Korea Jindo Dog

Other names: Korean Jindo, Jindo, Chindo, Jindo Gae, JindoGae

Korea Jindo Dog

Korea Natural Treasure #53, as she’s sometimes known, is a smart, sensitive, and loyal spitz-type dog originating from the South Korean island of Jindo. There she dwelt, unfettered, for many centuries, hunting alongside her masters; today, she has become a small-scale international hit – helped, no doubt, by a starring role marching in the opening ceremony for the Seoul Olympics in 1988. Bright, adorable, and self-reliant, these angular doggos love exercise and games but hate water. Tough when you live on an island, eh?

Key facts about the Korea Jindo Dog

Life expectancy :





Temperament :

Intelligent Hunter

Size :

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Origins and history

The Jindo evolved into a great hunter and companion over thousands of years on her island, Jindo, off the southwest coast of Korea. She achieved ‘national treasure’ status in 1962 and wider fame after the news story about the Jindo who ran 180 miles back to her owner in 1993. 

FCI breed nomenclature

FCI Group

Group 5 - Spitz and primitive types


Section 5 : Asian Spitz and related breeds

Physical characteristics of the Korea Jindo Dog

Adult size

Female : Between 18 and 20 in

Male : Between 20 and 22 in


Female : Between 33 and 42 lb

Male : Between 40 and 51 lb

Coat colour

Type of coat

Eye colour



Looking somewhat like a Korean take on the Japanese Shibu-Inu, the Korea Jindo Dog is a tidy, well-proportioned cutie who will draw the attention of admirers with her perky equilaterally triangular ear flaps. A curved, sickle shaped brush of a tail at the other end keeps you drawn-in. Wolfish, only prettier, the Korea Jindo Dog is muscular under that fur. The fur can be one or two of several colours, and she’s particularly irresistible when her ears are a different colour to the rest. The female is more angular about the head and slighter than the male; but Jindo-fanciers also distinguish between different body types, the stocky Tonggo and the slender but more pronounced Hudu. Hudu? She do.

Good to know

It’s illegal to export Korea Jindo Dogs out of Korea, but a few have been gathered in the US and in France.


  • 33%


    The Korea Jindo Dog is a primitive dog and not very demonstrative. She usually keeps her distance.

  • 33%


    She can get annoyed by silly games.

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    The Korea Jindo Dog is moderately calm at home, and knows how to be discreet.

  • 100%


    This is one sharp operator. She has a very strong sense of direction, and in her home country her skills allow her to access locations in police searches.

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    This dog is a natural hunter and her hunting instincts are not far below the surface.

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    Fearful / wary of strangers

    She is reserved around strangers, does not like to be caressed, and will not trust easily.

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    She is both independent and free-spirited; she loves to roam freely, come up with her own ideas, and to act stubbornly on occasion.

    Behaviour of the Korea Jindo Dog

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      Tolerates solitude

      Independent and globally unsociable, this dog can easily tolerate the absences of her masters. She does, however, need to be left with something interesting to occupy her time.

    • 66%

      Easy to train / obedience

      She’s clever enough to learn, but her free-spiritedness means that perseverance is necessary. With a skilled master, a beautiful partnership can be achieved.

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      She can bark to alert to an intruder.

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      Tendency to run away

      She does like to pursue freedom when given the opportunity and is an excellent escapologist; however, famously in the 1990s a Jindo ran away from her new owner, 180 miles back to her original owner. Is that really running away?

    • 66%


      Inactivity can lead to destructive behaviour.

    • 66%

      Greedy / Gluttony

      The Korea Jindo Dog eats very modestly, but treats can be a good incentive for training purposes.

    • 100%

      Guard dog

      She can make a very effective watchdog and guard dog as she is alert and protective. Historically, she has often found work as a guard.

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      First dog

      The Korea Jindo Dog is not the ideal choice for first dog as she requires the firm hand of an experienced dog trainer. Her stubborn temperament can be tricky for first-timers and young families.

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      • 66%

        Korea Jindo Dog in a flat

        She is not as averse to apartment life as you might think. A roomy flat can serve well as long as she is walked several times a day.

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        Need for exercise / Sporty

        The Korea Jindo Dog is athletic and energetic and needs a good amount of outdoor exercise and indoor stimulation and play on a daily basis.

      • 66%

        Travelling / easy to transport

        Her average size does not pose a problem, as long as she is well-socialized to changes of environments.


        • 33%

          Korea Jindo Dog and cats

          She is not to be trusted with cats she does not know as they may fall foul of her hunting instincts.

        • 33%

          Korea Jindo Dog and dogs

          She’s not super-big on other dogs, especially males. In addition, same-sex Jindo Dogs can even struggle to live together in harmony.

        • 66%

          Korea Jindo Dog and children

          She is playful and loving with respectful children, although may be a bit full on for smaller, more delicate ones.

        • 33%

          Korea Jindo Dog and the elderly

          The Korea Jindo Dog is not docile, and may not be suitable for less active people.



          We do not have enough data to set an average price. Looking after a dog of this size typically costs between £60 to £90 a month, including food, medical/insurance, and incidental expenses.


          This dog likes to keep herself clean, but if you don’t help her out she’s likely to become unhappy: weekly brushing should satisfy her.


          Twice a year as the seasons change.

          Nutrition of the Korea Jindo Dog

          For this primitive dog, it is better to opt for a traditional diet based on raw meat, fresh vegetables and starchy foods. One quiet evening meal a day is enough. The Jindo doesn’t eat much, so if you are concerned she is under-eating then consult her vet before taking other steps.

          Health of the Korea Jindo Dog

          Life expectancy

          This breed is generally very healthy with few genetic illnesses and an average life expectancy of 12 years.

          Strong / robust

          This is usually a fit and healthy dog that will lead a long and decent existence.

          Withstand heat

          She is moderately tolerant of hot weather, but will require a cool shelter in a heat wave.

          Withstand cold

          She can easily live outside because her double coat will protect her from cold weather.

          Tendency to put on weight

          She is neither a big eater nor a big grower.

          Common illnesses

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