Korean Jindo

A Smart, Affectionate Dog With the Fastidious Self-Grooming Habits of a Cat

Korean Jindo

A Smart, Affectionate Dog With the Fastidious Self-Grooming Habits of a Cat

Originating on the island of Jindo off the coast of South Korea, the Korean Jindo is also known as Jindo Gae, the Chindo, Jin dog and the Jindo Gu. This dog has a famously loyal and affectionate temperament. However, this is not the dog for the faint of heart, since the Korean Jindo is also independent and strong-willed. If you are an inexperienced owner, you may not want to adopt a puppy of this ilk, which could prove a bit too challenging.


Documentation about the Korean Jindo is scarce. Experts on the breed believe that it has been an inhabitant of Jindo Island for centuries and may have been crossbred with dogs the Mongol forces brought in with the Korean invasion in the 13th century.

Originally serving to hunt rabbits, deer, boars and badgers, the dogs today are mostly kept as guardians and companions. Farms are still quick to use this dog to protect livestock from predators.

The government of South Korea protected the Jindo dog as a national monument by law in 1962. Because of this prestigious event, it became very difficult to take the breed outside of the country after that.

Still, the Korean Jindo’s iconic status with the Korean nation resulted in an uptick in popularity, manifested by the dogs’ eventual increase in pace of importation to the United States, primarily by military immigrants in the 1980s. The breed is currently recorded in the AKC foundation stock service, but is not yet eligible for registration.

The United Kennel Club recognized the breed in 1998, and the Federation of Cynologique Internationale recognized it in 2005.

Physical Appearance

The Korean Jindo is medium-sized, with a square build, a sturdy body, and an overall aura of intelligence, agility, strength, and beauty. When the dog is alert to possible danger or simply paying attention, the muscular neck is held upright. The chest is moderately deep and has well-sprung ribs (a term indicating optimal bone structure), and is well-developed overall. The back is straight and the tail is curled slightly or is held like a sickle. Thick and feathered, the tail is equally generous and balances the sturdiness of the body.

The shoulders are also very strong. Muscular hind legs include short pasterns (a term analagous to the human wrist, i.e., the back of the hand relates to a dog’s “pastern”). Dew claws are typically removed, and the Korean Jindo has round feet with thick, strong pads as protection from its native harsh environment.

The head is triangular in shape from above, with a typically black nose. If a dog is white, the nose can be pink. Most dogs' almond-shaped eyes are dark brown to reddish brown. The ears are triangular, erect, and rounded at the tips. The coat has a soft undercoat that is dense, and a harsh outer coat with a straight, rough texture that is also short and dense; its coat is much like the Shiba Inu and looks somewhat like this breed, although larger; it is also similar in appearance to the Akita, but smaller.

Coat colors can be red fawn, white, gray, black, black and tan, or brindle. In adulthood, females weigh between 25 and 40 pounds and stand 16 to 22 inches at the shoulder, while males weigh 35 to 50 pounds and stand 18 to 25 inches at the shoulder. As you can see, males are generally larger than females.


These dogs were originally bred to hunt game – as small as rodents and as large as deer – which means that they are by nature very independent, and task-driven. If you are firm but loving and consistent with your discipline, the Korean Jindo is an incredibly loyal dog. It can be dominant and want to get its own way, and may be very protective of you and of its "territory." With proper socialization and boundaries, the Korean Jindo is very affectionate and pretty obedient – and very gentle. The Korean Jindo also makes an excellent watchdog and will guard you with its life, unquestioningly. Be careful not to keep the Korean Jindo around small animals that are typically prey, such as rabbits and hamsters.

In general, Korean Jindos are not aggressive except toward other dogs in situations when your pet senses you may be in danger and must establish dominance. The Korean Jindo is also very affectionate toward children and has a gentle, attentive nature around them.

Appropriate Environment

Korean Jindos need to live with their families indoors. That said, because your pet is such a naturally active animal, you must expose it to daily vigorous exercise. If your pet gets enough physical activity, the Korean Jindo can even live in an apartment because, somewhat like a cat, the Korean Jindo is naturally fastidious. They groom themselves like cats, in fact, and are incredibly easy to house train. This is NOT an outdoor dog, in that your pet should not be kept outside at all times in a doghouse, on a chain, etc., but instead should live with you indoors.

Be careful to keep your pet busy, because this incredibly smart dog who yearns for a meaningful occupation can get into mischief – not because it is being insolent, but because it is lonely or bored. Your pet will also be a pretty good escape artist, so install an electric fence. Korean Jindos can jump very high, so a regular fence is likely not to work.


The Korean Jindo is relatively healthy, although hypothyroidism can be a problem. Because this is a naturally developed breed and not a selectively developed breed, it tends to be hardier than many, with fewer diseases. Average life expectancy is 12 to 15 years.


Korean Jindos shed a lot and "blow their coats" twice a year, which means that your pet will look like it is molting. Brush frequently; these dogs don't like baths, similar to cats. However, like cats, they are meticulous self-groomers, so they stay pretty clean.



Retrieved August 28, 2015.

Jindo (Korean Jindo) (Jindo Dog).

Retrieved August 28,2015.

Korean Jindo.

Retrieved August 28, 2015.

Korean Jindo Dog.

Retrieved August 28, 2015.

Korean Jindo Dogs.

Retrieved August 28, 2015.

Korean Jindo Dog Information, History, Temperament and More.

Retrieved August 28, 2015.

Meet the Jindo.

Retrieved August 28, 2015.

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