Phu Quoc Ridgeback Breed Information and Buying advice

Phu Quoc Ridgeback

Are You Looking to Buy or Adopt a Phu Quoc Ridgeback?

Quick Phu Quoc Ridgeback Facts

Average Size of Adult
Large (4/5)
Puppy Puppy Puppy Puppy Puppy
Grooming Requirement
Low (1/3)
Puppy Puppy Puppy
Medium (2/3)
Puppy Puppy Puppy
Average Life Span
14-16 years (6/8)
Exercise Requirements
Medium (2/3)
Puppy Puppy Puppy
High (3/3)
Puppy Puppy Puppy
Low (1/3)
Puppy Puppy Puppy
Child friendly
Yes (1/2)
High (3/3)
Puppy Puppy Puppy
Breed Group
Hound (2/8)
No (2/2)

Phu Quoc Ridgeback (Vietnamese Ridgeback, Beautiful Island Ridgeback, Cho Phu Quoc, Phu Quoc Dog, Phu Quoc Greyhound)


One of the rarest breeds in Europe, the Vietnamese Phu Quoc Ridgeback is a real treasure sure to please their owners and their families. Although it may be challenging to find one for purchase or adoption, they are certainly worth the effort as they are a sociable, intelligent, and dedicated breed.

Originally bred as hunting dogs, Phu Quoc Ridgebacks have only recently been introduced to homes in Europe as loyal companion dogs. This breed has only been introduced to the UK as of 2015 and remains extremely rare, earning a Guinness World Record for being one of the rarest dog breeds in the world.

Physical Appearance 

As the name suggests, Phu Quoc Ridgebacks are distinct for having a ridged line of hair running along his back. There are only three breeds known for this rare trait, the other two being the Rhodesian Ridgeback and the Thai Ridgeback. Technically, the ridge is a section of hair that runs opposite to the direction of the rest of the coat. This ridge of hair stands up somewhat erect when the dog is alert.

Apart from his distinctive ridge of hair, the remainder of the Phu Quoc Ridgeback’s coat of hair is relatively short and coarse and/or fine, depending on the individual dog. Coat colours include all jet black, deep red-brown, golden brown and black, and ‘tiger stripe’ which is a combination of all of the aforementioned colours.

This breed is medium to large-sized and most closely resembles other ridgebacks, namely the Rhodesian Ridgeback and the Thai Ridgeback.

How big do Phu Quoc Ridgeback dogs get?

  • Height: males 60-65 cm; females 55-60 cm

  • Weight: males 14-16 kg; females 12-16 kg

Character Traits

Courageous and regal, the Phu Quoc Ridgeback has a temperament as unique as his appearance. Due to their low population numbers, owner experiences of their temperament are not as defined as with most other breeds. Having said that, it has been shown that they are dedicated, territorial, courageous, and highly trainable. Signs of aggression have been noted, but proper socialisation and training can likely correct this.

They have also been shown to be rather intelligent and, around their owners, affectionate and even-tempered.

Are Phu Quoc Ridgeback dogs intelligent? Yes.

Are Phu Quoc Ridgeback dogs affectionate? Yes, with their owners.

Do Phu Quoc Ridgeback dogs have high or low energy levels? About average energy levels.

Are Phu Quoc Ridgeback dogs loyal? Yes.

Are Phu Quoc Ridgeback dogs playful? Yes.

Are Phu Quoc Ridgeback dogs aggressive? Limited owner experiences indicate they may show signs of aggression.

Are Phu Quoc Ridgeback dogs easy to train? Yes.

Are Phu Quoc Ridgeback dogs good guard dogs? Yes, they are naturally cautious and territorial and likely make good guard dogs.

Ability to Socialise

From what is known, Phu Quoc Ridgebacks require ample socialisation in order to get along with everyone at home, including other pets, their owners, and their families. While this may be attributable to the breed’s longstanding history of isolation on an island in Vietnam and subsequently few occasions to encounter other dog breeds or small pets, owners may find that socialisation is nevertheless a challenge.

Around smaller pets, they may exert dominance, chase, or play boisterously, thus possibly frightening or intimidating other dogs or cats. Around owners and their families, however, they have shown to be remarkably relaxed and even-tempered.

Around strangers, Phu Quoc Ridgebacks may be cautious at first until they’ve become accustomed to the guest or visitor. This makes them ideal watchdogs and perhaps even useful as guard dogs.

Do Phu Quoc Ridgeback dogs get along with other pets? No.

Do Phu Quoc Ridgeback dogs get along with other dogs? Somewhat.

Are Phu Quoc Ridgeback dogs good with kids? Yes.

Are Phu Quoc Ridgeback dogs good with strangers? Not really, they tend to be cautious around strangers at first.

Lifestyle Suitability

It takes a particular owner to want to adopt or purchase a Phu Quoc Ridgeback. Firstly, obtaining one in the UK may prove extremely challenging and thus costly. Moreover, they are somewhat selective in terms of adaptability.

Originally bred as hunting hounds in their native Vietnam, Phu Quoc Ridgebacks can tolerate the heat but may feel cold during a British winter. They are also not ideal for small apartments and much prefer large spaces which they can claim as their own territory. Fenced properties are ideal as they are prone to roaming and wandering about.

Although they aren’t known to be big droolers, they have been known to yip and yap quite a bit and may become excessive barkers.

Are Phu Quoc Ridgeback dogs good for first-time owners? No.

Are Phu Quoc Ridgeback dogs hypoallergenic? No.

Are Phu Quoc Ridgeback dogs prone to drooling? No.

Are Phu Quoc Ridgeback dogs a good breed for apartment living? Not really.

Do  Phu Quoc Ridgeback dogs shed a lot? A moderate amount of shedding.

Do  Phu Quoc Ridgeback dogs bark a lot? Yes.

Can Phu Quoc Ridgeback dogs be left alone at home? Yes, for moderate lengths of time.

Can Phu Quoc Ridgeback dogs handle the heat? Yes.

Can Phu Quoc Ridgeback dogs handle cold temperatures? Yes.

Are Phu Quoc Ridgeback dogs sensitive to loud noises? Yes.

General Health & Health Issues

Phu Quoc Ridgebacks are known to be a generally healthy breed, perhaps ranking above average when compared to other breeds. Thanks to their ancient purebred heritage in their native Vietnam, they are not known to have many hereditary health problems and instead are only prone to a few health problems that are fairly common with most other dog breeds.

It is important to bring your Phu Quoc Ridgeback in to see the veterinarian routinely to check for any potential signs of illness or disease so that diagnosis and treatment can be issued sooner rather than later.

Some common problems include:

  • Arthritis: large breeds such as the Phu Quoc Ridgeback tend to suffer from bone and joint conditions such as arthritis, which can range in severity from mild discomfort to chronic pain requiring urgent treatment;

  • Bloat: as with many other breeds, bloat and possibly gastric torsion are possible if your Phu Quoc Ridgeback is given an improper diet or eats at an irregular schedule;

  • Hip dysplasia: another bone and joint health problem, hip dysplasia, is fairly common to this breed and can be tested for during visits to the veterinarian;

  • Patellar luxation: an ‘out of place’ knee, patellar luxation, can affect the stature and gait of your Phu Quoc Ridgeback and lead to limpness or lameness.

How long do Phu Quoc Ridgeback dogs live? - 14-16 years

Exercise & Play Time

As an agile hunting breed, Phu Quoc Ridgebacks require quite a bit of exercise, although not as much as many other hunting breeds who often require over 2 hours per day. The Phu Quoc Ridgeback should remain quite happy and healthy with about an hour or so of exercise every day, provided that it is thoroughly vigorous and stimulating.

A brisk morning jog followed by a good half hour’s worth of high-intensity exercise should suffice to keep him tired and happy.

In and around water, Phu Quoc Ridgebacks are known to just leap right in and swim about. Just make sure that you thoroughly dry them off after going for a swim to prevent against infection.

How much exercise does a Phu Quoc Ridgeback dog need? - At least 1 hour per day

Do Phu Quoc Ridgeback dogs like water play? Yes, they are great swimmers.

Nutrition & Feeding

This breed has been known to overeat to the point of developing bloat, especially in adulthood. Nevertheless, their overall feeding schedule should consist of 2-3 portions of high-quality dog food packed with healthy nutrients, vitamins, and minerals to promote healthy growth and development.

Please consult your veterinarian if you are considering alternative diets to kibble, such as cold-pressed or raw food diets, to ensure that they are getting the correct quantity of food and so that they do not overindulge to their own detriment.

Are Phu Quoc Ridgeback dogs prone to weight gain? Yes, especially as they age.

How much should I feed a Phu Quoc Ridgeback puppy? About 240-480g per day, in 2-3 sessions.

How much should I feed an adult Phu Quoc Ridgeback dog? About 240-480g per day, in total.

Care & Maintenance

Fortunately, the Phu Quoc Ridgeback is quite easy on the grooming front. Due to their short, often coarse coats of fur, occasional brushing of their body will keep the lustre of their coat and prevent infection.

Emotionally, Phu Quoc Ridgebacks aren’t extremely demanding. They have an independent streak and can tolerate some periods of loneliness around their territory, but this should never become a frequent occurrence as their aggression may develop (although they aren’t known to bite).

- Grooming: once a week, chamois leather the Phu Quoc Ridgeback’s coat of fur and remove any debris that may accumulate in the longer ridged portion along the back. Check for ear and eye infections as well.

- Emotional care: avoid leaving your Phu Quoc Ridgeback alone for any longer than perhaps a few hours throughout the day and ensure someone is frequently home to keep him company.

History of the Phu Quoc Ridgeback

The exact origins of this possibly ancient breed remain unknown, but rumours circulate about the Phu Quoc Ridgeback having originated as domesticated wild hounds from the Phu Quoc region of Vietnam centuries ago.

Another tale claims that a French ridgeback (the French had colonised Vietnam) had gotten lost on the island of Phu Quoc and had transformed the island’s dogs into wild dogs. Whatever the case, the breed has been known and widely recognised in his native Vietnam for centuries, only facing near-extinction during and following the 20th-century war in Vietnam.

This breed is not currently recognised by the Kennel Club or other international organisations such as the Federation Cynologique Internationale, but it is recognised by the Vietnam Kennel Association.

Interesting Facts About Phu Quoc Ridgeback Dogs

  • The Vietnam Kennel Association lists the population of the Phu Quoc Ridgeback at only 700, thus making this breed exceedingly rare;

  • The Phú Quốc region of Vietnam is located in the Kiên Giang Province in southern Vietnam;

  • The Phu Quoc Ridgeback is one of only three dog breeds known to have a ridge on its back, the other two being the Rhodesian Ridgeback and the Thai Ridgeback.

Getting a Phu Quoc Ridgeback Puppy

It is currently extremely difficult to find a Phu Quoc Ridgeback anywhere in the UK as their numbers are low worldwide, perhaps in the high hundreds to low thousands. We recommend you first consult our buying guide and if you wish to purchase a Phu Quoc Ridgeback, get in touch with one of our reputable breeders here in the UK.

How much does a Phu Quoc Ridgeback cost to buy? - As much as £10,000.

How much does a Phu Quoc Ridgeback cost to feed? - An adult Phu Quoc Ridgeback costs about £1.50-£1.80 per day to feed.

How much does insurance for a Phu Quoc Ridgeback cost? - Insufficient data.

Sensible alternatives to purchasing a new Phu Quoc Ridgeback puppy include rescue and adoption.

Additional resources can be found via Phu Quoc Ridgeback registries and associations such as: