The best way to find a good source of Rhodesian ridgeback puppies is to locate a good breeder by using directories published by local and national breed organizations. Rescue organizations that focus on Rhodesian ridgebacks may also prove useful, but they may have slightly older dogs.
Responsible breeders are generally involved with both the Rhodesian Ridgeback Club of the United States and the American Kennel Club. According to the Rhodesian Ridgeback Club, it is not safe to buy puppies from pet stores because these puppies often suffer from hereditary health problems. The organization also advises caution when locating a breeder through classified ads because irresponsible breeders place many of those ads. Those looking for ridgeback puppies should remember that AKC registration papers only prove the dog is purebred and provide no guarantee of health or quality.
After locating a potential breeder, prospective pet owners should interview the breeder extensively. Breeders should know about and explain what they do to prevent or treat hereditary conditions such as dermoid sinus and joint dysplasia as well as provide a written health guarantee for the puppy. The parents should be tested by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals or a similar organization.
If possible, prospective owners should try to visit the breeder's facilities before taking the puppy home. The dogs should be well cared for and not have an excessive number of litters each year. Ideal breeders successfully show their dogs and differentiate between show quality and pet quality puppies.