We found Shadow at 2 months old, wondering on a dark road late at night here in South Korea. Because we have no idea who his parents were, we really can't be sure if he is a pure Jindo or a mix (although it is unlikely that he is a pure Jindo's as the pedigrees are incredibly expensive and it's not likely his owner would have been as irresponsible with him if he was a pure Jindo). In any case, the majority of 'Jindo' looking dogs that are in shelters/roaming the streets/abandoned/those that have been rescued from meat farms here in Korea are mixes of some kind. For those who have only seen white Jindos before, the Jindo actually comes in 5 different colours; white, brown, tan, yellow, grey, black & tan, & brindle...Shadow is of the black & tan variety.
The Korean Jindo is a hunting dog native to South Korea. They are double-coated dogs whose coats consists of an outer layer of guard hairs and an inner layer of undercoat. The undercoat is what keeps these dogs cool in summer and warm in winter. The guard hairs are shiny, stiff, and water-proof while the undercoat hairs are soft, slightly crinkly, and insulating. The guard hairs are lifted somewhat away from the body and can give an overall harsh feel to the coat. These guard hairs are the ones that make up the dogs hackles which usually stand on end when a dog is anxious or nervous. Double-coated dogs generally shed their soft undercoats twice a year, although some individual dogs might shed constantly or only every 10-12 months.
From what I have read, shedding can take anywhere from three weeks to two months. This is Shadows first shed and the first experience I have had with a shedding dog. Growing up my mom was always alergic to animals and so we had Standard Poodles (the big, graceful poodles not the small yappy kind) as pets. Up until we found Shadow I would have said that I was also rather allergic to animals, touching them would always lead me to break out in a rash. I have yet to have a reaction to Shadow, and even now that there is hair ALL OVER our house, I am still allergy free. I'm not sure if this is due to his very course guard hairs, or whether I have simply developed an immunity to his coat. Either way I am rather happy to not be allergic to my dog.
The amount of hair that is coming off Shadow is pretty frightening. I brush him twice a day, and with each stroke of the brush a small sized dog is produced. At first it was funny, but now it's terrible frustrating as the hair is just everywhere. Whenever I look up I see little puffs of hairballs making their way across my floor in search of the perfect hiding spot.
Here are the tools I have been using to help keep on top of the shedding. I'm hoping it ends soon and I can go back wearing my light coloured clothing again.
- ShedKiller (a 'Korean?' knock off of the popular furminator brush) which has a two sides; a thin toothed razor like brush and then a wider toothed comb
- Slicker Brush (I found this at my local vet)
- Rubber Grooming brush (bought at my local mart here in Korea)
I have has success with all three of these brushes at different stages of his shedding. When it first started a few weeks ago, the slicker brush worked fine. Then I found the slicker just spread the hairs and made them so static that they just flew around and were impossible to collect. The rubber brush works well when outside. I have been using the wide tooth comb over the last week as it really gets down deep into the undercoat to remove the clumps.
If using a brush like the furminator/shed killer (you can buy the Shedkiller here in Korea online through Gmarket by clicking here), when using the razor like end, be careful not to brush too hard. The razor can remove the guard hairs and end up pulling out too much of the top coat. A lot of husky owners recommend NOT using the furminator for this reason. But I find as long as I'm careful and work slowly, and don't use it more than once week it's been great with Shadow's coat.
Shadow doesn't enjoy being brushed, in fact he always tries to go after my hand/the brush whenever it's time to groom him. As Jindo's are generally fastidious about their general coat cleanliness (they tend to groom themselves like cats) I have to be very sneaky, and arm myself with lots of treats to keep him occupied while I go to work. I have read that bathing is also recommended for shedding, but as my dog hates bath time I'd rather stick to the brushing for now. Let's hope it ends soon!
Do you have any tips for dog grooming? I'd love to hear from you in the comments below!