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The Thai Ridgeback Temperament, Behaviors, And What Owners Must Know

The Thai Ridgeback temperament isn’t something a first-time owner should put inside their household. Dealing with his intelligence and independent nature can even be a challenge for the most experienced owner.

But in the right situation, he can be an excellent addition to a home with his fun-loving attitude and loyalty. He just needs an owner who can make sure his good traits emerge more often than the problematic ones.

The Thai Ridgeback Temperament & Personality

Once you start reading through the Thai Ridgeback’s traits, a picture will form of what his ideal environment looks like; you must decide whether or not your household is something, which resembles that picture.


With a high activity level, the Thai Ridgeback temperament can be a challenge to deal with for any owner. He needs a lot of physical stimulation of he’ll be a constant source of mischief and trouble in your home.

It also essential you keep finding new ways to challenge him physically, or he will get bored. This boredom will make him put his energy into find ways to entertain himself. Nothing good will come out of this experience, and you’ll regret the decision not to take him on a walk.

A daily exercise such as jogging or hiking could do wonders. It’ll get rid of all the excess energy that's lying inside of himself. But remember, you should change the exercise up every so often to keep him guessing.

Intelligent & Independent

Just like his need for constant physical stimulation, the Thai Ridgeback needs a regular source of mental stimulation as well. And if you don’t provide it, he’ll seek it out himself through doing things like trying to escape.

In fact, he’s often given the moniker of escape artist by his owners because of his proficiency in this area; it’s almost uncanny. His high IQ also allows him to learn a lot of commands most other breeds can’t.

As a result, you should continually add commands onto his training to ensure you’re always giving him something new. But keep in mind he also tends to have a mind of his own.

In other words, he’s an independent thinker who needs an owner who provides consistent, stable leadership. It also means that this dog has no issues leaving you alone when you need some privacy.


The Thai Ridgeback temperament has a quiet nature, which allows him to be an excellent watchdog. This role is something he takes incredibly serious as he’ll only bark when he senses a threat.

And even though he typically picks a favorite, he’ll gladly protect the rest of the family from threats as well. It’s also helpful that he has a high level of alertness, which ensures nothing goes on without him knowing.

As a result, intruders have no chance of sneaking into your home without him noticing. You can sleep comfortably with him keeping a watchful eye on everything going on around your house.

But this protectiveness does make him quite distrustful of people outside of his family. It also makes him not entirely dog-friendly either, which means you need to socialize him as soon as possible.

High Prey Drive

One of the more challenging parts of the Thai Ridgeback temperament is his high prey drive. This trait is quite problematic when it comes to interactions with your other pets such as cats. It also a reason you shouldn't leave him outside for an extended period time either.

If you do, he’ll escape and find something to hunt, which usually means your neighbor's cat or smaller dog. As a result, he isn’t the best companion for an owner living in a suburban area.

He tends to go after wild animals as well, which could be problematic for his particular health. But this high prey drive does make him an ideal hunting companion with an owner who can control his urges.

A Brief Retelling of The Thai Ridgeback History

The Thai Ridgeback was first documented more than 350 years ago in Thailand. Although it’s a widely held belief that he’s much older; it’s even thought that he might be a Hottentot dog descendant, which could’ve resulted in the existence of the Rhodesian Ridgeback.

In his early days, the Thai Ridgeback was primarily a guard and working dog. He’d protect the property, alert people of danger, pull wagons, hunt, and ensure cobras weren’t an issue for the natives.

His activities mainly took place in eastern Thailand, but he was spotted in other areas as well: the borders of Cambodia/Vietnam and an island called Dao Phu Quoc. Outside of these areas, he was nowhere to be found.

The lack of reliable transportation kept him isolated from the world, which allowed his unique look to stay intact. Even to this day, he remains almost entirely located in Thailand. In fact, he wasn't yet seen within the United States until 1994.

But after gaining a presence in the United States, the United Kennel Club recognized him in 1996. The American Kennel Club recorded him into their Foundation Stock Service soon after in 1997.

The Thai Ridgeback Appearance

The Thai Ridgeback is a medium-sized dog with a muscular body, which makes him incredibly agile. He’s often compared to his relative the Rhodesian Ridgeback, but he’s a little bit shorter and has a more well-developed body.

He has a ridge on his back that’s formed by his fur growing in a different direction than the rest of his coat. This ridge can come in eight different patterns, and sometimes puppies are even born without it.

The coat itself is short, smooth and has solid coloring. The Thai Ridgeback color can vary between black, blue, red, brindle, or fawn. If the coat’s red, he might have a black mask as well. And in some cases, he might have a white patch on his chest.

A Guide to Thai Ridgeback Training

The Thai Ridgeback’s independent nature makes training them a daunting task for even experienced owners. Your best bet is to stick with positive reinforcement techniques and treat based reward systems.

One thing he won’t respond well to is aggression or discipline as it’ll only set the training back. He’ll become withdrawn and distant, which is entirely counter-productive to this whole process. It’s best to approach these sessions with a calm, reassuring manner.

You might also find success with repetitive training sessions that’ll add a sense of routine to his life. Getting them appropriately socialized is a must as well given their natural distant of all strangers and protective personalities.

But it’s not all bad though as the Thai Ridgeback temperament makes him able to learn some advanced commands; his background of being a working dog has given him the traits necessary for agility, obedience, and defensive training.

Helpful Dog Training Resource:

For help with training your Thai Ridgeback dog take a look at The Online Dog Trainer by Doggy Dan. Doggy Dan is an expert Dog Trainer based in New Zealand. His online resource contains Hundreds of Excellent Dog Training Videos that will take you step-by-step through the process of developing a healthy, happy well-behaved dog.

The Thai Ridgeback Grooming Requirements

The grooming requirements of a Thai Ridgeback aren’t extensive thanks to his short coat. He will, however, require weekly brushing to get rid of any loose hairs or dirt. It’s best you use a rubber curry brush for the brushing sessions.

It also essential you understand that he does shed all year, but his short coat limits its impact. It’ll mostly just settle on your furniture or a piece of clothing here and there: nothing a lint roller couldn’t quickly disappear.

You also luck out on the bathing requirement as he only needs one once or twice a year. In fact, bathing him too much can have a negative impact on his skin and cause rashes to start forming.

And other than those little things, the rest of the grooming requirements fall under general care:

  • Trim nails once a month
  • Check ears regularly for build-ups
  • Teeth need regular brushing

Relevant Thai Ridgeback Health Issues

One good piece of news for a prospective Thai Ridgeback owner is the breed tends to be relatively healthy. But even with this status, there are a few health issues you’ll have to be aware of as a Thai Ridgeback owner:

There are a few things you could do to lessen the risk your Thai Ridgeback ends up contracting these issues. The first is a common-sense solution: going to the vet every couple months. It'll make sure you have a great handle on your dog’s health.

It also a good idea to ensure your puppy’s parents have OFA certified hips before buying from a breeder. If they do have these certifications, there’s a less risk your puppy will come down with hip dysplasia as they age.  

Likewise, asking about your puppy’s family history and the causes of death can help determine the likelihood of dermoid sinus occurring. It might be morbid, but this condition can cause life-threatening issues, and it’s better you know ahead of time.

Note: if you agree that your health and your dog's health should be a top priority then get a copy of The Ultimate Guide to Dog Health. Your Spitz friend will love you for it. This guide will help save you money, time and most of all help you keep your dog healthy.

Finding Your Thai Ridgeback

Have you decided the Thai Ridgeback temperament fits your home perfectly? Well, you have one more decision to make before finding a suitable one for your household: do you want to buy or adopt?

Both options are acceptable choices, but since it’s a rare breed, procuring one could be difficult either way.

Thai Ridgeback For Sale

If buying a Thai Ridgeback is more your preference, the options available will be limited. This breed is relatively new to the United States, and there aren’t many reputable breeders around.

The ones that are will be registered with the Association of Thai Owners and Fanciers: an association that’s backed by the American Kennel Club.  All you have do is email them, and they’ll send you a list of reputable breeders.

You could also use the American Kennel Club’s marketplace itself to see the breeders they have on file. But regardless of what you do, you must set up a meeting at the breeder's facilities before purchasing the puppy.

It’ll allow you to determine whether or not you consider the breeder reputable. Being aware of the following warning signs of a bad breeder should help with this evaluation:

  • Numerous Thai Ridgeback puppy litters on the property at the same time.
  • They always have puppies for sale.
  • You can buy a puppy online with a credit card.
  • Give you the option of buying a puppy without papers for a lower price.

If everything checks out, the price of a Thai Ridgeback puppy should be around $600 to $800. The higher side of this range could increase significantly depending on the puppy’s family history.

Thai Ridgeback For Adoption

If you’d rather adopt than buy, you can approach the process a lot of different ways. The first thing you should do is locate your nearest shelter as they might have one. It’s highly doubtful they will, but it doesn’t hurt to ask and might save you extra research.

And it'll let them know you're interested, which allows the shelter the option to alert you when they do have one. You could also check out websites like Adoptapet.com or PetFinder.com, which will show the nearest available Thai Ridgeback.

Another option would be contacting the Thai Ridgeback Rescue Network. They’ll give you some leads on adoptable Thai Ridgebacks that need new homes. But before you do adopt one, do yourself a favor and ask the organization the following questions:

  1. Does he/she have a high energy level?
  2. How old is he/she?
  3. Are there any biting incidents you need to know about?
  4. Is he/she good with other animals?
  5. Does he/she have any issues with certain people such as men, children, or strangers?
  6. What is his/her personality like?
  7. How well-trained is he/she? Is he/she housetrained?
  8. Are there any health issues?

From these answers, you’ll gather much-needed information about the dog’s past. They’re precautions to ensure you know what you’re getting into by adopting this dog. It’ll also help you start cultivating a plan about how to get them comfortable with their new home.

Once you do adopt them, the price will be around $300. It might be lower or higher depending on certain circumstances such as age or medical issues; but you should go into the process expecting to spend that much.

Conclusion: Is the Thai Ridgeback the Right Dog for You?

If you want a running or jogging pal, the Thai Ridgeback temperament could be perfect for your household. His active and loyal personality would be a bright spot within your daily life.

But if you’re living in a suburban area where your neighbor's pets roam freely, his high prey drive could cause you all sorts of issues.  Before making your final decision, you must decide whether your situation is more like the first scenario or the second.