Phu Quoc Ridgeback Dog

Learn about Phu Quoc’s most famous animal – The Phu Quoc Ridgeback Dog.

All About The Phu Quoc Ridgeback Dog

The Phu Quoc Ridgeback Dog (also known as the “Phu Quoc Dog” or the “Phu Quoc Greyhound”) found in Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam is the islands most symbolic animal.  It is a unique native dog breed that has a mohawk like ridge (also referred to as a “whorl”) running along its back that is formed by hair growing in the opposite direction from the rest of the coat.  It is one of three ridgeback dogs found in the world, the others being the Thailand Ridgeback and the Rhodesian Ridgeback.  The Phu Quoc Ridgeback is prized for its temperament, athletic abilities, loyalty to their owner, and having an odorless coat which does not shed.

In Phu Quoc you can see these dogs roaming around island, either on a beach or on a side street.  They like to play in the ocean and sit next to you while you are eating, hoping that you will give them some of your food.  They are not dangerous to visitors and rarely bite unless provoked.  The free roaming Phu Quoc Dog’s seen on Long Beach, the main touristy beach on the island, may appear as if they are street dogs/homeless dogs however most of the resort managers and employees look after them and the tourist feed them well.

Thai Phu Quoc Rhodesian Ridgeback dogs

History Of The Phu Quoc Dog

The Phu Quoc Ridgeback Dog’s origins is shrouded in mystery and the dogs history is not well documented.  A few scholars believe that this breed of dog was either a) brought to the island from Thailand or Africa, b) a product of a wild dog being bred with a native dog, or c) a descendent of the Australian dingo which was domesticated before being turned back to the wild.

Characteristics of the breed:

The Phu Quoc Dog has all the characteristics that make for a good hunting dog: the dog can climb trees, dig holes, swim (has webbed feet!), and jump very high.  When the dog is excited or chasing prey, its ridge becomes erect.  Phu Quoc Ridgeback Dogs are also very loyal to their owners as well as strangers, which is why they do not make good watch dogs.  They will, however, bark at strangers.

Phu Quoc Ridgeback Dog Characteristics table

A mature Phu Quoc Dog weighs about 20-25kg and has a small head with a distinct long snout.  The dogs ears are thin and sometimes they have spots on their tongues.  They are easy to train and aim to please their owners.  As the breed has been mixed several times, they can now be found in the following four colors: pure black, pure tan, tan with black markings, and various shades of tan and black.  The most popular color is a Phu Quoc Dog that has a tan coat with black markings.

Like with all dogs, the Phu Quoc dog has a few health problems which include:

  • hip dysplasia
  • prone to arthritis
  • patellar luxation – dislocation of the knee
  • bloat.

Overall they are generally a healthy breed that can live for up to 16 year.

Where To Buy A Phu Quoc Dog

There are many places in Vietnam to buy a Phu Quoc Ridgeback Dog as they are quite popular dogs in the country.  They cost anywhere between 500,000VND to 5,000,000VND depending on the color of the dog’s coat and its’ breeding history.  The most expensive color is a mix of tan and black with a pattern that resembles a hyena or a jackal.

However if you want a Phu Quoc Dog that is native to Phu Quoc Island, then there are a few places that sell them on the island:

Thanh Nga Dog Farm & Dog Racecourse (breeders and trainers)
Location: Cua Duong Village (close to Duong Dong Town) | Tel: 0918123494
Costs: 800,000VND to 1,200,000VND for black or tanned; For the multicolor dog: 1,500,000 to 2,000,000.

Where to buy phu quoc ridgeback dog

Review: Thanh Nga Dog Farm & Dog Racecourse is a place where you can watch Phu Quoc Dog Racing as well.  They claim that they are the best breeders of this dog species and have various certificates and letters from the Vietnamese government verifying this claim.  They will also deliver the dog to Ho Chi Minh City for a fee.  Thanh Nga offers an 8 month guarantee .

Street Vendors
Location: In front of the Old Duong Dong Airport – Duong Dong Town
Cost: 500,000VND for black and tanned dogs; 800,000VND for the multicolored dog.

where tp buy phu quoc dog

Review: The puppies on display here are crammed into a very tiny cage.  Their genetic and breeding history cannot be verified and this is justified by their very low price – the cheapest on the island.  The few sellers here will even assist in shipping the dog to Ho Chi Minh City for a fee.  No guarantees are offered by these sellers.

Nong Lam
Location: 3 Cau Sau Street, An Thoi | Tel: 0917.268.049
Cost: 1,000,000VND for black or tan color; 3,000,000VND for multicolor.

buy phu quoc dog

Review: This breeder is located Near Starfish Beach.  The dogs look healthier here however the price seems a little high.

Cho Xoay
Location: Tuyen Lo 47, Suoi Da, Duong To | Tel: 0939673567
Cost: 800,000VND for black and tanned dogs; 2,000,000VND for the multicolored dog.

Buy phu quoc island dog in vietnam

Review: Near Duong Dong Town on Nguyen Tran Hung Street.  A few dogs were available when we visited this place in Oct 2014

Truong Viet
Location: Close to Cho Xoay Breeders (see above) and located on the same street. | 0917233909
Cost: 800,000VND for black and tanned dogs; 2,000,000VND for the multicolored dog.

Review: The dogs here have their ow kennels and seemed healthy.  The manager of this place did not speak any English.

Need To Know

  • In Vietnam the Phu Quoc Dog is one of the four most famous native dog breeds, the others being the H’mong short-tail dog, the Bac Ha dog,  and the Indochina dingo.
  • The dog can swim and catch fish.
  • The French were the first to classify the Phu Quoc Ridgeback as a distinctive type of dog in the 1800’s.
  • The Vietnamese Kennel Association is currently working to create a recognized breed standard for the Phu Quoc Ridgeback.  At the moment this breed is not recognized by global kennel clubs due to lack of information and genetic mapping.
  • There are only 700 pure bred dogs registered and recognized by the Vietnam Kennel Club.
  • Shipping a Phu Quoc Dog from Phu Quoc Island to Ho Chi Minh City – If you want to ship your dog back to Ho Chi Minh City, there is a transport service available on the island. Cat Dang at 336 Nguyen Trung Truc, Duong Dong Town will ship your dog for a fee. You can reach them at 0908730799..

Phu Quoc Dog Pictures

Photos of Phu Quoc Dogs in Phu Quoc Island:

phu quoc ridgeback dog

phu quoc island dog

phu quoc puppy dog

phu quoc dog on bai sao beach

phu quoc dog swimming

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