Some dog lovers just have a specific taste and don’t want to have one of those popular dog breeds that you can see being walked by their owners at every corner of the city.
Ridgebacks generally have a pretty plain, athletic look to them. Within their simpleness lies the pure elegance of this unusual breed.
This rare Vietnamese dog breed has a very interesting historical background which is, as of today, proven by its amazing capacity for various abilities. From intelligence and some distinct physical attributes, all the way to being hunting dogs, this Vietnam dog breed will manage to make you at least think about owning one.
Ridgebacks are generally not as popular as Frenchies may be, but within the society of hunters worldwide and dog owners who live an active lifestyle, you can find a Ridgeback as a pet here and there every once in a while.
What Is a Phu Quoc Ridgeback?
The unusual breed of dog known as the Vietnamese Phu Quoc Ridgeback, or Chó Phu Quc in Vietnamese, originated on the island of Phú Quốc in the southern Vietnamese area known as Kiên Giang Province.
The original holder of the breed was created as a quasi ‘sidekick’ for Vietnamese people and hunters to hunt down food and protect the residences of local islanders.
For now, we can say that the Phu Quoc Ridgeback is an old dog breed originating from the country of Vietnam. This is an old Vietnamese dog breed.
It is considered to be a purebred dog breed since it has a past, unlike some other dog breeds, where many ancient stories of Vietnam describe a dog that has a line of hair growing in the opposite direction on their backs. That was a clear sign to many dog lovers and experts that it could be just one dog bred – The Phu Quoc Ridgeback dog.
Origin Of The Phu Quoc Ridgeback
Two different dogs lived at the Jardin d’Acclimatation in Paris during the 19th century, when French colonists identified them as a distinct breed. In the past, Phu Quoc Ridgeback dogs weren’t really intentionally bred; instead, they relied on spontaneous matings and the seclusion of island life to preserve their distinctive population.
Native inhabitants of the Phú Quốc island of southern Vietnam claim that there initially existed three sizes of the species, each specifically developed to hunt various types of wildlife over various terrains.
Sadly, purebred specimens became rare once other dog breeds were introduced to the island population, and by the start of the 20th century, numerous French writers noted that perhaps the breed was almost extinct.
The Phu Quoc Ridgeback population appears to be genetically varied despite the species’ near extinction, according to genetic analyses. Contrary to popular belief, current studies reveal that perhaps the Phu Quoc ridgeback is distinct from the Thai ridgeback.
The Phu Quoc Ridgeback has been most closely linked to the Korean Pungsan dog, according to a genetic study. As public interest in the breed increases, their numbers have started growing again.
The 2013 Hanoi dog show was won by a Phú Quốc Ridgeback. The breed was chosen as the emblem for Ho Chi Minh City’s yearly Nguyen Hue Flower Street in 2018. They use this dog breed as a symbol for the dog in the Zodiac of Vietnamese origin.
However, today this is an international dog, despite it being one of the rarest dogs in the world.
What Does The Phu Quoc Ridgeback Look Like?
The first thing that you may notice about this dog breed, is that it is easily placed in the chart of the large sized dog breeds.
The dog has a distinct athletic build to it, with long and muscular legs which support the proportional torso.
They have a wide head, almost like a Pitbull’s, their forehead is straight without any creases or wrinkles. Their eyes are rounded, lively, and brilliant.
Their ears are placed wide at the root of the head, and they slim down towards the end. They fold towards the head of the dog.
They are between 21 and 24 inches tall, and weigh from 66 to 85 pounds. I warned you that this actually is a large dog breed! However, their size depends on the dog being a male or a female, and generally on the litter itself.
Their body is very strong and proportional. They look as if, at any point, they are ready to run, if you tell them to do so. Also, if you order them to swim, they will gladly do so – they have characteristic webbed feet, which means that in the water they are faster than many other dog breeds.
Webbed feet were probably developed during the time the dogs were living alone on the Island of Phu Quoc. Since water was surrounding them from all sides, they were literally forced to learn to love it, and this dog breed decided to learn to prosper from it. They were probably even used to hunt down fish!
Their hair is characterized by that ridge of hair that stretches from their shoulders to the start of the tail that grows in the opposite direction of the usual direction of hair growth.
They have a long tail, which narrows down towards the end.
How Many Phu Quoc Ridgebacks Are There?
Ridgebacks are all of the dogs that have this similar body shape, together with that line of hair growing in the opposite direction.
However, there isn’t just one or two of the dog breed that have this characteristic coat feature, but three!
The three kinds of Ridgeback breeds are:
• Phu Quoc Ridgeback Dog
• Rhodesian Ridgeback
The southern African area is home to the huge dog breed famous for their ability to hunt by scent and guarding talent, known as the Rhodesian Ridgeback. Its ancestors may be found in the Khoikhoi’s half domesticated ridged hunters and guard dogs.
The early settlers of the Cape Colony in southern Africa crossed them with European canines. F. R. Barnes created the first breed standard in 1922 in Bulawayo, Southern Rhodesia (currently Zimbabwe), and the South African Kennel Union recognized it in 1927.
The only breed native to southern Africa that is now registered is the Rhodesian Ridgeback.
However, this breed is listed among the 25 most expensive dog breeds!
The physical characteristics of primitive dogs, often referred to as pariah dogs, are a medium stature, prick ears, crescent heads, creased foreheads, boxy bodies with strong legs, and silky coats.
One of these dogs is the Thailand ‘Thai Ridgeback’, which is a classic example. They have hyperpigmentation or patches on their tongue (this is a healthy tongue color, however, you can check our chart of healthy tongue colors) like the Chow Chow and the Chinese Shar-Pei, and comes in four colors: red, black, blue (gray), and yellow (fawn).
The majority of the breed’s individuals – but not all – have the distinctive ridge of hair that runs down their back and has as many as eight distinct ridge patterns.
What Color Are Phu Quoc Ridgebacks?
The Vietnamese Phu Quoc Ridgeback comes in a few coat colours. Even if one color is the most specific coat colour of the Phu Quoc Ridgebacks- which is yellow, they also come in a variety of different coat colours.
Phu Quoc Ridgebacks come in these colors:
• Yellow (sometimes referred to as ‘gold’ or ‘golden’)
• Brindle (check out our list of 28 brindle dog breeds!)
Do Phu Quoc Ridgebacks Have A Short Or Long Coat?
The Phú Quốc Ridgebacks are famous for their coats. They are the only dog breed which has that distinct line of hair growing in the opposite direction from the top to the bottom of their spine.
Asides from that, they have a silky, yet short coat. This is really appreciated by the owners of the Phu Quoc Ridgebacks, since they won’t need to spend much time grooming.
Just regular nail cutting and a bath from time to time will be more than enough to maintain your Phu Quoc Ridgeback’s grooming requirements.
What Is The Temperament Of The Phu Quoc Ridgeback?
The Phu Quoc Ridgeback is a smart, curious dog that will keep every owner on their toes and fast to pick up new skills. They are brave and devoted to their family, and they will protect their territory if necessary.
Indeed, one of their most important traits is loyalty. When a stranger enters their area, they are reputed to bark loudly, yet they hardly ever exhibit actual aggressiveness. This makes them great big guard dogs, which are alert at all times, when it comes to their family and closest ones.
They often communicate well with various dogs and kids since they are naturally social. Anxiety is not regarded to be a problem with this breed because of their independence.
Phu Quoc Ridgebacks are athletic and agile, and they’ll cheerfully accompany you on strenuous excursions, possibly pausing sometimes to climb a tree and take in the view.
They will act without delay when they see a lake, sea, or river in front of them – they are water lovers and won’t hesitate to go swimming.
They are intelligent, but are also a bit headstrong. They will learn all of those tricks and skills easily, without a doubt. However, if they sometimes feel like not doing them, nobody in the world could persuade them to do so.
Is The Phu Quoc Ridgeback A Good Family Dog?
The pleasant and laid-back nature of Phu Quoc Ridgebacks makes it simple to keep them around kids. They get along nicely with other breeds because they are social beings.
A Phu Quoc is a ferocious watchdog and hunter, thus it seems to make sense for them to dislike children’s company.
They are the ones who are, thanks to their laid-back personality, good family dogs. The kids can pull their tails and ears, tease them in every possible way, but their character means they won’t be bothered.
Actually, the reverse is true. As a result of his inherent propensity to protect, they develop relationships with both young and old. They naturally feel more protective of children and will not allow anyone to inflict any injury to them.
He likes to run around the yard and play games with children. You can put your trust in him to play with the kids without knocking them over or shoving them with its weight.
The only important thing on which you need to take notes – you must start the upbringing and training from a young age. Because of their headstrong personality, it is essential that they are taught from a young age about the do’s and don’ts.
Are Phu Quoc Ridgebacks Healthy?
The ability of a Phu Quoc Ridgeback to transition through warm and cold locations with reasonable ease is another fantastic benefit of owning one.
On Phu Quoc Island, both climates exist. The dogs have naturally adapted to both. For the dog’s comfort, its coats are shed in accordance with the weather.
The pet might experience a little discomfort if the temperature reaches excessive levels, of course. Consider getting a different breed of dog if you are in an area of scorching desert or Alaska.
Dogs from Phu Quoc are strong and robust and considered to be one of the healthiest dog breeds out there! Perhaps they became this way because they lived active, athletic lives in the highlands and consumed natural foods.
This breed lives a long, healthy life, unlike others that have a variety of health problems. What is most interesting to me – these dogs don’t even suffer hip dysplasia!
The only thing that they may have problems with is bloating. That can start happening as the dog ages, or even from the development of allergies to certain foods that make it bloat. Luckily, this happens so rarely that I was debating whether I should even include it here.
What Is The Phu Quoc Ridgeback’s Lifespan?
Since they are amongst the healthiest dog breeds that I personally know of, they have an adequate lifespan.
This dog breed will be your dear companion for 14 to 16 years! Even their trait of being a large dog breed doesn’t play a huge role here – they live as long as most of the small dog breeds, and even longer than the average lifespan of a dog.
Thanks to their general excellent wellbeing and health, provide them with good dog food and they will be ready to go anywhere at anytime.
Their long lifespan probably has to do with them not being overbred. Some dog breeds that are overly popular are being aggressively bred, therefore, making the parent dogs tired and possibly weaker.
How much does a Phu Quoc Ridgeback cost?
You need to be prepared to open up your wallet, and even dip into your savings, if you are interested in buying this dog breed.
They are a bit on the pricier side to be completely honest. In Vietnam, you can find them from $300 a puppy, however, the price range in Europe is a bit different.
There is this woman, named Catherine Lane, who bought two jet black Phu Quoc Ridgebacks in Vietnam. However, she decided to breed them when she got back to her home in East Sussex.
Not much time has passed since she became famous for her one of a kind, unusual breed that is very eye-catching. People became interested in her dogs and wanted to know if she would be having and/or selling puppies.
Therefore, Catherine Lane became the first Phu Quoc Ridgeback breeder in Europe, and her puppies cost a whopping $10,000 a pup.
Yes, you read that right – the European price for this dog is a head spinner. However, Catherine Lane has a complete and legitimate right to do so, because they are one of the rarest dog breeds in Europe.
Relationship Between The Kennel Club And The Phu Quoc Ridgeback
With only a little more than a 1,000 purebred dogs approved by the Vietnam Kennel Association, the Phu Quoc Ridgeback is one of the rarest dog breeds in the entire world.
When British citizen Catherine Lane imported two jet-black Phu Quoc Ridgebacks back in 2015, the species made headlines around the world. Four puppies from the litter were sold for $10,000 each pup, after the dogs’ breeding.
Interestingly enough, the Phu Quoc ridgeback is still lacking a breed standard and is not frequently accepted at international dog exhibitions due to their rarity.
For example, the American Kennel Club does not approve of this dog breed.
Although Loc, who had only two months of training, defeated other dog breeds to win the Vietnam Champion Dog Show in 2017, so this is gradually changing.
Inside and outside of Vietnam, the Phu Quoc dog is a rare breed and is regarded as a primitive hunting hound. The breed on Phu Quoc Island was on the verge of extinction just after the Vietnam War and barely numbers a few hundred.
In recent years, due to conservation initiatives, their population has increased to 700-800 purebreds. There are currently just a thousand purebred Phu Quoc canines known to exist.
The Phu Quoc dog breed is renowned for its intelligence, agility, and speed. Because they involve order, habit, discipline, effective communication, and consistency, which novice dog owners may not be accustomed with or experienced in providing to dogs, they are not advised for first-time dog owners.
Insofar as they are permitted to do some things, they are really only partially domesticated in their homeland since they are not kept as house pets in Vietnam.
They require an owner which lives an active lifestyle, and who will provide them with training from a young age.
However, if you decide upon owning this dog breed, you will be rewarded with a great companion for active families or active individuals. They will give you their undivided attention and be loyal to you forever.