Just thought I would post an update on Chloe. I'm pretty certain she is a ridgeback (ridgeless though) as she has all the characteristics of one. She is very devoted and wants to be with me all the time, doesn't even want to go outside without me. She has learned not to go upstairs in the house but I still have to put things on the couchs to keep her off when I'm at work. She is excellent in the house and good with basic commands now. I walk her everyday on 120 acres across the road and so far she has been good off leash. We've had a few run ins with coyotes and deer and although she takes off after them she only goes so far then returns to find me. It is useless to call her but she has always come back within a minute or two. She seems to have a strong enough bond with me to not go too far but I'm worried that as she matures (she is 20 months) she may get braver and wander farther. Everything I read about ridgebacks says to never let them off leash which bothers me but I'm slowly learning to trust her. I took her for a run by snowmobile this w/e and we had a young deer curled up in the snow on the trail 10' away. Chloe ran about 20' after the deer but was not going to leave the snowmobile & me and returned as soon as I drove off. It has been a hard winter to walk her and I just can't give her enough exercise on a leash as the roads have been very icy and unsafe for walking. Being new she has acted needy and demanding of attention and seems to always have the need to lie on top of my feet or carry around my glove or slipper when I'm not home but I have been able to ignore her demands for attention and only reward her with it when she is laying down quietly. It really does work! She hates to be ignored but it has stopped the begging or jumping up for the most part and I am careful to be calm and reward only calm, quiet behaviour. The next problem we have to work on is that she is showing leash aggression towards other dogs (much better with people now). I had to buy a halti to use when I think I will encounter other dogs on a walk and it is like having a 100lb tuna on the end of the line when other dogs are near. I'm thinking of going to some obedience training to work on this problem in a controlled environment. I live in the country so do not meet many dogs on our road walks but come summer the tourists will be everywhere so I need to get this under control. As for my 2 cats, well one is lazy and seldom runs whereas the other cat gets chased and sometimes I think he runs by the dog just to get her in trouble. I don't think she would hurt them though and they are no longer afraid of her. She loves to hunt mice in the field and I've seen her eat one already dead but when she actually caught a live one it squeaked so much she just let it go and did not kill it - she seemed surprised it made noise. She loves to play with sticks and balls, throwing them for herself but she sees no point in retreiving them for me. So much for getting a retreiver as I was told she was.
At first when I realized she was a ridgeback I was very worried after reading about them that I could handle her, especially after she bit my sister on the arm right after I got her (leash aggression again) but I think she is turning into an awesome dog for us and calming down quite nicely.