Korean Dog Breeds

Korean Dog Breeds – The Origin, Group & More

Dogs can belong to any country, race, or state, it doesn’t truly matter where they come from. But what does matter is the attributes that some specific dogs show which may truly belong to the specific breed that has been bred in a certain country.

More often than not, something like this can drastically increase the total cost of getting the said dog along with maintenance factors that may just not suit a person’s overall budget and needs. Although, some may be up to taking the challenge and taking care of their dog breed.

This article will be dealing with the top 10 Korean Dog Breeds, as Korea by far is a country of diverse cultures and festivals. It is a fact that one might just be interested in knowing about some of the dogs of the native Korean breed and how they may ultimately fare in terms of other dog breeds on this planet.

Korean Dog Breeds

The Top 10 Korean Dog Breeds

It can be interesting for any dog owners to know about the various dog breeds of varying countries, Korea in sense has some of the most unique dog breeds that may just enchant you:

1. Korean Jindo

Breed Overview:

  • Group: Sporting
  • Height: 17-22 inches
  • Weight: 30-50 pounds
  • Coat and Color: Medium size double coat with colors that may include: Black & Tan, Gray, Fawn, and Brindle, etc.
  • Life Span: 14-15 years
  • Origin: South Korea, Jindo

Korean Jindo

Bred and indigenous to the Jindo island of South Korea, the Jindo breed of dogs more or less has become a mascot and a national dog breed for South Korea. Mostly due to their popularity as one of the most commonly sought pets in South Korea.

Although, you may have to work hard as an owner as the Jindo dog breeds may normally be loyal and protective of a master it considers to be worthy of such affection. With an intelligence almost fierce, these dogs are truly elegant.

2. Nureongi

Breed Overview:

  • Group: Unknown
  • Height: 20 inches
  • Weight: 40-55 pounds
  • Coat and Color: Dense Medium-length double coat. Colors may either be black, yellow, or shades of yellow-orange, etc.
  • Life Span: 12-14 years, might be less
  • Origin: South Korea


While there might not be much available on this dog breed. It is an unfortunate known fact that the Nureongi, while originally a spitz type bred to be hunting dogs for small-time games, is more or less a common edible food source in South Korea.

Therefore, if one is able to somehow get these dogs, they may need thorough checkups from the vet for health issues.

3. Korean Mastiff

Breed Overview:

  • Group: Working
  • Height: 23.5-30 inches
  • Weight: 145-185 pounds
  • Coat and Color: Short and silky coat. Colors may normally be Mahogany, Chocolate, Orange, or Red & Brown
  • Life Span: 7-12 years
  • Origin: South Korea

Korean Mastiff

Called “Kyun Dosa” and being one of the rarest breeds to find so far, the Korean Mastiffs are tall and intimidating giants. Although, these dogs can be friendly to owners and family members and are one of the other dog pets that are kept relatively safe in South Korea.

Do remember that due to them belonging to the working class, these dogs can be great guard dogs though they may be aggressive and threatening to strangers. Something that may require a training for the dogs to reduce their aggression.

4. Sapsali

Breed Overview:

  • Group: Unrecognized
  • Height: 19-23 inches
  • Weight: 35-60 pounds
  • Coat and Color: Thick coat that is long in size. Colors may be mixed and come in: Black, White, Orange, Brown, etc
  • Life Span: 10-12 years
  • Origin: South Korea


Also called the “Ghost Hunter” due to the superstition in South Korea which assumes that the Sapsali dog breed can prevent or outright chase away certain evils, this dog breed is mainly a companion dog.

These dogs are generally used as therapy dogs or simply for being kept as domestic pets due to their overall friendly nature. This dog can respond well to training and are highly protective of its owners.

5. Pungsan

Breed Overview:

  • Group: Hunting
  • Height: 20-24 inches
  • Weight: 44-68 pounds
  • Coat and Color: Medium-length Weatherproof thick double coat. Color is normally Off-White
  • Life Span: 12-14 years
  • Origin: Kimhyonggwon County, North Korea


Originally used by the military and also for hunting, the Pungsan is one of the most fearless dogs of Korea and has also been made the National Monument of North Korea. These dogs can work under intense weather conditions thanks to their dense coat that can withstand heavy snowfall.

Unfortunately, due to their hunting instinct and overall prey drive, these dogs may not be best for households that include smaller animals as they might attract the attention of this dog breed. Not to mention this dog breed also has connections to the Siberian Husky, which makes their similarities in appearance more uncanny.

6. Jeju

Breed Overview:

  • Group: Unknown
  • Height: 19-22 inches
  • Weight: 40-60 pounds
  • Coat and Color: Short or medium coat. Colors can be Tawny White, Brown, etc.
  • Life Span: 15 years
  • Origin: South Korea


Bred by the Chinese people on the island of Jeju. Considered to be excellent hunters and guard dogs, the Jeju dog species have faced immense troubles in life thanks to being victims of near extinction throughout the points of their lives.

With their recognizable pointy foreheads, these dogs are extremely intelligent, although not as sociable as other dog breeds, and may react negatively to strangers and other animals. These dogs are currently considered to be endangered species as of today.

7. Donggyeongi

Breed Overview:

  • Group: Unknown
  • Height: 17-22 inches
  • Weight: 31-55 pounds
  • Coat and Color: Thick topcoat and undercoat. Colors may include White, Black Cream, etc.
  • Life Span: 12-14 years
  • Origin: Korea


Another endangered species of South Korea, these dogs have a certain gene mutation through which their tails are extremely short and make them look tailless at the end which is referred to as being “Bob-Tailed”.

With a population of somewhere around 600, these breeds of dogs have become a natural heritage of South Korea to try and keep their population from falling down even further.

8. Korea Tri Hound

Breed Overview:

  • Group: Unknown
  • Height: Not Estimated
  • Weight: Not Estimated
  • Coat and Color: Short-medium size coat, colors may normally range from shades of Brown and White
  • Life Span: 12-14 years
  • Origin: Naju, South Korea

Korea Tri Hound

Being a crossbreed of Greyhound, Foxhound, and possibly Staffordshire Terrier, this dog breed has acquired the best traits of these dogs and are perfect hunters when it comes to smelling, tracking, and chasing down targets.

These dogs are mainly perfect for hunting as hunters in South Korea may often utilize these dog breeds, although they are also considered to be rather rare.

9. Seoul Dog

Breed Overview:

  • Group: Unknown
  • Height: Not Estimated
  • Weight: Not Estimated
  • Coat and Color: Black & White coat that may be short-medium in size.
  • Life Span: 12-14 years
  • Origin: Seoul, South Korea

Seoul Dog

With the unique tuxedo-style coating colors of these dogs, this is one of the rarest dog breeds of Korea due to their extremely mixed origins. Said to have been bred by a Biology teacher in a Seoul High School, the Seoul Dog is said to be a mix of almost 30 dog breeds such as Akita Inu or Shepard.

Therefore, finding a dog breed like this can be troublesome and costly along with chances of failure rates being high.

10. Bulgae

Breed Overview:

  • Group: Unknown
  • Height: 19-21 Inches
  • Weight: 33-55 Pounds
  • Coat and Color: Dense Deep Reddish Maroon coat
  • Life Span: 12-14 years
  • Origin: Yeongju, South Korea


A part of the mythological tales of South Korea where these dogs are considered to be fire dogs who come after the Sun or Moon and cause eclipses through their bites.

These dogs are considered to be extremely rare breeds due to being in the cuisine of South Korean dishes and so far there probably are 20 or slightly more of these dog breeds left. All thanks to the effort of Dongyang University in trying to preserve these enigmatic breed of dogs.


It is an unfortunate fact that most dogs in South Korea are part of the “dog meat” cuisine standards and are often consumed by the residents of this country. This in turn has made some of the listed exotic species to be nearly extinct or on the verge of facing total extinction. Attempts are of course being made to protect these dog breeds from going out of commission in the long run.

In case one has to get a dog at all as a pet, the Korean Jindo is probably the most well-known South Korean dog that may just be the perfect fit for an owner, although one will have to look at a reputable breeder for such a dog as these are relatively rare outside Korea.

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