Rhodesian Ridgeback Price: How Much Do Puppies Cost?

Rhodesian Ridgeback

The Rhodesian Ridgeback is a dog strong enough to fend off lions but gentle enough to be a loving pet.

They are unique in many ways with their ridge of front-facing wheaten hair and history as a game hunting dog from South Africa.

First bred for the African savannah this breed is now a popular pet for families.

Wanting a Ridgeback is easy but finding a responsible breeder can be a challenge. Knowing their price and what influences the cost is even harder.

This article will share how much Rhodesian Ridgeback puppies cost and what to know when buying one.

Rhodesian Ridgeback Price

The cost of a Rhodesian Ridgeback is $1,700 to $2,500. This price can increase and become very expensive based on multiple factors such as:

  • Bloodline
  • Pedigree Status
  • Health Tests
  • Warranties

It is important to do your research before adopting. The Ridgeback has an independent, alert and aloof personality making it important to buy a well socialized puppy.

A Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy’s price can vary based on the amount of training and socializing the breeder has put into it.

The first place to look when buying this dog is the Rhodesian Ridgeback Club of the United States’ breeder directory.

Checking the official breeder directory ensures that any breeder you select follows the official club’s code of ethics and breeding standards. These breeders only sell healthy purebred puppies.

There are several ways you can tell if a breeder is responsible.

Look at the breeder’s home or kennel and watch how they interact with the puppies.

A general rule of thumb is to look for a breeder who is open to any questions, but unafraid to ask the buyer any questions themselves.

Responsible breeders often ask potential buyers to sign contracts to ensure that the future owners are legally bound to return the puppy should they be unable to care for them.

If they notice that your lifestyle does not fit the breed they will acknowledge this and not sell their puppies.

Ethical breeders want to sell their dogs to the best home possible.

Rhodesian Ridgeback Puppy

How Much Is A Rhodesian Ridgeback Puppy?

A Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy costs $2,200. This includes expensive fees such as health tests, stud dog fees, travel fees and whelping costs. Breeder costs vary state by state which is why some breeders set their Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy price at $2,500.

A lot of cost, exercise and care is required for both the mother and puppies.

The breeder must exercise and feed the mother and her litter of six to twelve puppies for up to ten weeks.

A responsible breeder is one who breeds for health. So they must pay for health tests and keep all of their puppies heathy.

With the growing popularity of this breed you should be wary of puppy mills or backyard breeders. If a breeder is selling a puppy for less than $1,500 then avoid purchasing.

When it comes to buying a puppy there are many costs to consider. From the initial purchase price, socialization and training to feeding and healthcare.

What Is The Average Cost Of A Rhodesian Ridgeback?

The price of this breed can vary based on purchasing a puppy, senior or service dog. The table below shows the different Rhodesian Ridgeback prices:

Puppy$1,700 – $2,500
Adult$400 – $500
Adoption$30,000 – $50,000

You can save both time and money by purchasing a Rhodesian Ridgeback rescue dog.

Many rescue shelters have a wide variety of Ridgeback mix breeds and purebred dogs at various ages.

You can expect to pay an adoption fee of $400 to $500 for this breed and there are some benefits to adopting an adult dog.

Older dogs are often cheaper, calmer and better trained than puppies.

Also they will have already developed a personality and some manners. This means you can see their temperament and potential aloofness. Puppies need time to adapt and develop into their own selves.

Finally, adults are not as high strung as a puppy making them a gentler alternative.

Rhodesian Ridgeback Cost

Rhodesian Ridgeback Dog

Every puppy has a different purpose.

Some dogs are more suited for show rings, others some are more suited for working roles.

The higher the Rhodesian Ridgeback price does not equal a healthier or better puppy. Below are some factors that breeders consider when putting a price or adoption fee on their Ridgebacks.

Lineage and Bloodlines

Many of the breeders associated with the Rhodesian Ridgeback Club of the United States will breed show dogs who have won awards for their health and conformation.

Breeding from a winning bloodline helps to ensure that each puppy inherits the best of breed genes and health.

Puppies from famous bloodlines will be more expensive due to their high demand and accruing returns for competitions.

The difference between pet-quality dogs and show dogs are not apparent in day-to-day life.

Acquiring a healthy puppy from a reputable breeder should be the first goal for someone simply wanting a healthy dog to have as a companion.

Certification and Warranties

Many breeders offer health warranties and guarantees when selling their puppies.

Certification increases a Rhodesian Ridgeback’s price as it makes sure breeders have undertaken specific health checks. These checks ensure the health and quality of every puppy.

They must also register the puppies with the American Kennel Club.

A breeder does not have to be certified to be reputable. However, certification gives breeders expectations to meet when it comes to selling their puppies and confidence to buyers.

This can help to protect both the buyer and the breeder against the following scenarios:

  1. If the puppy develops a genetic condition such as dermoid sinus (a skin defect seen in some Ridgebacks).
  2. If the buyer does not want to keep the puppy anymore.


The younger the dog is, the higher their price will be.

Ridgebacks are at their most expensive when they are a puppy (i.e. anywhere between 8-12 weeks old).

This is not because a puppy is better than a senior dog, but because breeders put in a lot of time into making sure each puppy is given the best care.

If you want to save money then consider adopting an older Rhodesian Ridgeback.

The adoption fee or the discounted price of an adult tends to run a few thousand dollars cheaper than a puppy.

Coat Color

The Rhodesian Ridgeback comes in varying shades of wheat. The American Kennel Club’s accepted colors are:

  • Wheaten
  • Red wheaten
  • Light wheaten

If a breeder is offering to sell black Rhodesian Ridgebacks then be wary. They may be backyard breeders trying to capitalize on appearance rather than health. Do your research.

Coat color is rarely the main selling point of any breed, but it is a factor considered when selling puppies.

If a Ridgeback has a coat color that is considered a fault by their breed standard (e.g. black) then it will be sold for less.


Males are 15 pounds heavier than females.

A male may eat slightly more than a female, but perhaps not enough to make a sizeable difference in budget.

However, there is a vast difference between spaying and neutering a dog. Spaying is often a more expensive procedure than neutering.


Another factor that will affect a Rhodesian Ridgeback price is the breeder’s location.

Many breeders offer to ship puppies by air or by car – both of which can bring in their own travel fees and associated health checks.

Driving to the breeder’s home can be costly depending on how many miles you are driving. However, this is necessary for you to visit the breeder and see the puppies.

To save money you can try and find a breeder that is closer to you.

Are Rhodesian Ridgebacks Expensive?

Rhodesian Ridgeback Dogs

Yes an eight week old puppy can cost $2,500. Their high price is often a combination of:

  • Lineage and Bloodline
  • Certification
  • Color
  • Age
  • Breeder Location

There are also many long-term costs associated with dog ownership. Some of these are repeating and some are one-time purchases:


Early training and socialization will help your puppy develop into a well-mannered adult. Even if you adopt a dog, establishing some basic obedience is essential.

If you want to establish basic training skills you should consider a group training class. They can cost anywhere $80 to $120 for a six week course.

Unlike many breeds the Rhodesian Ridgeback loves having a job to do.

They are very smart so repetitive tricks and commands will only bore them. Stimulating their mind will help to release their energy and keep them happy.

If you have the extra time the best way to stimulate this breed is through work – specifically tracking. They are a hound so their nose is well-suited for tracking.

Tracking courses vary in price between $140 to $400 depending on the intensity of the training.


Grooming is not a significant cost for owners of this breed.

The Rhodesian Ridgeback is a smooth-coated breed that only requires weekly brushing.

Brushes, shampoos, and other materials have their own costs but are typically $50.

Vet Fees

If your puppy comes from good breeding stock then the most you should worry about is paying for regular vet visits.

This can cost between $45 – $55 depending on where you live. This does not include any vaccines your puppy needs.

One health issue that plagues this breed is a skin defect known as dermoid sinus.

This can cause infections and in more serious cases damage their spinal cord. Surgery is often the only treatment but can cost anywhere between $1,000 – $5,000.

Health Insurance

Rhodesian Ridgebacks live for ten years and can suffer from major health issues such as dysplasia (elbow and hip), deafness, hypothyroidism and skin issues (e.g. dermoid sinus).

Pet insurance costs $30 to $50 per month and is priced upon the coverage of the package.

Purchasing pet insurance will help lessen the costs of any unexpected surgeries or health tests.

Do your research and see which company is the best fit for you and your dog.

Food and Treats

A high-quality kibble or raw food will work well for this dog.

They have a very high energy level so feeding kibble with lots of protein will help to keep them satisfied throughout the day. Like Labradors, Rhodesian Ridgebacks are infamous for counter surfing. It is important you feed them regularly to help stop this behavior.

A 30lb bag of kibble normally has 120 cups in total. A Ridgeback will need around three cups of kibble per day.

Depending on what brand you purchase, expect to pay around $45 – $70 per month.


It is hard to estimate the amount you will spend in this category. Most of the items below are one-time purchases for when you adopt your puppy or dog:

  • Collar
  • Harness
  • Leash
  • Bowls
  • Bed
  • Toys

You can expect to pay between $50 to $500 depending on how many of each item you purchase and the quality of each toy.

Because of their working history this dog may not do well in a crate. You should consider using indoor gates to keep your dog from certain areas of the house.


The Rhodesian Ridgeback has steadily increased in popularity over the past thirty years.

Their increased popularity has helped to make finding reputable breeders easier but has also increased their price.

A Rhodesian Ridgeback’s price is higher when purchasing a certified puppy from a reputable breeder and known bloodline. You should expect to pay between $1,700 to $2,500.

Senior Rhodesian Ridgebacks from rescue shelters are cheaper and cost ~$500.

You will need to invest in activities such as tracking or canine sports like flyball to help mentally and physically exercise this high energy breed.

If you are an active person who loves a challenge then this dog is what you are looking for.

When well-trained and socialized they are a loyal companion that is always happy to run alongside you!

About John Woods 301 Articles
John Woods is the founder of All Things Dogs, member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers, graduate in Animal Behavior & Welfare and recognized author by the Dog Writers Association of America.

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