Interview with Tammy Lynch, Breeder of Adili Rhodesian Ridgebacks
Where do I live? How many years in dogs? How many years as a breeder?
My name is Tammy Lynch. I am 2nd Vice President of the Rhodesian Ridgeback Club of the US. I have been involved with Ridgebacks for 53 years. My parents bred under the prefix of Amberidge and produced the third Ridgeback to ever win a Best in Show. He was also a National Specialty winner and only the third Ridgeback to ever win a BIS and a BISS.
What is my kennel name? How many dogs do I currently keep?
I have been using the Adili kennel name since 1996. Kiki Courtelis and I registered the prefix in 2022 and we are currently the only AKC Breeder of Merit Gold Level Breeders of Ridgebacks.
We have a small number of dogs (nine between our two households). Our dogs are our pets for life, so we have a lot of older, non-breeding animals at present. We are very lucky to have some very special co-owners/co-breeders who have some of our breeding girls.
Which show dogs from the past have been my noteworthy winners?
We have produced multiple Best in Show and Owner-Handled Best in Show winners, Reserve Best in Show and NOHS RBIS winners, Top 10 Hounds, and National and Regional Specialty winners.
Some of our dogs of note are:
NSBISS MBIS MBISS GCH Adili’s American Idol JC CGC ROM, “Spirit,” a 2x Top 10 Hound who retired in 2009 but came out in 2011 for the “new” Grand Champion title—which led to his winning our National Specialty (the first time for a Breeder/Owner-Handled National Specialty winner in 20-plus years in our breed) and another Top 10 ranking for him in just 11 shows that year.
NSBVISS BISS GCHG Mystiko & Adili’s Unstoppable Reign CGC ROM, “Vomba,” our 2x Top 10 Bitch just won SB/Best Veteran at our National Specialty show at 9-1/2 years of age.
We are now showing RBIS Best in Hound Show GCHG Adili & Ida B’s Reign On Zambezi, “Zambezi,” who is last year’s No. 2 Ridgeback and is currently a Top 10 Hound.
Which have been my most influential sires and dams?
Our most influential dams have been:
- Ch Adili’s Serengeti StarLight SC CGC ROM, “Sera”, who produced Spirit and J Lo, along with Dual Champions and Best Bred-By Exhibitor in Show winners;
- BPISS GCH Adili’s Made To Perfection JC CGC ROM, “J Lo,” and her daughter, “Vomba” who, besides being a big winner herself, is the proud mother of “Zambezi” and six Champions out of 11 puppies born to her.
As for sires, Spirit stands out as one of the Top Sires in our Breed, with over 50 Champions, many of whom were top-ranked and were top producers and sires themselves. Spirit was the No. 1 Stud Dog in 2015 and was a Top Producing Sire for nine years.
Can I talk a bit about my facilities? Where are my puppies whelped? How are they raised?
Our puppies are born and raised in our home, where we have a specially designed kennel, whelping room, and puppy sunroom, all with heated floors, where they are raised with 24/7 care for the first three weeks. When they graduate to pan feeding, they are still under 24/7 surveillance and are introduced to a litterbox and doggie doors. Because of this, by the time they go home, many are 100 percent accident-free in their new homes.
What is my “process” for selecting Show Puppies? Performance Puppies?
We use the Early Neurological Stimulation program created by Dr. Carmen Battaglia and we carefully evaluate both conformation and temperament before choosing where a puppy will be placed.
Do I compete in Companion Events? Performance Events?
Our dogs have succeeded in many venues, as well as simply being companion dogs. We have had AKC Dual Champions as well as Registered Therapy Dogs.
Is “performance” part of my decision-making when it comes to breeding?
Performance is part of our decision-making when planning a breeding because we sincerely believe in form following function. A Ridgeback must be of sound mind and body to do the job it was designed to do. Our Breed Standard calls for a “handsome, upstanding and athletic dog, capable of great endurance with a fair (good) amount of speed.”
How would I define “conditioning” as it relates to my breed?
If a dog is to be functional according to our Standard, they MUST be in shape. Our dogs mostly “self” condition through free-play and running. If a dog (over two) needs conditioning, we will roadwork them 1/2-1 mile at a trot with our golf cart.
Are there any health-related concerns in my breed? Any special nutritional needs?
There are several health concerns in our breed; hip and elbow dysplasia, some cardiac issues, and a relatively recent issue with a breed-specific arrhythmia (RRIVA). Thyroid can be a problem too. As far as special nutritional needs, we believe in feeding a good all life stages food, rather than a puppy food, to promote slow and steady growth. If there is too high a protein level, you can run into “pano” issues (panosteitis).
Do I think my breed is supported by a sufficient number of preservation breeders?
I don’t know if our breed is supported by enough preservation breeders. It seems that no one wants to be mentored. People get a dog, make it a champion, and “have to” breed it. Many have never even read the Standard. It’s hard to explain to someone who has a champion that not ALL dogs need to procreate. We live in a society where people want instant gratification and feel like they’ve invested in their dog and now it should “pay them back.” It is frustrating to those who are trying to do the right thing by our breed.
Is my breed well suited to be a family dog? Who are the best candidates to own my breed?
I have had Ridgebacks since I was a child. Our boys were raised with them and now our grandchildren are being raised with them. Properly bred and socialized Ridgebacks make wonderful family pets, as long as they are exercised and trained properly. It is important to understand that they are an intelligent and active breed, and if they are left alone for too long, they WILL get into trouble. They fit best into a family that is active and is willing to spend time teaching/training their dogs and who will be consistent with them. (Never let them on the furniture—even as a puppy—if you don’t want an 85-plus lb. lapdog!)
What is the biggest misconception about my breed? What is my breed’s best-kept secret?
The biggest misconception about our breed is that they were meant to take down lions—that is a physical impossibility. The Ridgeback needs “courage, agility, endurance, and instincts” to bay the prey and to let the hunters get their shot.
If I could share a comment or two with judges of my breed, what would I like to say to them?
I would like to ask judges to keep this in mind when judging and to remember to judge our breed on the move. Watch the toplines. Don’t reward dogs that run downhill, pound in the front, or don’t drive off their rears. Look for the “maximum reach and drive with the minimal amount of effort” that our Standard calls for. A dog that can’t go all day wouldn’t survive in Africa.
Do I have any words of wisdom to pass along to newer breeders?
I encourage newer breeders to study the Standard, to reach out to our many Breed Mentors, to attend the Educational Seminars, and to learn to “judge” their own dogs. If you don’t know/believe that your dog has faults, how can you strive to improve them or to help preserve our breed?
For a bit of fun, what’s the most amusing thing I’ve ever experienced with a Hound?
The most amusing story I have is about Spirit. When he came home from campaigning, we had some guests over for a steak dinner. A guest unwittingly let Spirit into the kitchen where he promptly grabbed and tried to swallow a one-pound boneless steak. I reached down his throat and retrieved MY steak, rinsed it off, and put it on the grill. My friends laughed when I marked that steak as “mine.”
Are you looking for a Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy?
The best way to ensure a long and happy relationship with a purebred dog is to purchase one from a responsible breeder. Not sure where to begin finding a breeder?
Contact the National Parent Club’s Breeder Referral person, which you can find on the AKC Breeder Referral Contacts page.
Want to help rescue and re-home a Rhodesian Ridgeback dog?
Did you know nearly every recognized AKC purebred has a dedicated rescue group? Find your new best friend on the AKC Rescue Network Listing.
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