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Analysis To Possible Genetic Relationship
Between The Rhodesian Ridgeback
and the Asian Ridgeback
By Dr. L. J. Hellebrekers
The report of the voyage into Thailand and Vietnam shows us that Mr. Ray
Mersmann visited these two countries to have a look at the Ridgeback in Asia.
It concerned the officially registered Thai Ridgeback as well as the (not
officially registered) Phu Quoc Dog.
It is not unlikely that both "breeds" could have a mutual relationship not only
based on the phenomenon of the ridge but an geographical considerations as
Above: A Thailand Ridgeback Dog (owned by Mr. Sterling)
The question if our Rhodesian Ridgeback should be related in some way to the
Asian Ridgebacks of Thailand and Vietnam remains less clear. There is a theory
arguing two facts as "proofs" to genetic relationship:
First, it would be extremely improbably that at the same time, in two different
parts of the world-Africa and Asian the same spontaneous mutation could take
place, resulting in ridged dogs.
Above: Dr. Christina Aurell Winstrom's Rhodesian Ridgeback Maxwell
(Oct. 9, 1994)
Secondly, for centuries trade channels took place between the East Coast of
Africa and Asia and both the languages indicate possible contacts or exchanges
between these two parts of the world.
Today there is no clear evidence of any genetic relationship between the ridge
bearing dogs. To investigate any relation we have planned to perform DNA
analysis on blood samples from these dogs.
The aim of the study will be to determine if the resemblance of the two
Ridgeback populations is increased compared to two unrelated breeds and at the
same time decreased with regard to two breeding lines.
Left: Mr. Remon Mersmann's Phu Quoc dog
By means of investigation of several blood samples of Thailand Ridgebacks and
Phu Quoc Dogs, collected by Mr. Ray Mersmann, and, in combination with analysis
of collected blood samples of Rhodesian Ridgebacks and other dogs living in
We do hope to complete the research in the period 1993-1994. As a matter of
fact, research on DNA concerning dogs is quite a new development. Therefore
results will not be available in due course. The research will be done by Dr.
J. Rothuizen, Dr. J. A. Lenstra and myself at the Veterinarian Faculty of the
University of Utrecht/Holland. The project is an official project of the above
Dr. L. J. Hellebrekers
President of the Rhodesian Ridgeback Club
of The Netherlands
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