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Home > Dogs > Dog Breeds > Thai Ridgeback Dog Breed Guide: Info, Pictures, Care & More!

Thai Ridgeback Dog Breed Guide: Info, Pictures, Care & More!

Thai Ridgeback

The Thai Ridgeback is a lean dog known for being strong. The dog was initially bred to haul goods, protect the homestead, and hunt animals. It was also bred as a cobra-killing dog. They have longer hair along their backs that gives them a ridge-like look, which is how they got the name Thai Ridgeback.

This breed is very intelligent yet stubborn. It’s also athletic and independent. If you’re considering adopting or purchasing one of these dogs, there are a few things you will need to be aware of. In this guide, we’ll go into everything you need to know about the Thai Ridgeback to help you decide whether you want to give one a forever home.

Breed Overview


20 to 22 inches


35 to 55 pounds


12 to 13 years


Red, blue, black, white

Suitable for:

Families with older kids, simples, couples, houses with fenced yards


Athletic, stubborn, independent, intelligent

The Thai Ridgeback Dog is a muscular canine, capable of guarding and protecting your home and property from harm. The dog will actually attack and kill a Cobra. While that might not happen where you live, it is nice to know. This breed is also quite intelligent, so ensure you’re ready to keep it entertained if you adopt one. They bond closely with owners, but the Thai Ridgeback temperament is unsuitable for first-time pet parents.

Thai Ridgeback Dog Breed Characteristics

High-energy dogs will need a lot of mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy, while low-energy dogs require minimal physical activity. It’s important when choosing a dog to make sure their energy levels match your lifestyle or vice versa.
Easy-to-train dogs are more skilled at learning prompts and actions quickly with minimal training. Dogs that are harder to train will require a bit more patience and practice.
Some dog breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, and some more than others. This doesn’t mean that every dog will have these issues, but they have an increased risk, so it’s important to understand and prepare for any additional needs they may require.
Some breeds, due to their size or their breeds potential genetic health issues, have shorter lifespans than others. Proper exercise, nutrition, and hygiene also play an important role in the lifespan of your pet.
Some dog breeds are more social than others, both towards humans and other dogs. More social dogs have a tendency to run up to strangers for pets and scratches, while less social dogs shy away and are more cautious, even potentially aggressive. No matter the breed, it’s important to socialize your dog and expose them to lots of different situations.

Thai Ridgeback Puppies

If you plan to adopt a Thai Ridgeback puppy, you probably won’t find one at a shelter or rescue center. It is an uncommon breed, and your best bet is to locate a reputable breeder. However, in the United States, there are very few breeders, and you may have to wait several months or longer to adopt one after you’ve been put on a waiting list. Because it’s one of the rarest breeds, you may pay up to $3,000 for a puppy.

You’ll also need to pay for vaccines, veterinary appointments, food, treats, and toys. You’re unlikely to find a more expensive puppy to buy and care for, so adopting a Thai Ridgeback requires a considerable investment.

Temperament & Intelligence of the Thai Ridgeback

Thai ridgeback dog outdoors
Image By: Sbolotova, Shutterstock

The Ridgeback is an intelligent dog. However, the dog is also very independent and stubborn, meaning that it’s going to take a confident pet parent to keep it on track. It isn’t the best choice of pet for first-time dog owners or someone who has small pets or children.

While it is possible to socialize and train the dog to get along with your family and other pets, it will take a patient trainer to turn the dog into a loyal family dog that will stay by its owner’s side as much as possible. It is important to socialize and train this dog consistently and from an early age for the best results.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 👪

Thai Ridgebacks make fine pets for families if they have an experienced owner who can keep them in control. This breed can get along fine with a single owner or even older children but doesn’t have the patience needed to deal with small children, toddlers, or babies.

Families who have small children shouldn’t adopt this dog. It’s too easy for accidents to happen or for the dog to strike out intentionally at something the child did. Also, it doesn’t matter who lives in the home; you should never commit to giving this breed a forever home if you can’t commit to the stringent training and socialization it takes to keep the dog in check.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?

As with young children, it’s best to keep the Thai Ridgeback away from the smaller pets. If you have pets already living in your home, you’ll need to start socializing your new dog immediately to get along with the other animals in your home.

You’ll want to introduce your new canine friend to the other animals in your house slowly. Keep them separated for the first few days so they can get used to the new scents in the home. If you have a cat, the socialization process will take much longer, but if you adopt a puppy, it will not take as long to adjust to a feline as an adult.

divider-dog Things to Know When Owning a Thai Ridgeback Dog

Now that you know a bit about the Thai Ridgeback Dog, you’ll want to know what you need to do when caring for the incredible dog. We’ll talk about food, diets, and exercise requirements, as well as training, grooming, and health conditions in the sections below.

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

The Thai Ridgeback is a big dog, so they need a high-quality, protein-filled diet for them to be healthy and grow. Depending on the dog’s activity levels, it can eat over 3 to 5 cups of kibble a day. It’s best to give it food that contains beef, pork, fish, or chicken as the first ingredient. They can eat dog food with moderate carbohydrate levels, but since they’re active dogs, they need more protein in their diets than the average canine.

The first ingredient on dog food labels is the most substantial. For instance, a brand with chicken listed at the top will contain more chicken than a brand with it listed in the middle or near the bottom.

Exercise 🐕

Thai Ridgebacks require frequent exercise to keep them healthy and happy. This purebred dog thrives and is happiest when it is working. You should walk at least a mile a day with your furry friend and keep it mentally engaged with toys and treats. You can also engage in agility training for your canine pal, which will benefit it physically and mentally.

It’s important to note that this breed will become destructive and aggressive if they don’t get the exercise they need. A small apartment is unsuitable for a Thai Ridgeback, and it needs a big yard to run around and burn off energy.

Training 🎾

If you expect this dog to get along well with other pets and people, obedience training is mandatory. Although first-time owners can train some dogs, the Thai Ridgeback is not one of them. It requires extensive training from an experienced handler who can handle the dog’s stubbornness and endurance. Because of the pup’s prey drive, it can become easily distracted when it sees a small animal in the yard or a stranger near the property.

If you’ve owned dogs before but are inexperienced with training, you can enroll in obedience classes with a professional trainer.

Grooming ✂️

The Thai Ridgeback doesn’t need much grooming to keep it healthy and happy. It has a light coat that you can brush every day to remove loose hair. It sheds regularly, but since it’s a short-haired canine, you won’t see as much loose hair lying around if you brush it. Its nails must be trimmed regularly, but if it takes long walks on asphalt or pavement, you can get by with trimming them once a month, in most cases.

Health and Conditions 🏥

As with any dog, there are certain health risks that you should be on the lookout for. However, because the dog was not crossbred with several breeds, like some dogs, it has fewer health issues.

Minor Conditions
  • Elbow Dysplasia
Serious Conditions
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Dermoid Sinus

If you see any signs of these conditions in your pet, visit your veterinarian. Otherwise, the Thai Ridgeback is generally healthy most of the time.


Male vs. Female

Male Thai Ridgebacks are often easier to train than females because they stay focused and are less distracted. Females are more independent, but they take less time to form strong bonds with their human families.

divider-dog paw 3 Little-Known Facts About the Thai Ridgeback Dog Breed

1. Thai Ridgebacks Like to Howl

If you wake up in the middle of the night to howling outside your window, it’s probably your Thai Ridgeback howling. As hunters, the dogs would howl to alert their owners that there was an animal to take down. The instinctual howl can be addressed in training, but you’re unlikely to remove the howl completely.

2. The Breed is Territorial

Thai Ridgebacks are territorial, and you’ll need to socialize the breed early on and train them not to go after strangers they think can threaten you or your property.

3. Thai Ridgebacks Love to Roam

You’ll need to watch your furry friend closely when they are outside. Whether intact or fixed, Thai Ridgebacks love to roam and are talented escape artists.

divider-dog Final Thoughts

The Thai Ridgeback is an intelligent, independent, loyal dog that would make someone without children and small pets a great companion. It is not the right pet for someone who has never owned a dog before, as it needs an experienced handler to keep it on the right path.

If you’ve decided to adopt this dog, you must ensure you have the time it takes to train, exercise, and spend time with the dog before making your final decision. You’ll also have to save up a few thousand dollars if you’re lucky enough to locate a Thai Ridgeback breeder in the United States.

Featured Image Credit: Oksamutnaya, Shutterstock

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