Phu Quoc Ridgeback Dog Breed

  • Other names:
  • Chó Phú Quốcs

The Phu Quoc Ridgeback (of Vietnam) is the smallest of the three Ridgeback breeds-- the others being the Rhodesian and Thai Ridgebacks. They are extremely rare outside Vietnam, however, if you are lucky enough to get your hands on one you will see there is nothing they can't do! Hunting, protecting, sports, agility, even swimming and fishing-- this dog is truly versatile. Their looks are also eye catching with the "ridge" that runs along the spine, spotted tongue and interesting coat colors. Naturally obedient and easily groomed, they make excellent companions for any individual of family that is active enough to give them daily outdoor exercise. Although they are not lapdogs, they are very loyal, friendly and people oriented; these social canines are good for multi-dog households. Phu Quocs are notably hardy and often live 14-16 years.

Phu Quoc Ridgeback Breed Details

Breed Specs
Purebred14-16 yrs.17½-21¼ in.30-55 lbs
  • Friendliness
  • Overall
  • Family Friendly
  • Kid Friendly
  • Pet Friendly
  • Stranger Friendly
  • Maintenance
  • Easy to Groom
  • Energy Level
  • Exercise Needs
  • General Health
  • Shedding Amount
  • Behavior
  • Barks / Howls
  • Easy to Train
  • Guard Dog
  • Playfulness
  • Watch Dog
  • Ownership
  • Apartment Friendly
  • Can Be Alone
  • Good for Busy Owners
  • Good for Novice Owners
  • Intelligence
* The more green the stronger the trait.

The Phu Qouc Ridgeback is a very rare breed from Vietnam's Phu Quoc Island; with only 700 registered purebred (Vietnamese Kennel Club), you can truly consider this dog a national treasure! Although there are only a handful of these dogs outside Vietnam, the French were the first to recognize this distinct breed in the 1800s. Since then, the Phu Quoc has been proving himself in every arena-- companionship, obedience, agility, hunting and even winning the 2013 Hanoi Dog Show. The Vietnamese are presently working on recognition for this breed by kennel clubs, globally, as they are not yet recognized; a breed standard is also in the works. Phu Quocs have beginnings as hunters and protectors and can even catch fish. Such an impressive dog must be only for the experienced, right? Not so! They are usually easy to train, make good companions for active individuals and families, plus they don't need much grooming! Here's a few Phu Quoc facts:


  • Intelligent, obedient, trainable
  • Social with other dogs
  • Friendly towards visitors
  • Laid back and can live indoors
  • Independent enough to live outdoors
  • Perfect exercise companion
  • Protective watch dog
  • Fine with kids
  • Can make good hunting companions
  • Attention grabbing physical appearance
  • Generally very healthy
  • Excels at agility, sports, obedience--everything!


  • Very rare, only a handful outside of Vietnam
  • Not hypoallergenic
  • Must be on leash or in a securely fenced yard
  • Will bark loudly until the owner shows familiarity with the person
  • May not do well with cats and other small, non canine pets
  • Not for inactive people--must get plenty of outdoor exercise daily
  • Not an overly-affectionate, lovey lapdog

Phu Quoc Ridgeback Breed Description

The Phu Quoc is the smallest of the three Ridgeback dogs (Rhodesian and Thai are the others). A fully grown Phu Quoc is medium sized and will weigh around 30-40 pounds depending upon gender and genes, however, it's not unheard of for them to reach 45-55 pounds. Their most notable feature, of course, is the ridge of hair that grows along the spine in the opposite direction of the rest of the coat; it is even more noticeable when the dog is excited or on the hunt. Other features include a lean but athletic body, long neck and muzzle, webbed feet, and a black/blue spotted tongue! Typical coat colors include the highly coveted solid black or solid yellow along with reddish-brown, and tiger striped; color variety is increasing too.

These dogs are quite intelligent-- add to this their natural obedience and willingness to please (even without being asked) and you have a pet that will be easily trained! Basic obedience and commands are a breeze for most individuals, as is house training so they are good for first time owners. They are natural hunters and protectors and these activities, too, can be enhanced with proper training.

Phu Quocs are notoriously friendly (once they verify their owner welcomes you) and are also very social with other dogs. They are natural hunters that likely retain high prey drive so cats and other small creatures may be out of the question; the best way to mitigate this is to raise them together from puppy age. Also, these dogs make great watch dogs and will alert you to approaching strangers, although they are not aggressive. Separation anxiety and neediness is not so much a concern with this breed.

These Ridgebacks like to put those webbed feet to good use by swimming. They also run very fast and jump very high-- meaning keep them on leash and make sure your fence is secure. Phu Quocs excel at agility activities and sports; they can do most physical exercise better than their owners and are said to even climb trees. All this being said, these are not dogs for sedentary people and they should get an hour of outdoor exercise daily.

Phu Quoc Ridgeback Photos

Below are pictures and images of the Phu Quoc Ridgeback breed.

Black Phu Quoc Ridgeback

Phu Quoc Ridgeback Health

There isn't much information out there to disprove the Phu Quoc Ridgeback's health. Their rarity may be the reason behind this lack of information or, perhaps, since they haven't been interbred for centuries (like most pure breeds) they simply don't have very many.

If you are lucky enough to get your hands on one of these then you will have a sturdy companion that will likely live 14-16 years. A few issues that have been documents are normal joint problems (hip dysplasia, patellar luxation, arthritis) and bloat.

  • Arthritis
  • Bloat
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Joint Dysplasia
  • Patellar Luxation
  • View all 5...