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Ujamaa kennels was founded in 1978 with the purchase of a pet female Rhodesian Ridgeback – Tarka. She was a brown nosed bitch, and her gentle but protective nature developed my interest in the breed. She was followed in 1979 by Tali- Ch Lionspride Caprice, the foundation bitch of Ujamaa kennels. Tali had some success in the show ring, but her best qualities were her temperament and her progeny. She produced 9 champions and is on the pedigree of many of the Ridgebacks in the Victorian show ring today. She has been followed by a number of ridgebacks over the years including Ch Kismayu Caleb (BOB Royal Melb show 1983), Ch Maleema Kahlura, Ch Ujamaa Brave Bear, Ch Ujamaa Anakie (Koo), "Ruby" her daughter "Zoe". "Blue" was co-bred with friends- Marianne and Mark- and represents the 5th generation of ridgeback breeding.

More recently we have imported Red to reduce in-breeding and the associated problems. We use the term "Ujamaa Ridgebacks" as there are usually only 2 or 3 ridgebacks at home and they are primarily our family companions.An extensive breeding program has led to purchase of a number of dogs and bitches from interstate kennels. More recently this has been complemented by selected international bloodlines. I have used stud dogs from all over Australia to ensure the type and temperament of the dogs are optimal for the bitch. Notable dogs used in the breeding program have included Pronkhuis Nyanga (Imp UK), Ch Marsabit Mbungu, Ch Vishala Kabangisa, Ch Nkazimlo Umlimo, Multi BISS Ch Marsabit Mfumo, Ch Skiska Solitaire Jest, US/Aust Ch Camelot Code Red (now back in the US and a US Specialty and BIS winner) and Ch Castlerhode Benrama. These names represent some of Australia’s top kennels, which have allowed access to their dogs to further the Ujamaa breeding program (thank you!) .

For those interested in the show ring, Ujamaa has bred 26 Australian, New Zealand US and Canadian champions. Dogs owned or bred by Ujamaa kennels have won numerous "Best in Speciality Show", "In Group" and "In Show" awards. Added to this are Best of Breed at the Royal Melbourne Show on 3 occasion’s with 5 challenges. Ujamaa has also won seven "Most Successful Breeder" awards under such notable judges as David Helgesen (Canada).Given we have rarely shown ourselves since the late 1980s many thanks must go to those who have purchased pups from us and shown them!

My primary interest (passion!) is breeding good quality dogs and finding the best possible homes for them. Most of our puppies are fulfilling roles as family pets and companions, and breeding stock is carefully selected for temperament and intelligence.I continue to breed occasional litters. With a scientific background I have a particular interest in trying to minimise genetic defects found in the breed. All breeding stock is scored by the AVA hip and elbow scoring schemes as per the guidelines of the Rhodesian Ridgeback Club of Victoria, and carefully screened for genetically sound bloodlines.

Vicki Moritz

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Ujamaa Ridgebacks