Origins
The Jindo Dog ("Jindo Ggae" in Korean), originated on Jindo Island, located in Southwest Korea. Having been isolated from the mainland for such a long time, the Jindo has developed its unique characteristics and pure genetic strain through the process of natural selection. In 1938, the Korean government designated the Jindo as the 53rd National Monument (National Treasure). Exporting pure-bred Jindos is strictly prohibited. But many Korean emigrants claimed their Jindos to be of mixed blood and thus managed to export them.
Note: Jindos marched in the opening ceremonies of the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, South Korea.

Description
The Jindo is a medium-sized dog, spitz-type dog, with an octagonal-shaped face and prick ears. The body is either square or slightly longer than tall. It has been divided into two body types: Tonggol or Gyupgae and Hudu or Heutgae. The former is very muscular and shorter in body, with a depth of chest equal to one-half the height at the withers and a shorter loin, while the latter is more slender with somewhat less depth of chest and a slightly longer loin, resulting in a height to length ratio of 10:11. Typically, males are larger with heavier heads and females have more fox-like features.
These two types are gradually being blended into a third type called Gakgol, which retains the length of body of the Hudu style and the depth of chest of the Tonggol style. "The topline inclines very slightly downward from well-developed withers to a strong back with a slight but definite arch over the loin, which blends into a slightly sloping croup. The ribs are moderately sprung out from the spine, then curving down and inward to form a body that would be nearly oval if viewed in cross-section. The loin is muscular but narrower than the rib cage and with a moderate tuck-up. The chest is deep and moderately broad. When viewed from the side, the lowest point of the chest is immediately behind the elbow. The forechest should extend in a shallow oval shape in front of the forelegs but the sternum should not be excessively pointed3."
*Height: At maturity, desirable height for male dogs should be 19 1/2 to 21 inches and 18 1/2 to 20 inches for females.
*Weight: In good condition, males should be 35-45 lbs. and 30-40 lbs. for a female.
*Tail: There are two types: ring tail, rolled on its back; erect tail, straight up.
*Eyes: Gingko nut-shaped yellowish brown eyes with clear pupils. Jindos with reddish eyes are considered better hunters.
*Hair: Coat is of medium length, coarse with a thick undercoat.
*Color: Korean law currently only recognizes white Jindos and red (tan) Jindos, thus they are the most popular colors. Some Jindo Island residents have valued black, black/tan and red/white Jindos for being good hunters over the years. The UKC (United Kennel Club, Inc.) recognizes five different coat colors: white, fawn, gray, black and tan, and brindle (tiger patter).

Personality
The Jindo is extremely loyal. Unlike other dogs, it is not overly affectionate because it is very independent. For this reason, they respond best to positive reinforcement training.
They have a keen sense of direction. There are stories that after a Jindo's family has moved away, the dog will travel hundreds of miles (even swim a relatively vast amoung of water) to find them. As a note, in Korea, many people leave their dogs to wander free. They are less domesticated in Korea than they are in the US. So if a family moves away, sometimes the dogs are left behind or given to someone else. Heartless as this may sound, Jindos are also great hunters therefore will most likely not starve.
Jindos are also very clean animals1 and puppies tend to become housebroken without much training.
They are very friendly with their masters and very suspicious of strangers. If a stranger is with the master and is introduced to the dog properly, the Jindo will become more amicable. The South Korean military uses Jindos on military bases where they learn to recognize thousands of personnel at the base and to detect outsiders. Jindos are said to recognize and remember over 30,000 different scents.
When Jindos were first introduced to the US, many breeders saw them as fighters and bred them with highly aggressive dogs for dog fights. Because of this, some Jindos have an aggressive streak in them and then given to a shelter because they are "unmanagable2."
Note: These dogs are not recommended for children under the age of 13 because of their suspicious and independent nature.

Miscellaneous Information4
Because of the Jindo's double-coat, they shed profusely twice a year (and usually in clumps). Regular brushings and warm baths can help this a little, but for the most part, be prepared to clean.
The Jindo is virtually health problem free, except for hypothyroidism, as far as is known. However, some Jindos are extremely sensitive to high amounts of corn in their diet, which is why lower-end, cheap brands of dry dog food is not recommended.
Like any other dog, a Jindo needs exercise. Also, because of it's high intelligence, a Jindo can learn how to open cages and escape from yards. From what I've read, they can also jump quite high, so a fence about six feet tall is recommended.

Anecdotes
I have a Jindo and his name is Cody. He's about two years old now. Sometimes I wonder if he's pure, but if he's not, that's fine. He's still really adorable. My parents got him from a friend who had two Jindos that bred. I knew virtually nothing about this breed when we first got him. My parents knew a little because this is the dog of their country so naturally it has to be well-behaved. After reading more and more about how to pick a dog, I realized that we shouldn't have picked up Cody on a whim. But we lucked out and got a dog that complements our family well.
We have a spacious backyard for him to roam and my mom used to take him on walks everyday until she had to work everyday, but whenever I'm home, I, at least try, to take him for walks. He's quite entertaining sometimes. He sleeps during the day and stays awake during the night to watch our house. He doesn't like to be petted for an extended period of time, especially when he's tired. He'll get up and move somewhere else with a sigh as if to say, "Too tired for human contact."
I love coming home to Cody because he's always so happy to see me. He knows the sounds of our family's cars and the sound of the garage door. When he hears the alarm inside the house, he goes up to the back door and peers in, waiting to see somebody. Leaving is horribly sad though because he knows the sounds of our cars (double-edged sword). I'll get in my car and back out of the drive-way and as I'm driving off, I can see him watching me from the edge of the fence. I can't tell what he's thinking, but I always imagine he's saying, "Where's she going? I wonder when she's coming back." Interesting how attached to pets we get, but it's less like he's my pet than my friend.
In accordance with what I have written, I will testify that pretty much everything I have noded is true. As far as the house breaking, I don't think we really did much. He would pee in the house now and again, but that's normal for puppies. We did try to house break him by taking him outside every few hours. Soon (and I mean very soon), he would go to the door and do a little circle dance to indicate he wanted to go outside to pee.
He is very suspicious of strangers. I've finally learned how to make him not growl at one of my friends. By the way, after the first time Cody is introduced to someone, he'll remember them so it's not a problem after the first time. Anyway, usually, my friend has to remain perfectly still, but relaxed and not afraid. This is so that Cody doesn't think that they are going to attack him or me and so that he can sniff them and get acquainted to their scent. Never ever ever reach out your hand to touch a Jindo that doesn't know you because they'll think you're going to do something to them. A few of my friends have made that mistake of trying to pet him and he's responded by growling. After about fifteen minutes of him getting to know my friend, Cody will then let them extend their hand. If my friend sits down after the intial introduction, Cody takes a liking to them faster. He even tends to ignore me and want to play with them more.


For a great website with pictures visit http://www.kang.org/Jindo.html.

1One final anecdote on the cleanliness of Jindos. Cody stays outside for the most part, but whenever he comes in, he sits there grooming himself. And he rarely ever smells bad. From my other friends' pets, I know that if a dog is kept outside for a long time, they will smell bad. Cody doesn't even smell that bad when he comes in from the rain. One detail though: our backyard is not altogether grassy so he gets mud on his paws, which he would eventually lick off, but my mom cleans that off of him, especially when it's wet outside. He hates it when my mom tries to clean his paws so he always tries to run it past her. Sometimes, if my dad is home, he'll sit himself right next to my dad, who always lays down on the loveseat, and looks at my mom with a "Look at me, I'm so good" face.
2http://jindo.org/board_intro.htm
3http://jindo.org/standard.htm
4http://www.geocities.com/jindojunkie/JindoRescue/want_jindo.html

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