Korean Jindo Temperament: Learn About Its Legendary Loyalty

The Korean Jindo temperament is unique. If you would like to add a Jindo to your family, you will need to understand Korean Jindo behaviors.

The Korean Jindo is a working dog that originated on Jindo Island, Korea. He was bred for hunting medium-sized to large game, and he is a fierce and courageous hunter and protector.



The Jindo also has the kind of loyalty that sparks legends.

Yet he can also make an excellent companion dog.

As exceptional as the Jindo is, he is not right for all families.

The Korean Jindo Temperament

Intelligent

The Korean Jindo is a very intelligent breed. They are easy to train to be expert hunters, to be good companion dogs, and to do “trick” behaviors—but only if they want to.

Independent

As with most intelligent dogs, the Jindo can have a mind of his own. He can be stubborn with owners who haven’t earned his respect.

He is a fast learner, but this independence can make training challenging.

Fiercely Loyal

The Koreans cherish the Jindo for his incomparable loyalty. They tell many stories about how intense that loyalty can be.

The Koreans tell a story of a Jindo whose owner sold him for financial reasons. He escaped from his new owner and traveled 186 miles and seven months searching for her.

When he finally found her, the Jindo was in terrible condition. He had obviously been through a lot, but he never gave up until he found the woman who raised him.

(The story had a happy ending. She kept the Jindo with her until he died 5 years later.)

Some Jindo will eventually accept a new master. Even if they do, though, they never forget their first one. This extraordinary loyalty makes Jindos who have had a previous owner especially hard to train.

The Jindo will be protective of his entire family, but he is at heart a one-person dog. He may never accept a new master if the need arises.

Even if he does, he often won’t bond with that person as strongly as he did with his original owner.

Protective

The Korean Jindo will guard his home and family to the death. He is suspicious of strangers, so he makes a good watchdog.

The Korean military uses this breed as guard dogs.

Fearless

The Jindo is also well known for his bravery. A Korean legend tells the tale of a pack of 3 Jindos that took down a Siberian tiger.

They will usually move forward aggressively to meet a threat. After all, the Jindo’s job was to fight face-to-face with wild boar.

Athletic

The Korean Jindo is very athletic and loves being active. He enjoys dog sporting activities and long walks. He needs a lot of exercises.

Hardy

The Jindo was bred to be a hard-working hunting dog. He could walk miles without tiring and still take down a deer or a boar.

Because of his double coat, even cold weather doesn’t bother him. (But he doesn’t tolerate heat very well.)

Faithful

The Jindo needs to be near his people and stays by their sides. If away from his owner for too long, he will become lonely and even depressed. You should not leave him home alone for long periods.

Territorial

The Korean Jindo temperament is very territorial toward other dogs.

Dominant

The Jindo wants to be the boss, so he needs a strong pack leader. Once he respects you as the leader, he will be obedient and easy to train.

This dominance makes it difficult for him to get along with other dogs. If you have other dogs in your home (especially another dominant dog), the Jindo may not be a good fit.

To make it work, you would need to be a very strong and patient leader. It would likely be a long, slow process, and dogfights are not unusual.

If you do have a second dog in the house, the Jindo does better with the opposite sex.

Intense Prey Instinct

Because the Korean Jindo is a natural hunter, there may be no way to stop him from chasing small animals. He is not a good choice for homes with smaller pets.

You probably wouldn’t want to let this dog off leash. The Korean Jindo temperament is to run off and chase anything that catches his attention.

Escape Artist

No matter how well trained your Jindo may be, he will be hard to contain. In addition to the prey instinct, they have a natural instinct to expand their territory.

And the Jindo is a great problem solver.

He can get himself out of crates, and some can scale 8-foot fences. If they can’t jump over them, they’ll dig under them. Resourcefulness and determination are strong Korean Jindo traits.

Wary of Strangers

The Jindo is suspicious of strangers. If you don’t socialize this breed early, he can become aggressive toward all strangers.

Energetic

The Korean Jindo has a lot of energy. As long as he gets enough exercise, he will be happy to be in the house watching over his humans from a quiet location.

Affectionate

He is affectionate with loved ones but not toward strangers. He is low-keyed about showing his affection, but he will love everyone in his family.

Polite

The Jindo is quiet and well behaved in the home. He doesn’t usually chew and is not destructive if he gets enough exercise. If not, he may get bored and chew on household items.

Attentive

The Korean Jindo is a great companion dog. He is quiet in the house but alert to his people and his environment. He will follow family members around the home to watch over them.

Careful

Jindos can be fierce, but they are cautious and not impulsive. They have reasonable judgment and are rarely aggressive without good reason.

Of course, his “good” reasons might not be the same as yours.

Meticulous

The Korean Jindo is instinctively one of the cleanest dogs. They are very easy to housetrain. They even groom themselves just as cats do.

Korean Jindo Training

The Korean Jindo temperament makes him both easy to train and a training challenge. He is intelligent enough to learn fast. Yet he is independent enough to decide if he wants to obey.

The quality of the training is the key to which choice your Jindo will make.

The Jindo is a dominant dog who needs to respect his master in order to be obedient to him or her. His respect is hard to earn.

He needs a very strong pack leader, one who will be firm and consistent with him. His owner has to be in charge—always.

Training him takes a lot of patience and a will stronger than his. You need to be able to make rules and stick with them. When your Korean Jindo decides you have earned his respect, you will also have his fierce loyalty.

Early socialization is also critical for this breed. The Korean Jindo temperament will be difficult to manage if he doesn’t learn to get along with other dogs, strangers, and young children.

This breed is not recommended for inexperienced dog owners or those who can’t—or choose not to—be firm leaders.

The Online Dog Trainer by Doggy Dan a world-class Dog Trainer from New Zealand is worth taking a look at. This online resource has hundreds of fun informative dog training videos that can help you learn the basics and more.

Korean Jindo Appearance

General Appearance

The Korean Jindo has a lean, athletic, and well-muscled build. He has upright triangular ears and a thick tail that curls upward. He has a mid-length double coat that is dense and coarse.

Korean Jindo Size

  • He is a medium-sized breed.
  • Korean Jindo weight averages 40 to 60 pounds
  • The Average Korean Jindo height is 19-1/2 to 21 inches.

Korean Jindo Colors

The Jindo’s coat can be white, gray, black, black and tan, red fawn, or brindle. Some Jindo Island natives feel that the black, black and red, and red and white Jindos make the best hunters.

Korean Jindo History

The Korean Jindo originated on Jindo Island in Korea. He is Korea’s most popular dog. No one seems to know exactly how long the breed has existed.

There is no early written record of the Korean Jindo, but some experts think their history in Korea may go back to the 13th century.

They were bred to be hunters, either alone or in packs. They excelled at this work because it came naturally to them.

After they would bring down their prey, they would instinctively bring their kills to their owners. They didn’t need training for this behavior.

The hunters could let a pack hunt on their own, knowing that they would bring the game back to him. Or one dog would find the hunter and lead him back while the others guarded the kill.

The Jindo is cherished in Korea for its fierce loyalty and exceptional hunting skills. In 1962, the South Korean government declared the Korean Jindo a national monument. That protected status made it illegal to export Jindos from Korea.

In the 1980s, Korean Americans began bringing Jindos into the US.

Korean Jindo Health Issues

The Korean Jindo is a healthy breed. The only medical condition they are especially prone to is hypothyroidism. This minor condition is treated with an inexpensive medication.

Korean Jindo lifespan is 12 to 15 years.

Note: if you agree that your health and your dog's health should be a top priority then get a copy of The Ultimate Guide to Dog Health.  Your Jindo friend will love you for it. This guide will help save you money, time and most of all help you keep your dog healthy.

Caring for the Korean Jindo

Korean Jindo Grooming

The Jindo is a double-coated breed that needs weekly brushing and only occasional baths. He “blows” his undercoat twice a year. Korean Jindo shedding can produce an enormous amount of hair.

He will need much more brushing during that time. The full shed takes about a month.

Korean Jindo Diet

The Korean Jindo needs the same firmness and discipline with his diet as he does with his training. Free feeding or adding treats to their meals doesn’t work well with most Jindos.

The Jindo is a light eater, to begin with. An unregimented diet could turn him into a fussy eater.

To avoid problems, stick with high-quality food and regular mealtimes two or three times a day.

Korean Jindo Exercise

The Jindo is an active dog bred for working. He needs a lot of activity. At the very least, he needs a couple of long walks a day. He should also have a fenced-in yard for free play.

Ideally, he would participate in some type of outdoor activity such as hunting or agility competitions.

If he has opportunities to burn off his high energy, the Korean Jindo temperament makes him a wonderful family dog.

Finding a Korean Jindo

Buying Korean Jindo Puppies from a Breeder

If you are considering purchasing a Korean Jindo puppy, you need to be sure this is the right breed for you.

If you feel the Korean Jindo temperament is a good fit for your family, finding a Korean Jindo for sale could be difficult because they are still rare in North America.

The Korean Jindo Association of America would be your best resource. They maintain a directory of Korean Jindo breeders on their website. Korean Jindo price ranges from $2000 to $3500 from a reputable breeder.

Another option could be to import one from mainland Korea. Recent research indicates that it may now be legal for Korean breeders—other than those on Jindo Island—to export them.

You may be able to find Korean breeders on the Internet who could answer that question for you.

Korean Jindo Adoption

Because of their scarcity outside of Korea, you would need to be very patient in your search. It could take a long time to find a Korean Jindo for adoption. It wouldn’t hurt to alert any shelter in your area that you are looking for one.

Korean Jindo Rescue

Again, it could take a while to find a rescue because of scarcity. There are several Korean Jindo rescue organizations online, so an Internet search would be the best place to start.

Why the Korean Jindo?

The Korean Jindo is a unique dog with a very impressive set of skills. He also has the ability to fit into a home companion situation comfortably and to be a well-behaved family member.

But his fierce loyalty and athleticism are what make the Korean Jindo temperament so highly prized.

If you’re looking for a true best friend to complement your active life, you won’t find one more loyal than the Korean Jindo. The Korean Jindo temperament is ideal to share your outdoor adventures as well as your home as a cherished member of the family.

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