is acquired. New Owner agrees to provide a copy of the Microchip Certificate (indicating Vendor and Microchip number) to the Breeder within three (3) days of said procedure. This is a specific requirement in order to receive said animal's registration papers.

Taken from the Kushinda Contract and Health Guarantee - Word 6.0 doc.

What is Kushinda's Mission Statement?

Kushinda strives to produce the "fully-Functional performance Rhodesian Ridgeback" by continuing our own education (in breeding (genetics, whelping, care of the bitch & puppies, vaccinations), training, conditioning, new performance events (i.e., fly-ball, mushing), kennel management, showing/campainging a dog), selectively breeding only top specimens of the breed, providing an appropriate environment for both physical and mental development of each dog, managing each dog's performance career (goals/objectives are done bi-annually), encouraging and providing the means for each dog to earn their Versitility Certificate, instilling correct training methods, ensuring proper conditioning, and caring for the geriatric retired show dog.

From cradle to grave, Kushinda meets the needs of each dog and encourages them to reach their fullest potential!

What about that silly "Parade" question on the Interview Sheet?

On November 27, I walked Jean-Paul in the Clarksburg Christmas parade! It was so KOOL!

He was decked out in a red Premier harness trimmed in gold garland and battery operated Christmas lights. He also wore sleigh bells around his neck. So, if you didn't see this BIG BOY, you definitely heard him!

Anyway, to the point of the story ... there were 10,000 people in attendance at the parade. It had the largest entry of any Christmas parade to date. It was also televised live on Fox 46. We walked on the left side of the street. Every time a person stepped of the curb to pet him, a huge crowd of kids would swarm around him -- everyone trying to touch him and pet him. When I looked back at him, he was completely covered by humans. I would say "Jean-Paul come on boy" and out from underneath red coats, gloves, hats, and tiny faces - would POP this big huge dog! We would walk another 10-15 feet and the same thing would happen. This went on, it seemed, a million times.

Please note these kids were all screaming for the dog to come to them! And, when they came rushing at him, they ran and bumped into him ... pure chaos! They were pushing and knocking each other into him as well.

I would estimate easily that he was actually touched (petted) by 1,000+ people during the parade! Maybe actually kissed by 500 or so folks (West Virginians really love dogs). And, he received another 500+ full body hugs. He, himself, kissed nearly everyone who came within a foot of him.

Yes, we were severely behind the entry in front of us ...oophs! But that happens every year! I think everyone is now expecting the dogs and the opportunity to pet them .. so its taking longer to walk the parade route.

I can't help to stress how important it is that when Ridgebacks are in the pubic's eye -- they provide a very positive image!

So be sure to get that CGC ASAP!

Happy 2000 Holidays,

Kammi @
Kushinda, Where Therapy Dogs are Born to Serve!

What is Pet Quality at Kushinda?

"I don't understand what you mean when you indicate that our dogs are out of your league? Do you mean quality? I would hope, especially from a health perspective, that you would not be willing to settle for less (i.e., parents who are not OFA, Ridgebacks that don't even look like Ridgebacks, etc.).

Yes, it is true that we would prefer that a Kushinda dog be given the opportunity to "prove" himself in the ring or on the field; but, that does not always reflect reality. Many people who approach us are more interested in having a family pet.

Its nice to allow each dog to strive to meet his/her fullest potential. This is nothing unlike a parent's concern for their child having the opportunity to experience a full and meaningful life. But we realize not everyone wants to participate in these activities.

At Kushinda, we are more interested in finding a good home for each puppy that we choose not to keep ourselves. With this arrangement, all puppies that leave us go under a spay/neuter contract. And, we hope each person can in his own way provide an opportunity for the puppy to enjoy life! We just happen to do it in a different manner ... showing, obedience, agility, lure coursing, therapy, tracking, mushing, etc.

Perhaps, if I may, make a suggestion, if you acquire a puppy from Kushinda, you are basically getting what we choose not to show. So, you are still reaping all the benefits of our consciences breeding program (all the puppies come from the same genetic pool) so the health quality is the same.

So, don't ever let any one tell you that the entire litter is show quality. Unless of course what they are referring to is the fact that all the puppies possess a ridge and four legs! TEE! HEE!"

Taken from an email posted by Kammi.

What is the Pennsylvania Puppy Lemon Law?

Senate Bill 182, passed in 1997, provides guidelines for conducting business in the exchange of a puppy, for both the Breeder and the New Owner. Please visit our Puppy Lemon Law Site for complete details.

Know Your Rights!

What is Kushinda's Return Policy?

VI. The New Owner agrees that within a period of 48 hours (during normal business days), beginning 12:00 a.m. EST the day following the date of sale, to have said animal examined by a veterinarian of his choice who is familiar with the Rhodesian Ridgeback in order to certify the health of said animal. The examination is at the New Owner's expense. New Owner agrees to provide a copy of the veterinarian certification (receipt) to the Breeder within three (3) days of said examination.

VII. If after this examination, within the 48 hour period specified previously. If said animal is not found to be in good health by the New Owner's veterinarian the New Owner must immediately notify the Breeder. Should said animal be determined to be in ill health, the cause of which is clearly attributable to the Breeder, the New Owner, upon presentation of written diagnosis from said veterinarian, may elect to return said animal to the Breeder along with all accompanying registration (signed back to the Breeder), pedigree, and information papers for refund of purchase price. New Owner agrees to provide transportation of said animal to return to Breeder.

XIII. New Owner agrees that if at any time he is unable to keep said animal due to change in his circumstances and are forced to seek a new owner for said animal; then at that time New Owner agrees to notify Breeder in writing by registered mail. Breeder has first option of receiving said animal as its new owner before anyone else; and that will be the Breeder's choice. After a three month period no refund is applicable.

Taken from Kushinda's Breeder/New Owner Contract and Health Guarantee

What about Ridgebacks & the Protection Instinct?

From: KBHefner
Date: Mon Jun 19, 2000 6:51pm
Subject: Ridgeback and Protection

Hi Dwight,

To answer your question: In Africa - Ridgebacks were bred to two purposes...To hunt and to protect their owners.

MOST RRs will come into the protection phase at somewhere around two yrs old....SOME EARLIER.

Please observe and learn from your Ridgeback as he/she approaches this age. This is the breed...doing what it was bred to do.

One way we work with (manage) this instinct is that we require all Kushinda Owners to attend one puppy class and one basic obedience class. Then when your RR is 2yrs old and decides the guy next door should not be at your front door, you can issue a command to sit, stay and RR learns how to properly handle his/her innate born instinct & you learn how to handle your RR in these situations.

This is a learning phase for the first time owner of a RR. They are wonderful dogs and want to be with you all the time and want to make sure you are safe from Harms Way.

In general RRs will not bite...unless really provoked. The quote to remember is: "All dogs will bite if provoked enough."

Shaka is coming into his natural instinct. Try to learn what he is telling you and why he is acting the way he does when stranger approaches. Get control of him now with his obedience not let him run up to strangers...or most of all small children....if a stranger of small child would let out a sharp cry, it might be interpreted wrong by your RR. Two yrs old RR should always be on lead until they are very secure with all their surrounding & most certainly on lead in new surroundings.

I think most on the list has a story to tell about the "time their RR decided to protect."

Hopefully everyone has done their homework and knows this normal development of the Rhodesian Ridgeback.

Thank you for your question, lets have some discussion on the subject...

Kimma@ Kushinda PA

There is a complete list of other posts realted to "protection"on the Kushinda List. Just go to the Messages link (archived posts) and search for "guard" or "protection" it's Post Number 1005. You must be a subscribed member to access this page.

Any Advice on Training a Therapy Ridgeback?

Mary-Lynn at Therapy

Mary-Lynn Visiting with Nursing Home Resident

At Kushinda, we strive to produce a "fully-Functional Ridgeback" that is able to compete in the conformation and obedience rings, in lure coursing and agility trials, in tracking tests; and to serve mankind as registered Therapy Dogs. Truly the test of the Functional Ridgeback is the ability to demonstrate his capacity for companionship and love to others in need! Currently, Kushinda Dogs are responsible for nearly 1000 individual therapy visits a year! It is indeed a special dog that will hunt the lion and kiss the face of a stranger ...

Kushinda Registered Therapy Dogs:

  • CH Mshindaji's Rahisi Kushinda, JC, TDI
  • CH Kushinda's Yuppie Puppie, TDI
  • ptd. Kushinda's Crowd Pleaser, SC, TDI
  • CH Kushinda's Rahula Daktari, JC, CGC/TDI
  • CH Kushinda's Rahisi Kou-Zack’, CGC/TDI
  • ptd. Kushinda's Rahis TikTok Jasri, SC, CD, FCh, CGC/TDI
  • FC Kushinda's Secret Spice, CGC/TDI
  • ptd. Kushinda's Yuppie Buddie, SC, FCh, CGC/TDI

As one of seven breeds involved in our Kanine Therapy Program, the Ridgeback has proven itself time and time again as an excellent breed for this very special work. In 1994, our Program completed 2,217 documented individual vistiation sessions, the Ridgebacks being responsible for nearly 400 visits.

We have found that a Ridgeback destined for this work, requires special training and handling beginning at a very early age. In our Program, puppies at the age of six weeks are taken and handled by knowledgable strangers in the Care Facility situation. This helps to break the apron strings at an early age; introduce them to all the funny sights, sounds, and smells; teach them "touch" and to "go to" someone for a visit; and to aclimate them to the visiting process.

The "true" Therapy Dog makes eye contact and goes to visit a perfect stranger without any commands from their handler; they do not wait on their handler for direction; they take initiative on their own to "go to" someone; they are gentle and easy when on duty; and they are NOT soley intersted in just "Mom" or food. It takes a special breeding program to produce a dog that will hunt the lion and kiss a baby's face! The Ridgeback has what it takes to do both -- but training must begin at birth! Stop by and ask TikTok to "kiss the baby"!

The first step in becoming a Therapy Dog is to earn the CGC!

Taken from Kushinda's 1996 National Specialty Packet

What is a Rhodesian Ridgeback?

"She remembered that about 1870, her father brought back with him two ridged dogs on a trip from Swellendam. She remembered old "Powder", a large greyhound-like bitch; a faithful stand-by whos hunting prowess soon gained fame for her.. Rhodesia was lion country then and big game abounded. It is significant that he (Helm) brought this particular kind of dog.. There certainly was no room for pampered pets.. They had to be worth their salt; and so they were, coming as they did from old boer dog stock which had the qualities he needed. These then, were the dogs which gave rise to the great dog family which has no peer as lion hunter and is now known at the Rhodesian Ridgeback"

Taken from The Rhodesian Ridgeback by T C Hawley

What kind of Veterinarian is required for my Kushinda puppy/dog?

Kushinda insists that you select a veterinarian that is familiar with the Rhodesian Ridgeback. This individual should have many years experience practicing as a board certified veterinarian and should be more than willing to discuss your new pet with you. They should be receptive to your concerns about using anesthetic when performing spay/neuter surgery, because after all - the Ridgeback is a sighthound. If you can't get through to the vet to speak with them in person - that is a good indication that you will not receive the quality of care you and your pet deserve. Be sure that the practice offers emergency services as well.

Kushinda also requires that the veterinarian you select practices in a veterinarian hospital that is AAHA-acreditated. Please visit the AAHA web site to learn more about AAHA Membership and choosing the right veterinarian.

If a veterinarian hospital is AAHA-accredited they will proudly display the Membership Certificate!

Return to

"Leading the Luring Legend"
Sign the Kushinda Guest Book before you go!
KKB v4.1 © 1995-2002 by Kimma B. and Kammi K. Hefner and