Let's talk Korean Jindo Dogs

Handsome, strong, and brave, the Korean Jindo has all the attributes of an action movie hero and brains to boot. Traditionally used for hunting on Korea’s Jindo Island, this striking breed, thought to have descended from other spitz-type breeds, has won the hearts of Koreans and even earned the status of National Treasure. Renowned for their sense of devotion, once the Korean Jindo chooses their person, the bond is virtually unbreakable. Those ready to invest in training this impressive breed will be rewarded with a companion for life.

Official name: Korean Jindo Dog

Other names: Jindo-kae, Jindo-kyon

Origins: Korea

Black and white portrait of a Korean Jingo Dog
 Drooling tendencies  Very low Warm weather?  
 Shedding level  High Suited to apartment living?   Medium
 Physical activity needs Moderate Kid-friendly?
 Medium
 Compatibility with other pets  Medium Can stay alone?  

We advise against leaving pets alone for long stretches. Companionship can prevent emotional distress and destructive behaviour. Speak to your veterinarian for recommendations.

 
Inline Image 15
Illustration of a Korean Jingo Dog
Male
49 - 55 cm Height
18 - 23 kg Weight
Female
45 - 50 cm Height
15 - 19 kg Weight

 

 Baby age  Birth to 2 months
 Puppy age  2 to 12 months
 Adult age  1 to 7 years
 Mature age  7 - 10 years
 Senior age  From 10 years

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Get to know the Korean Jindo dog

All you need to know about the breed

While their coat colour can be red fawn, white, black and tan, grey, or brindle, all Korean Jindo dogs cut a dashing figure. On top of good looks, they’re clean, relatively quiet, and incredibly loyal: all the ingredients needed for an excellent household pet. Just remember to keep them busy.

The Korean Jindo is a medium to high energy breed who also happens to be keenly intelligent. This means they require near-constant stimulation, both mental and physical, to keep them from seeking out alternative, and destructive, sources of entertainment. Think squeaky toys. Additionally, the Korean Jindo dog is remarkably good at jumping and, when left unsupervised in an enclosure, might just pull off an escape.

Their physical prowess and intelligence are accompanied by a dominant and confident disposition that can prove challenging to the inexperienced dog owner. While quite trainable, the Korean Jindo dog must first respect their owner before learning and responding to commands.

As generally one-person dogs, the brave and alert Korean Jindo will be reserved around strangers and fiercely protect their human pack. For the owner capable of appreciating this breed’s incredible qualities, a truly unique bond lies in store.

Korean Jingo Dog stood to the side in front of a flowering bush

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2 facts about Korean Jindo dogs

1. The long road home

Perhaps the most famous example of this breed’s loyalty is that of Baekgu, the Korean Jindo dog who was sold and sent to a new owner over 187 miles (301km) away. 7 months later, Baekgu turned up at her original master’s doorstep, having travelled solo all the way back to Jindo. So famous is the story of Baekgu that it has since inspired books, cartoons, and a documentary. Today, visitors to Jindo are even greeted with dog statues!

2. They’ll pass on the dip!

For all their strength and athletic ability, there is one domain a Korean Jindo dog will readily skip out on, and that’s water sports. In fact, the breed is known for their apprehension, and sometimes flat-out fear, of water. Some owners have even mentioned their Korean Jindos being afraid of rain! Luckily, they are a fastidious breed, so they don’t require frequent bathing. However, should the need arise, the Korean Jindo dog will permit their owner to bathe them - just don’t expect them to like it!

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History of the breed

While no written accounts exist to attest to the breed’s precise history, most agree that the Korean Jindo dog has been around for centuries. The breed originated on the island of Jindo off the southwest coast of South Korea, though no one is sure how the breed came to be there.

One theory suggests they are descended from Mongolian dogs that were brought to Korea during the Mongolian invasion of 1270A.D. Regardless, these dogs lived alongside humans on Jindo for centuries, earning a reputation as excellent hunting companions and guard dogs. Their fierce loyalty and sporting skills eventually saw them appropriated by the army to aid in search and rescue missions. However, the single-owner nature of the Korean Jindo dog meant they were unsuited to work for the multiple handlers involved in such missions. Despite not making the military grade, the dogs continued to be prized for their many qualities, eventually being designated a Korean National Treasure in 1962. The Korean Jindo dog didn’t make their U.S. debut until the 1980S and, while they remain rare outside of Korea, the breed continues to gain recognition around the world.

Black and white portrait of a Korean Jingo Dog

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From head to tail

Physical characteristics of Korean Jindo dogs

1. Head

Medium-sized head with dark, almond-shaped eyes and triangular ears.

2. Body

Strong, muscular body with a straight back and moderately deep chest.

3. Tail

Sickle-shaped, high-set tail is feathered and rolls to touch back.

Korean Jingo Dog stood alert in front of a bush

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Things to look out for

From specific breed traits to a general health overview, here are some interesting facts about your Korean Jindo dog
Korean Jingo Dog looking into the distance, eyes squinted

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Caring for your Korean Jindo dog

Grooming, training and exercise tips

The Korean Jindo dog can be brushed weekly to keep their double coat in top shape and the medium shedding under control. However, when they blow their undercoat biannually, more frequent, if not daily, brushing – along with use of a sturdy vacuum – is needed. Also, be sure to trim their nails regularly and establish a daily toothbrushing routine in addition to professional cleanings. Both athletic and highly intelligent, the Korean Jindo dog should get between 1 and 3 hours of exercise per day along with plenty of mental stimulation in the form of games or tricks. Always keen to learn and perform new tasks, the Korean Jindo will thrive on sports like lure coursing and agility. Because they do have a strong prey drive, they are best kept on the lead when out for a walk. The Korean Jindo dog’s intelligence is both a plus and a minus when it comes to training. Calm confidence, patience, and consistency work best with this breed. In addition, early socialisation is critical to ensure best long-term canine manners around other people and animals.

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All about Korean Jindo dogs

In general, the Korean Jindo dog fares best as a single pet. Still, early socialisation can help ensure they maintain pleasant relations with other animals. Without it, they can be aggressive, particularly towards other male dogs.

As with any breed, Korean Jindo dogs that receive early introductions to children can get along with them well. However, they may not tolerate smaller children’s overly rambunctious play, so the two should never be left together without supervision.

Other breeds that might interest you.

Sources

1 - Veterinary Centers of America https://vcahospitals.com/ 

2 - Royal Canin Dog Encyclopaedia. Ed 2010 and 2020

3 - Banfield Pet Hospital https://www.banfield.com/

4 - Royal Canin BHN Product Book

5 - American Kennel Club https://www.akc.org/