Dogs are beloved pets and companions around the world, and South Korea is no exception. While some dog breeds, such as the Shih Tzu and the Maltese, are well-known worldwide, many South Korean dog breeds remain relatively obscure.
However, these breeds are no less fascinating, with unique traits and characteristics that set them apart from other breeds. In this blog post, we will introduce you to 7 South Korean dog breeds that you may have never heard of.
We’ll delve into each breed’s history, personality and temperament, grooming and exercise requirements, and more.
By the end of this post, you’ll have a newfound appreciation for the diverse and fascinating world of South Korean dog breeds.
7 Common Dog Breeds in South Korea
Sapsali is a medium-sized breed that has been around for centuries in Korea. It was originally bred as a hunting and guard dog, but it also served as a companion to Korean aristocracy.
Sapsali has a distinctive coat that requires minimal grooming. They have a thick and shaggy coat that is long and wavy. The fur is usually black, but it can also come in various shades of brown.
Sapsali is known for being intelligent, loyal, and protective. They make excellent family pets, as they are friendly with children and other pets.
However, their protective instincts mean they can be wary of strangers. Sapsali is also known for being very active and requires plenty of exercise to keep them healthy and happy.
Grooming a Sapsali is relatively easy. Brushing their coat once a week is usually sufficient to keep it clean and free of tangles. They don’t require frequent bathing, and their coat dries quickly after a bath.
Jindo is a medium-sized breed that is from the Jindo Island in South Korea. Jindos are known for their loyalty, intelligence, and bravery. They were bred as hunting and guard dogs, and their hunting instincts are still very strong. They are independent thinkers and can be stubborn at times, which means they require a firm and consistent hand when it comes to training.
Jindos have a thick, double-layered coat that comes in a range of colors, including white, black, brown, and tan. Their coat is relatively easy to maintain, as it doesn’t require frequent bathing or trimming. Their thick coat also sheds heavily twice a year, which means they require regular brushing during shedding season.
Jindos are loyal and protective of their families, but they can be reserved with strangers. They make excellent watchdogs and are known for their bravery and tenacity.
Jindos are also very active and require plenty of exercise to keep them happy and healthy.
Pungsan is a large and rare breed that originated in the Pungsan region of North Korea. They were originally bred as hunting dogs, specifically for hunting tigers and wild boars. Due to their size and strength, they were considered prized possessions and were often given as gifts to Korean leaders and foreign dignitaries.
Pungsans have a thick, white coat that requires regular grooming to prevent matting and tangles. They shed heavily twice a year and require daily brushing during shedding season. Pungsans are known for their loyalty, intelligence, and trainability. They are also fiercely protective of their families and can be wary of strangers.
Despite their size, Pungsans are relatively inactive indoors and require plenty of exercise outdoors to keep them healthy and happy.
The Donggyeongi is known as the Korean Mountain Dog or the Korean Native Dog. Donggyeongis were originally bred as hunting dogs, specifically for hunting small game such as rabbits and birds. They also served as watchdogs and companions to Korean farmers.
Donggyeongis have a thick, double-layered coat that comes in a range of colors, including black, brown, and tan. Their coat is relatively easy to maintain, as it doesn’t require frequent bathing or trimming. Something to note is their thick coat does shed moderately year-round, which means they require regular brushing to prevent matting and tangles.
Donggyeongis are also known for their loyalty, intelligence, and trainability. They are also friendly and affectionate with their families but can be reserved with strangers. They are relatively inactive indoors and require moderate exercise outdoors to keep them healthy and happy.
The Jeju is a breed that stems from Jeju Island, South Korea. They were originally bred for hunting small game, such as rabbits and rodents. Jejus have a muscular build, with a broad head and sturdy legs. Their coat is short and dense and comes in a range of colors, including black, brown, and brindle.
Jejus have a fascinating history, as they were once considered a sacred breed on Jeju Island. They were used as offerings in religious ceremonies and were believed to have mystical powers.
However, with the modernization of South Korea, the Jeju breed was at risk of becoming extinct. Thanks to conservation efforts, the breed has been preserved and is now recognized as a national treasure.
Jejus are known for their loyal and affectionate nature. They are intelligent and eager to please, making them easy to train. Jejus are also excellent with children and make great family pets. However, they can be reserved with strangers and make excellent watchdogs.
Jejus have a short, dense coat that is easy to maintain. They require weekly brushing to remove loose hair and prevent matting. Jejus are also an active breed that requires daily exercise to keep them healthy and happy.
They are best suited for families with yards or homes in rural areas where they can run and play.
Nureongi is a medium-sized breed that is native to South Korea. They are often referred to as Korean Yellow Dogs due to their distinct yellow coat. The Nureongi breed is believed to have originated from wild dogs that lived in the mountains of Korea and was later domesticated.
Nureongis have a muscular build with a short, dense coat that comes in various shades of yellow. They have a broad head and powerful jaw. Nureongis are known for their hunting abilities and were traditionally used for hunting game such as wild boar.
Despite their hunting instincts, Nureongis make great family pets. They are loyal, affectionate, and protective of their families. They are intelligent dogs and easy to train, making them great for first-time dog owners.
Nureongis require minimal grooming due to their short coat, but they do shed moderately year-round. They are an active breed and require regular exercise to keep them healthy and happy.
7. Sajin Kyi
Sajin Kyi is a small breed of dog known as the “lion dog” due to their resemblance to a miniature lion. This breed is believed to have originated from the Lhasa Apso breed in Tibet and was brought to Korea by Tibetan Buddhist monks.
Sajin Kyi has a long, thick coat that comes in a range of colors, including black, brown, and white. Their coat requires regular grooming to prevent matting and keep them looking their best. They have a small, compact body with short legs and a round head with a distinctive muzzle.
Sajin Kyi is a playful and affectionate breed that makes an excellent companion for families. They are intelligent dogs and respond well to training. They are also known to be good with children and other pets.
Sajin Kyi is an adaptable breed and can thrive in both urban and rural environments. However, they do require daily activity to keep them healthy.
South Korea is home to a diverse range of dog breeds, each with its unique history, personality, and physical characteristics. From the small and adorable Mally to the fiercely loyal and independent Korean Jindo Dog, South Korean dog breeds have become increasingly popular worldwide.
As we have seen, these lesser-known breeds offer a wide range of characteristics and traits that make them ideal pets for families and individuals alike. Whether you are looking for a lap dog or a hunting companion, South Korean dog breeds have something to offer.
Which Dog is Famous in South Korea?
One of the most famous dogs in South Korea is the Jindo Dog, which is considered a national treasure in the country. This breed is named after Jindo Island, where they were originally bred for hunting and guarding.
Jindo Dogs are highly intelligent, fiercely loyal, and have excellent hunting abilities. They have a distinct appearance and a thick double coat that comes in various colors.
Due to their popularity and status as a national treasure, Jindo Dogs are highly valued in South Korea and have been the subject of various cultural festivals and events.
What is the Most Common Pet in South Korea?
The most common pet in South Korea is the dog. According to a survey conducted in 2019, there were over 10 million pet dogs in South Korea, which is approximately one-fifth of the country’s population.
The popularity of dogs as pets has increased in recent years, and they have become an integral part of Korean culture. Other common pets in South Korea include cats, birds, and fish.
However, dogs remain the most popular pet choice due to their loyalty, companionship, and adaptability to living in apartments and urban areas.
Is South Korea Dog Friendly?
South Korea is generally considered a dog-friendly country, with many public spaces and parks allowing dogs on leashes. However, there are certain restrictions and regulations that pet owners must follow.
For example, dogs are not allowed on certain public transportation systems, such as the subway during peak hours. Additionally, some buildings and businesses may prohibit dogs from entering, and pet owners are required to clean up after their dogs in public spaces.
South Korea also has strict regulations for dog ownership, including mandatory registration and microchipping, as well as restrictions on certain breeds deemed potentially dangerous. While there are some limitations, South Korea can be considered a relatively dog-friendly country with a growing appreciation for the role of dogs as beloved companions.