top of page


VKA Standard No.001/VN/20.09.2009 

TRANSLATION: Revised by Jean Lieu. Official Language EN.


ORIGIN:  Phu-Quoc Island, Vietnam.





UTILIZATION: Hunting dog, by scent and sight.


Group 5:            Spitz and primitive types.

Section 7:          Primitive Hunting Dogs with a ridge on the back. 

Without working trial.


The Phu-Quoc dog is a primitive dog indigenous to Phu-

Quoc island, an island located in Kien Giang Province, South Vietnam. They often accompany their owners in hunting and are also used as a watchdog for the home. Due to the distance of the island from the mainland, this breed was isolated and was never crossed with any other breed.


In the late 1800s, a few Phu-Quoc dogs were taken to Europe by

French colonists. The two dogs that are mentioned in various French journals include a Phu-Quoc dog named Xoai (which means Mango) and a Phu Quoc bitch named Chuoi (which means Banana); both dogs won titles at a dog show in Lille, France. They were born in 1892 and were owned by Gaston Helouin, a Frenchmen that lived in Helfaut, Pas-de-Calais, Northern France. Xoai and Chuoi also participated in the Universal Dog Show held in Anvers, Belgium in July 1894.


The Phu-Quoc dog was one of 316 breeds standardized in the book “Dogs of all Nations” compiled by Count Henry de Bylandt, published in 1897. The breed was described as the only known breed with a ridge on its back at that time.


Besides Xoai and Chuoi, there were three other Phu-Quoc dogs in Europe, residing at the National Museum of Natural History in Paris. The French zoologist, Dr. J.F. Emile Oustalet, considered them as the ancestor of Australian Dingoes.


The Vietnam Kennel Association (VKA) established the standard for this breed based on the standard described by Count Henry de Bylandt in his book “Dogs of All Nations”. 


The Phu-Quoc dog is a short-haired medium-sized dog with a square-built body that is lean, powerful, and muscular, with a ridge on the back. He has a similar structure to a greyhound but with a sturdier head and body.



Devoted and affectionate to his master.

Alert, active, agile and athletic.

Cautious and reserved with strangers and new surroundings

Fearless of height; adept at climbing, jumping and swimming

Keen and friendly with humans, he is comfortable as a hunting companion or as a laid-back companion dog.



Length of body / height at withers = 1:1  

Length of muzzle/ width of head = 1:2



Narrow with medium length, balanced with the body.


Skull: Almost flat when seen from above, slightly arched in profile. 

Forehead: Wrinkles appear when the dog is alert or attentive. 

Stop: Well-defined.



Nose: Black in color but can be liver depending on coat color 

Muzzle: Straight nasal bridge. The muzzle is wedge-shaped, with the length slightly shorter than the length of the skull, from the occiput to the stop.

Lips: Black, clean, tight, and well-fitted to the jaws. 

Tongue: Has black pigmented spots. Full-black tongue is preferred. 

Jaws:  Strong powerful jaws

Teeth: Scissor bite with complete dentition

Eyes: Almond-shaped, medium-sized. Dark brown is preferred; amber is acceptable. Eye-rims are black.

Ears: Shell-shaped, medium-sized, firmly erected, set on the sides of the skull, tapered on the inner and outer side. 



Long, lean, muscular, with a clean throat line; slightly arched to hold the head high.Without dewlap. 



Back: Straight with length in proportion to height.

Loin: Broad, well-developed, and muscled.

Croup: Slightly sloping.

Chest: Well sprung ribs. Deep but not reaching to the elbow.  Neither barrel-ribs nor flat-ribs.   

Belly: Well tucked.



ail is of medium length, arched like a sickle but not curled or touching the hock. The base is thick, tapering at the tip. Carried high and upright.



Forearms: Straight and parallel, when seen from the front profile with front legs, positioned close to each other; elbows in line with the body – neither turning in nor out.

Shoulders: Muscular with laid-back shoulder blades

Pastern: Straight when seen from the front; slightly oblique to the ground when seen from profile.

Front feet: oval-shaped, of moderate length. Pads are black, firm, and thick. Toes are strong, closed, and arched. Nails are black; brown or light color accepted in lighter coat colors. 



Thigh:  Strong, well-developed, muscular

Stifle: Strong and moderately bent. 

Hocks: Straight and parallel when seen from behind.

Hind feet: Oval shaped, of moderate length; thick firm black pads.

Toes are strong, closed, and arched. Nails are black; lighter color nails are permitted with lighter color coats. Dewclaws should be removed if laws permit.




The gait and movement of the Phu Quoc Ridgeback should be well-balanced, harmonious, and free-flowing. At the trot, the forelegs and rear legs move in parallel straight lines and in line with the body, neither turning in or out. When seen from the front, the shoulders, upper arms, elbows, forearms, and pasterns move in one straight line. When seen from behind, the upper and lower thighs stifles, hocks and rear-pasterns are also in line.  Long powerful strides appear effortless as the head is held high.   



Fairly fine and tight to the body.





Single coated with hair that is short, hard and dense, with hair length not exceeding 2cm.


The presence of a ridge is the hallmark characteristic of this breed. It is formed on the back by the hair growing in the opposite direction to the rest of the coat. The color of the hair on the ridge may be darker than the rest of the body. The shape of the ridge can vary but should be symmetrical through the spine and cover a length of at least 2/3 of the back. If present, the crown or crowns are symmetrical and are typically located at the top of the ridge. Multiple crowns on the ridge are accepted if they are symmetric through the spine.



  • Black 

  • Fawn: from pale yellow to deep red. 

A black mask is preferred but interspersed black hair or hair with black tips is also permissible.

  • Brindle 

  • Black and Tan:  brindling allowed on tan points. 

  • Countershading and/or black mask is accepted on fawn and brindle.




Height at the withers:       

Males:  50cm to 55cm (19 to 21 inches)

Females: 48cm to 52cm (18 to 20 inches)

Tolerance of 2cm is permitted.



Males: 18kg to 20 kg (30 to 45 lbs)

Females: about 12kg to 18kg (25 to 40 lbs)

The weight should be balanced with the height.



Any departure from the following points is considered a fault. The seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in proportion to the degree and effect upon the health and welfare of the dog.


Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioral abnormalities shall be disqualified.



  • Aggressive or overly shy.

  • Lack of ridge.

  • Dermoid sinus.

  • Lack of pigment in the nose, lips, or eye rims.

  • Showing haw (nictitating membrane or third eyelid).

  • Blue or bi-colored eyes.

  • Evidence of crossing with Thai Ridgeback or any other breed.

  • Poor dentition



Males should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.

bottom of page