Do Rhodesian ridgebacks drool?

Rhodesian ridgebacks do drool in small amounts but much less than other large breeds. They do not have overly large lips and cheeks but will drool if they are waiting for food, doing high levels of activity or drinking a lot. If you are bringing your ridgebacks in the car after exercise it is a good idea to lay down a towel or mat to catch any excess drool.

This article will explore more about how much ridgebacks drool so you can be ready.

My ridgeback after a big day of exercise and playing outside. I lay a blanket down to stop drool from getting on the car.

How much Rhodesian ridgebacks drool

Ridgebacks will drool in small amounts if they are waiting for food, playing with other ridgebacks, if they are drinking a lot or recovering from high intensity exercise. This is usually only in small amounts and can be easily wiped up with a towel.

I like to lay a blanket over my ridgebacks bed to catch any extra drool so I can easily clean up. But they are not drooling dogs in comparison with other dogs with large mouths and lips. They will not drool anywhere near as much as a Saint Bernard, Bulldog or Basset Hound.

What makes a ridgeback drool

While ridgebacks only drool in small amounts, there are times when they will drool more than others. Here are the top reasons ridgebacks drool.

Waiting for food

Ridgebacks will get excited when it is dinner time and if they are left waiting too long they can start to drool. One they see you start preparing their dinner they can start to drool if they wait for longer than 1 minute.

There is no problem with this, it is just best to feed them outside to keep your floors clean.

High levels of activity

Ridgebacks can start to drool more if they are doing lots of exercise and puffing. As their mouth is open they can start to drool in small amounts. This is totally normal and no problem at all if you are outdoors. Make sure they have access to cool, clean drinking water to rehydrate.

Drinking lots of water

Ridgebacks can start to drool if they are drinking a lot of water. They can be sloppy drinkers at time and will even put their whole face in the water to cool off. This can lead to them dripping water and drool everywhere after having a drink.

It is important that they have access to water when they are outdoors exercising but be aware that when they are done they can run over and cover you with drool. Pack a towel with you if you are out at a dog park to wipe off the drool before they get into your car.

How to manage drooling in Rhodesian ridgebacks

Here are my tips to avoid ridgeback drool over yourself, your carpet and your car.


Feed your ridgeback outdoors to avoid drool ending up on your floors. Some ridgebacks absolutely love food and will drool at the sound of their food bag opening. Feed them outdoors in an open space away from other dogs. This will keep your house clean and them happy.


Teaching your ridgeback to sit, stay and come when called are all important and can help to keep drool off of you. A happy ridgeback that has been running and drooling can be stopped if you can ask them to sit before they rub their face all over you.

Although it is not always perfect, a trained ridgeback can be taught to sit instead of rubbing their drool all over you.

Water access

It is important for your ridgeback to access water at all times but limit the size of the water dish if you want to avoid a wet ridgeback on hot days. A deep bucket or container is ideal that is heavy enough that it won’t be knocked over. If you have a kiddy pool, expect wet ridgeback feet and drool on hot days.

Do Rhodesian ridgebacks drool? | Summary

Rhodesian ridgebacks can drool if they are excited, playing with other dogs, drinking a lot or exercising. Bring a towel with you if you are taking them to a dog park and putting them in your car. This will keep the drool off of you and your car (mostly). Ridgebacks are not particularly ‘drooly’ dogs but will drool in small amounts.