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So you have came this far , and have read all the same things over and over. You have decided that the Thai Ridgeback Dog is the breed for you. Congratulations! This is an outstanding breed and will certainly bring you years of enjoyment and happiness.

You have read all about the histories, and feel this is your dog of choice. This page is designed to bring you a little more in depth information that will stray away from the basic cookie cutter info provided throughout the internet. We will try to offer more insight to such topics as the breed standards, where we will cover a little more detail to certain standards that are wide open to interpretation, and can alter true breed type and conformation. We feel this is important as many are very unsure what will make the finest in TRD. Although not all information can be covered we will start with some basic unpromoted information as we wish to offer the truest insight of the breed to ensure its well being and to educate yourself, the potential buyers of the dog. We will also like to cover certain topics pertaining to the true history of the breed.

First we will start with the purity of the breed. You have seen over and over again that the TRD is a truly pure breed and has remained consistent for centuries. This is true to a degree, as it is a primitive pure bred dog. It would be considered a feral type dog originally as it did breed naturally for generations, and lived along side of man. However man did eventually play his role in the development of the breed, and has become the TRD we know of today. It is this point in time where the breed has been altered and "Mother Nature' No longer had her part, and natural selection was no longer the keeper of true breed type.

It is suggested that particularly in the last 3 decades, and through a growing popularity of the breed, that 3 other breeds have been introduced into the breed. The breeds were introduced with purposeful intention, and suggestively to help dilute the small gene pools, as well as help the breed become more suitable for the show rings and for the pet homes.

Depending on the region of Thailand the 3 breeds are the Pitbull, German Shepherd, and the Doberman Pinscher. The Pitbull was bred in for head type, the German Shepherd for obedience, and the Doberman for movement. It was clever breeding, but obviously compromises the credibility of a true pure breed type. One must also consider the types of dogs now bred into a primitive, feral type dog, and what the end results are. Although these breeds were introduced for a purpose, the dogs may now possess traits indicative to those breeds as well.

It may also suggest reasoning for some of the off colors within the breed we see now, as well as some of the aggressions. I do not consider the TRD an aggressive breed, but a breed with some aggressions. They are a wonderful pet but one must realize fully what they are, before making them a choice selection as a pet. They possess strong prey drive, and many can possess some strong dog aggression making them fighters. It is not in every dog, but it is in many.

The breeds weeded in may also have been brought in to help domesticate in a sense. As a feral type dog, it will possess some similar traits of wild canines, such as the wolf or Dingo. It will possess a certain level of fear of man, shown in their developmental stages, and will be part of the reason for certain shy behaviors. This is truly the reason a TRD will be a one owner dog and is shy to aloof of strangers. This is where early socialization is crucial to making them a positive member of society, and to being a well rounded pet. Raised well the TRD is a wonderful, friendly, loving and loyal pet, but may possess many of the traits that it has maintained for centuries. A very important factor to consider when acquiring one. They are hunters and will always be. It will take many generations to remove these instincts that may be considered undesirable. There is no strong push to do so as this is what makes them so unique. This is what the TRD is. A survivor, a hunter, a guardian, as well as a companion. Smaller dogs or animals should be properly introduced from young ages. In doing so they will be part of their pack and family.

Another reason for the introduction of the other breeds was to increase the TRDs size. The size was increased for one purpose only. The ability to attack and take down a man. Although they are not a large breed per say, they are much bigger now than what the original type was.

Our next topic we will cover briefly is the relation between the more popular Rhodesian Ridgeback and the Thai Ridgeback. Science to date, has not been able to link the two breeds genetically and the arguments may never be proven. Logic may dictate if that if it is believed that the dog has originated in Asia, then they may be proof enough that the original Ridgebacked dogs did as well. Extensive studies have been underway in Europe for sometime but to date are still inconclusive. The exact purpose for the ridgeback is unknown, and is believed to be a genetic morph, with the chances of this occurring on two different continents simultaneously in unlikely. These correlations we will pertain specifically between the TRD and the Hottentots dog of Africa, the original base for the Rhodesian Ridgeback. Hopefully these questions will be answered one day. Suggestions for the purpose of the Ridge may be simply as a wild dog it was nothing more than an appearance and defensive trait making the animal look more fierce to its opponents in the wild.In the longer coated TRDs you can actually see the ridge increase its size and stand up when it is angry. A very intimidating presence.

The next topic we will cover is some of the standards, specifically coat color and lengths. The original TRD was the red dog. The black dog came next. Maybe through crossing with another breed or just the fact of dominant gene types with black being a strong gene type. The color blue is nothing more than a dilution of the black dog that was bred in 1927, then reproduced from that point forward. The blue dog is not the original type or color and in all actuality is not a highly prized color in Thailand. It may also be the type that has deviated most from standard, and may have other breeds mixed in. The same holds true for the fawn colored dog. This is a dilution of the red dog. They are both not original, and are not highly revered by the Thai. Although they are part of the standard, they are not bred often and are considered quite rare. The black dog can be considered quite rare as well, as many of the Thai people and breeders consider a black dog to be "bad luck." So finding a black dog of true black descent can be very difficult. Most blacks are thrown from hereditary means and cross breeding color. You will struggle to find a pure black litter from black parents. It is just their culture and practice and nothing more.

Coat length has a wide range. The standard just says "short and smooth" and will range from the velvet type with no undercoat to a more course thicker longer coat. Proper length currently is considered to be under 1 inch or 3 centimeters long. The velvet coat, although beautiful and unique, prevalent in the blue colored dogs, however should not be considered typical or most correct. These type of coats also possess the most skin oriented problems. The TRD is a jungle dog, and in order to survive properly in dense jungle, their coat should protect them for the elements of a jungle. Such as mosquito's, brush, sun and rain. I personally would like to see coat length become more consistent in length. But again, this is something that is wide open for interpretation, and even so in Thailand.
Another topic of certain controversy are the different ridge patterns and shapes. Wider ridges on the TRD suggest that this may also be proof of the TRD as the original ridged dog holding more crowns and having wider ridges suggests many generations of development. Wider ridges were once held as a high prize in Thailand, but the standards now state the ridge should be within the width of the back. The eight accepted patterns have been altered to being just symmetrical as their are many more ridges within the breed. I believe many Thai breeders are now trying to maintain a more consistent type now, and this is part of the reason the standard has been modified to its current wording. Many now prefer the arrow or needle type ridge. I personally love wider ridges as I feel it is more indicative of the breed, and truly distinguishes it from the Rhodesian. I am an avid believer in"if it isn't broke, don't fix it." The different ridge patterns are what makes the TRD a unique breed, but many judges will prefer a narrow ridge.This may be partial reasoning for the standards alteration as well. You will also see some inconsistency in the tail type. The standard will read held strait or curved over the back like a sickle.

The truest tail is considered to be"Hung Dab"held high like a sword. The tail should be erect, strait into the air with a slight curve at the tip of it. This is most correct, but again a interpreted trait. Thus the many tail types. Many think if it is curved it is ok, as long as it is not curved up like an Akita, and is not in a ball per say. Strait in the air at almost 90 degrees,with slight curve is most correct, but not a heavily faulted trait.

The black mask in the red dog should also be considered most correct. It is not a mandatory, but earliest information dictates the dog should have a black mask. Depending on bloodlines and regions of Thailand, we will see many variations of the breed. But these points are to be considered most correct. No breed is totally consistent in type, and will offer many variations of it. But breeding these dogs with the truest typical traits of the breed will help restore its original traits and type.

It is truly unknown if the TRD is truly original to Thailand as some may suggest the dog actually comes from Vietnam or Cambodia. These points may be totally irrelevant as it was the Thai who refined and developed the breed as we know it today. The beautiful, regal, majestic and Royal dog.

HEALTH
The TRD does overall remain a very healthy breed.But it is not without genetic flaw. The Dermoid Sinus Cyst is prevalent as in the Rhodesian Ridgeback. It will more than likely not be removed from the breed as it is believed to be multiple genes causing the disorder. Every dog is susceptible to passing on the trait, and every litter is susceptible to having the trait, even when non existent in the parents. Bloodlines are not tracked in Thailand and breeding practices differ greatly from western civilization standards. Only 458 dogs are registered in Thailand, and there are thousands in existence, and hundreds being bred. The Thai do not have any bon, hip, or eye certifications as we do here. When the TRD was breeding naturally, I'm sure it was very healthy, but as man intervened, genetic disorders surely found their way in.Many state that Hip Dysplaysia is non existent in the breed which is not true. It has not however proven to be a major problem or epidemic in the breed. Because dogs are not lame, or not showing signs does not mean the breed does not have the disorders. However according to scientific data, hip laxity and dysplaysia are not one in the same. The TRD does suffer from hip laxity, but the disease of Dysplaysia does not seem prevalent. The same holds true in eye and patella disorders. There have been TRDs that have gone blind, and have luxating patellae. Basically a form of dysplaysia that affects the knees. The TRD can also experience certain skin disorders, mostly in the blue dogs,but has been seen in Blacks and Reds, and fawns as well. More so in the short velvet type coats. They are also susceptible to many skin type infections, as a result of bacteria. They can be very sensitive to this, and hair loss or replenishments can be affected. Maybe many of these conditions have been introduced to the breed from certain out crossings, and inbreeding of the results. It was certainly not introduced through natural selection. One thing is certain though and that is there is no perfect dog, and it will take many generations, testing, and very selective breeding to try and eliminate congenital defect. This is our sole purpose at Royal Dog Kennels.

All breeds of dogs have congenital defects, and there is no perfect animal. By breeding for the betterment and by tracking all results of litters is crucial of all in this breed. As a unified effort, we can all surely help the TRD to be a healthy well rounded pet. The breed must be fairly presented and only the finest of the breed bred. The dog must be presented for what it truly is and not what it is hyped up to be. It is up to all the current people involved whether breeders or just fanciers to aid in this.

Knowing the breed is to truly love the breed as we do. Knowing what you are seeking is crucial,as this dog may not be the dog for you. The dog does possess some strong aggressions, especially food and dominance/dog aggression. It does have a strong hunting drive, particularly of small prey. It will not, in most cases be accepting of strangers and may even show some defensive aggressions in retrospect of it. They are very sight and sound sensitive, and some may possess some fears of man. These traits are why you will see it referred to as a "pariah" type. Undesirable. If you expect a dog that is like a Lab, and is everyone and things friend, then the TRD is not your dog. They can be a little difficult at times and understanding them is the key to your success with them. You can take the dog out of the jungle, but you can't take the jungle out of the dog. One thing is certain, and that is you will have a friend for life, who's sole being is to be near you and please you.

This breed is still relatively new in the US and in Europe as well. There is still much to be learned. We hope to obtain the facts and present them to the American public and abroad as we learn more. We feel this is positive for the breed and its well being,as well as its future existence, and hope that in the breeds growing popularity, people know as much as possible.

Maintaining this type of attitude is detrimental in the positive promotion of the Thai ridgeback Dog.

 
 
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