Thai Ridgeback Information

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(Thai Ridgeback Dog) (Mah Thai) The Thai Ridgeback is a unique looking dog. Their name comes from the ridge on their back where its hair grows in the opposite direction to the rest of their hair. Their head is not very big compared to the rest of their body and their muzzle is wedge-shaped.  Hidden within their muzzle is a distinctive bluish gray tongue similar to that of the Chow.  At the top of their head are large, thick ears which stand straight up. While their almond-shaped, light brown eyes sparkle among all of the wrinkles required to cover the dog’s forehead and face.  Below their heads is a strong, wide neck also covered in folds of loose skin.  Even lower, the breed has a broad chest and a sunken waist. Like the rest of their bodies, the Thai Ridgebacks’s legs are long and muscular, particularly at the thigh.  Their feet are large and round tipped with dark black nails. Their coat is short and smooth and comes in blue, black, chestnut, and silver.

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The Thai Ridgeback comes in four solid colors, black, blue, fawn and red. Red dogs may have a black mask. White markings are not preferred. The face should be wrinkle free and the forehead should show expression. There should not be folds of skin on the neck. The ridge along the back may be any shape but should be symmetrical.

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The Thai Ridgeback is an intelligent, protective breed. They do well with their family but can be wary or aggressive with strangers. They are often territorial and protective of their family and property. The breed is also aggressive with other dogs and can be stubborn and hard to train.  Despite these faults, the breed is very athletic and has an amazing jumping ability.

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20-24 inches
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51-75 pounds
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General Health

The Tai Ridgeback has no known genetic faults and is an extremely hardy breed.  Tai Ridgebacks have an average life expectancy of about 12 to 13 years of age.

The Thai Ridgeback is a very healthy breed but it does have some genetic faults. The most common fault is Dermoid Sinus. It can be removed with surgery and usually does not cause further problems. If left unfixed it can become infected and/or cause paralysis. A less common genetic fault is hip dysplasia.

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No one is sure of the exact Thai Ridgeback’s origin, but the breed did come from Eastern Thailand. Some rock art depicts dogs similar to the Thai Ridgeback which suggests the breed may be very old. The Thai Ridgeback is rare outside of Thailand; as a result there has been much inbreeding in the country which has made the dogs very similar.

Due to the rural isolation of villages in Thailand (even to the present day) dogs are restricted to small areas. This gave way to in-breeding but as a result of a sustained history, the Thai Ridgeback doesn’t show the typical signs of inbreeding and is very resilient, with very few associated genetic predispositions. The name Thai Ridgeback was coined for the breed less than 20 years ago. Previously, the breed was referred to as The Red Dog or The Dog That Follows the Cart.

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The Thai Ridgeback can be easily groomed. All they need is to be brushed occasionally. However, they need a good deal of exercise. They do fine with just being walked and do not necessarily need a yard to run in. On the other hand, they must be socialized because without it they can become very aggressive. At a young age, they need to begin meeting many people and animals so they become stable adult dogs.

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Ideal Environment

The Thai Ridgeback can be a great companion but requires time and effort to be so. They enjoy being around their family at all times. However, they are not naturally good with strangers and need lots of socialization to make them better with people. They are also not good with other dogs without sufficient socialization. The breed can live in an apartment but still need exercise, so they should be walked every day. They thrive in warm climates because of their short fur. They do need an owner who is skilled with dogs that have aggressive tendencies and that have dominance issues.

This breed responds well to clicker training. Behavior assessed as dominance issues frequently shows up in dogs that have been abused or that have been over aggressively trained by an inexperienced owner. This breed requires consistent, well informed training.

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Dog Training!

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