The Korean Jindo Dog (Jindogae) or Chindo is a Spitz type hunting dog that originated on Jindo Island, South Korea. We know with certainty that Jindos existed on this Island for centuries, but the way in which they got there remains a mystery. However, there are few theories about the actual origin of this breed, but scientists still cannot precisely determine which one of them is correct. According to the first theory, Jindos evolved from dogs that ended up on this Korean Island after the Chinese ship had a shipwreck off its coast. This accident happened at the time of the Song Dynasty (960-1279). Second theory tells that Chindos are in fact descendants of dogs that were imported from Mongolia around 1400 to be guardians at the national ranch located in the Jindo County.
According to the third theory, Jindo Gae is the descendant of ancient Korean dogs bred by the natives since the Neolithic. Supposedly, this is the main reason Koreans claim its genetic pool has always been relatively pure. But probably the most accurate is the fourth theory that states these dogs evolved through crossbreeding with Mongolian dogs that were brought on Jindo Island, around the 13th century, when the Mongol armies invaded Korea. All this is up for debate, but one thing certain is that this truly is a unique and treasured dog. In fact, Korean Jindo Dog is considered today a National Treasure in its native country. Since 2005, this dog breed has by the FCI been included on the definitive basis in the group 5: Asian Spitz and Related Breeds in the class of primitive dogs together with many other Spitz breeds from the Far East.
Korean Jindo Dog Personality
The Korean Jindo Dog is a sturdy hunting dog that is very agile, resourceful, devoted, smart, and eager to please. Think of him as a combination of two most famous Asian breeds – the Akita Inu and the Shiba Inu – both in temperament and in appearance. This dog is also known as a nice and gentle family companion and an excellent watchdog. Truly, Chindo is incredibly affectionate and loyal to all family members to the point he is literally obsessed with them. He will do anything possible to please its masters and will gladly join them during their daily activities. However, since this is a pack-oriented dog with the strong sense of hierarchy, his primary owner must be a true leader with the firm attitude. When it comes to children, you have to be aware of two things. Korean Jindo is an ALPHA dog that will always strive for the highest possible position in the pack (family). Also, this is a hunting dog that retains a very strong hunting instinct, so he can instantly switch to aggressive behavior. This means that he won’t tolerate (and will punish) any kind of abusive behavior from, in his opinion, lower ranked members of the pack.
So, in order to be a nice companion for children, every Chindo has to be raised or socialized with them in an early age. Once this dog gets used to them, he can become a wonderful playmate for every child. However, you will still have to watch them closely while playing, especially if there are some unknown or younger kids around. Early socialization is also very important when it comes to strangers as well as other pets and dogs. Indeed, Korean Jindo is known as a territorial dog that is usually very protective of its human family. Besides, he is naturally aloof and suspicious with strangers and is also very alert and sensitive to all changes in his surroundings. These are all qualities that make KJD such a great watchdog as well as a good guard dog. However, when we add into the mix its bold, proud and fierce spirit, it is not hard to guess that Jindo Gae won’t hesitate to aggressively confront and even bite anybody that comes uninvited at owner’s property. What’s even worse, sometimes he won’t even bark a warning before attacking. That’s why it is mandatory that he meets people of all ages and profiles during socialization.
Almost the same thing is with other pets and dogs. Dominant nature and strong hunting instincts of the Korean Jindo Dog can be a real pain in the ass in this case. You have to know that Chindo won’t hesitate to hunt down and kill every cat on sight. The same is true for other small pets, such as hamsters, guinea pigs, rabbits, etc. In fact, these rodents won’t ever be safe with this dog around, doesn’t matter what. It is best to keep them fenced or out of his reach. Well, what else could you expect from a natural born hunter? All these small animals are like sitting ducks to him; too TEMPTING! Even other dogs won’t be treated any better from this hot-headed bastard :) He will try to establish his dominance in every possible way, even if that means fight. This is especially true for dogs of the same sex as well as dogs that enter his territory. So, you should definitely have to socialize your dog with other pets or, what’s even better, raise him together with them. However, keep in mind that a Korean Jindo will always look to challenge other dogs for a dominant position in the pack. In order to control this annoying habit, you will have to put your KJD through intensive obedience training.
Jindo Gae Training Tips
So, the question is – is it easy to train a Korean Jindo Dog? Judging by his hardheaded attitude, cleverness and independent thinking, it might look like a really hard task, but the truth lies somewhere in the middle. You see, KJD is indeed an ALPHA dog that will challenge you on so many levels. However, on the good side, this is a very smart dog with good memory. Indeed, every Chindo can easily learn even the most complex commands, but only in the hands of an experienced and dominant leader. This is the reason he is not recommended for first-time owners. The hardest part about Jindo Dog training is to get him interested and engaged. So, it is very important to be patient, calm and respectful while working with this dog. You should start training a puppy at the age of 6-8 weeks. Remember to go step by step with short training lessons, always bringing something new to the table. Recommended is the use of positive reinforcement methods, so make sure to prepare some tasty rewards for him. Shouting or use of force is out of question! With adequate training, Jindo Gae can even compete in agility, tracking and obedience trials.
Other Characteristics And Traits
Main Korean Jindo Dog characteristics are high intelligence, strong loyalty, cat-like agility, strength, endurance, strong will, independence, resourcefulness, alertness, boldness, stubbornness, and curiosity. Indeed, this is a really curious dog that likes to roam and explore surroundings looking for food or some fun. On top of that, he is very agile, dexterous, athletic, and can jump incredibly high, all of which makes him capable to easily climb over walls or fences. In other words, he is an incredible escape artist. However, unlike the Siberian Husky, for example, Jindo Gu will return home after some time. In fact, he possesses jaw dropping homing ability and is able to find a way back home from very distant places. A dog named Baekgu returned to his previous owner from a place 300 km away, which is quite remarkable! Nonetheless, if you intend to own this dog, it would be best to prevent this naughty habit. For that purpose, you will need at least 6-feet high fencing around your yard that’s placed deep into the ground. Yeah, in case you didn’t know, Jindo is an excellent digger too :)
The good thing for all of you who wish to own a Korean Jindo, but have no such wall or fence around your yard (or have no yard at all), is that you can easily keep this dog in your house or apartment. As strange as it might sound, Jindos are in fact recommended for housekeeping! Now, there are many reasons, why is that so. One of them is that they require a lot of care and attention, which is quite common for all pack-oriented dogs. Also, Chindos are known as clean and quiet dogs (not prone to excessive barking) that are easy to housebreak. With a little of smart potty training, this dog will never poop indoors. What’s even better, whenever he poops, he will cover the mess with soil. Lovely :) However, there are two rules that you’ll have to respect in order to keep your dog happy and calm. First one is that you should never leave your Jindo alone for a long stretch because he will definitely find some way to entertain himself or, in other words, to make a mess. He can literally create a disaster in no time, so take this warning very seriously! Second one is that you should exercise your dog as often as you can!
Chindo Health And Levels Of Activity
Indeed, the Korean Jindo is certainly not some couch potato pet that will just lay around indefinitely. No! He is in fact a working “machine” and is almost tireless. This is one of those high-energy primitive dogs that can work a whole damn day. Such active and energetic dog definitely demands to be exercised a lot both physically and mentally. So, yeah, you will have to work with your Jindogae as much as possible! Long walks, jogs or hikes should be practiced at least once a day, but try to avoid dog parks for the already mentioned reasons. Also, it is advisable to keep your Chindo on a leash while walking in an urban setting to keep him out of trouble. Apart from long walks, you should always practice some interesting games with your dog, such as hide-and-seek, find the treat, play with toys, fetch game, etc. These games are particularly important if you keep your Jindo indoors. Now, when you know how energetic this dog really is, it is more than clear that he is an ideal companion for active individuals and sportsmen.
The usual lifespan of a Korean Jindo is around 12-15 years. This is a relatively healthy breed that is usually susceptible to some common dog diseases and parasites, but can, also, although rarely, suffer from serious genetic problems. Some of these health issues are hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism and patellar luxation. Jin Dog‘s great resistance to health problems can be attributed to the natural development of the breed with negligible human involvement. However, this dog is in “serious danger” of one thing – you know it under the name WATER! Yep, you read that right. Korean Jindo can display, believe it or not, a strange aversion from simple running water. Of course, this doesn’t mean your dog won’t drink it, but he will avoid getting wet any way possible. Unfortunately, as funny as it seems, it might be a serious problem. Usually, Chindo will express reluctance to bathing and will avoid swimming in running water. However, there have been evidenced cases of Jindos afraid to go out in the rain. So, if you notice similar aversion with your dog, remember to keep him indoors during rainy days and try not to force him into water.
Jindo Gae Physical Characteristics
The Korean Jindo is a typical medium-sized dog of squarish shape – the height at withers and length are approximately of the same measures. However, there are three types of Jindo Dogs based on the shape of their bodies – Hudu or Heutgae (Jindos with slender body type that are a bit longer than tall at withers. These dogs have slightly elongated loin, ears, muzzle, and head.), Tonggol or Gyupgae (Jindos with muscular body type that have equal proportions of length and height at the withers. These dogs have deeper chest.) and Gakgol (Jindos that are basically long as Hudu dogs, but have chest deep as Tonggol dogs). The short-haired double coat is thick and gentle down the hair. The undercoat is soft and dense and topcoat is straight and plush. Jindos are better suited to cold weather, but with adequate care they can easily withstand hot weather. These dogs do not need a lot of grooming, except during shedding periods. The good thing, considering its aversion for water, is that you will just rarely have to bathe your dog because of his self-cleaning coat. Main Jindo Gae colors are red, fawn, white, black and white, yellow, grey, and brindle (black and tan).
The Korean Jindo Dog has a Dingo-like, wedge-shaped head with the broad skull and pointed muzzle. The lips are black and teeth meet in a scissors bite. The nose is black on all but white dogs, which can have the shades of pink and tan on their noses. The almond-shaped eyes come in different shades of brown, but light brown eyes are not preferred. The triangular ears are erect, well-furred and carried slightly forwards. The strong neck is proportional to the head. The chest with well-sprung ribs is rather deep reaching the elbows, but not that broad. The strong and thick tail is usually carried curled or in the form of a sickle atop the dog’s straight and strong back. The loin is narrower than the chest and is very muscular. The forelegs are straight and elongated below the elbows. The hind legs are slightly angled, well-muscled and very powerful. The cat-like feet with hard pads are rounded and well-furred. With such constitution, it is perfectly clear that Jindos are very agile and athletic dogs that are able to jump incredibly high and to move lightly and swiftly.
Korean Jindo Dog Size And Weight
– Height between 19,5 and 21,5 inches (48-55 cm)
– Weight between 40 and 60 pounds (18-27 kg)
– Height between 17 and 20 inches (43-50 cm)
– Weight between 35 and 55 pounds (16-25 kg)
Incredibly Resourceful Hunting Dog
The Korean Jindo is a very resourceful dog that possesses all the qualities needed for big, medium and small game hunting. He is highly intelligent, cunning, agile, strong, fast, hardy, persistent, and, above all, he is incredibly courageous. Besides, he has keen senses, strong pack mentality, and can easily move across any terrain, doesn’t matter how harsh it is. However, the thing that separates Chindo from many other hunting dogs is his insanely strong prey drive that is more akin to some wild predators. It is the main reason some people think Jindogae is more of a canine species than an actual dog breed. Indeed, this dog is literally a natural hunter that won’t just chase or bay its prey, he will try to kill it! There have been many cases of Jindo Dogs able to kill a deer or a coyote on their own. Now imagine what would a pack of well-trained Jindos do to their prey? The best answer to this question can be found in a certain legend, according to which, three Jindos killed a Siberian tiger! Incredible! In fact, in Korea there is a traditional way of boar and deer hunting without guns – just a hunter with a pack of these dogs. It works in a way that Jindos kill a game, and then one of them returns to the hunter and lead him to the prey while other dogs guard it.
Loyalty Of Jindos
The loyalty of dogs from the Far East is already legendary (remember Hachikō), and the Korean Jindo is no exception. The unwavering loyalty of this dog to one single owner (or family) is a thing to be admired. The bonds between the two are so strong that a Chindo will never abandon or forget his primary owner. There have been many cases in which Jindos returned to their previous owners after being sold to new ones. Also, these dogs are known to mourn their owner’s death, which just shows how affectionate and sensible they really are. So, as you can see, this is a type of dog that will never betray your trust. The moment you earn his respect, you will instantly become his Alpha and Omega and he will always be by your side, no matter what. However, you have to know that since the Government of South Korea declared in 1962 the Korean Jindo as the National Treasure, the breed received a special status that prevents any exportation of purebred dogs outside Korea. That is why Jindos are very rare abroad and are, of course, very hard to come by. But, if you’re looking for a loyal companion that will always be there for you, then it would definitely be worth a try to find and buy this dog.