Are Rhodesian ridgebacks velcro dogs?

Rhodesian ridgebacks are loving dogs that like to be close to their owners. Ridgebacks are not velcro dogs because they like their independent space. They will want to spend as much time with you as possible, wanting to know where you are and where you are going. They are also independent and will follow their own wishes to chase birds, play and follow their nose.

As my ridgeback got older he likes to spend his time in a warm space, on his bed indoors or outdoors. He loves to be with the family but appreciates his own space when he wants to sleep.  But if you are looking for a true lap dog then another breed could be a better option.

This article will explore more about ridgebacks and my experience with ridgeback behavior so you can work out what to expect.

Rhodesian ridgebacks temperament

Here is some more about ridgebacks temperament and what you can expect.

Loving and affectionate

Ridgebacks are loving and affectionate and will devote themselves fully to their immediate family. They will get close to the family they live with and will usually choose one person in particular that they will stick to.

They will tolerate cuddles, pets and play from those they trust. They like to be close to their family, leaning on your legs as you sit or getting on the couch with you.

You can show affection to your ridgeback by taking the for walks, belly scratches and back scratches.


Ridgebacks have an independent personality. They usually choose to please themselves before anyone else so will decide if they feel like being with you or not. They may find a bird, noise or smell more interesting and jump up and head off rather than being stuck to you.

Velcro habits of Rhodesian ridgebacks

Every ridgeback is different but here is my experience of ridgebacks and velcro dog behaviour.

Individual differences

Some ridgebacks love any type of affection they can get from their owners. They will enjoy cuddles and petting and being close as often as possible, especially if it means they can share a warm space with you like the couch or bed.

They will lean against you, lick you and sleep with you if you let them. Other dogs are playful all the time and rarely take a break for cuddles. 

Training and socialisation

Ridgebacks that are socialised from a young age, are cuddled and petted often will be more likely to want to be on or with you more often. A dog that is never cuddled as a pup will not usually appreciate it as they get older.

It is important to socialize your dog with a wide range of people from a young age. It is important that they get used to pets and being with different people.

Physical contact preferences

I find that ridgebacks can enjoy cuddles, pets and time laying with their owners at various times. They are not velcro dogs but they do love to be with their family as often as possible. Ridgebacks are also playful dogs, particularly when they are young. They often see touch as an invitation to play depending on their mood.

Ridgebacks will enjoy touch from their owners but will often be wary of strangers. Make sure you supervise any contact with your dog from those they don’t know and socialize them from when they are young.

Other Rhodesian ridgebacks velcro habits

Here are some other factors that can influence your ridgeback’s preference for touch.


Young ridgebacks are busy, playful and energetic dogs that will move from excited play to sleep fast. Playtime is no time for cuddles but as they get sleepy, they will be more than happy to curl up in your lap and relax.

Older dogs will start to calm down and may start to enjoy relaxed time with you more. My 14 year old ridgeback enjoys pets and the occasional cuddle, but prefers to be left alone when he is sleeping. Pay attention to your dog’s preferences and be respectful if they are not in the mood to hug.


Ridgebacks will often learn a routine and will know when it is time to walk, rest and play. If you always walk your dog in the morning, expect them up be up, ready and in no mood for cuddles. When they return and are ready to rest, they will be more likely to fall asleep near you or against you.

Are rhodesian ridgebacks velcro dogs? | Summary

Ridgebacks are all individuals and some are more ‘velcro’ than others.  Many will like to cuddle when the time is right and like to sleep or lay against your legs or feet. They like to know where their owners are but once they are comfortable, they will head off and follow their own desires.

Ridgebacks are independent dogs so will decide what they want and when they want it. If you want a super cuddly lap dog, then perhaps go for another breed.

If you want a deeply affectionate dog that is loyal, dedicated to their family and will cuddle when they are ready, then go for a ridgeback.