The Thailand Spitz
The Thai Ridgeback is a muscular, medium-sized pariah-type dog with a wedge-shaped head, triangular-shaped prick ears, and a short, smooth coat. It has a pronounced ridge on its back from behind the withers to the hips. Thai Ridgebacks have muscular thighs and a streamlined body, making them an extremely agile. The tail is carried vertically or curved like a sickle. Its forehead wrinkles with enormous expression. The tongue can be black or have black marks. Eyes are dark and almond-shaped. The ears are set low and point slightly outward, and are never cropped. The back is straight and level. The coat is short, hard, and straight and can be solid colors of blue, black, red, or fawn. The Thai Ridgeback is a clean breed who sheds very little. Shoulder height should be 22-24 inches (56-61 cm) in males and 20-22 inches (51-56 cm) in females. The weight should be 19-24 kilograms (42-53 pounds) in males, and 17-22 kilograms (37-48 pounds) in females.
Eight distinctive ridge patterns have been identified: needle, feather, arrow, lute, violin, bowling pin, leaf, and saddleback. All patterns are acceptable, but must be clearly defined and symmetrical.
Like many large dogs, the Thai Ridgeback may be prone to hip dysplasia. They are also prone to dermoid sinus.
Thai Ridgebacks are an intelligent and obedient breed. Due to isolation and lack of human contact, the Thai Ridgeback remains an independent and largely undomesticated breed. They are naturally protective of their home and family and can be aggressive with other dogs. They have a strong hunting instinct and excellent jumping ability.
The origin of the Thai Ridgeback is unknown, but the breed was developed in eastern Thailand. The history of the breed is the subject of numerous theories. It is generally considered a Pariah-type dating back to ancient times. The Thai Ridgeback may have mutated from another Thai dog of similar appearance but with no ridged back. Thai Ridgebacks were originally used for hunting and guarding. Descriptions of the breed can be found in written references dating back to the 17th century. The Thai Ridgeback was used for hunting and as a guard dog. The relationship between the Thai Ridgeback and the Rhodesian Ridgeback is uncertain and there is no scientific proof that they are related. The breed is still very rare outside of Thailand.
The third existing breed of ridgeback dogs is the Phu Quoc Dog of Vietnam, which is somewhat smaller than the Thai Ridgeback. The Hottentot Hunting Dog, a known African ridgeback ancestor of the modern Rhodesian Ridgeback, is now extinct and its link, if any, to the Thai Ridgeback and the Phu Quoc Dog is unknown. The possible genetic connection among the three remaining breeds is being investigated through DNA studies.
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