If you have an Australian encounter with a Korean Jindo dog, you’re very lucky indeed. There are very few here. Sometimes referred to as the Chindo or the Jindo Gae, this distinctive breed originated from Jindo Island in Korea. Originally a natural, wild breed -like the Australian Dingo – the dog has since been domesticated. At this time, the breed is currently protected as a Natural Treasure in Korea and as such it is illegal to export the breed from its home country without the permission of authorities. However, there are a number of Jingo Dogs overseas as a result of monitored exports as well as the inevitable dog-smuggling rackets. Jindos can be found in the United States, but are very rare in Australia.
The appearance of the Korean Jindo Dog
The Korean Jindo Dog is a lively, attractive looking dog, and bears some resemblance to the Dingo. It is a member of the spitz family, is quite small in stature and is known for its highly proportionate features and attractive double coat and curly tail. The Korean Jindo Dog can be found in five different colours: white, fawn, grey, black and tan and brindle or “tiger”. In terms of build, the breed can be one of two different body types, with one being more muscular than the other. This first type, known as the Gyupgae or Tonggol, should feature equal proportions in its body length and its foot-to-withers height. The second variety, known as the Keutgae or Hudu, is more slight in build, and is slightly taller.
The Korean Jindo Dog is a gentle breed by nature, although the dogs are also known for being fiercely loyal. In fact, it is said that many Jindos are loyal to the point of being anti-social, and many will refuse to be fed by anyone other than their owners. Their loyal nature and protective outlook makes them popular as army dogs in Korea, although their mischievous nature can make them unsuited as military dogs. However, while Jindos will always seek to protect their family, they will take to new owners if rehomed. Korean Jindo Dogs are a highly energetic breed, and are best kept in homes where they have space to move around.
Jindos need regular exercise and attention, and make poor indoor dogs. Similarly, Jindos require rigorous training and regular supervision, and are a challenge for inexperienced pet owners. Jindos are also prone to climbing fences, so owners considering keeping a Jindo in a backyard should ensure that any fences are high enough, and their foundations deep enough, to prevent their pet from escaping. Jindos are highly intelligent, and need to be entertained in order to stop them from misbehaving.
Uses of the Korean Jindo Dog
In addition to being used in the army, Korean Jindo Dogs are frequently used as hunting dogs, and are often used to hunt deer and boars. This is because they are highly intelligent, sensitive to scents, and are capable of tracking prey across difficult terrain. They are often used in pack hunting missions. Jindos are considered to be poor search and rescue dogs however, as they can be easily distracted during a mission.
Many breeders are aware of the challenges associated with the Korean Jindo Dog’s highly loyal nature, and are actively seeking to breed out these traits in order to develop a more personable, sociable breed. They are also aiming to breed dogs that are more suited to small-scale, apartment-style living. It is thought that encouraging these traits is required in order for the Jindo Dog to become better known on the world stage. However, these efforts are made difficult by the fierce restrictions placed upon Jindo breeding by the Korean government.