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  • Temperament: Loyal, Independent, Agile
  • Height: 20-24 inches
  • Weight: 35-75 pounds
  • Life Expectancy: 12-13 years
  • Group: Foundation Stock Service

    The AKC has grouped all of the breeds that it registers into seven categories, or groups, roughly based on function and heritage. Breeds are grouped together because they share traits of form and function or a common heritage.

FCI Standard
Thai Ridgeback
Thai Ridgeback
Thai Ridgeback
Thai Ridgeback
Thai Ridgeback trotting leftward outdoors in sunlight
Thai Ridgeback
Thai Ridgeback
Thai Ridgeback
Thai Ridgeback

About the Thai Ridgeback

The Thai Ridgeback is a muscular, medium-sized dog with a streamlined body that makes him very agile and a natural athlete. The ridge on his back is formed by hair growing in the opposite direction from the rest of his coat and the breed has up to 8 different ridge patterns. Puppies can be born without this ridge. Coat colors include solid blue, black, red or fawn with a black mask occasionally on the red-coated dogs. Thai Ridgebacks also have spotted tongues and some even come with solid black/blue tongues. Today, most Ridgebacks are companion dogs, but they still maintain many of the same instincts for the jobs for which they were bred: hunting and guarding. They had to be independent, self-sufficient and hunt for their own food, which gave them strong survival instincts, a high prey drive, and a high level of intelligence.

If well bred and properly socialized, the Thai Ridgeback can be a loyal, loving pet. As a guarding breed, they are naturally protective of their home and can be reserved and suspicious with strangers. Thai Ridgebacks will need a patient, consistent, and experienced owner with a good understanding of dog behavior; they are not for first-time dog owners.


Club Contact Details

Club: Association of Thai Ridgeback Owners and Fanciers
Name: Cathleen A. Combs, President
Address: PO Box 1, Dry Ridge, KY 41035
Phone: 859-445-8739
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National Breed Clubs and Rescue

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Thai Ridgeback

Find a Puppy: Thai Ridgeback

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The Thai Ridgeback should do well on a high-quality dog food, whether commercially manufactured or home-prepared with your veterinarian’s supervision and approval. Any diet should be appropriate to the dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior). Some dogs are prone to getting overweight, so watch your dog’s calorie consumption and weight level. Treats can be an important aid in training, but giving too many can cause obesity. Learn about which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.


The Thai Ridgeback’s coat is short, hard, and straight, therefore, occasional brushing to wipe away loose hair is all that is needed. More frequent brushing may be needed when he is shedding, which occurs only once or twice yearly. Due to the absence of an undercoat, people with dog-dander allergies may find that the Ridgeback bothers them less than other breeds.

Beyond regular grooming, the occasional bath will keep your Thai Ridgeback clean and looking his best. Grooming can be a wonderful bonding experience for you and your dog. The strong, fast-growing nails should be trimmed regularly with a nail clipper or grinder to avoid overgrowth, splitting, and cracking. The ears should be checked regularly to avoid a buildup of wax and debris, which can result in infection. Teeth should be brushed regularly.

Grooming Frequency

Occasional Bath/Brush
Occasional Bath/Brush




Options for exercise include play time in the backyard, preferably fenced, or taken for walks several times a day. Exercise can also come in the form of indoor activities, like hide-and-seek, chasing a ball rolled along the floor, or teaching them new tricks. Certain outdoor activities like swimming, hiking, retrieving balls or flying discs can provide a good outlet for expending energy. If you live in an apartment, even short walks in the hallways can give your dog some exercise, especially during inclement weather. Training for dog sports like agility, obedience and rally can also be a great way to give your dog exercise.

Energy Level

Couch Potato
Needs Lots of Activity


Naturally protective and reserved with strangers, Thai Ridgebacks would do best with proper socialization and training. An experienced owner/handler in dog behavior is required as this breed can be very independent.


May be Stubborn
Eager to Please


Reserved with Strangers


Hip dysplasia, though rare, can occur in the Thai Ridgeback. More common is the Dermoid Sinus Cyst. Some dogs may be faced with these health challenges in their lives, but the majority of Thai Ridgebacks are healthy dogs. Working with a responsible breeder, prospective owners can gain the education they need to learn about specific health concerns within the breed.

Thai Ridgeback sitting with his back to the viewer outdoors.
Thai Ridgeback
Thai Ridgeback
Thai Ridgeback
Thai Ridgeback


The Thai Ridgeback is an old breed which can be seen in archeological documents in Thailand written about 360 years ago. It was used mainly for hunting in the eastern part of that country. People also used it to escort their carts and as a watch dog. The reason why it has kept its own original type for so many years is due to poor transportation systems in the eastern part of Thailand; it had fewer chances to crossbreed with other breeds. Today, the breed is still very rare outside of Thailand.

Did You Know?

The Thai Ridgeback has been recorded in the Foundation Stock Service since 1997.
The Thai Ridgeback has been assigned the Hound Group designation.
Some Thai Ridgebacks from Northern Thailand are born with dew claws on their back feet.
The Thai Ridgeback originated in Thailand and is considered a primitive breed in its native country.
The Thai Ridgeback has been approved to compete in AKC Lure Coursing Events for Suffix Titles since January 1, 2008.
The Thai Ridgeback was used as a sentry dog, a carting dog, and to keep cobras at bay. They can and will kill a cobra.
Thai Ridgebacks have been around since antiquity.
Some Thai Ridgebacks are born ridgeless and/or plush-coated. Both are considered pet-quality and should be spayed or neutered.
The Thai Ridgeback has been eligible to compete in Companion Events since January 1, 2008.

The Breed Standard

Colors & Markings


Description Standard Colors Registration Code
Black Check Mark For Standard Color 007
Blue Check Mark For Standard Color 037
Red Check Mark For Standard Color 140
Yellow Check Mark For Standard Color 232
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