Thai Ridgeback Breed Standard

The Thai Ridgeback has a loose-skinned, muscular body. Its back is strong, firm, and covered with dense hair. Coat colors include: chestnut, black, blue, and silver. It has a ridge on its back, formed by hair growing in opposite directions which forms whorls and circles. The shoulders are strong and muscular. The head is carried high on the firm, strong, clean cut neck. The muzzle is wedge-shaped and powerful looking. The tongue should be blue or bluish gray. The ears are large, high set, triangular, pricked and inclined forward. The top of the skull is flat and slopes gently to the stop. The dark-brown eyes are almond-shaped with an alert expression. The nose is black and the tail is thicker at the base tapering to the tip. The ribs are well sprung with no hint of a barrel appearance. The hind legs are long and moderately lean and bend slightly to the stifles. The back of the neck has extra rolls of skin when the dog is alert. This is particularly noticeable in puppies.

Until recently the Thai Ridgeback was relatively unknown outside of eastern Thailand and is very rare elsewhere. This breed is a good watch, guard and hunting dog, but also makes a nice companion. Tough and active with excellent jumping ability. It is a very active and alert dog but also a bit aloof towards strangers. May be difficult to train. The Thai Ridgeback needs an owner who understands the breed. A Thai who is poorly raised can be aggressive. They require a dominant owner.

Height, Weight
Height: Males 22-24 inches (56-60 cm.) Females 20-22 inches (51-56)
Weight: 51-75 pounds (23-34 kg.)

According to the official standard of the FCI, there also are no weight requirements.

Health Problems: A very healthy breed.

Living Conditions: The Thai Ridgeback will do okay in an apartment if it is sufficiently exercised. They prefer warm climates and cannot withstand the cold.

Exercise: This breed should get plenty of exercise.

Life Expectancy: About 12-15 years.

Grooming: The Thai Ridgeback does not need a lot of grooming. An occasional combing and brushing to remove the dead hair will do.

Origin: The Thai Ridgeback can be found in eastern Thailand since the middle ages. Thai farmers value this breed as guard dogs. This very protective dog was known simply as "the cart-following dog."


Adopted May 19th, 1994





Hunting dog




Group 5 Spitz and Primitive Types
Section 7 Primitive Type-Hunting Dogs Without Working Trial

ATRA classification: Hound class



The Thai Ridgeback Dog is an old breed which can be seen in archeological writing in Thailand which were written about 350 years ago. Mainly in the eastern part of Thailand, it was used for hunting. People also used it to escort their carts and as a watch dog. The reason why it has kept its own original type for years is poor transportation systems in the eastern part of Thailand; it had fewer chances to crossbreed with other breeds.


Medium-sized dog with short hair forming a ridge along the back. The body is slightly longer than its height at the withers. Muscles are well developed, and its anatomical structure is suitable for activities.


Length of body: size (height at the withers) 11:10
Height of chest: size (height at the withers) 5:10
Length of the muzzle: length of the head 2: 3


Tough and active with excellent jumping abilities.


The crown is flat and has a gentle slope toward the stop. Stop: Clearly defined, but moderate. Inclination is not abrupt.

Nose: Color is black.

Nasal bridge: Straight and long.

Muzzle: Wedge-shape. Dogs with fawn coat have a black mask.

Lips: Tight

Mouth: Black marking on the tongue.

Jaw: Upper jaw is thick enough, and lower jaw is strong.

Teeth: White and strong with scissors bite.

Eyes: Middle size and almond shaped. The eye color is dark brown. In blue and silver, amber-colored eyes are permitted.

Ears: Set on either side of the crown, which is slightly broad between the two ears. Rather large triangular, inclining forward and firmly picked. Not cropped.

Neck: Strong, muscular, holding head high.


Back: Strong

Loin: Strong and broad

Croup: Moderately round

Chest: Deep enough to reach the elbows. The ribs are well built, but not barrel-shaped.

Lower line: The belly is tucked up.

Tail: It has a thick base with gradual tapering toward the tip. The tip reaches hock joints. It holds up vertically or curves like a sickle tail.


Front legs: The forearm straight

Hind legs: Well developed thighs and slightly bent stifles. Hocks are tough. The nails are black or light through brown.


Stride with no pitching nor rolling of the body. Track in two parallel straight lines. When viewed from the front, the forelegs move up and down in straight lines so that the shoulder, elbow and pastern joints are approximately in line with each other. When viewed from the rear, the stifle and hip joints are approximately in line. Move in a straight pattern forward without throwing the feet in or out; thus enabling the stride to be long and drive powerful. The overall appearance of the moving dog is one of the smooth flowing and well balanced rhythm.


Soft, tender and tight skin.


Hair: Strong and smooth. The ridge is formed by the hair growing in the opposite direction to the rest of the coat, starting from slightly behind the withers and extending to the point of prominence at the hips. It should be clearly defined from other parts of the back, tapering and symmetrical.

Color: Solid color, light chestnut red (the deeper the better), pure black, blue (silver), and fawn.


Height at the withers:
Dogs 22-25 inches (56-63.5cm)
Bitches 20-23 inches (51-58.5cm)


  • Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree.
  • Any bite other than scissors bite
  • Unbalanced ridge


  • Dogs without ridge
  • Long hair

N.B.: Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum

FCI. Standard
No. 338/28.07.1993./GB


American Thailand Ridgeback Association (ATRA)
American Kennel Club Foundation Stock Service (AKC-FSS)
American Rare Breed Association (ARBA)

United Kennel Club (UKC)

Kennel Club Thailand  (KCTH)

Japan Kennel Club (JKC)

Asian Kennel Union (AKU)

Federation Cynologique Internationale (FCI)

Special Medical Problems

Dermoid Sinus

This condition occurs when the skin is not completely closed along the dogs spine. While hard to detect at puppyhood it can be done by those experienced in the breed by palpating along the spine. If dormant this condition causes no problems and the dog and lead a normal life. Unfortunately, these sinuses or cysts don’t often remain dormant. They become inflamed and infected. The surgery to correct this sinus is expensive, painful and frequently not successful.


Another genetic fault, some Thai Ridgebacks are born without ridges. Many breeders euthanize these puppies but more enlightened breeders do not. The puppies are designated pet quality and require a spay/neuter contract.

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