Phu Quoc Ridgeback Dog

Phú Quốc Ridgeback Dog Breed

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.


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 descendant of the Australian dingo which was domesticated before being turned back to the wild.

phu quoc dogs ridgeline in the back

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.

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phu quoc dog swimming
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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.

Ready to see all the cute Phu Quoc dogs running around Phu Quoc Island? Plan your trip today!

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