Have you ever heard of the Jindo Dog? This incredibly rare South Korean dog breed is a show stopper with both brains and beauty to back him up.
An ancient breed with a fascinating origin, it’s no wonder resourceful dog lovers everywhere are interested in getting their hands on this gorgeous canine.
However, finding a Jindo dog in the United States could prove difficult unless you go through a special type of breeder, and finding Jindo dogs in shelters or rescues is nearly unheard of.
Still, the Jindo dog has such a winning disposition that exercising patience when trying to obtain one could pay off.
Are you interested in raising a Jindo dog? Then keep reading because today’s article is just for you.
Meet The Jindo Dog!
The Jindo Dog is a rare and beautiful breed.
The Jindo dog is an ancient breed known for its devoted temperament and gorgeous look. Bred as a free-range hunting dog, this canine is believed to have been sheltered on the island from which he was named for thousands of years.
This led to what is now considered an incredibly intelligent yet very rare working breed. Though Jindo dogs bear a certain resemblance to a number of other Spitz-type dogs, it doesn’t take long for one to realize that the Jindo dog is a breed that stands alone.
So, what can you expect out of a Jindo dog? Let’s take a look at a brief breed overview:
Origin: South Korea
Other Names: The Korean Jindo Dog, The Jindo, Jindo Gae, Jin Dog, and Chindo
Coat Type: Double Coated, Shedding
Coat Colors: White, Black and Tan, Red Fawn, Grey, Brindle, Black, White, and Gray
Height: 19½ to 21½ Inches
Weight: 33 to 50 Pounds
Temperament: Devoted, Work-Oriented, Active, Independent, Intelligent
Best Suited For: More Experienced Dog Owners
Lifespan: 12 to 14 Years
Health Issues: Allergies, Cataracts, Hypothyroidism, and Hip Dysplasia
The Jindo Dog – A Brief History
The Jindo Dog is a Korean dog with a unique history.
The Jindo Dog’s origin is as mysterious as it is fascinating. Named for the Jindo Island for which this dog was discovered, there have been countless theories as to how the Jindo dog came to be.
Some of these theories seem too magnificent to be true, like the story of a stray puppy raised by wolves and crossbred into the famous Jindo dog we know and love today. Another theory suggests Jindo dogs may be the descendants of a lucky dog that washed ashore the island after a terrible shipwreck that occurred between 960 A.D. and 1270 A.D.
The last theory, and perhaps the most widely accepted one, is that the Jindo dog is a descendant of Korean Spitz-type dogs that had long lived on the island and been bred and perfected there for thousands of years.
It is believed that Jindo dogs were in fact bred as free-range hunting dogs and that they were in part domesticated while also having free run of the island as they pleased. These dogs are known to be particularly loyal to their people, so the need for a fence or harness to keep them maintained seems moot.
Today, Jindo dogs fall under the Republic of Korea Preservation of Cultural Assets Act No. 53, also known as Korea National Treasure #53 for short.
As such, these dogs are regarded as a beloved piece of Korean history and culture. In fact, an institute exists that is solely dedicated to the research and protection of the Jindo dog. And many organizations on Korea’s mainland have been formed to focus on protecting and preserving this dog’s unique status and breed standard.
It wasn’t until 2008 when the Jindo dog was finally recognized by the American Kennel Club. Today, the Jindo Dog remains an incredibly rare breed in the United States.
Those who are lucky enough to obtain a Jindo Dog speak of this breed’s amazing temperament and intelligence. Jindo Dogs make excellent companions to the right owner and excel in a number of dog sports including agility and lure coursing.
What Are The Jindo Dog’s Temperamental Traits?
Jindo dogs are famous for their devoted temperament.
Hunting dogs at heart, the Jindo Dog is known to have a high prey drive, though he is easy to train and eager to please, especially when he has built a strong and trusting bond with his family.
However, Jindo Dogs can be wary of strangers and may exhibit territorial behaviors if not properly trained and socialized at an early age.
When they are properly raised, Jindo dogs can make wonderful companions for families and those with other dogs. Of course, as with all dogs, Jindo dogs should never be left alone unsupervised with very small children.
It’s also important to work with age-appropriate children and teach them how to respectfully interact with the family dog. Remind children that any dog can growl, nip, or bite, especially if that dog is being teased, played with too roughly, or if that dog feels frightened.
For the most part, though, the Jindo Dog is not an aggressive breed. He is simply watchful and focused, and has a strong protective instinct over his family and territory.
Though independent, the Jindo Dog enjoys being with his favorite people. Owners often describe this dog following them from one room to another simply so they can lay nearby and keep a watchful eye out for anything amiss.
Unlike many other Spitz-type dogs who are energetic and work-oriented, the Jindo dog is relatively self-entertained. He is not known to be a destructive breed, though it’s still very important to provide him with plenty of dog-safe things to do to keep him mentally stimulated throughout the day.
And with that noted, let’s talk more about training, socialization, exercise, and mental stimulation.
How Do I Train and Socialize A Jindo Dog?
Training and socialization are most effective when they begin during puppyhood.
All dogs require routine socialization and training beginning early in puppyhood, and the Jindo dog is no exception. In fact, training and socialization are so important for the Jindo Dog that these practices should continue for the rest of your dog’s life.
It’s never too early to begin training and socializing a Jindo Dog, although it’s also important not to expose your dog to too many different environments when he is a young puppy or when he has not yet been fully vaccinated.
What You Should Know About Socializing Your Jindo Dog
Socializing a dog is the act of introducing your dog to as many new experiences as possible while he is still young. This includes introducing your Jindo Dog to new people, places, environments, children, other dogs, sights, and sounds.
When the Jindo Dog is a puppy, he is still forming an opinion about the world around him. Ensuring that he has positive first impressions of his environment can help reduce fear and anxiety in the future.
It’s also important to not force your Jindo Dog into a situation that you can tell he is clearly frightened of. Forcing any dog into a situation he is already fearful of can exasperate fears and lead to further behavioral problems down the road.
Instead, it’s best to allow your dog to explore new experiences at his own pace. You can gently encourage him by offering him plenty of treats and praise, but know that it’s never wise to scold your dog for being fearful.
What You Should Know About Training Your Jindo Dog
Training and socialization go hand-in-hand when it comes to ensuring you raise a happy and healthy Jindo Dog. Luckily, the Jindo Dog is not only intelligent but is also an eager to please a pup who enjoys learning new tricks. He also enjoys having a job to do, even if that job is as simple as bringing in the mail or sorting out a puzzle toy.
For these reasons, training your Jindo Dog can be a joy, especially when you work to build a strong and trusting bond with your four-legged friend.
When you are training your dog, it’s important to use positive reinforcement methods like treats and praise. Avoid aversive training techniques like scolding, force, or punishment, as these tactics may cause your dog to shut down and can even harm the bond built between the two of you.
Most experts agree that you will get the most out of training sessions with your Jindo dog when you keep these sessions short. Five-minute increments of training at a time can be key, as can ensuring you are consistent, patient, and enthusiastic.
Game-like training sessions are also sure to help hold your Jindo Dog’s attention, especially when you’re rewarding your dog for a job well done using high-value training treats.
Pocket Trainers Training Treats
High-value training treats are going to be training treats that are about the size of a pea. These treats should be made with quality ingredients and be highly palatable for your dog. This means they will be chewy and very smelly.
The above training treats are ideal for clever dogs like the Jindo Dog because they are made with healthy ingredients, low in calories, and the perfect size for routine training sessions.
We also like that they are available in different varieties and recipes, so you can customize these treats to your dog’s specific taste.
Let’s Talk About Exercising A Jindo Dog!
Jindo dogs are active and require routine exercise.
Just as with training and socialization, exercise and mental stimulation will also play a large role in your dog’s overall health and happiness.
Remember, the Jindo Dog is famous for its incredible athleticism, and this is also a brainy breed to boot.
Both of these traits could spell disaster for an owner who is unprepared, though by all accounts the Jindo Dog is known to be relatively well-behaved and his needs are easily met by my active owners naturally.
However, if you’re not as active, the Jindo Dog is sure to get you moving. This is a dog that requires routine exercise each and every day. The best exercise for the Jindo Dog could be two long walks morning and night, as well as some free playtime in a large backyard or dog run.
Remember, Jindo Dogs are descendants of dogs who were used to roaming freely, so you shouldn’t be surprised if your dog has an independent spirit when out and about.
However, we should note that Jindo Dogs can have a high prey drive. It’s very important to ensure you don’t walk your Jindo Dog outside of a securely fenced area without a leash and harness.
We should also remind you that Jindo Dogs are Spitz-type dogs. Like Siberian Huskies, Jindo Dogs have been known to excel in sled pulling. This means that the Jindo may have a natural instinct to pull on walks, which can be frustrating for some owners.
Still, we do advise against investing in aversive walking equipment like prong collars or choke chains. Instead, we recommend no-pull harnesses like the Freedom Harness product listed below.
2 Hounds Freedom Harness
The 2 Hounds Freedom Dog Harness is a dog walking harness that is designed to not only reduce pulling but also make walking feel more comfortable and natural for your furry family member. Because it clips in the front, it doesn’t put pressure on your dog’s chest or throat. This reduces your dog’s natural urge to pull.
Furthermore, if your Jindo Dog does pull, the front clip harness will direct him gently back to you. When you utilize this harness with treats and praise, you can quickly teach your Jindo Dog how to walk with excellent manners.
And speaking of turning walks into lessons for your Jindo Dog, remember that physical stimulation is not the only type of exercise your dog will need. Jindo dogs are highly intelligent and will require daily mental stimulation to stay happy.
They enjoy having jobs to do around the home, as we mentioned above, and they will also appreciate owners who provide them with challenging puzzle toys, KONGS, or owners who take the time to create homemade obstacle courses around their home or yard.
Penerl Store Dog Puzzle Toy
The above puzzle toy by the Penerl Store is an ideal toy for clever dogs like the Jindo Dog. This toy utilizes treats to help hold your dog’s attention and encourage him to think. You can use this toy as a slow feeder as well to help aid in digestion, or simply pull it out when you can see that your Jindo Dog is feeling bored or anxious.
Fill it with a few of his favorite treats and he should be active and busy until he manages to get the last treat or kibble from its hiding place.
What About Grooming and Basic Care For The Jindo Dog?
Jindo dogs are shedding dogs, but they’re relatively simple to groom.
Jindo dogs have short coats, but these coats are thick and shed heavily year-round. This means that the Jindo Dog may not be the ideal fit for those who struggle with allergies. However, you can help manage this shedding by ensuring you keep up with routine brushing and bathing.
Experts recommend that the Jindo Dog be brushed at least once a week on average, and perhaps two to three times a week during shedding season in spring and fall.
When you are brushing your Jindo Dog, we recommend investing in an undercoat rake as well as a slicker brush to help manage and remove loose fur, debris, and other buildup that can cause odor and skin irritation beneath the fur.
Furminator Deshedding Brush
We like the Furminator Deshedding Brush above for dogs with double coats because they are self-cleaning, which means you can collect and remove fur as you go without having to stop. These brushes are also made with quality materials and bent metal teeth, so brushing is not only safe for your dog but pleasant as well.
Along with using an undercoat brush like the Furminator, we also recommend investing in quality dog shampoo for when your dog requires a bath.
The Jindo Dog has a weather-proof coat that is relatively self-cleaning, so he’ll only need to be bathed once every six weeks or so.
Because this dog can be prone to suffering from allergies or skin sensitives, it’s important to invest in a quality dog shampoo that is free of any dyes, alcohols, additives, or ingredients that could exasperate skin issues or strip your dog’s coat of the natural oils it produces.
Along with brushing and bathing, the Jindo Dog is also going to need to have his nails trimmed or ground down regularly to keep them from cracking or splitting during play.
If your dog is funny about having his teeth brushed, you always have the option of investing in doggy dental wipes.
Pet MD Dog Dental Wipes
Dog Dental Wipes will not only help to freshen your dog’s breath, but also reduce tartar buildup and plaque that can lead to serious dental problems down the road. The most common illness dogs are known to suffer from across the board is Periodontal Disease. Serious Periodontal Disease can lead to other health issues in your dog and even raise your dog’s risk of cancer.
To help combat dental disease, we recommend brushing your dog’s teeth or using dental wipes like those listed above at least once a day. The above dental wipes for dogs are made with dog-safe ingredients and are even flavored to taste like mint and apple.
Each order includes 100 pre-soaked wipes which are also textured to help clean your dog’s teeth and gums.
What You Should Know About The Jindo Dog’s Health And Lifespan
Like all dogs, Jindo dogs can be prone to inheriting genetic health issues.
One of the best things about the Jindo Dog is that this rare breed is not only lovely, he is also relatively healthy. In fact, Jindo Dogs are known to have a decent lifespan of between 12 and 15 years, with many experts pointing out they can live longer when well cared for.
With that said, they can still be prone to a few health issues that a potential owner should be aware of. These health issues include:
You can help combat specific health issues in your Jindo dog by ensuring your dog lives a healthy lifestyle and that you maintain a quality diet, keep up with routine vet visits, and ensure your dog is actively exercising each and every day.
Remember, breeding practices are incredibly important as well when it comes to obtaining any dog, and this is also true for the Jindo Dog.
If you do wish to buy your dog from a breeder, be prepared to spend between $800 to $1,000. This is a relatively low cost for a dog as rare and beloved as the Jindo Dog, which should be great news to anyone looking to invest.
Be careful of buying from breeders who are selling these dogs for much more or much less than their average price, and avoid breeders who do not understand responsible breeding practices, are uncertified, or cannot provide paperwork proving health and breed standards to you when you purchase your dog.
Diet also plays an important role in keeping your Jindo dog healthy.
When it comes to dog food, the Jindo Dog should eat a quality dog food specified for his age, weight, and activity level. Avoid dog foods that contain additives or fillers and instead choose dog foods that are rich in real animal protein, carbs, fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, and that are a good source of water.
Remember that you do have the option of choosing between dry dog food, wet dog food, raw dog food, or even homemade dog food.
It’s important to do plenty of research when deciding which type of dog food would be healthiest for your Jindo Dog, and remember that there are pros and cons to each type of dog food available.
If you’re unsure about which type of dog food would be best for your Jindo, we suggest speaking with a trusted pet nutritionist or your veterinarian.
Along with ensuring your dog is eating quality dog food, you also might want to consider having your dog health screened at an early age.
If you get your Jindo Dog through a breeder, you’ll likely be provided with paperwork proving your dog’s pedigree and proving that your dog has been screened and cleared of any serious health issues.
As we did discuss above, finding a Jindo Dog at a shelter could prove difficult. However, that’s not to say it is impossible, and you may be able to find a Jindo through breed-specific rescues after doing plenty of research.
If you do obtain your Jindo Dog through a rescue, (or if you happen to buy your Jindo Dog through a breeder who does not supply paperwork), you do have the option of investing in a canine DNA kit.
These kits often arrive right to your front door and you can easily swab your dog’s mouth for DNA and have it tested. These kits can provide a wealth of information to you about your dog, and can even give you a look at what your specific dog may be predisposed to.
This can yelp when making decisions on preventative care, diet, exercise, and more when it comes to raising your Jindo Dog.
Is The Jindo Dog The Right Dog For You?
Jindo dogs can make excellent companions, but they are not the perfect dog for everyone.
The Jindo Dog is all things gorgeous, affectionate, intelligent, and family-oriented. While these may be winning qualities on paper, it’s important to remember that the Jindo Dog comes with its own set of pros and cons.
Just because the Jindo Dog makes a great dog for someone does not mean he makes a great dog for everyone.
Are you wondering if the Jindo Dog is the right fit for you?
The ideal owner for this type of dog would be one who has plenty of space inside and outside of their home for this dog to play. Owners should be willing and ready to exercise patience when it comes to training and mental stimulation, and it’s also important that a potential owner is active and willing to get outside to help keep their dog fit.
The Jindo Dog is a shedding breed, so if you do struggle with allergies you may want to avoid this type of purebred.
However, he is highly intelligent, eager to please, and easy to train. And though he is work-oriented and active, he is not known to be especially destructive around the house, especially when his needs are consistently met.
So, now that you know more about the Jindo Dog, what do you think? Would you like to find a puppy or rescue Jindo Dog to call your own?
Share your thoughts with us on the Jindo dog in the comment section below.
Jen Jones is a professional dog trainer and behavior specialist with more than 25 years of experience. As the founder of ‘Your Dog Advisor’ and the ‘Canine Connection’ rehabilitation center, she applies a holistic, empathetic approach, aiming to address root causes rather than merely treating symptoms.
Well known for her intuitive and compassionate approach, Jen adopts scientifically-proven, reward-based methods, encouraging positive reinforcement over punishment. Jen specializes in obedience training, behavior modification, and puppy socialization. Her innovative methods, particularly in addressing anxiety and aggression issues, have been widely recognized. Jen has worked with many of the world’s leading dog behaviorists and in her free time volunteers with local animal shelters and rescue groups.