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Korean Jindo Dog Breed Info: Pictures, Temperament & Traits

Written by: Dogster Team

Last Updated on May 17, 2024 by Dogster Team

korean jindo_jamongcreator_Shutterstock

Korean Jindo Dog Breed Info: Pictures, Temperament & Traits

The Korean Jindo is a unique dog breed that developed on an island off the coast of South Korea. These medium spitz-type dogs are independent hunters, guardians, and companions who learned to work alongside humans on the island over thousands of years and retain those traits today.

Though these dogs have a lot of positive attributes, including loyalty, intelligence, and a hard working attitude, they’re not the right fit for everyone. Here’s everything you need to know about the Korean Jindo before you bring one home.

Breed Overview

Height:

17 – 22 inches

Weight:

30 – 50 pounds

Lifespan:

14 – 15 years

Colors:

Black and tan, brindle, fawn, gray, white, black

Suitable for:

Active families, those looking for a low-shedding dog

Temperament:

Loyal & loving, intelligent, easy to train, friendly, gets along with other pets

Jindos have impeccable house manners and are fastidious, much like cats. They keep themselves and their environments clean and rarely develop an odor. They’re also intelligent and easy to train, but they may use that intelligence to engage their own desires, like opening their crates, opening doors, and escaping their yards. These dogs need an experienced owner who can manage their unique needs.

Korean Jindo Dog Characteristics

Energy
+
High-energy dogs will need a lot of mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy, while low-energy dogs require minimal physical activity. It’s important when choosing a dog to make sure their energy levels match your lifestyle or vice versa.
Trainability
+
Easy-to-train dogs are more skilled at learning prompts and actions quickly with minimal training. Dogs that are harder to train will require a bit more patience and practice.
Health
+
Some breeds, due to their size or their breeds potential genetic health issues, have shorter lifespans than others. Proper exercise, nutrition, and hygiene also play an important role in the lifespan of your pet.
Lifespan
+
Some dog breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, and some more than others. This doesn’t mean that every dog will have these issues, but they have an increased risk, so it’s important to understand and prepare for any additional needs they may require.
Sociability
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Some dog breeds are more social than others, both towards humans and other dogs. More social dogs have a tendency to run up to strangers for pets and scratches, while less social dogs shy away and are more cautious, even potentially aggressive. No matter the breed, it’s important to socialize your dog and expose them to lots of different situations.

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Korean Jindo Dog Breed Puppies

Korean Jindo puppy dog
Image By: beethoven_e, Pixabay

The Korean Jindo are protected as one of South Korea’s Natural Treasures. Because of this protected status in the country, only dogs born on Jindo Island can be officially registered as Jindo by the government. These dogs are still extremely rare outside of Korea. As of 2021, there were 35 Korean Jindo dogs registered with the AKC Foundation Stock Service.

If you want a Jindo puppy, you may need to do a lot of research, get on a waitlist, and travel. There are few breeders in the US with true Jindo puppies. If you do manage to get a puppy, make sure to commit to them. These dogs develop strong attachments to the person who raises them, even going as far as to escape and search for them after transferring homes, so they do best being raised by their forever owner.

Korean Jindo Dog Breed Origin & History

The Jindo breed originated from an island off the southwest coast of South Korea. They’re named for the island itself. After living free and working with humans on the island for thousands of years as hunting dogs, the Jindo was designated as the Republic of Korea Preservation of Cultural Assets Act No. 53 in 1962. They are recognized by the Federation of Cynologique Internationale and the American Kennel Club.

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Temperament & Intelligence of the Korean Jindo 🧠

Korean Jindo Dogs are gentle and fiercely loyal dogs that bond strongly with their one owner, even if they’re kept in a family. They need plenty of space for exercise and a lot of individual attention and care to stay happy and healthy. Because these dogs were used for hunting, they are strong and agile with a high prey drive that can become a problem without firm but fair training.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 🏡

Korean Jindo Dogs are gentle and patient with young children, but they won’t tolerate roughhousing. It’s important to supervise interactions between the dog and children until they’re old enough to learn how to be gentle. They love all their family members, but they tend to develop an unshakeable loyalty to their one owner.

Does This Breed Get Along With Other Pets? 🐶 😽

As hunting dogs, Korean Jindo Dogs don’t often get along with other dogs and pets. They will chase small animals, including cats and small dogs, and should never be left alone with small animals. They can get along with other dogs if everyone is introduced properly, but it depends on the individuals’ personalities. Typically, male Jindos are incompatible with other males.

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Things to Know When Owning a Korean Jindo:

Korean Jindos are excellent dogs, but they have some high-maintenance care and lifestyle needs that you must be aware of before bringing one home.

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

The Korean Jindo requires high-quality dog food that fuels their exercise and high energy. A commercial diet that’s appropriate for the dog’s life stage is crucial for proper development. Like other spitz-type dogs, Jindo can be light and picky eaters. These dogs are meant to be lean, however, so it’s important not to overfeed them. An obese Jindo can develop health problems like arthritis and diabetes. If you have concerns about your dog’s weight or diet, check with your vet.

Exercise 🐕

The Jindo are very mannerly dogs, but they’re also diligent and tireless hunters and guard dogs. They were developed to traverse many miles in pursuit of small and large game, so they require a lot of exercise to stay fit and keep their mind occupied. They’re also intelligent and require mental stimulation to avoid boredom, which can lead to destructive behaviors. The Jindo are a good choice for canine sports like lure coursing and agility.

Korean Jindo
Image Credit: jamongcreator, Shutterstock

Training🦮

The Korean Jindo are extremely intelligent and independent dogs with exceptional problem-solving skills and the ability to make judgments on their own. With proper training, they are mannerly, calm, and confident, never fearful, and show strong loyalty as one-person dogs. These dogs dislike being restrained by unfamiliar people and have no interest in interacting with other dogs, especially if those dogs aren’t well-behaved.

Grooming ✂️

The Korean Jindo are extremely clean dogs, but they have thick double coats that require regular brushing with a slicker brush to remove loose hair and keep the skin healthy. They rarely have a dog odor. During the seasonal sheds, they may need more regular brushing to keep up with the loose hair.

Health and Conditions❤️

The Korean Jindo are healthy and long-lived dogs with few health issues. Because they’re not overbred, health testing has only been in practice with breeders for a short time. Hypothyroidism and discoid lupus are the only known health conditions that affect the breed, but more research is needed to identify possible joint and eye problems. Otherwise, the breed may develop health problems that are common in all dogs, such as bloat, arthritis, and cancers.

Minor Conditions
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Arthritis
Serious Conditions
  • Cancer
  • Bloat
  • Discoid lupus

Male vs Female

Male and female Jindo are similar in looks and behavior, though the males are usually larger. Same-sex aggression is common in the breed, so it’s best to keep opposite-sex dogs in the same house. Males are more likely to show same-sex aggression. With either sex, it’s important to spay or neuter to prevent some behavioral problems related to sex hormones and reproductive health conditions like reproductive cancers.

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3 Little-Known Facts About the Korean Jindo

1. They Survived Under Japanese Rule.

From 1910 to 1945, Japan ruled Korea as part of the Empire of Japan. During that time, most Korean dog breeds were exterminated. However, the Jindo bore such similarity to Japan’s native dogs that they were spared, so they managed to survive during that time.


2. Their Level of Loyalty Is Unmatched…

Jindo are extremely “one-person” dogs. There are two famous stories of Jindo escaping new homes and seeking out the owner who raised them from puppyhood. There have even been children’s stories and cartoons based on the stories.


3. …But Their Loyalty Is a Limitation in Work.

Because of the Jindo’s intelligence and diligence, they’ve been considered for roles other than hunting, such as search and rescue. However, the Jindo are likely to try to escape their current handlers to find their original handler or home, which creates problems in their training. They were also found to be too eager to please their owners and too strong of hunters, which limits their capabilities in search and rescue.

Korean Jindo Dog
Image Credit: Jin Lee 2022, Shutterstock

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Final Thoughts

The Korean Jindo are remarkable dogs that are considered a treasure by the South Korean government. They’re still rare outside of Korea and show minimal change from their primitive ancestors, including a high prey drive, an ability to think for themselves, and a strong attachment to one owner. If you have your heart set on a Jindo, it may take work and time to find an available puppy, but it’s well worth the effort.


Featured Image Credit: jamongcreator, Shutterstock

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