Thai ridgeback

Thai ridgeback Breed description: Character & Co


The Thai Ridgeback is, along with the Rhodesian Ridgeback, the only recognized dog breed in the world that bears the reverse eel mark, the "ridge", on its back.

The origin of the Thai Ridgeback

The Thai Ridgeback evolved in remote regions of eastern Thailand. These areas are still very primitive and almost cut off from the modern world. The Thai Ridgeback is considered there as the classic companion dog of the carters. In addition, it is valued by the locals as a guard dog and rat catcher.

A relationship with the Southeast African Rhodesian Ridgeback cannot be excluded. After all, it was among others Dutch colonial masters who further cultivated and bred the African Ridgeback. Besides the colonies in Africa, the Dutch were very present in Southeast Asia. So they also landed on the Vietnamese island Phu Quoc, where there should have been dogs with the Ridge. However, this relationship is not proved with certainty.

  • only asian dog breed with "Ridge
  • companion dog, hunting dog and guard dog
  • exotic appearance
  • medium sized or large dog
  • FCI Standard No. 338, Group 5: Spitz and primitive type dogs,
  • section 7: primitive type - dogs for hunting use
Banner: Shutterstock / Seregraff
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Alternate Name -
Origin Thailand
Life expectancy 10 - 12 years
Care requirements low-maintenance
Activity level average
FCI group Primitive type - Hunting Dogs
AKC group Foundation Stock Service
KC group not recognised

The typical character traits of the Thai Ridgeback

In Asia nobody leads a dog on a leash in the countryside! The Thai Ridgeback is therefore considered a very independent and social dog. Here in the West and in the middle of the hustle and bustle of a city, these primitive dogs can feel a bit "cramped". If you lead it too long on the leash and it gets too little free run, the Thai Ridgeback can also become aggressive.

Normally it is a very friendly and curious dog. Please keep in mind that in Asia it lives free within larger villages. If you offer him a rich social life, a good education and enough free contact to other dogs, the dog will surely feel comfortable here. It is best to take your Thai Ridgeback puppy to a playgroup from an early age and get it used to all important situations.

Besides the desire for freedom, you should not underestimate the hunting instinct of this breed. The Thai Ridgeback is a fast and agile hunter. Especially when bored, he will probably soon seek compensation on the walk and go stalking. Since he looks very similar to certain fighting dog breeds, unpleasant misunderstandings can occur. Again, solid training and leadership are urgently needed. If you can spend a lot of time with your dog, this should not be a problem either.

  • primitive with a lot of space
  • agile and fast hunter
  • intelligent and willing to learn
  • is considered to be very people friendly
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Breed typical diseases of the Thai Ridgeback

The disease Dermoid Sinus exists only in dogs with the Ridge. Already in the embryonic stage there is a skin change on the back of the animals. If this is not surgically corrected later, cysts and inflammations can form. Carriers of the gene are excluded from Thai Ridgeback breeding. After the surgical correction of the growth, the dogs can lead a normal life.

Breeding, acquisition and keeping of the Thai Ridgeback

If you want to buy a Thai Ridgeback, it is best to look at one of the few breeders. You have to reckon with a purchase price of 1000 Euro and more! You can get a list of Thai Ridgeback breeders from the dog breeding associations in your country.

At the animal protection the breed is rather rare.

In the Swiss canton Geneva the Thai Ridgeback is considered a fighting dog. The keeping is completely forbidden there.

In Germany and Austria it is not on the list at the moment.

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The breed characteristics of the Thai Ridgeback

The Asian Ridgeback is a compact medium to large sized dog. Some lines are somewhat similar in build to the Pit Bull, which is why this dog was on the breed lists at times. Other types are very tall and slender. They resemble more long-legged and noble hunting dogs.

Its trademark, besides its exotic appearance, is the "ridge". This line across the entire back is not only darker in color, but runs in the opposite direction of the coat. Just behind the shoulders of the animal it starts with a dot, a swirl or even a drop-shaped symbol. Towards the rump it tapers. Each Ridge is an original and like the fingerprint of the dog.

The coat of this dog is very short and thin. Since there can be temperatures around 10 degrees in the higher altitudes of Thailand, it is quite capable of forming a warming coat. The color is reddish brown, black or also blue-grey with a fine shimmer.

As already mentioned, there is the Thai Ridge as a tall, high and slender dog and a more ground hugging type. All dogs of this breed have the dashing and elegant appearance in common. The ears stand pointedly erect and have a prominent auricle. This dog seems to be always "on the alert" from the whole nature.

The body is athletically built. The legs are slender with stable paws. The tail can be clearly bent upwards from the middle. In the gait it is also pointedly stretched out backwards. Of course, almost all Thai Ridgebacks have the famous eel mark!

  • elegant, slender dog
  • silky shimmering short coat
  • reddish brown, black or blue-grey coloured
  • with the famous individual "ridge

Size, weight and life expectancy of the Thai Ridgeback

  • height of males 56 to 61 cm
  • height bitches 51 to 56 cm
  • Weight 23 to 34 kg
  • Age up to 12 years and more
Fur length short
Fur flat coated
Ear shape Standing Ears
Tail lang
Anatomy muscular, strong, sporty
Size ♀ 51 - 56 cm
Weight ♀ 20 - 30 kg
Size ♂ 56 - 61 cm
Weight ♂ 23 - 34 kg
Suitable For -


Dog,Mammal,Vertebrate,Dog breed,Canidae,Carnivore,Black norwegian elkhound,Canis panther,Sporting Group,Guard dog,
Dog,Mammal,Vertebrate,Dog breed,Canidae,Carnivore,Great dane,Guard dog,Snout,Working dog,
Mammal,Dog,Vertebrate,Canidae,Dog breed,American pit bull terrier,Carnivore,American staffordshire terrier,Snout,Non-Sporting Group,
  • Skin inflammations

    Can be hereditary in certain breeds.

Sources and relevant links


Accessed on 06.04.2023

Hans Räber (2014). Enzyklopädie der Rassehunde, Band 2. Franckh-Kosmos Verlags-Gmbh & Company KG.


Accessed on 06.04.2023

Jeanette Barns (2014). Royal Dog of Thailand. Publish on Demand Global LLC.

Nicolae Sfetcu (2014). About Dogs. Nicolae Sfetcu.

Other large dogs

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