Korean Jindo

Find out what makes the Jindo dog South Korea’s National Treasure. We examine their personality traits, history, exercise needs, and more!

Korean Jindo dog standing on rocks

Height: Male 20-22 inches, female 18-20 inches
Weight: Male 18-23 kilos, female 15-19 kilos
Lifespan: 12-15 years
Pedigree (registered with the KC?): Yes, this breed is Kennel Club registered

Positives and Negatives

Check out the following pros and cons related to the Korean Jindo:

Pros

  • Easily housebroken with very little training
  • Self-cleaning coat, bringing minimal dirt into your home
  • Quiet and calm indoors
  • Doesn’t drool or attract bad smells

Cons

  • Tendency to be dominant
  • Not an easy breed to train
  • Their independence may see them wander off
  • High prey drive, can’t live with other household pets

Overview

This medium-sized dog is known for its hunting and guarding traits. They are very popular in their native Korea and have seen their popularity expand across the world.

Korean Jindos are ideal for experienced owners only. Things could go very wrong if this dog ends up in the wrong hands.

On Jindo Island this pooch is known for its hunting skills and independence. They will travel across the land, laying in wait for prey to pass. When they are adopted as companions they should never be allowed off leash. They have a tendency to roam and will naturally hunt smaller animals.

Korean Jindo dog closeup photo

Although this dog does have an aggressive side, they suit family life rather well. They are also reasonably safe to keep amongst children and the elderly. A Korean Jindo will protect their owner and family with their life! This type of loyalty is what makes this breed a National Treasure in Korea.

They are intelligent but that doesn’t mean they are easy to train. They can be stubborn and at times difficult to deal with. Again, this dog will only suit experienced owners. They might be able to hunt in packs but generally, Korean Jindos are rather lonesome and that’s the way they like it!

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History

The Korean Jindo is a hunting dog that originates from Jindo Island in South Korea. They have lived on the island with their owners for thousands of years. Locals have commended this breed for their bravery and loyalty.

The breed is so highly loved that in 1938 they were spared death from the Japanese in World War II. In their homeland, they are called the Korean National Treasure #53. This is due to the Republic of Korea Preservation of Cultural Assets Act No.53 bill passed in 1962.

Korean Jindos work in packs. They hunt medium to large sized game such as deer and boars. A pack of Jindos can be just as effective as a gun. Legend has it that three Jindos killed a Siberian Tiger! In America, Jindos have killed Coyotes whilst protecting their territories. Some Korean Jindos are capable of killing deer on their own.

Nowadays the protective trait of the Korean Jindo is put to good work. They act as service dogs to the police, military (Korean Army), and aid search and rescue teams. Unfortunately, this breed is also used amongst dog fighters.

In 1993 a 7-year-old Jindo called Baekgu was sold to a new owner over 180 miles away. She missed her 83-year-old owner so much that she decided to escape and walk the long distance home. She returned 7 months later and was kept by her original owner who was astounded by her loyalty. In 2004 a statue was erected to remember Baegku.

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Personality

The Jindo dog personality is praised for its gentleness, loyalty, and fearlessness. They have an unusually unique personality. They like to be alone yet hold a deep bond with their owner. To the point where they won’t even accept food from other people. This dog doesn’t have a specific function, but a variety of them, making them an ideal working dog.

Korean Jindos are perfect watch dogs and are protective by nature. They will look after their home no matter what cost. Yet they still have the ability to be gentle and calm indoors. An outdoor Jindo vs one inside is a completely different dog!

There are many Korean Jindos sitting in shelters as some owners just didn’t understand the commitment these dogs require. They aren’t the type of dog you can just leave with a random sitter when trying to go on holiday.

Are Korean Jindos Good With Strangers?

No. The Korean Jindo is instantly wary and suspicious of those they don’t know. Poorly socialized dogs will become aggressive. If this pooch has been socialized they will feel more relaxed around strangers, but may still be aloof.

Are Korean Jindos Good With Children?

The playful and energetic side of the Korean Jindo makes them a great match for kids! They are gentle, affectionate, and play very nicely together. Generally, they suit older children, but can also live around younger ones.

Korean jindo white puppy

When adopting a Korean Jindo puppy around children, you must get one from a reputable source. Keep an eye on your dog’s dominance aggression as backyard breeders have caused an increase in badly behaved Jindos.

Are Korean Jindos Ok With Other Dogs?

The Korean Jindo is well aware of pack hierarchy and they want to be as close to the top as possible. If you have other dogs in your household the Korean Jindo may at some stage try to be more dominant. You mustn’t keep a Jindo with another dog of the same sex.

If you would like to keep a Jindo with another dog you must be experienced. Dog fights may occur when establishing hierarchy and it could get very ugly. Cats and smaller household pets are best avoided.

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Exercise

A Korean Jindo dog will need around 45 minutes- 1 hour of exercise each day. This can be split up into multiple smaller walks. Aim to give them a much longer walk at least once a week.

Korean Jindo dog sitting on the ground

This dog has an exceptionally high jump. You will need at least 6ft high fences to keep them from escaping. Remember this dog will happily wander off so at no time should they be allowed off the lead. They can live in a small home and will need a small or medium-sized garden.

Health

Below are the breed-related health issues seen amongst the Korean Jindo:

  • Hypothyroidism- An underactive thyroid will cause bodily functions to slow down. Your dog may become more susceptible to cold, they’ll have a dull coat and will also feel lethargic.
  • Cutaneous Lupus Erythematosus This skin condition is commonly seen around the nose. Crusting and scabbing will occur. It could also lead to a difference in skin pigmentation. Lesions could bleed and scars may form.

Intelligence & Training

The Jindo dog may be intelligent but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are easy to train. In fact, they are the complete opposite! Yes, they have an undeniable love for their owner, but that won’t prevent their dominance from trying to take over the pack.

Early socialization is key for this breed. Aggression will become the norm if this pooch hasn’t been introduced to other dogs and strangers. Take your dog to puppy classes where they can meet new people and pooches. It is the best way to get your dog to interact in the right way. Sometimes even the best owners may need some professional help.

Housebreaking your dog will be one of your easiest tasks. They very rarely have any accidents and don’t need a lot of training to work out where their toilet is. They will also poop in areas away from their humans, a huge bonus!

Before you start training you must gain your dog’s trust and establish a bond. Once they feel this security, they will listen and adhere to your commands. Define your boundaries and make sure you are firm and consistent. Teach your dog a trick, practice and once you feel they understand, test it out!

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Grooming

Luckily this pooch is simple to groom. In fact, they can easily self cleanse themselves by licking their coat, just like a cat! Their double-coated fur is what makes this breed shed. A Korean Jindo doesn’t like to get dirty and may jump over puddles just so they won’t get wet!

In Korea, this dog is hardly ever given a bath. Aim to wash your pooch once every two months, maybe even longer! A gentle rubbery type brush, pin brushes, and combs are all ideal grooming tools for this coat.

Brown Korean Jindo standing with a puppy

You should brush them once each day for a couple of minutes in order to remove any excess fur. A warm bath is another great way to prevent the Jindo from shedding. Don’t use fragranced shampoo as your pooch will lick itself.

Korean Jindos are susceptible to dental infections so you must keep up with brushing their teeth. Vets recommend this is done daily so try to introduce a toothbrush to your Jindo as early as possible.

Image Sources:

Photo of Korean Jindo 1

Photo of Korean Jindo 2

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