Thai Ridgeback – Full Breed Profile

Written by: Bojana Radulovic
Could Thai Ridgeback be the right dog for you? Read on and discover what makes this breed so unique.
Dog Breed Group:
Companion Dogs
20 to 24 inches
35 to 75 pounds
Life Span:
10 to 13 years

Breed Characteristics:

Apartment Friendly


How well will this breed adapt to apartment living? Is the apartment size the most important factor when it comes to proper living conditions? Is the breed suitable for apartment living?

Good For First-Time Owners


Some dogs aren't suitable for first-time dog owners. Is this breed a good match for someone with no dog experience? Can training help them be on their best behavior with owners with no dog experience? Are they suitable to be handled by someone who is just entering the canine world?

Overall Sensitivity


Some dogs are sensitive. Certain breeds are rough on the outside, while having the softest heart on the inside. In other words, some dogs are 'thick-skinned' while some are 'easygoing.' Is this breed prone to sensitivity?

Tolerates Being Alone


Separation anxiety in dogs is a serious condition that can affect a dog's life quality. Is this breed prone to this condition? Can you leave him alone for hours? How destructive this breed can become when bored, neglected, or not loved enough?

Affectionate With Family


How affectionate this breed will be around his humans? Will he welcome new family friends easily or he will choose to be shy? Some breeds can be clingy with owners, while others don't attach a lot. Will this breed act as the family's best friend?



Some dogs will tolerate children, while others will adore well-behaved ones. Dogs and children should always be supervised, no matter how well trained the dog might be. Will this breed act as a nanny dog or he will stay away from children?

Friendly Toward Other Dogs


Some dog breeds cannot wait to run to the dog park and run with others. Others prefer to be with their humans, and not to be a part of a multi-pet household. Is this breed dog lover or not? How friendly this breed will be toward other dogs?

Friendly Toward Strangers


Some dog breeds tend to be reserved toward strangers and highly suspicious. Others are fast to walk away with them easily. How welcoming this breed is toward strangers?

Drooling Level


If you love to clean all the time drooling level in dogs is a trait that you should mind. Is this breed less likely to drool, or you will always need a towel on hand?

Easy To Groom


Heavier shedding during the shedding season is something that every dog needs to go through. However, some dogs shed just a bit all year round. Is this breed one of them? How often should you groom this dog?

Overall Health


What can you expect from this breed in terms of health? Are there any genetic conditions to vary about? Is obesity a major issue in this breed? By knowing more about the dog's health, you are learning how to help him live a longer and healthier life.

Prone To Obesity


Treats are a great addition to training sessions. Dogs love sweet bites of dog treats but they should be served in moderation. Treats can lead to obesity, next to poor nutrition. Can this breed gain extra weight from treats? How prone to obesity this breed actually is?

Trainability Level


Training some dogs is easier than others. How easy this dog will be to train? What can you expect? Some dogs are huge people pleasers and they will master commands easily, while others will try to outsmart you.

Intelligence Level


Dogs are smart beings. We do our best to train them, but they do still end up training us to adapt to their needs. How intelligent is this breed? Will he try to outsmart you? Or he will need multiple training sessions to master basic commands?

Prey Drive


Dogs were bred for a specific purpose. Those who were bred to hunt have natural instincts to hunt, even today. This is why many dogs, like Terriers, will chase other animals. They will also have a hard time concentrating on your commands when there is something small moving. Is this breed prone to following his prey instincts?

Barking Level


How vocal this breed is? Can you expect neighbors to ring you often to calm your dog? Or you can sleep without worries of hearing your Fido bark? Some breeds are highly vocal, others have unusual sounds, and some are silent. Is this breed prone to barking?

Energy Level


Low-energy dogs are happy with regular walks and indoor chill times. High-energy dogs are always ready for action. Is this breed a couch potato, energetic dog, or somewhere in between?

Exercise Needs


Some dogs are more than happy with a slow stroll down the street. Others need hours of active time to stay happy and fit. Is this breed demanding in terms of exercise? How much exercise this breed needs to stay happy and healthy?

Playfulness Level


Some dogs never lose that puppy spirit, not even in their senior years. Others are more serious and prefer having a job to do. Is this breed demanding in terms of playfulness? Can you expect playfulness in their senior years as well?

The Thai Ridgeback is a fit and active dog of amazing appearance. When it comes to jumping, this dog is the king.

Thanks to this trait they are often seen participating in dog sports such as agility.

The Thai Ridgeback is a highly intelligent breed that thrives on well-structured training and secure sessions.

Thai Ridgebacks are loyal dogs who love being surrounded by their humans, both outdoors and indoors.

Thanks to their strong build, this medium-sized dog is highly agile and a natural athlete. They are commonly black, although they come in other colors as well, including red, fawn, and solid blue.

They may be red-coated as well.

Some of them may have sold black-blue tongues. Today, this breed is mostly busy spending his days as a companion dog, although in his genes this is a working breed.

However, they still love having a job to do. Hunting and guarding are still very natural to them.

As a guarding breed, they are naturally strongly protective of their home and will commonly be suspicious of strangers.

They need an experienced dog owner and consistent training, someone who understands dog psychology in general.

No matter how much you might be impressed with this breed, if you are a first time dog owner this isn’t the breed for you.

Quick Facts

Real name: Thai Ridgeback
Origin: Thailand
Breed type: Companion Dogs
Weight: 35 to 75 pounds
Height: 20 to 24 inches
Lifespan: 10 to 13 years
Litter Size: 4 – 5 puppies
Color: Blue, black, red or fawn with a black mask
Coat: Smooth and short coat

Thai Ridgeback History

Thai Ridgebacks are dogs of ancient Thailand.

Dog historians believe that these dogs are so ancient that they evolved from wolves. Thanks to many records, we know that these dogs were first used as watchdogs, and hunting dogs.

In some areas, they were even used to kill cobras. Thai Ridgebacks are also used to escort carts and to spend the rest of the day as a watchdog.

These dogs haven’t changed much appearance-wise. The biggest reason for this is the poor transportation system.

Since this elegant dog was mostly based in the eastern part of Thailand, where transportation systems were poorly designed, this breed had only a few chances to crossbreed with other breeds. Hence, the original look.

Even today, finding this dog outside of Thailand is very rare if not almost impossible.

Thai Ridgeback Physical Appearance

The Thai Ridgeback is a medium-sized dog of muscular appearance.

This pariah-type dog comes with a wedge-shaped head, triangular and high set ears, and a short and smooth coat.

Thai Ridgeback comes with a pronounced ridge on his back which is formed by the hair growing in the opposite direction.

As expected, puppies are born without being ridgeless. This is a breed with a black tongue and almond-shaped eyes.

The ears are always set low, while the back is straight and level. These dogs don’t have an undercoat, which is why areas with low temperatures aren’t suitable for them. However, people with heavy allergies may do fine near these dogs.

Thai Ridgebacks come in many colors, including black, blue, red, or fawn. They usually have a black mask which is acceptable.

Some of the most common right patterns in this breed include violin, leaf, saddleback, needle, lute, arrow, or feather.

Thai Ridgeback Personality

Thai Ridgebacks are often described as intelligent dogs.

They are energetic, from being medium to highly active. Thai Ridgebacks will love spending time outdoors and being active, but they will love to spend time indoors next to you.

They are loyal dogs who will equally love every family member. These dogs are also very protective.

Guarding their people and homes is something that comes naturally to them. When properly socialized they are far from being shy or aggressive.

Thai Ridgebacks are best suited for experienced dog owners who have a strong understanding of dog behavior. They are not too people-oriented, due to a lack of human contact. This is why they are more independent than average dogs.

Their natural instincts are also strong and remain intact. These dogs are far from being recommended for first time dog owners.

They need an experienced dog owner who will create a surrounding where these dogs can use their incredible jumping ability. Think about dog sports, such as agility and obedience.

Thai Ridgeback Training

Thai Ridgebacks are independent dogs.

As such, they will obey only experienced dog owners who know they’re very independent dogs.

As an independent breed, they may try to outsmart their owner.

Interestingly, as an independent breed, they can be difficult to train, but they are also able to learn quite a lot.

Is there a way to train this independent breed? Yes, and all you have to do is to arm yourself with enough patience and consistency.

Thai Ridgebacks are dogs of action. They will hate long and boring training sessions, especially if they aren’t consistent.

If you miss creating a training routine, expect to have a bored and destructive dog. Avoid that by having shorter training sessions that are consistent.

How to Train a Thai Ridgeback?

To have a well-behaved Thai Ridgeback provide regular and fun training sessions.

Consistency is the key to any result, even creating a good canine citizen. Train your Thai Ridgeback effectively for the best results.

Here is how to train your Thai Ridgeback effectively :

  • Provide regular and short training sessions
  • Make training sessions fun and engaging
  • Provide enough praise
  • Provide only positive reinforcement
  • Never punish your dog
  • Do not shout at your pup
  • A pet under a chin or chest is enough to show them that they did a good job

Last but not least, think about house rules.

If you don’t want an adult dog to chill on your couch or sofa, do not let him do that while he is a puppy. Once something is allowed, you won’t be able to untrain him.

Thai Ridgeback Exercise Needs

Short walks aren’t enough to keep this breed happy.

Active dogs prefer more intense exercise time such as login and intense walks or jogs with experienced dog owners.

Not sure how to run with your Thai Ridgeback? Check this guide to learn how to run with your dog safely.

If you miss providing enough exercise, your Thai Ridgeback will become bored and eventually destructive.

Provide at least two half-hours to hour-long walks per day, and include indoor games and shorter walks for toilet time.

Thai Ridgeback Grooming

Thai Ridgebacks are great dogs when it comes to grooming.

If you are not a huge fan of long grooming sessions you are in luck because this breed is a bit of a wash-and-go dog.

With short coats they will need only regular brushing, once to twice per week with a rubber brush. They do shed all year round, but never heavily.

You can expect to see more hair during the shedding session in spring and autumn.

They should be bathed only when dirty, otherwise bathing them once or twice per year should be enough.

  • Trim or grind nails monthly
  • Bathe only when really needed
  • Clean ears when needed
  • Check eyes daily for any eye discharge
  • Check gums weekly

Thai Ridgeback Health

Thai Ridgebacks are considered to be healthy dogs.

Just like in many other dogs, certain health issues may appear along the way, but overall this is a healthy breed.

Some of the major issues that may appear in this appear include hip dysplasia and a dermoid sinus, a skin condition.

Hip dysplasia may appear in dogs of any sex, breed, and even age, although its commonly seen in senior dogs than in younger ones.

In fact, hip dysplasia is a hereditary defect that is managed. This is why exercise and joint strength are important for any dog’s health.

If you are dealing with responsible dog breeders, you should always get healthy Thai Ridgebacks.

Otherwise, you should provide good nutrition, proper care, enough exercise, and a safe surrounding for your Thai Ridgeback to thrive.

Is Thai Ridgeback For You?

As mentioned earlier this isn’t the breed for novice owners. They will try to outsmart you.

After all, these dogs were trained to fight cobras, hence independent thinking is something that lies normally in them.

As huge lovers of warm weather and without undercoats, they are best suited for warm climates.

This dog is for you only if you have enough experience as a dog owner, and you want a medium-to-large dog who comes with strong protective instincts.

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