Thai Ridgeback Dogs

The Thai Ridgeback is a protective yet playful member of the household. Watchful, strong and alert, not much gets past these dogs. You feel very safe having a Thai Ridgeback around. But they also know how to have fun. Thai Ridgebacks get along very well with children, playing any number of outdoor games or rolling around on the carpet. They are somewhat reserved with strangers, however, and they need to be properly introduced to cats—as with any dog. Thai Ridgebacks are rare and unique companions, not to mention pals for life.

Thai Ridgeback

Thai Ridgeback Pictures

  • Thai Ridgeback dog named Sunee
  • Thai Ridgeback dog named Kena
  • Thai Ridgeback dog named Bellehound's Blacque Samuri
  • Thai Ridgeback dog named Bellehound's Little Red Dragon
  • Thai Ridgeback dog named Piti
  • Thai Ridgeback dog named Isabella
see Thai Ridgeback pictures »

Quick Facts

  • 40 – 60 pounds | male
    35 – 55 pounds | female
  • 22 - 24 inches | male
    20 - 22 inches | female

Ideal Human Companions

    • Experienced dog handlers
    • Families with older children
    • Outdoorsy types
    • Active singles

Thai Ridgebacks on Dogster

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Trademark Traits

    • Protective
    • Easily trained
    • Athletic
    • Strong
    • Reserved

Things You Should Know

Thai Ridgebacks can live as long as 16 years with relatively few health issues. Some may develop hip dysplasia. Easily groomed, the Thai Ridgeback needs just an occasional brushing. Because it grows a heavier coat in cold weather, it tends to shed more in cooler climates.

Thai Ridgeback History

The Thai Ridgeback first appeared in eastern Thailand more than 400 years ago. Used by farmers as guard dogs, watchdogs and hunters, these canines were mostly isolated with few opportunities to crossbreed. Rarely seen in the U.S. and Europe, the Thai Ridgeback is still very popular in Thailand.

The Look of a Thai Ridgeback

Thai Ridgebacks have medium-sized, muscular bodies with loose skin and wedge-shape heads. Their dense coats come in black, blue, silver and brown. They have dark brown eyes, strong muzzles and triangular ears that point straight up. Their tapered tails are carried upward.

Talk About Thai Ridgebacks 

As primitive as a dog can get

I discovered the "Mah Thai Lung Ahn" (that I renamed the TRD for "Thai Ridgeback Dog") back in the early 1990s. I had been looking for this breed since I first heard of them in 1966 during the Vietnam War.

Since 1994, I have devoted the rest of my life to this breed and have lived with many for almost 2 decades. This is as close as one gets to the original type of dog of thousands of years ago. This dog is NOT for everyone, but is like no other breed listed here or anywhere. You will just be totally amazed by this breed. I personally do not recommend leaving them home alone as they will destroy your home and eat everything they can find if left alone. These are "jungle dogs" and as primitive as a dog can get. If you can handle all the attention you will get in owning a TRD, then I believe you will simply be amazed day in and day out for a very long time with your TRD.

~Jack S., owner of a Thai Ridgeback

Not for the faint of heart

The Thai Ridgeback Dog (TRD) is a regal, intelligent, and beautiful animal. We are constantly getting stopped and asked “What kind of dog is that?” As wonderful as they are, they are not for the faint of heart. They require an experienced dog owner who is comfortable in the pack leader role. A puppy needs to be well-socialized and handled daily in order to grow up to be a wonderful family member.

This medium-sized breed is from Thailand and is still very rare in the U.S. and other parts of the world. They come in four colors: blue, black, red, and fawn, and should have a distinctive ridge (hair growing in the opposite direction) from their shoulder blades to their hips. They have a sleek, easy-to-care-for coat with minimal shedding. They have very few health problems and are easy to train and are great in a family setting.

These natural hunters are prey-driven so squirrels and rabbits had better watch out. Early socialization with cats and small dogs at an early age is also a great idea so everyone ends up getting along. They love heat and bark very little. I fell in love with this breed a few years ago and now have three of them. I can't see myself ever without at least one as my companion.

~Patricia E., owner of three Thai Ridgebacks

Likes to hike and camp, but also to curl up

Sometimes I think I got a fluke, but Mischief is the best dog I could ever hope for. She is extremely clean (typical of the breed) and extremely smart (also typical of the breed). She trains easily and willingly.

She keeps up just fine hiking and camping, sits nicely in a canoe, and running alongside a bike, but she's also perfectly willing to curl up with me while I read a book for hours. She listens well, even with distractions.

The type of person not suited to this type of dog: someone who is going to not be home for long periods. These dogs need their people around. Also, you must be willing to train, even when the dog already knows the basics: teach new stuff every couple of weeks to keep his mind active.

~Vanessa S., owner of a Thai Ridgeback