The Thai Ridgeback is an ancient breed of dog. The breed was formerly unknown outside of Thailand, but is gaining notice in the western world. The breed is still very rare outside of Thailand . The Thai Ridgeback is one of only three breeds that has a ridge of hair that runs along its back in the opposite direction to the rest of the coat (The others are Rhodesian Ridgeback and Phu Quoc Ridgeback). They are also known as a Mah Thai Lang Ahn.
Appearance and Structure
The Thai Ridgeback is a muscular, medium-sized pariah-type dog with a wedge-shaped head, triangular-shaped prick ears, and a very short, smooth coat. It has a pronounced ridge on its back formed by hair growing in the opposite direction that extends from behind the withers to the hips. Puppies are occasionally born ridgeless. Thai Ridgebacks have muscular thighs and a streamlined body, making them extremely agile. The sickle tail is carried upward. Its forehead wrinkles with enormous expression. Like many eastern breeds, the Thai Ridgeback has retained a ‘scissor jaw’ where upper and lower teeth interlock when the jaw bones clamp down. The tongue can be black or have black marks. Eyes are brown or amber and almond-shaped. The ears are set low and point slightly outward. The ears stand up progressively during the puppy growth period, they are not cropped. The back is straight and level. The coat is short, hard, and straight. Due to the length and density of the coat shedding is minimal, occurring once or twice yearly.
Because this breed does not have an undercoat the hair does not usually bother people allergic to other breeds of dogs. Coat must be solid colors of blue, black, red or fawn for the show ring with a black mask being acceptable on reds and fawns. However, brindle and white are also found. For international show and competition, shoulder height should be 22-24 inches (56-61 cm) in males and 20-22 inches (51-56 cm) in females. The weight averages 35–55lbs in females and 50-75lbs in males.
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. The broader the ridge, the more highly it is prized.