Thai Ridgeback Puppies
Mr. BIG, Poo-Nee, & Monkey..Nick Cage's TRD taken in Hollywood, CA 2001 at Rob's opening of his movie
"The Animal" Jack Sterling's
SUPER RED TRD
ChaiYo and Bo-Dang
The 1st TRD Litter
May 19th, 1994
Khun Dao and Bo-Dang
BLUE BOOM BOOM
Jack's favorite girls..
Santa and his TRD
TRD in Esquire
Jack Sterling and friends in Hollywood, CA
Jack Sterling in the Thai newspapers with his TRD
Jack Sterling's FAWN female SIBUA
Jack Sterling's most favorite TRD the late
|Article: A visit with Jack Sterling in Chiang Mai
I had a chance to travel up north to Chiang Mai again. This time, my destination was a Thai Ridgeback Dog
kennel of Jack Sterling, an American dog breeder who many people in dog business know very well. Jack had
told me about his background and the reason why he was interested in our Thai Ridgeback dogs. In 2002, his
story was published in a Thai newspaper called “Khom Chad Luek”, the issue of the fifteenth of December.
So I’d like to take this chance to republish that article because it will give a chance for us to know more about
The story of a businessman who is absolutely pleased with the Thai Ridgeback dogs is revealed by a fifty-five
year old American man, Jack Sterling, who breeds 15 Thai Ridgeback dogs and Thai Bangkaew Dogs in the
suburbs area of San Fernando in California, America. Jack has imported Thai Ridgeback dogs to America 10
“ I imported the first Thai Ridgeback Dogs to America in 1994. I named my male “Sakorn” after the area
where he was born near Bangkok.... SAMUTH SAKORN... He is one of many son's of the TH Champion TRD
called "BULL" owned by the late Somsit Leelhusuwan. The same BLUE TRD that was used as the "model dog "
for the BLUE dog which was part of a set of 4 postage stamps printed in 1993.....
BULL was one very beautiful TRD.” Jack said."
The inside of Jack’s house is full of various sizes of dog cages. The backyard is big enough for the twenty Thai
dogs to run around comfortably. Right now, Jack has 19 Thai Ridgeback dogs; 10 in the gray color, 3 black,
and 6 in red; and 2 Bangkaew dogs, which are various ages. Some of these dogs are Thai dogs with American
nationality. But the studs and the breeding bitches are the real Thai dogs that Jack had bought from Thailand.
Most of Jack’s dogs have the Thai names, such as Bo-Dang , Jumpee, Chaiyo and Sakorn.
“ I became interested in Thai dogs in 1994, especially Thai Ridgeback dogs... One of my friends in Hawaii told
me to go to Thailand and find my future.. When I arrived in Bangkok I stayed in a small hotel that had 4 silver
blue colored dogs running freely in its courtyard.. These were the first time I saw the breed on March 15th
From 1994 to 2003, Jack traveled from America to Thailand several times in order to buy the Thai
Ridgeback dogs from his friends Mom Somkit, the late Somsit Leelhausuwan, Khun Pitak and Khun Siri in
BangNa. and many others.
Jack told us about the major characteristics of Thai Ridgeback dogs. One is the line of hair running along from
the neck to the base of the tail in the opposite direction of the rest of hair on the body. The size of body is not
too big or too small. There are some black marks spreading around the tongue. The tail is long, small and
pointed. The ears are erected. Most of the dogs are in three major colors; gray, red and black. For white, it’s
very rare to find.
“ American people are crazy about Thai Ridgeback dogs in gray; Jack calls it blue, but the Thai are crazy
about the ones in red.”
For 10 years, Jack has not only had these dogs for himself, he has also bred them and sold the puppies to the
American. Jack said that in the present time, there are more than 500 Thai Ridgeback dogs around America.
The price is about $2,000-$3,000 or about 86,000-129,000 baht. Some are worth more than $10,000.
“ I will load all of my dogs in the truck and show them at the dog shows or the fairs. Not only the American
have a chance to know Thai Ridgeback dogs, it will give them a chance to know Thailand as well. Because
some American still understand that Thailand is Taiwan. I have to explain to then that Thailand is not Taiwan.
So it seems like I do one more job in promoting Thailand at the same time.” Jack said.
Jack also said that there were many magazines and newspapers, such as New York Time, LA Time, Esquire
and Newsweek, had interviewed him as the pioneer who first brought Thai Ridgeback dogs to America and
introduced them to the American.
“One time, something interesting happened. Nicholas Cage, the famous Hollywood actor, wanted to buy a
monkey for his son as a present. He contacted me and asked if I had any monkeys for sell. I told him that I
had only Thai Ridgeback dogs for sell. He was interested so he stopped by. After he took a look, he really
liked them. By the time, there was one three-month-old Thai Ridgeback puppy in blue. I named him “LING”,
which means monkey in English. So Nicholas Cage bought that one for his son.”
Jack told us more about his story that he traveled with his Thai Ridgeback and shown them around the country
in at least 33 states. One time when he was in Washington D.C. for the dog show, after the show, he was
walking a dog near the White House. At that moment, the former president Bill Clinton was working out by
riding a bicycle around the yard inside the White House. The former president came up to Jack and asked him
about his dogs since they looked very beautiful.
Jack had to give knowledge about Thai Ridgeback dogs to the former president for a long time that Mrs. Hillary
Clinton suggested Jack to make a chart with information about Thai Ridgeback dog on it. So whenever
anybody asked him about his dogs, he could just hand them the chart so they could read the information by
themselves and Jack did not have to spend his time explaining the same thing over and over.
“I had an idea so I made the chart telling 10 characteristics of Thai Ridgeback dogs and hanged it around my
neck. When anybody was curious about the dogs, I would just give them the chart. So they could read and I
did not have to spend my time explaining to them.” Jack said.
Jack also showed his great impression that he had toward the King of Thailand in the case that he loves and
takes good care of his Thai dogs, which Jack mentioned that Thai people and Thai dogs are very fortunate.
“I’m happy that the King loves Thai dogs because it has encouraged Thai people to give more love to Thai
Ridgeback Dogs, take good care of them and not let them become the street dogs.”
And that is the story of Jack Sterling, the pioneer who brought and introduced Thai Ridgeback Dogs to
America. I, myself, have to accept his great ability in understanding the nature of Thai Ridgeback Dogs. When
I was at Jack’s house, I saw almost 20 Thai Ridgeback dogs and Thai Bangkaew dogs running around the
playing with each other and I have to accept that I had never seen anything like that before. I think it is very
amazing because naturally these two breeds cannot stay together. If they stay together, they will naturally
fight against each other. So if anybody has a chance to travel to Chiang Mai, do not forget to visit Jack
Sterling’s house and you will be impressed the way I was. Jack’s phone number is 081-716-0420.
Writer Khun Lek of Jatujak Dog Magazine Bangkok