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Imagine every morning a quaint 70ish-year old Thai lady step out on the deck of her rural home that overlooks the Nan River in north central Thailand and yells “Shit, come!” This scenario is on my Bucket List. I know. Little things amuse little minds.

After our family pet of 15 years died, I was in no hurry to get another dog. However, my wife wanted another one and she wanted a Thai Ridgeback. Details are sketchy but supposedly they are originally from the north east region of Thailand and were bred more than 400 years ago by farmers as a guard dog, a hunting dog and appropriately enough, a cobra-killing dog. Yes, these dogs can and will attack a cobra when confronted with one. Well, that is what the breeder said and since we have the occasional cobra show up, this might be a good thing. Shown below is a Thai Ridgeback mom and her litter.






















Originally this dog was known as the cart-following dog. People used them to escort their carts and one reason the breed has remained pure is due to the poor transportation systems back in the day. They simply did not have the opportunity to crossbreed with other breeds.

But in today’s world many Thais will allow their dogs to breed with whatever, so finding a 100% pure stock was tough. By utilizing the Bamboo Grapevine my wife was able to find a person who had a litter of pups that she was after. I wanted only one pup and Dee fell in love with two at B3,000 each. That is $190 in American money.

Now let’s combine all of the above to get the dog’s names. You see, from time to time we love to visit the states and roam around the mountains of Colorado. So, one pup was named Rock and the other one is Key. Since we can’t always visit the Rockies, we can have them come to us. Or hopefully that is the plan once they are trained.

We visited one of the Thai Army’s dog training center outside of Phitsanulok for some tips on dog raising. Surprisingly, they only had German Shepherds, Dobermans and Collies. The first two breeds were being trained as guard dogs and the Collies were for sniffing drugs. I’ll admit that my heart did skip a beat upon hearing that.

To demonstrate on how to train a dog, the soldier brought out a collie which promptly followed him around like the proverbial dog. After the demonstration, the collie came over to me and began wagging his tail and nosing around. Come to  find out the dog was still in the come and stay learning stages and had not attended the pot sniffing class. 








Anyway, the trainers said that the army did not use Thai Ridgebacks for several reasons. First off they are not as big nor quite as smart as the German Shepherds or the Dobermans. However, they are just as aggressive and protective if not more so than either of the above breeds. Which leads us to training. The dogs are not recommended for the novice dog owner. A person needs to be the alpha leader as the Ridgebacks can be both stubborn and protective. Keep in mind that there is a big difference between being mean to a dog and being firm with one. Unfortunately, they can turn out to be the kind of dog that no one wants to be around, even the owner.

Below shows why this species is referred to as Ridgebacks. For some strange genetic reason the hair along their spine grows backward. So far life with Rock and Key has been mostly enjoyable. Even though they get plenty of exercise at D&G, I still try walk them daily along with practicing the sit and come commands. Some training sessions are good and others are (well you know).  Additional lessons are planned for the future. Of course class is always held in English.


Finally as a special bonus for raising these Thai Ridgebacks is the word Key. Why? When Thais say Key, it sounds like their word for shit. My hope is to live at least another 15 years to cross this goal off of my Bucket List…

Thai Ridgeback pups
Learning how to train a dog from the Thailand Army trainers.
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