Determined and passionate admirers of the Phu Quoc Ridgeback provide evidence of their origins
In the early 19th century, six Phu Quoc Ridgebacks were brought to France, including four dogs of Fernand Doceul, a French official in southern Vietnam and Cambodia. However, only three of these dogs survived and were presented to the Paris Zoo. These dogs were described in specialized journals by many zoologists as the only breed in the world with a ridgeback. Henri de Bylandt, a Dutch Count, compiled the standards for the Phu Quoc Ridgeback as a hunting dogs, published in 1897 in in the book “Les Races de Chiens”, with standards for more than 300 breeds of dogs.
The two remaining dogs belonged to Gaston Helouin who lived in Helfaut, Pas-de-Calais in the north of France. These dogs were Xoai (Mango – a male dog) and Chuoi (Banana – a female dog) which won prizes at first dog show in Lille, France in 1894 and also in the dog show in Anvers, Belgium in 1894.
Since the 1980s, Prof. Du Thanh Khiem, rector of the Woluwe-Saint-Pierr Education Institute in Brussels, Belgium, has spent a lot of time, effort and money to collect ancient Western documents in the 19th century about the historic past of Phu Quoc Ridgeback dog breed.
“In the book Les races de chiens, obviously scientific evidences about Phu Quoc Ridgeback were recorded 117 years ago. There is also a secret in the catalogue of the Anvers dog show: winning dogs that are named in this book are also named in the genealogy records of the SRSH Association of Belgium. It means that Phu Quoc ridgeback was recognized by one of the five founding members of the FCI,” Professor Khiem said.
According to Prof. Khiem, in the 1980s, his friend went to Phu Quoc Island to buy dogs, aiming to bring the dogs to Belgium to register with the FCI. However, the dog was stuck at the customs office at HCM City’s Tan Son Nhat Airport. Another man planed the same thing but the dog was seized by Thai customs officers.
To resume the position of Phu Quoc Ridgeback in the world, Prof. Khiem proposed to establish a national kennel association of Vietnam, which would become a member of the FCI. This association is responsible to develop standards for Phu Quoc Ridgebacks based on standards noted by count Henri de Bylandt, to organize dog shows and bring Phu Quoc dogs to the world.
On January 11, 2007, Yves de Clercq, FCI (Fédération Cynologique Internationale) managing director sent a letter to Prof. Khiem. According to Clercq, FCI has two books written by count Henri de Bylandt, which wrote about Phu Quoc ridgeback. However, this breed was no longer in the FCI recognized list of breeds. Only the national kennel association of the host country can ask the FCI to recognize that breed.
After that, many significant events took place in Vietnam. The first workshop on Phu Quoc Ridgeback was organized in 2007. The Vietnam Kennel Association (VKA) was established in 2008 and applied for FCI membership in 2009. The association approved standards for Phu Quoc Ridgeback in 2009 and began organizing dog shows. In October 2010, the FCI recognized the VKA as a member.
Source: Tuoi Tre Newspaper