The Korean Jindo dog is a hunting breed that originated in Jindo Island in Korea. Although it is relatively unknown outside of Korea, it is highly celebrated and valued for its fierce loyalty and bravery. The Jindo is a medium sized dog, weighing between about 25 to 50 pounds. It is double-coated and looks like a spit-type dog. Two body styles, Gyupgae and Heutgae, exist. Gyupgae describes a shorter, compact, and more muscular body while Heutgae expresses a slender dog, with less depth of chest and a longer loin. Korean law only officially recognizes white and yellow Jindos as having correct coloration. However, the United Kennel Club recognizes five different coat colors of white, fawn, grey, black and tan, and brindle.
There is no written record of the history of the Jindo. However, experts agree that the Jindo dog originated on Jindo Island. They were probably bred to hunt wild boars, rabbits, badgers, and deer. They have also been known to hunt extremely dangerous animals, such as Siberian tigers. Jindos are one of three dog breeds known that has ever been able to hunt the tigers. They are renowned for their hunting ability due to their courage, cunning, and pack sensibility. There are anecdotal tales in Korea about owners being woken early in the morning to have their Jindo lead them to a deer they killed during the night. Stories also exist of intruding coyotes being killed by Jindos in the United States.
Another favorite tale about a Jindo dog occurred in 1993. Baekgu, a 7 year old female Jindo, was sold to a different owner in a town about 185 miles away from her original owner. She escaped her new home and traveled 7 months back to her old owner, arriving in a skin and bones condition. Baekgu became a national sensation and has a statue erected in her honor in Jindo County.
Jindo dogs are considered a national monument of Korea. They are protected under the Cultural Properties Protection Act under the “Jindo Preservation Ordinance.” Additionally, the breed marched in the opening ceremonies of the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul. The United Kennel Club (UKC) recognized the breed in 1998 but the American Kenner Club still does not recognize the breed.
The Jindo dog is a loyal and friendly family pet. Because they are such a loyal species and a good watch dog, Jindos can be aggressive with strangers. If you are interested in learning more about how to handle this issue, this pet aggression website can provide helpful information.