Thai Ridgebacks are special in many respects: There are only three breeds worldwide with a so-called ridge, which strangely enough are not very closely related. Raised in isolation for centuries, the dogs are similar to the semi-wild pariah dogs of Australia, America, and Africa, as they evolved through natural selection. We’ve found out everything there is to know about the rare breed:
Characteristics of the Thai Ridgeback – The Mysterious Gargoyle from Thailand
The strong and formidable dogs emerged on the Thai islands largely independently of other breeds. Therefore, the physiology is also different from all similar dogs that we know. With an average height at the withers of 56 to 61 cm for males, they are slightly larger than Australian dingoes but significantly smaller than European wolves or mastiffs. Bitches are built smaller and narrower with a height at the withers between 51 and 56 cm. A specific weight is not specified in the breed standard, but owners and breeders state that their dogs weigh around 40 kilograms.
The dog that looks like a statue
- The impressive head can hardly be compared to other breeds. The flat skull shape comes closest to that of the Pit Bull, but the muzzle is significantly longer, but not quite as long as the skull. The brow furrows in the face and throat.
- The skin lies tautly on the wedge-shaped muzzle. The nose is black, with a blue coat color it can also be blue. The tongue is spotted black.
- The medium-sized eyes are dark brown or amber. Light gray or blue eyes also occur but are not mentioned in the breed standard.
- Tight erect ears are attached to the side of the skull and are directed forward. They taper to a point without being docked.
- A medium-length, slightly curved neck merges into a broad back with strong loins and a slightly sloping croup. The skin should not form a dewlap on the neck, but most dogs will at least develop loose throat skin. The ribs should be well sprung but not barrel-shaped and the belly well tucked up.
- The shoulders are sloping back and the knees are well bent. The Fore and hind legs are very well muscled and ready to jump. The paws are oval in front and behind and the toe bones are clearly visible (like a gargoyle).
- The tail is slightly curved and carried erect. It is strong and thick at the base, tapering towards the tip. The underside of the tail is no longer hairy than the body.
The dog with the crested back
Except for the ridge, the fur grows extremely short all over the body, so that the muscles and veins are very clearly visible. There are precise specifications for the growth of the rig:
- The ridge must be symmetrical on the spine.
- It must not go beyond the width of the back.
- Hair whorls at the front end of the ridge are accepted.
These colors occur
- Red with a black mask
- Blue (Dilute Black)
- Isabella (Dilute Red)
- The coat is always one color, with no lighter or darker shades.
The History of the Thai Ridgeback – Pariah Dog in the Thai Gulf
The Thai Ridgeback was kept in complete isolation on the islands of the Gulf of Thailand for centuries. It is not directly related to the Phu Quoc Ridgeback and is significantly larger than this. The connection to the Rhodesian Ridgeback from South Africa also seems to be given only by the ridge, which is triggered by the same gene in all three ridge breeds. A common ancestor is therefore very likely, but the races have not had any contact for at least 1000 years and are more likely to be regarded as distant relatives.
Temple dog with dignity
- Thai Ridgebacks roamed around the temples on the islands in the Gulf of Thailand as early as the 16th century.
- There were no other dog breeds on the islands. The Thai Ridgebacks roamed freely and there was no breeding selection.
- They served to deter strangers and kept vermin and wild animals away from the temples.
- The animals were only fed after successful participation in the hunt. Due to the harsh conditions in the dense forests, they are very robust and agile.
Fashionable breed with a long history
In Europe, Great Britain, and the United States, the extraordinary breed has only been known for a few years. Only a few thousand puppies are born each year worldwide, most of them still in Thailand. Outside of Thailand, most keepers live in the UK.
The Nature of the Thai Ridgeback – Proud Protector with a Desire for Freedom
In Switzerland, Thai Ridgebacks are traded as a potentially dangerous breed. Life is no picnic for pariah dogs, which is also evident in the Thai Ridgeback, who always seems to be on the alert. Compared to other semi-wild breeds, the Thai Ridgeback is very affectionate towards people and loves being close to their families. However, the four-legged friend with the complex character is rather unsuitable for families with small children. Exceptions prove the rule.