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Thai Ridgeback | Dog Breed Info: Pictures, Traits & Facts

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By Nicole Cosgrove

Thai Ridgeback

Height: 20 – 22 inches
Weight: 35 – 55 pounds
Lifespan: 12 – 13 years
Colors: Black, white, red, blue, brindle
Suitable for: Families with older kids, singles, couples, houses with fenced yards
Temperament: Intelligent, independent, stubborn, athletic

The Thai Ridgeback is a strong, lean dog that was traditionally used to haul goods, hunt animals, and guard the homestead. They feature longer hair along their back that creates a ridge-like look, hence their name. These are stubborn dogs that don’t give up easily once they’ve set their mind on something. But they are loyal to their human pack leader and will live peacefully with other family members within the household.

Because they are hunters by nature, Thai Ridgebacks don’t always get along with other animals, especially those that are small and that aren’t dogs. Without plenty of exercise and stimulation, these dogs can become destructive indoors and aggressive toward strangers and other animals when spending time outside in public.

Long daily walks are a must, and a great deal of game time inside and in the yard is always well received. They’re intelligent and take well to training, but training must continue throughout their lives to ensure that they don’t get unruly. A well-trained and properly exercised Thai Ridgeback can be an excellent addition to the active family dynamic. Keep reading to learn more about this strong-willed purebred dog and to gain insight into what it might be like to own one.

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Thai Ridgeback Puppies

Thai ridgeback puppy
Image credit: Svetography, Shutterstock

If you’ve never owned a Thai Ridgeback before, you may be wondering what this breed is all about in terms of energy levels, trainability, and social skills. The Thai Ridgeback tends to be an intelligent but stubborn dog. These pups might not be the best choice for first-time dog owners. They need an experienced dog owner to offer them firm and regular training sessions. Early socialization and training are essential for your dog to get along with other animals and stay calm around people.

These hard-working dogs need lots of exercise and mental stimulation to avoid boredom. There are many ways you can exercise and train your dog to give them enough physical stimulation to keep them entertained.

3 Little-Known Facts About the Thai Ridgeback

1. They like to howl.

As hunters in years past, the Thai Ridgeback would howl to their pack leaders and alert them that a prey animal is ready to be taken down. Today, these family dogs enjoy howling through the window when they see stray cats, other dogs, or strangers go by.

2. They tend to be territorial.

Thai Ridgebacks are loyal and loving to their family members, but they are territorial and need strong and consistent training to behave around strangers and other dogs. Without intense ongoing training, they can become aggressive and hard to handle. They can make it tough for you to have friends and family visitors over to your home.

3. They are escape artists.

These dogs like to roam, so they need to be fenced in the yard to keep them from hunting loose animals in the neighborhood. The problem is that they are strong climbers, jumpers, and diggers. So, their fence should be at least 6 feet tall and be embedded at least a few inches into the ground. There should be no objects or trees near the fence because this purebred dog can scale low branches on trees and easily jump up on objects to get over a fence.

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Temperament & Intelligence of the Thai Ridgeback 🧠

The Thai Ridgeback is an independent, intelligent, and stubborn dog that requires a firm yet loving hand to lead them. These dogs aren’t for first-time dog owners or families with children and other small pets. But with proper training, these are fine family dogs that will stay by their pack leader’s side as often as possible.

These dogs are athletic and love a game of fetch. They are also effective guard dogs that will immediately alert you whenever things don’t seem right or normal outside of your home. They’ll happily accompany you on camping trips, but they like to stay on their own turf most of the time.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 🏡

While Thai Ridgebacks can be good with older children, they don’t have much patience and should always be supervised when around young kids, toddlers, and babies. Families should avoid adopting this breed if they have young kids living in the home to avoid accidental and intentional injuries. No matter who lives in the household, this dog shouldn’t be brought into the home unless you’re committed to stringent training and have plenty of extra time available for outdoor exercise.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets? 🐶 😽

If you plan to bring a new Thai Ridgeback puppy into a home with existing pets, you’ll need to start training them to be social from day one. Make sure that the dog isn’t already showing aggressive behavior at the breeder before bringing your pooch home. Then, make slow supervised introductions during the first days at home until you’re sure that all the pets are getting along. You should also start to socialize your dog with outside animals as a puppy and continue to do so regularly throughout their life.

Thai ridgeback sitting
Image credit: janamathes, Pixabay


Things to Know When Owning a Thai Ridgeback

You need to know about things like the type of food to provide your new Thai Ridgeback, how to properly groom them, and the best activities for them before bringing them home for the first time. Here’s the scoop.

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

The Thai Ridgeback can eat more than 3 cups of food daily, depending on their activity level. They’re large dogs, so they need plenty of protein to maintain their physique. Therefore, their food should include whole meat of some kind (beef, chicken, pork, fish, etc.) as the first ingredients. These dogs do best when eating food produced just for large breed dogs. Fillers and artificial ingredients should be avoided to ensure optimal health, especially at an older age. Snacks such as carrots and zucchini will round out their daily meals and help keep their teeth clean.

Exercise 🐕

This purebred dog is highly active and thrives when they feel like they are working. Therefore, they need to take long daily walks and work on their problem-solving skills regularly to maintain a happy and healthy lifestyle. In addition to walking at least a mile each morning, your Thai Ridgeback should engage in physical activities that will stimulate their brainpower.

One great option is agility training. This type of training will keep your dog fit, allow them to tap into their natural instincts, and help them better bond with you over time. If you’re interested in sourcing your own protein, another effective exercise and activity option to consider is hunting. If you choose this route, you should start training your Thai Ridgeback to hunt while they are still a puppy.

Thai ridgeback
Image credit: Kseniya Resphoto, Shutterstock

Training 🦮

Obedience training is a must if you expect your Thai Ridgeback to cohabit with other people and animals. These smart and stubborn dogs will test your will to get what they want, so boundaries through obedience training should be introduced as soon as your puppy comes home for the first time. A lack of training could even lead to aggression and destructive behavior due to a lack of discipline.

Training shouldn’t stop just because your dog learns the obedience commands that you want them to know. Practice should take place several times a week, if not daily, through adulthood to reinforce those obedience skills over time.

Grooming ✂️

Luckily, the Thai Ridgeback doesn’t require much grooming to stay sleek and healthy-looking. A weekly brushing should keep their coat silky and smooth. These dogs do shed moderately, so be prepared to vacuum fur off the floor a few times a week. Thai Ridgebacks should get enough outdoor exercise to keep their nails naturally trimmed. But their ear canals are exposed, so their ears should be gently wiped clean often to keep wax buildup at bay and to minimize the risk of infection.

Health Conditions ❤️

Thai Ridgebacks are generally healthy dogs. They may experience a sprain here and there due to their eager and active attitude. But otherwise, there are only a couple of health conditions they’re susceptible to that you should keep a lookout for.

Minor Conditions
  • Elbow dysplasia
Serious Conditions
  • Dermoid sinus
  • Hip dysplasia


Male vs Female

Male Thai Ridgebacks tend to be more focused on their human companions than females. They seem to need more attention and typically show a bit more affection. But while females tend to be more independent, they also seem to be more patient with humans and other animals. Overall, both male and female Thai Ridgebacks can make great family pets with the right training.

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Final Thoughts

These dogs aren’t the right kind of companion for everyone. They require a firm hand and a watchful eye. They also expect a commitment to vigorous exercise and regular training from their masters. They aren’t great around young children who tend to test their patience. They may or may not get along with other dogs that live in your household.

On the other hand, if your family is active and has experience raising active dogs with hunting instincts, this might be the perfect companion for your household. Whether this is the right purebred dog for your family or not, there is no mistaking the impressive qualities that this breed displays. What Thai Ridgeback qualities do you think are the most impressive?

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Featured Image Credit: Sbolotova, Shutterstock

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