Phu Quoc Ridgeback Dog Breed Facts (2024 Guide)

The Phu Quoc Ridgeback dog is exceptionally clever, trustworthy, loving, and an excellent swimmer. There are three Ridgeback-type dog breeds: Rhodesian Ridgeback, Thai Ridgeback, and Phu Quoc Ridgeback.

Phu Quoc Ridgeback is a unique dog from the Vietnamese province of Kieng Giang and the island of Phu Quoc. It is one of the four native dog breeds of Vietnam. This dog is well-known for its fearlessness, intelligence, and quick wit. In contrast to other animals, it has a vertex along its spine, which gives the spine a distinct look.

What is a Ridgeback-type dog?Ridgeback-type dog typically refers to a dog that possesses a distinctive ridge of hair along its back. This ridge is formed by a strip of hair growing in the opposite direction to the rest of the coat. While the term is often associated with specific breeds, it is sometimes used more broadly to describe dogs with similar physical features, even if they don’t belong to recognized ridgeback breeds.


The origins of Phu Quoc Ridgeback are the subject of various discussions. Many people think this breed originated in France and followed its owners to Vietnam, where it went lost on Phu Quoc Island decades ago. Others say, it originated in Thailand, where it accompanied Thai fishermen to Vietnam to harvest fish and trade.

Even with all of these possibilities, the origin of the breed is still not accepted due to a lack of proof. As a result, many dog lovers think that the Phu Quoc Ridgeback originated on the island of Phu Quoc.

Before exploring more about this beauty, check out this informative video.

Phu Quoc Ridgeback Breed Profile

NamePhu Quoc Ridgeback
Male Weight33 to 44 lbs.
Male Height19.5 to 21.5 inches
Female Weight26 to 40 lbs.
Female Height19 to 20.5 inches
Breed SizeMedium
TemperamentVery intelligent, loyal, protective
Energy levelHigh
Barking tendencyModerate to high
Breed GroupWorking, herding
Exercise requirementAt least 60 minutes a day
Colors- Black
- Red
- Brown
- Brindle
- Yellow
- Sable
Coat typeShort and straight
Life span14 to 16 years
Health Issues- Hip dysplasia
- Patella luxation
- Bloating
- Arthritis
Price5 to 6 million Vietnamese Dollars

Read about Samoyed Dog

Appearance and Features

The Phu Quoc Ridgeback is a medium-sized dog that comes in various colors including tiger brindle, yellow, and jet black while the most expensive and rare color among all of them is the tiger. 

Interestingly, it looks like Hound-type dogs and it may be difficult for some to differentiate between a Hound and a Phu Quoc Ridgeback. It has a very proportioned body and will have a unique black spotted tongue. A wrinkled forehead, straight ears, black color eyes, a deep chest, and a curved tail are among the common body features of this dog.

This dog has webbed feet that help them swim with ease while they are excellent runners. They are excellent hunters as well, and can also become ideal working dogs.

Experts say that this dog has a tremendous amount of intelligence and is considered much smarter than the German Shepherd. It is a highly trainable dog and will obey any order after a few instructions of training. 


Known for their intelligence and loyalty, Phu Quoc Ridgebacks make excellent companions for those who appreciate a dedicated and alert canine friend. Their hunting background contributes to their agility and quick decision-making abilities. While they may retain some of their hunting instincts, proper socialization and training can mold them into well-behaved and affectionate family members. It is recommended to not get this dog if you are a first-time dog owner.

These dogs are typically reserved but not aggressive, making them good watchdogs. They form strong bonds with their families and are known to be gentle and protective, particularly with children.

Pros and Cons of Having a Phu Quoc Ridgeback Dog

These dogs come with a lot of positive traits and various negative traits. The most important of them are described below:


  • Intelligent – They may not be popular like many other breeds such as Poodle or German Shepherd but they have enough intelligence to excel as excellent working dogs. 
  • Easy to train – Their intelligence makes it easier for you to train them. They respond well to consistent training sessions and learn the commands quickly.
  • Excellent Working Dog – They could become excellent working and hunting dogs with consistent training.
  • Protective – By nature, they are protective of their families. If you love camping, they could become an ideal camping guard for you.
  • Longer lifespan – They are more likely to live longer than many other breeds. On average, a Pho Quoc Ridgeback dog will live for over 10 years.
  • Social – It’s always wonderful to have a social and friendly dog that loves being with other people and dogs and this dog has enough guts to become the center of attention in a dog park.


  • Expensive – It won’t be much expensive in Vietnam but if you plan to get one and import it to your country, you may need to spend a heavy amount for that. 
  • Not for lazy owners – The Phu Quoc Ridgeback is like a small powerhouse with lots of energy. It needs an active owner who can spend enough time exercising their fur baby.

Care and Maintenance

Caring for Phu Quoc Ridgeback Dogs requires attention to their specific needs. Regular exercise is very important to keep them physically and mentally stimulated. As an island breed, they may thrive in warmer climates but still appreciate shade and water to stay cool.

Grooming is relatively straightforward due to their short coat, requiring occasional brushing to remove loose hair. Routine veterinary check-ups, a balanced diet, and dental care contribute to their overall health and well-being.

Some Amazing Facts About Phu Quoc Ridgeback Dog

Great hunters

These canines are renowned for being excellent hunters, particularly of mice. If it sees a mouse, the mouse has little to no chance of surviving. It won’t sit still until it has completed its hunt. If trained, the dog may also hunt other big animals such as deer and wild boar.

Surprising eating habit

An interesting fact about the Phu Quoc Ridgeback dog is that it will never eat food if given by another person other than its owner. Even if another person tries to feed it, it will not even touch the food. So this dog will never be caught in the poisoning trap with ease.  

Sharp memory

Another astonishing feature of the breed is its extremely keen memory. This dog will remember things for a longer amount of time, especially its owner and the time spent with its family. If a dog is sold or given to another person, it will recognize its owner when it sees him again, even if it’s been a long time.

Close to nature

Because their ancestors spent decades on Phu Quoc Island, these canines are used to the sun, wind, and plenty of room. Adopt this dog only if you have plenty of room for it to run about and play. Furthermore, maintain this dog as near to nature as possible; otherwise, it may become unwell, refuse to eat, and could even die.

Bottom Line

Phu Quoc Ridgeback is a medium-sized strong dog. It has a hound-like shape and is entirely different from other Ridgeback breeds. This dog runs very fast, swims pretty well, and can get well in both hot and cold weather circumstances.

These dogs are well known for their hunting and herding capabilities. They are considered to be one of the most expensive and rarest dog breeds in the World. Phu Quoc Ridgebacks are only found on Phu Quoc Island in Vietnam. 

Recommended read – Shih Poo FAQs