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Home > Dogs > Dog Breeds > Korean Jindo Dog Breed Guide: Info, Pictures, Care & More

Korean Jindo Dog Breed Guide: Info, Pictures, Care & More

Korean Jindo

The Korean Jindo, commonly known as the Jindo dog or Jindo, is a lesser-known dog breed that has unmatched loyalty to its owners. Originally from Jindo Island in South Korea, this medium-sized wolf-like dog is known for its high intelligence and dedication to its owner. Not much was known about these fantastic canines on an international level until Korean expatriates brought them to the United States in the 1980s. Now, dog-lovers are starting to realize what a treasure the Jindo dog is!

Breed Overview


18-22 inches


33-51 pounds


11-15 years


Black, tan, brindle, red, grey, and white; light undercoat

Suitable for:

Active singles, households with no other pets


First-time rabbit owners, as well as those with limited space

The Jindo dog’s origins date back hundreds of years, probably evolving as a crossbreed between dogs indigenous to South Korea and dogs brought over during the Mongol invasions. This mix has provided the Jindo dog with a thick coat, excellent homing skills, and incredible hunting ability. Jindo dogs are also natural jumpers and can quickly get over a short fence in no time!

Although the Jindo dog is one of the rarer dog breeds found in the U.S. and is not yet recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) as a new dog breed, they should be on the top of your list when considering getting a loyal four-legged companion. If you have a desire for a dog that is legendary for its devotion and intelligence, read more about the Jindo dog and how it can become a part of your life.

Korean Jindo Characteristics

High-energy dogs will need a lot of mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy, while low-energy dogs require minimal physical activity. It’s important when choosing a dog to make sure their energy levels match your lifestyle or vice versa.
Easy-to-train dogs are more skilled at learning prompts and actions quickly with minimal training. Dogs that are harder to train will require a bit more patience and practice.
Some dog breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, and some more than others. This doesn’t mean that every dog will have these issues, but they have an increased risk, so it’s important to understand and prepare for any additional needs they may require.
Some breeds, due to their size or their breeds potential genetic health issues, have shorter lifespans than others. Proper exercise, nutrition, and hygiene also play an important role in the lifespan of your pet.
Some dog breeds are more social than others, both towards humans and other dogs. More social dogs have a tendency to run up to strangers for pets and scratches, while less social dogs shy away and are more cautious, even potentially aggressive. No matter the breed, it’s important to socialize your dog and expose them to lots of different situations.

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Korean Jindo Puppies

Jindo puppies can be a ball of energy. Due to their active character traits and high level of intelligence, it’s best to give your puppy attention and things to do during the day. If Jindo puppies are left alone for too long, they might destroy furniture to release pent-up energy. Therefore, the dog owner needs to provide an active lifestyle for the Jindo dog. Going for walks or jogs outside or playing with squeaky toys is a great way to bond with the Jindo puppy.

Korean Jindos are known for being entirely loyal to their owners. Get your Jindo puppy socialized with other people and animals early. This is an essential step in their social development, as they are protective by nature. Begin training the puppy early. When training your Jindo, be firm but patient. Jindo dogs are easier to train when they respect their owners.


Temperament & Intelligence of the Korean Jindo

One of the notable traits of the Jindo is their intelligence. Since they are intelligent canines, you have a lot of potential to train the Jindo effectively. Keep in mind that Jindos can be stubborn, though. Being persistent and patient in training is essential. Once the Jindo respects you, they become much easier to train. Due to their loyalty, Jindos usually follow the commands of a single person.

Jindos are athletic and have a medium-high energy level, so they must get regular exercise. A few walks during the day will keep your Jindo happy and healthy. Having some dog toys that mentally stimulate your Jindo is a great way to help foster their intelligence!

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 👪

While Jindos make excellent pets, it’s advised that the family does not have young children. Sometimes, young children can get overly playful or rough with a dog, and the Jindo will not be as tolerant to this behavior as other dog breeds. However, if the Jindo is socialized early and exposed to young children, this can help with the binding process. Jindos will bond with people they know well and who give them lots of attention but usually tend to form a close bond with a single individual. Live in a small apartment? The Jindo can quickly adapt to this area because it ensures that they will be near their human companion. They love being your personal watchdog!

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?

Without proper socialization, this particular breed can be aggressive to other dogs, particularly other males. Jindos will do better as a single pet. Even if the Jindos are the only pet, it’s recommended that they get socialized when they are young, so they do not show aggression if they encounter another dog. Because of their protective nature towards their owners, keep them on a leash when in public areas.


Things to Know When Owning a Korean Jindo:

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

Jindo dogs thrive on a diet that is not high in carbohydrates, especially corn. Their digestive tract is suited for meat-based meals. Jindos can sometimes suffer from digestive issues when eating commercial dog foods. So, you can give your Jindo raw dog food, prepare home-cooked meat-based food, or offer them a high protein, grain-free kibble. If your Jindo acts a bit picky about eating or if you are unsure how much to feed them, reach out to your local vet about creating the ideal diet for your pup.

Exercise 🐕

Jindos are naturally athletic and have medium-high energy levels. Daily exercise is a must to maintain a physically and mentally healthy Jindo, they need a minimum of 30 minutes a day. A bored Jindo might start destroying furniture, so going on walks or having some stimulating dog toys within reach is a great idea. If you have a yard where your Jindo can play, make sure the fence is at least 8 feet tall, as Jindo dogs are fantastic jumpers.

Training 🎾

Due to the high level of intelligence, Jindos can be easy to train. But being persistent and patient with your Jindo is essential! Jindos will more easily follow commands from a single individual, wanting to please them at all costs. Training your Jindo can be an incredible bonding experience for you and your canine. If you do find that you need more help training your Jindo, you can enroll in professional obedience training when the Jindo is at least 6 months old.

Grooming ✂️

Jindo dogs have thick coats that come in various colors, such as red, white, black, grey, brown, or tan. They can shed a lot, so a quick daily groom will reduce the fluff around the house. Rake combs are best because of their undercoat.

Since Jindos do not like water, you will see your Jindo grooming themselves (much like a cat), making them a clean dog to have in your home. Bathing your Jindo might be a challenge due to their fear of water, so it is unnecessary for this breed.

Health and Conditions 🏥

Minor Conditions
  • Hair loss
  • Lethargy
Serious Conditions
  • Skin infections
  • Hypothyroidism

Male vs Female

As with many dog breeds, the main difference between the male and female Jindo is size. Females are a few pounds lighter as well as 1-2 inches shorter than the male. Females also have a fox-like head, whereas males have a larger head. However, both sexes display equal levels of intelligence, agility, and loyalty to their owners.


3 Little-Known Facts About the Korean Jindo

1. The Korean Jindo is a natural treasure of South Korea.

The Government of South Korea classified the Jindo dogs as the 53rd Natural Treasure in the 1960s. The dog breed to considered culturally significant and is protected by the Cultural Heritage Protection Act. Jindos even marched in the opening ceremony of the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, Korea!

2. Their loyalty is famous.

Jindos were known for their dedication to their owners, but the 7-year-old Jindo called Baekgu took loyalty to the next level. After being given away by her original owner and sent about 180 miles away to her new home, Baekgu escaped and spent the next seven months making her way to her original owner on Jindo island. Baegku was never separated from her owner again. There was a statue erected to her in Jindo County, forever honoring her loyalty.

3. Jindos hate water!

Even though Jindos dogs seem to excel in many activities, water sports are not one of them. Jindo dogs are fearful and nervous around water, so they will not make good water companions. Keep this in mind even when giving your Jindo dog a bath. They will prefer being bathed by someone they know and trust, as opposed to a stranger.


Final Thoughts

The Korean Jindo dog can be an incredible addition to a single dog owner. Renowned for their devotion and loyalty, the Jindo dog will be a friend for life. Jindo dogs will also be your watchdog and exercise buddy. Their size and cleanliness make them suitable for small to medium-sized homes.

While Jindos do need a slightly specialized diet (when compared to other Western dog breeds), plenty of exercise, and mental stimulation, the result of helping this dog thrive will show in their unshakeable devotion to you. This dog is, indeed, a natural treasure.

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Featured Image Credit: jamongcreator, Shutterstock

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