How Much Do Rhodesian Ridgeback Puppies Cost?

I’ve written before about why I purchased my dogs from a responsible breeder, but I still get plenty of emails from people unsure about what separates an ethical breeder from a back-yard-breeder

I hope today’s video shows the dedication, love and effort of reputable breeders and why it’s essential we support their efforts while working to end unethical breeding.

Special thanks to Emmy from Roaring Fork RR for providing a lot of the great footage for this video!

13 thoughts on “How Much Do Rhodesian Ridgeback Puppies Cost?”

  1. The breeder that we got our last pup from had wonderful reviews. His pups were absolutely gorgeous and not cheap but we were able to get our ridgeless girl, without papers, from him at a greatly reduced price. This was good for us because our rescued RR had just passed at the age of 11. We wanted another but didn’t have loads of money. She was born March 6, 2014 and we went to pick her up when she was 10 weeks old. At the beginning of 2019 she started limping. She was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma, stage 4. She died on Valentine’s Day. She was not yet 5. I called her breeder to see if any other of his puppies had been diagnosed to find our that the sire was diagnosed in 2018 and died at age 7. He didn’t even call to let us know. A friend also got a pup from him (before I knew her). She later found out she had FIVE DS’s! She had many surgeries and they just couldn’t save her. She paid full price for her show quality dog with papers. I don’t consider him reputable any more. I recently found out that a lot of his pups end up in the Ridgeback Rescue in our state because he won’t take them back. I couldn’t rescue another RR this time. It’s just too painful to see them and I still feel a lot of guilt that I couldn’t save her. In my experience, just because the breeder charges an arm and a leg for his puppies doesn’t mean they’re reputable. Believe me, a Ridgeback (especially mine to me) is worth every penny, even more. I loved my girl so much. Still do. I just don’t think I could trust another breeder. The dog I have now is a pound puppy. BTW…your dogs are gorgeous and I enjoy your blog and pictures!

    • That’s such a painful story to hear, I can only imagine how painful it was to live through – especially when you trust and good faith were taken advantage of. The truth is there is essentially no regulation or consequences for bad breeders. The best thing we can do is ensure that others don’t support them so they lose all incentive to breed in the first place. Your other point is really important – price is not a marker of a quality breeder. Anyone can charge any price they want. When I first met John (Eko and Penny’s breeder) he had just taken back a 9 and 11 year old pair of Ridgebacks from a woman who no longer could care for them. A decade later and he kept good on his commitment! Knew right then he was the real deal.

      • …just curious as to why you didnt get your third Ridgy from same breeder?…they are all beauties…ours is a Ridgy mix…still fabulous to give a life to an orphan pup of any breed…from alot of the sad stories ive read here of people losing their Ridgys prematurely at a relatively young age im starting to worry about a genetic disposition to cancers etc….esp since the sister of our boy died of an agressive undetected liver tumor within a month of suddenly going from a strong healthy growing pup (only 18 mnths) to wasting away in front of our eyes…very difficult to accept…our boy is just turned 5 & half yrs & still healthy im happy to say…but the sudden death & illness experiences all aroundcreally worry me…i just give him more cuddles to make us both as happy as i can for as long as we have together!🙄😻🐕

      • I used to live in NJ, so that’s where Eko and Penny came from (via John). When I was looking for Zero, John had decided to retire from breeding so I researched local breeders in the midwest and found Mary in Michiagn

  2. Excellent video, but $2000 is maybe average…cost can be regional too. $2500 – $3500, is a more realistic price.
    A Code of Ethics, Preservation breeder, who is a member of RRCUS and on the breeder registry is a good place to start.

    Health and temperament should always be the first concern. Not gender, color or size.

    Visiting multiple breeders is a must – you are going to be connected to your breeder for the next 10 plus years.

    Reputable breeders and their pups are PRICELESS.


    • I originally included a lot more about price variability (pet vs show, regional differences, pedigree, etc) but felt like it got too in the weeds for those new to the breed. Rather than nail an exact price, my hope was to show where your money goes and why it’s such a worthwhile investment when you invest in a breeder of merit. It’s something most people new to the breed don’t think about, so hopefully I can help others understand why it’s so important. As you say, it’s a two-way commitment that lasts for years – so putting in the work ahead of time is well worth it!

  3. I visited a Dauschund breeder years ago and the kennel was immaculate, the dogs all seemed happy and cared for. Like the RR breeders you talk about she was not in it to make gobs of money but for the love of the dogs. I didn’t get a pup that day but always remember her passion. Thanks for explaining why “good” pups can cost so much

  4. they bring joy to us and they even can resuce our lives with giving us a pup what helps us to carry on… what price is adequate for giving us a chance or a new chance… it’s probably priceless ;O)))


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