About Jindo Dogs

As far as anybody knows, Jindo dogs originate from Jindo Island in South Korea.  Although there are no written records of how they arrived on the island, it is a generally accepted knowledge in Korea that the dogs have existed on the island for centuries.

Over time, the dogs have become a popular pet in South Korea mainly due to their qualities such as braveness and (especially) loyalty.  They have been known to travel almost 200 miles in order to find their way home, as well as mourning for their owners when they pass away through fasting.  Properly trained Jindo dogs will not take food from people who are not their owners.  The dogs are highly intelligent, which, combined with their strength and athleticism, makes them ideal watchdogs.  Jindo dogs are also very loving and gentle creatures, highly affectionate to their owners.

Physically, Jindo dogs are medium-sized, lean and slightly muscular.  They stand at around 20 inches tall, and weigh around 40-50 lbs.  They come in 5 colors:  white, tan, gray, black, and brindle (tiger-striped).  The black and brindle Jindos are considered rare.

Jindo dogs are typically used as guard dogs (even by the Korean army).  In the United States, Jindos have been used to protect property from wild animals such as coyotes, as they are no match for the Jindo’s strength and agility.  In fact, Jindos have killed coyotes that were intruding in their owner’s land.  They have also been known to be good for hunting deer and boar.  Although typically hunting dogs retrive and find the hunted kill for the owners, Jindo dogs have actually been known to bring down deer by themselves.

Because of the Jindo dogs’ valuable set of characteristics, as well as their extraordinary loyalty to their masters, Jindo dogs have reached the status of National Treasure of South Korea.  They have become so engrained into South Korean culture, such that they have become iconic of Korean nationalism, and are now protected under the Cultural Properties Protection Act.  Jindo dogs marched in the opening ceremonies of the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul.  In fact, they are in such popular demand that they have become a desired pet not just in Korea, but globally.  The United Kennel Club officially recognized the Jindo dogs in 1998.

Because of their increasing popularity and demand for the Jindo dogs were so great, a lot of Jindo dogs were being exported out of Korea.  The population of the original native, pure-bred Jindo dogs in Jindo Island has decreased, and the interbreeding of the dogs with various other species has made it very difficult to keep track of the pure lineage of these beautiful animals.  As such, Jindo dogs are no longer exported outside of South Korea under the Jindo Preservation Ordinance.

Because Jindo dogs are so intelligent and different from other dogs, people who wish to own them as pets need to understand exactly the needs of the dogs in order to take good care of them, and to commit to it before jumping in and getting a Jindo dog.  As mentioned, Jindos are extremely intelligent, and have so much spirit, that owners cannot expect to keep the dogs cooped up and suppress their life energy through confinement.  These dogs are not insignificant pets.  They require social interaction with people and other dogs, as well as regular exercise in spacious areas to roam, run, and other ways of being kept active.

Without these elements, Jindo dogs can become very restless, and possibly difficult to handle.  Without proper care, Jindo dogs will not be able to obey commands, and may find themselves in need to take out their exuberant energy on the neglectant owner’s furniture, or other inanimate objects.  Therefore, it is strongly suggested and urged that those who are looking to acquire Jindos as pets do so with full understanding of what is required in the ownership duties, and if these are deemed undoable by the prospecting owner, please do not look to acquire a Jindo dog as a pet.

To learn more about Jindo dogs, and to explore your opportunities in acquiring a Jindo dog as a pet, please feel free to contact us.  However, we urge you to do your research and learn the responsibility of owning Jindos, as well as owning dogs in general, before actually acquiring a dog.  Oh and one last thing to know about Jindo dogs is that they do not like getting wet.