Thai Ridgeback

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red, black, blue and very light fawn (isabella); black mask is preferable in reds
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The Thai Ridgeback is a sturdy and independent dog with its homeland in Thailand. For centuries it served to drag carts, as a watchdog, and to hunt cobras, rats, and wild boars. This is a primitive breed and as being such, it’s considered to be rare and therefore is in need of support of devoted fanciers.

The Thai Ridgeback is known to live in Thailand for over 350 years but supposedly even more. There is a point of view that among its ancestor was a Hottentot dog (doesn’t exists today), which also left its trace in genealogy of the Rhodesian Ridgeback. The body of this breed presents a classic example of interbreeding the primitive hound and spitz-type dog.

The Thai Ridgeback could be usefully used for many different purposes: to guard houses and as a burglar alarm, to accompany or drag carts and as companion in hunting for game of all sizes. The original habitant of the dog covered chiefly eastern Thailand, including as well the island of Dao Phu Quoc that is situated not far from the border of Cambodia and Vietnam. The development of the breed on relative secluded territory allowed it to preserve its distinguishing appearance.

The dog was brought to the United States in 1994. The United Kennel Club (UKC) granted the Thai Ridgeback its recognition in 1996, and it was registered in the American Kennel Club’s Foundation Stock Service in 1997.

Because the Thai Ridgeback was only recently discovered by Westerners it still remains rare outside its native country where the dog is called simply the Mah Thai (Thai Dog).

First of all, the future owner of the Thai Ridgeback should accept that it buys the dog with really strong and independent personality. This breed can be attributed to a one-person dog, though it will express protective and affectionate attitude towards the entire family. The dog should realize the dominance of the human then it will make an excellent family companion. It has vigilant but somewhat quite temperament, therefore it can become a wonderful watchdog without a habit of excessive barking as the dog uses it only if it detects danger.

The Thai Ridgeback can live in the same household with children under conditions they are raised together and someone constantly keeps an eye on their communication. Small children aren’t recommended for coexisting in same home with this breed, as it can be too buoyant for them.

With strangers this dog tends to be suspicious and aloof, so regular invitations of guests in your house are the best way to train the dog to tolerate other people. Cats and other home pets will be probably perceived by the Thai Ridgeback as a prey, and the unknown dogs will usually provoke a fit of aggressiveness, though socialization may help. This breed will make a great companion for a hunter, and its preferable preys are small furry animals.

Health Problems
The most common problems for the breed include:

• canine hip dysplasia;
• elbow dysplasia;
• patellar luxation;
• hypothyroid;
• hernia;
• skin problems;
• allergies.

The coat of the Thai Ridgeback is short and easy to care for. Every week it should be brushed with a rubber curry brush to keep it shiny and smooth. The dog sheds constantly, but lightly. Bath is required only on occasion, approximately once or twice a year.

Fundamental care practices should be introduced from the early age, so that the Thai Ridgeback is able to get used to it. Every week or two trim its nails and inspect dogs’ ears for the signs of infection. If you find them dirty, clean the ears with some cloth watered with mild pH-balanced cleanser. Systematic brushing of teeth with special pet toothpaste will ensure its healthy state and fresh breath.

As a smart but stubborn dog, the Thai Ridgeback is quite a challenge to train. This is not a proper breed for those who want to have obedient and trouble-free animal, which will always eager to pleasure. It needs a dominant and confident owner who will be able to control the situation. The Thai Ridgeback will put to the test your patience in every way in order to get a grip of its limits and by no means will do what it doesn’t prefer to.

The training process should embody fun and activity in it. Don’t overdo with food incentives, as the excessive weight won’t favour your dogs health. The positive reinforcement is the one and the only appropriate method of training for this breed. It will reject any attempt of hard correction and response with mulishness, defiance, aggressiveness or shyness. With proper handling, the dog is willing to pleasure and will be a capable learner thanks to its natural intelligence.

The early socialization of the Thai Ridgeback plays a key role in its subsequent life. The best time to begin is when your puppy is only 8 weeks old and craves for knowledge and communication. If possible, take it to a puppy kindergarten class at the age of 10 to 12 weeks to get it fully socialized.

In general, this breed requires serious investment of time and effort in its upbringing and socialization, so the Thai Ridgeback is only advisable for people who are ready to take these stipulations seriously.

The Thai Ridgeback is an active dog with tons of energy to spare. Take into account before acquiring this dog that it will need minimum an hour of intense exercise every day. To be in a good health your dog will require a few prolonged walks or runs daily.

Usage of a leash is a must for the Thai Ridgeback, so it helps to avoid your dog going after other animals. Once it off the leash, make sure, that the fence is high enough since the breed a terrific jumper and climber. It is a master to get away even from the area with high fence and is truly keen on surfing surroundings. It would be wise to skip or shorten a walk in case of rainy or cold weather because being native to the Southeast Asia this dog isn’t accommodated to such type of climate.