When do Rhodesian ridgebacks calm down?

Rhodesian ridgebacks are large dogs that will start to calm down between 18-24 months old. Male dogs tend to take longer to mature than female dogs and it can be up to 3 years before they move out of the adolescent stage. Ridgebacks are very active dogs until they get quite old. They need lots of mental stimulation, exercise and dicipline.

This article will explore all you need to know about ridgeback development and when you can expect your rambunctious pup to start to settle down.

When do ridgebacks calm down?

Ridgebacks are a large hound and take around 12-18 months to reach their maximum physical size. They will continue to grow and develop their muscle tone an mental maturity over this time. While they may be fully grown at this stage, you can expect it to take up to 3 years before they are well trained and start to become more settled.

My ridgeback is a male and he definitely took the full 3 years before he was at a point where he started to be more calm daily. He still needed walks twice per day, off leash running time and socialization with other dogs to help him to be settled.

Ridgeback pups can be are hard work and inexperienced dog owners will find them a challenge. They need loads of attention, regular exercise, good quality dog food and solid training. With this in mind, your dog can be a polite member of the family if all of these needs are met. But don’t expect them to be a quiet calm dog until they are older.

Ridgebacks are an energetic breed, perfect if you have an active lifestyle and loads of time to spend with them. If not, they can become destructive, digging in the garden to release their energy or to fight boredom.

Puppy stage

Ridgebacks are in their early puppy stage up until around 12 months of age. They will learn to play with other dogs, be around people and will learn their place in the pack. They will learn bite inhibition from their littermates, parents and you. Expect times where your ridgeback will play and be full of energy for 1-2 hours and then fall asleep. They will then be up again ready to start again.

The puppy stage for me was incredibly fun with our ridgeback. We went for short walks so he could learn to understand the lead, he would head to puppy preschool to learn to socialize with other dogs and we started our basic command training.

All of this needs to be started as soon as you get your energetic pup home. They need to learn the rules as they will soon become a large dog with loads of energy.


Ridgebacks generally enter the adolescent stage around 12 months lasting until 18-24 months. They will act a bit like teenagers, making a mess, sleeping in and running at full pace. They will have loads of energy to burn so walks twice per day are essential.

Ridgebacks will move out of the puppy stage at this time, and start to calm down slightly in comparison. They will still have loads of energy however that will need to be used in productive ways. Get them into basic obedience training to get their mind working and to help you to stay in charge.


Ridgebacks will start to mature, calm down and become adult dogs around 18 months all the way up to 3 years. My male ridgeback took a full 3 years to grow up and start to calm down. With lots of exercise and good training he turned into a fantastic dog that was great around kids, other animals and would listen (most of the time).

Ridgebacks are still strong breeds who have an independent personality. When out of your eyesight or out of your range they will often make their own choices to chase, play or dive in a pond even if you are calling. Ridgebacks are great dogs that are incredibly rewarding.

They are not however a highly obedient dog like a border collie or golden retriever. They often prefer to please themselves rather than you.

Factors that affect your ridgeback’s energy level

There are a few factors that will influence how much energy your ridgeback has and whether or not they are calm when they are at home.


Younger ridgebacks will be full of energy and they will need somewhere to burn it off. Dogs less than 18 months old are like busy children, always looking for sometime to do or play with. Give them toys, walks and doggy friends to meet with. Once they are satisfied they will rest and it will start all over again.

After your ridgeback reaches 18-24 months they can start to calm down. Each ridgeback is different however and it can take up to 3 years for them to really mature.


Exercise is essential for your ridgeback to be sensible when they are at home or out and about. An early morning walk will get their brain and body moving and help them to be more settled during the day. Take them out to the dog park when you can to give them some mental stimulation and social time.

If you are at work all day your ridgeback will need another walk at the end to help them to sleep well and burn off excess energy. Try to find a safe space where they can run off lead to help to keep them fit and healthy.


Good quality training for when they are a pup will help your ridgeback to be more settled and behave well in at home and when you are out. Basic commands like sit, stay and come are all important for your ridgeback early on. They need to know you are in charge so you need to be firm and consistent.


Mental stimulation through socialisation is essential for your ridgeback. This will help them to burn off some mental energy and to help them to be calmer. Find a dog park with friendly dogs that they can interact with. Try to catch-up with similar dogs if you can so they can learn to be around each other.

Socialisation with people is also essential for a well behaved ridgeback. Start when they are a young pup to meet a range of different people with your supervision. This will help them to be calm around different people including children as they grow.

When do Rhodesian ridgebacks calm down? | Summary

Ridgebacks will start to calm down after 18 months but it can take up to 2-3 years. Male dogs usually take longer to mature than female dogs but you can help them by giving them plenty of exercise, socialising them with other dogs and giving them some off leash time. This will help to save your garden from destruction from a bored ridgeback with loads of energy.