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Lars Jansen, The first registered “Rhodesian Ridgeback” breeder in Africa, is an idol member of Port Ghalib’s community

10-01-2018
Port Ghalib News

Port Ghalib’s community is one of the unique communities, not only in Egypt, but in the middle east. One of the PG’s residents is a very famous dog breeder, he’s the first registered Ridgeback breeder in Egypt, North and West Africa and Middle East, Mr. Lars Jansen. He’s a 44 German resident, a former diving instructor and manager for 3 Orca diving centers in the Red Sea and also the owner of Wander Bar in our International Marina, who’s passion and love to dogs made him the most famous breeder in the area. 

“I started breeding since I was 19 years old, beside my job as a hobby or passion” Mr. Lars said, “the first 12 years, I started with Rottweiler’s breeding and for the next 13 years I switched to the Ridgeback breed when I headed to live in Africa. It was a dream to bread this African lion hunter, since I was a small boy”. “I learned breeding from a German policeman neighbor friend, he taught me everything about breeding and training.

The Rhodesian Ridgeback is a dog breed developed in South Africa by Boer farmers. Its European forebears can be traced to the early pioneers of the Cape Colony of southern Africa, who crossed their dogs with the semi-domesticated, ridged hunting dogs of the Khoikhoi. The Rhodesian Ridgeback, once known as the African Lion Hound. The farmers needed a versatile hunting dog who could withstand the extreme temperatures and terrain of the bush, survive when water rations were low, protect property, and be a companion to the entire family. “They are the second lion hunters in the whole history.” Lars pointed out. 

A hunter named Cornelius von Rooyen began a breeding program in what was then known as Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). A breed standard — a written description of what the breed should look and act like — was set down in 1922, and it's changed little since then. In 1924, the Rhodesian Ridgeback was officially accepted by the South African Kennel Union.

Rhodesian Ridgebacks are generally healthy, but like all breeds, they can get certain health conditions. Not all Ridgebacks will get any or all of these diseases, but it's important to be aware of them if you're considering this breed. “They are very quiet breed, it’s a very healthy breed they don’t have any diseases or problems like German Shepherds with the hips” Jansen said.  “they are really intelligent, nice and easy to train. They like learning and education.” The Rhodesian Ridgeback is independent and intelligent, a combination that can be entertaining, frustrating, and rewarding, all in one. It's important to begin training early and to be firm — but not harsh — and consistent. Because of his hunting roots, the Rhodesian Ridgeback has a high prey drive. That means stray cats and other small furry animals aren't safe in your yard, and it also means your yard should be securely fenced, to prevent him from going hunting on his own. “some of my dogs still have hunting drive” He confirmed. “they are a little bit like lions as they need 18 sleeping hours”. Like every dog, Rhodesian Ridgebacks need early socialization — exposure to many different people, sights, sounds, and experiences — when they're young. Socialization helps ensure that your Ridgeback puppy grows up to be a well-rounded dog. “They are very social and friendly with adults and they are very good to kids” He added.

Rhodesian Ridgebacks can adapt to a variety of homes, including apartments, as long as they get daily exercise. They should live in the house with their people, not outdoors in a run or kennel. Rhodesian Ridgeback has to get a couple of 15- to 20-minute walks or playtime daily, plus opportunities to run in a safely fenced area a couple of times a week. Because of the breed's strong prey drive, keeping him on leash in un-fenced areas is a must. Your Ridgeback will take off after a cat, rabbit, or bicyclist, no matter how well you think he's trained.” They are very active. They like movement. My dogs need to run every day from 8-10 kilometers.” Lars affirmed.

Ridgebacks are generally discriminating barkers, meaning they only bark at things that are important, but any dog can become a nuisance barkers if he doesn't have anything else to do. ” they are not barkers, more like the Rotts, Of course, they bark but not a usual barkers and this the good thing with this breed” Jansen confirmed. 

Ridgebacks enjoy their food and are known counter surfers. Keep food well out of reach and consider dog-proofing your cabinets to keep your dog from getting his own snacks.” They have special dry high-energy food. If they are puppies they have special puppy food. I would prefer to give them fresh food” “you should never cook the food for your dogs, it’s getting dangerous if you boiled or cook it because the bones can split up and chock them inside their throat. Meat and bones when served have to be always raw. Vegetables must be cooked.” Lars advised.

 The Ridgeback coat is short and shiny and tends to be odor-free. Ridgebacks who live indoors shed a little year-round, while those who live outdoors have heavier seasonal shedding. The color of the coat ranges from light wheaten to red wheaten; in other words, buff to gold to reddish gold. Some Ridgebacks have black on the muzzle, ears, or around the eyes. “the correct males are masculine, on their neck they have 2 equal and square -located crowns, their ears should be big and long hanging down, their height is 72-73 centimeters shoulder as a standard. The females are little bit smaller, 10-15 Kgs less than the male” Lars stated. 

“I am looking after the breed, I want to help to get the best out of it and to cross 2 good blood lines and to get even better puppies out to keep the breed existing with very good results. I care for the quality to say that I am breeding the best dogs in Africa” Lars declared. “even though that all my dogs are born in Germany but they are still an African breed “. “when I started breeding Ridges in Africa I was the first one in the middle east, later, there was another lady in Israel. By now I believe that there are some other breeders in Cairo” “I am breeding according to the German Kennel club standards, my puppies are coming with German pedigree” he certified.

Breed standards are fixed and cannot be influenced by fads. The animal is in the foreground. “You don’t need to make any test or to go under any examinations to be a certified breeder, this is a bad thing by which anyone is allowed to breed as not everyone has the quality and patience to breed” Jansen pointed out. Breeding relies on the science of genetics, so the breeder with a knowledge of canine genetics, health, and the intended use for the dogs attempts to breed suitable dogs.“ every 2 years, no birth is the same like the one before” he affirmed. “I am already now in the second and third generation of dogs. This breed need 2 and half years for females and 3 years for males to be fully grown”. There is always a better time to start breeding and for matting. “Standard female supposed to be at least 17 months old for the first matting, but I prefer to wait a little to 22-24 months”

The Ridgebacks are slow growing breed. “For beginners or families, I suggest to have a female Ridge, as they are much easier to have and grow in the beginning.” Lars said. “I can see now that Egyptians are more likely to have dogs than before. Even the world association FCE has a branch here in Egypt and we have the 1st Egyptian Kennel club, existed 1 and half year ago”. “Now, the request on my breed dogs is higher because there is nobody else in the closer area selling this kind of dogs. 

 The Ridgebacks are slow growing breed. “For beginners or families, I suggest to have a female Ridge, as they are much easier to have and grow in the beginning.” Lars said. “I can see now that Egyptians are more likely to have dogs than before. Even the world association FCE has a branch here in Egypt and we have the 1st Egyptian Kennel club, existed 1 and half year ago”. “Now, the request on my breed dogs is higher because there is nobody else in the closer area selling this kind of dogs. 

They use to sell this breed in Europe with 1800-2000 Euros but in Egypt, we sell them less than Europe for 1200 Euros. If they have any mistake, we used to give them with half price.” Lars added “Relationships with dog owners after selling is very important as this is a sign of good breeder.”

Every breeder face some difficulties while breeding but they differ from one breeder to another and from country to another. “ The main difficulties for breeding in Egypt are the Medical supplies specially in the Red Sea as we don’t have much fully equipped Veterinaries and the food supplies as the prices here are much more higher for the dry food than Europe and if you go for fresh food it will be much expensive.” Lars complained. 

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