Shadow The Korean Jindo at home in South Africa

It's nearly been a whole year since our rescue pup, Shadow The Jindo, arrived on South African soil.

Farmboy and I found Shadow as a teeny tiny little ball of fluff wondering along a dark country road late at night. We were living & teaching English in South Korea at the time, and had absolutely no plans, whatsoever, to adopt a dog. We were far too independent,  loved traveling, and if we were to get a pet, we would absolutely have to bring them back home to South Africa with us. Taking animals to South Africa is FAR more expensive than taking them to any other country (bar the UK which is also crazy) and so it never once crosses our minds. That is, until Shadow came along an stole our hearts.

Here he is as a teeny tiny pup:

If you're wondering what a Jindo is, it's a dog breed native to South Korea. Not much is known about them, and they aren't seen much outside of Korea unless bred by authorised breeders. A lot of the 'street' dogs in Korea are Jindo mixes, just like our precious pup Shadow.

Pure breed Jindo's come in 5 main coat colourings (white, brown/yellow, brindle, black & tan and grey). Shadow is of the 'black & tan' variety, but is most definitely a mix due his long hair and very long ears. We think he is crossed with Husky/German Shepard, but there is no real knowing unless a DNA test is done. He has 100% all of the characteristics of a Jindo (click here to read more about the breed) and we just adore him.

Shadow grew up in our teeny tiny Korean apartment, and is now loving his life roaming the wide open spaces of dairy farm life now that we are home in South Africa. We've had a few issues with him and getting his bathroom routine sorted out (well these issues are more to do with the fact that he is an incredibly private dog when it comes to his toilet time, and now regards out entire garden as his 'home' and will not, under any circumstances, soil his home!). This means he quite literally  'holds it in' until I take him for a walk where we can run free and find a suitably private place to do his business. Funny dog this one haha.

Anyway, here are some recent photographs I've taken of him in the months since we have been home. He is such a happy pooch, and the most incredible dog either of us have ever had. We both can't wait for the many happy years ahead of him as a big brother to our little baby coming along in September this year. My camera is going to be FULL of baby and pup pictures...I can't wait!

In the mean time, I hope you enjoy these photographs.

x

You can follow Shadow on his adventures with his cat siblings over on Instagram:

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Winter in Korea and our latest snow fall!

Winter in Korea CityGirlSearching

I have been complaining for the past few weeks about the lack of snow this Winter in Korea. Facebook kept reminding about all the snow we had here last year, and all we got was a measly few centimetres at the end of November. Well, the weather man finally heard my pleads for snow and we had a non-stop flurry of snowflakes which started last thursday afternoon and only let up Friday night, nearly a full day and night later.

While this was wonderful for me and my camera, it wasn't so great for my car. Poor Cherry (the VERY old red Matiz) had to spend the night at the bottom of the driveway after she failed (on more than one attempt) to get up the drive way to park. She spent the night under a tree and woke up to her handbrake and wheel frozen solid.  Farmboy and I spent a solid 15 minutes trying to pry her from that icy grip but to avail. Luckily the 1 degree increase in temperature during the day had thawed her a bit and we were able to get her started again...come on Cherry!

Here are some photographs from our early morning walk with Shadow, who simply adores being out in the snow. This will be one of the things we miss the most when we return to South Africa. 

How to Groom a Shedding Jindo Dog - a guide for double coated dogs

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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.

ShadowTheJindo

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.

Shedding Jindo How To Groom double coated 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!

Growing Up Jindo: A series of photographs documenting #ShadowTheJindo's first year

ShadowTheJindo Korean Black Tan Jindo

On a late evening In September 2014, Farmboy and I were driving home from work when we came across a tiny puppy alone on a dark farm road. As we pulled over, cars appeared from nowhere, and the little ball of fluff was narrowly escaping becoming roadkill. I picked him up, and so began the start of life with #ShadowTheJindo. You can read more about his rescue by clicking here

When we found Shadow he was around 2 months old and our local small town vet could only hazzard a guess as to his breed. We have since been told (and from our own observations of common dog breeds here in Korea) that he is a black & tan Korean Jindo. Of course we can't be certain if he is pure Jindo or mixed without a blood test but from his temperament and from the limited English information I can find on the breed, he is most definitely part Jindo; a breed of hunting dogs native to South Korea.

Since arriving in Korea in 2012, we had no intentions of ever having a pet due to the difficulties and costs associated with taking them back home to South Africa. We spent a great deal of time over the first few weeks of rescuing him, trying to make a responsible decision. We even had a wonderful home lined up for him in the US where it is much cheaper and easier to send pets from Korea. We would have had to wait until he was at least 4 months old before he would be allowed to travel, and I knew that I would never be able to give him away to someone else after caring for him for that amount of time. And so, after setting up a bank account in his name and starting the debit orders in preparation for taking him home in 2016, Shadow became a permanent part of the Hutton family.

I started this series of photographs to track his growth (thank you to my patient husband for being the one to actually take these photographs) and have loved looking back at them and watching his growth from tiny ball of fluff, to gangly teenager and finally to wolf dog.

I hope you enjoy this series and if you are inspired to do the same, please share your photos on Shadow's Facebook page, I'd love to follow along in your pets journey.

x

You can follow along in Shadows adventures on Facebook by clicking here.

Rescuing a puppy in Korea

RescuePuppyInSouthKorea what you need to know

While out on an early morning walk on Monday this week, my Korean rescue pup Shadow (the black & tan one above), found a tiny crying ball of fluff, discarded in a drain alongside a forest road. I took a closer look and saw a terrified little puppy, huddled under a pile of leaves and branches. I also saw that there was another white ball of fluff further up the drain that wasn't moving and was covered in flies. I had no idea what to do. We already have our own rescue dog, who is going to cost us a lot of money to take back to South Africa (we are talking $1000's, so please think carefully before deciding to adopt a dog here in Korea!) but at the same time I couldn't just leave here her. In Korea, if you find an animal and take it to the vet, legally the vet has to keep it for 10 days to allow time for their owner to claim them. As it was clear this little one had been abandoned, my very kind vet didn't ask too many questions.  You can imagine what happens to them if they aren't claimed after 10 days. 

After much deliberation, Farmboy and I both decided we couldn't just leave her there to die and went back to get her. Knowing we couldn't keep her I jumped on Facebook in search of a foster/forever home for the shaking puppy. We took her straight to the vet and apart from a flea and mange infestation and a bacterial infection she is fighting fit and ready to live. 

Regardless of your view of social media, it does one thing better than anything else, and that is network and connect people. Within a few hours I had so many people offer to foster her and a number of people willing to take her permanently. Thanks to each and every person who shared my Facebook posts this little puppy has a loving home to go to next week. 

Here are a few photographs of where we found her, and what she looks like now, a couple of days after finding her. Shadow just adores her and he won't be the only one misses her when she's goes next week. 

As we have been through this whole process before, I have written a couple of blog posts on owning a dog here in Korea. If you have been thinking of it you might find these posts useful:

-OWNING A DOG IN KOREA {PART 1} WHAT YOU NEED TO KEEP YOU AND YOUR PUP HAPPY.

-OWNING A DOG IN KOREA {PART 2} HEALTH CHECK UPS & VACCINATIONS

From all my Facebook & Instagram posts it may seem like owning a dog in Korea is the easiest thing in the world. Please remember that I, just like most other people on social media, showcase the highlights. Owning a dog here in Korea is hard work, and you need to be prepared for not just the expenses of owning a dog (the vaccinations, neutering, dog food which is sooo much more expensive than back home & of the course the final cost of taking the dog back to your home country) but also what daily life with a dog is like here. We have a 'large' dog for Korean standards and deal with terrified neighbours and kids running away screaming on a daily basis. Koreans just aren't used to keeping dogs as pets, especially big dogs and are always horrified when they hear that Shadow lives in our apartment with us. Also, Korea isn't built for pets, so finding a place to exercise him is always an issue, finding a place for him to go to the bathroom without Koreans chasing us away from their beloved veggie patches is always a nightmare, finding places to stay that will accept dogs here in near impossible (we camp A LOT) and of course taking your dog around if you don't have a car is a huge challenge if they aren't small and able to fit in a little carrier. We wouldn't change our experience with Shadow for anything in the world, but I do wish we had known from the beginning exactly what we were in for when we found him. If you have any questions about owning a dog here, please feel free to email me or leave me a comment below. Also, there are sooooo many dogs and puppies needing homes here in Korea, if you have been wanting to get a dog please consider adopting rather than buying from the pet stores.

Below is a website that lists all the dogs (and cats & other animals!) available for adoption, as well as Facebook groups where animals that have been rescued are also posted. There is also a group called Everything Paws which is a fantastic resource for pet owners here in Korea. I've also included the links for buying and selling second hand pet items and information on traveling abroad ie. back to your home country with your pet. 

-Everything Paws: Tips & DIY Ideas for pet owners in South Korea  

-Rescue Korea adoption website

-Buy & Sell Pet Related Items in Korea

-Airborne Animals

Do you have a pet here in Korea? What has been your biggest challenge so far? I'd love to hear from you!

South West Coast Beaches in South Korea

A few weekends ago Farmboy, #ShadowTheJindo and I road tripped down to the South West coast of Korea in celebration of the first warm day the year. The beaches here in Korea are a little different from what you typically see in the rest of South East Asia (click here to see a little more of Wido Island which we visited this time last year, also here in Korea). Even though it was far from tropical, it was a great day out and our pup had a ball chasing my scarf.

This beach was located on the coast between Gochang and Yeongwang.

Have you visited any beautiful beaches here in Korea? Please drop me a comment below, I'm always on the look out for new places to explore.

#ShadowTheJindo likes to chew

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7 months ago, a small bundle of black and brown fluff came into our lives and turned our world upside down. Owning a dog here in Korea was never part of the plan, but then again, when exactly does life go according to plan?

Shadow is a black and tan Korean Jindo, a breed of dog native to Korea, and very much unknown to the rest of the world (click here to read more about Jindos and how we rescued Shadow from the side of the road).

But, he is a puppy, and so no matter his breed, he likes (or rather loves) to do what all puppies love to do...CHEW.ALL. THE. THINGS.

Up until now, he hasn't done too much damage, mostly because he stays in his room while we are out at work and he hasn't been big enough to reach things on my desk. Well, I guess it's safe to say nothing on my desk is safe anymore.

ShadowTheJindo

Have you ever come home to any 'surprises' while owning a dog? I'd love to hear from you! 

Owning a Dog in Korea {Part 2} Health Check Ups & Vaccinations

Owning A Dog In Korea Health Check Ups Vaccinations

This is a follow on post from Part 1 in this series Owning A Dog in Korea.

In Part 1 I talked about all the things you need to have to make sure you and your pup are happy. Nothing in the guide is compulsory by any means, but rather is is written from my experience. Keeping a dog in an apartment here in South Korea is hard, and so that blog post is filled with ideas of items you may want to buy, as well as links to places you can get hold of them. Things like where to buy collars, harnesses, crates & toys for larger dogs. I hope you find it helpful!

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We have had our rescue pup, Shadow, for just over 6 months (click here to read more about how he came into our lives) and had no idea what needed to be done in terms of health check ups. This post will hopefully provide you with enough information about what your pup needs to be healthy and happy.

The first thing you need to do with your new pup/dog is to take him to the vet to have a thorough health check. This basic check up will determine whether your dog has any diseases. Depending on whether your pup had a previous owner, you may or may not need to have vaccinations. We rescued Shadow from the side of the road when he was tiny, and so he needed to have every test done as well as all his vaccinations.  You also need to ask your vet to check for Heartworm which is a very nasty disease very prevalent here in Korea.

If you have rescued a puppy you need to be very mindful of Parvo virus which is incredibly contagious and deadly to young dogs. Parvo is spread through the feces and vomit of infected dogs and puppies. This virus can live in feces for about two weeks and can survive in the environment (areas on floors and cages) for many months. This survival rate allows it to be passed along by hands, clothing or shoes of anyone who comes in contact with it. We were warned by many dog owners not to let our puppy go outside until he had had all his shots, but this just wasn't practical for us. When we go home to South Africa, Shadow will be an outside dog and so we needed to toilet train him outdoors. I know many people here in Korea who use pee pads, and it works for them but is a personal and situational preference (if you live on the 20th floor of a sky rise building, it might not be practical to take out a young puppy every 3 hours). Getting up at all hours in the freezing cold to go outside was hard, but it was something we decided and have just put up with. 

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What to Do if your dog Tests Positive for Heartworm

I don't have any experience with treating heart worm and so I asked the local dog owning community here in Korea for some advice. I just want to say thank you to each of these ladies for taking the time to respond to me and offer help and advice to dog owners who may have to go through heartworm treatment.

"Finding out your new foster or adopted pup has heartworm is awful. This happened to me in January 2013. All dogs in Korea need to be given monthly heartworm preventatives as heartworm is rampant in Korea.
At first the vet will just do a quick blood test to determine if your dog is heartworm positive or negative. If it is positive, the most important thing is that you ACT QUICKLY!
You do not have time to save up for a month or so! Find a vet that will do a payment plan if money is an issue. Heartworm is more difficult to treat the longer it progresses. There are 4 stages of heartworm - you will find out which stage your dog is by having scans done. If it's stage 1 or 2 - it's treatable. Stage 3 and 4 treatment options are not as successful and will depend on your dogs health.
I have experience with treating stage 2 heart worm. My dog was given two rounds of injections 24 hours apart. After the first injection, she cried for a solid 8 hours. It was agonising to watch. The second one was a little better but still awful.
The dog must be kept calm during the few weeks following treatment - their heart rate needs to stay steady.
About 4 months later we retested my dog and she tested negative! We were really lucky! I have heard it can take up to 9 months for a negative test result. Or worse, the treatment may need to be repeated" Julie


"Our dog, Sue, had to have 2 rounds of Immiticide before she tested negative for HW. For Close to 4 weeks each time, she had to be quite still and not have too many walks.  She was a bit lethargic and tired after the injections. Each round of treatment was 400,000won.  I did not check around as I wanted her to have the treatment right away.  My vet also kept her over night on an IV to give her fluids and monitor her.

She was rescued from a shelter, nearly dead, from malnutrition and she had just given birth. The initial injection causes them to be in quite a bit of pain and sometimes they writhe around on the floor and you feel completely helpless as you watch.  they don't understand what is causing the pain and you can't help them at all. It is usually 1 injection and then you wait for the medicine, which is essentially poison to kill the worms near the heart and hope it does not kill the dog in the process.  We had to get Sue to a good weight and moderate healthy before she could even have the injection. One round just did not kill all the worms and we had to go back and do it again" Erin

ErinSueDogInKorea


"From my experience, once my dog tested positive, we did blood test to find out if he had any worm eggs in his blood. My vet also did an ultrasound of the heart and he was able to see the condition of his heart and adult worms in his heart.
Next, he staged his heartworm given his symptoms. This is an indication of how advanced the heartworm is. It goes from Stage 1 through 4 (1 being the mildest and 4 being the most serious).
It is important that dogs are at a normal weight and try to maintain their weight during the treatment. My dog was underweight. So, we had to wait some time for him to gain weight before starting actual heartworm shots. Being arsenic based, these shots take a lot from a dog’s body.
While we were waiting for him to gain weight, he was on antibiotics (2 rounds). My vet also put him on puppy food for a month as puppy food is higher in protein and calories to help with his weight gain. He had poor appetite, which is one of the symptoms of heartworm disease. I bought him My Beau nutritional supplement, salmon oil for dogs and some wet food to mix in his dry food alternatively to encourage him to eat more. I also offered him a hard-boiled egg once or twice a day.

I tried to offer 3 or 4 mini meals when I was around over the weekends to help with his weight gain. I weighed him every other day so that I could see my progress.
We gave him pills with Greenies pill pockets as he didn’t want to swallow them otherwise. I have heard people mix them with a bit of jam/peanut butter/bread as well.
Some of the other symptoms of heartworm disease include: cough, shortness of breath, labored breathing, lethargy, swollen/distended abdomen, and edema of the legs.
Once heartworm shots are initiated, the most important thing is to restrict exercise. Dogs should only be brought out for the toilet and always on a leash. We have to restrict things which increase heart rate such as running, jumping, playing ball, climbing steps/stairs/hills, barking a lot and mating.

Also, it is important that the day dogs get an injection not to rub/massage the area even if they may be in pain. It is very important to do everything possible to keep them calm" Dee Dee

DeeDeeTomi

As heartworm is such a problem here in Korea, Vets advise giving dogs heartworm preventatives. These are given once a month and come in tablet form. You can take your dog in once or month to your vet or buy a couple of months supply to give your dog at home. The tablets aren't that expensive and most definitely worth doing. 

DogVaccinationsSouthKorea

Vaccinations

Here in South Korea vets give dogs the following vaccinations:

  •  DHLLP (Distemper, Hepatitis, Parvovirus, Papainfluenza & Leptospirosis (x5 shots)
  •  Corona Virus (x2 shots) 
  • Kennel Cough (x2 shots)
  • It's also a good idea to get the rabies vaccination done too.

Some people feel very strongly about not over vaccinating their dogs, and lots of websites suggest having a Titer Test (anti body test) after about the 3rd or 4th round of DHLLP. I trusted my vet, and as Shadow is a larger breed than most dogs here in Korea I took my Vet's advice to have all 5 rounds of DHLLP.

Vets usually administer 2 shots together, 2 - 4 weeks apart. In my case Shadow had the following:

  • Round 1: DHLLP & Corona
  • Round 2: DHLLP & Corona
  • Round 3: DHLLP & Kennel Cough
  • Round 4: DHLLP & Kennel Cough
  • Round 5: DHLLP & Rabies

Each visit to the vet cost W22 000 (I do live in a small town so I think the prices are slightly less than in bigger cities). The rabies shot was a little more and was more painful for him than the others.

After the initial vaccinations, you are advised to take your dog in for yearly booster shots.

All of the above is very important to bear in mind before you get a dog. There are so many abandoned pups on the streets here in Korea, but before you just pick them up make sure you know what you're getting into financially.

A few numbers to chew on:

Heart worm treatment: +-W400 000 a shot (often times you may need 2 or even 3 rounds) basic Basic Vaccinations: +-W150 000

Neutering: -+W200 000 (male) can be as much as W400 000 for a female

Spaying: +-W400 000

And thats before the food and toys and bedding and treats. And of course the final cost of transporting your pet home.

Even with all of the above, we can't imagine our lives without Shadow. He has brought so much joy to our lives and we don't regret picking him up off the streets one bit.

VaccinationsDogsSouthKorea

Do you have anything you want to add, or is there something I've left off here? Please drop me a comment below or email me and I will update this post. Thank you!

Owning a Dog in Korea {Part 1} What you need to keep you and your pup happy.

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Our lives changed in September 2014 when we rescued Shadow, then a tiny black and brown ball of fluff. We had no plans on having any pets while living here in Korea, but we have very little control over who and what God places in our lives.

We spent 3 weeks deliberating over what to do with him, mainly because it costs thousands of dollars to take a dog back home to South Africa, and also because we had no idea what owning a puppy really meant.

This post will hopefully help you with the basics of what you need to keep both you and your pup happy while living in an apartment here in Korea. I am by no means a dog expert, but I have spent countless hours watching youtube tutorials for training dogs, and have had the past 3 months (not a huge amount of time but a LOT of time when you get a puppy) to learn a few things.

These things will also be useful for anyone getting a dog (not just a puppy) but there will be a few things you won't have to worry about if you live in a house with a garden. Here in Korea we live in relatively small apartments and so choosing to have a dog needs to be well thought out and planned process to ensure minimal stress for everyone. 

*I will be doing another post on getting a health check for your dog here, heart worm medication as well as all the vaccinations they need*

Sleeping:

OwningDoginKoreaWhatyouNeed

Farmboy and I live in a relatively large apartment, and so have converted one of the rooms we have into the dog den. Not everyone will have this luxury, so I suggest getting a 'play pen' of sorts to contain your puppy/dog while you are out the house or can't keep an eye on him. This has been the most important thing we have done, and has really helped us relax when we are gone to work 8 hours of the day. We bought this dog gate off Gmarket (W45 000 or $45 click here for the link) which means he can see us, but he can't escape. He cried a lot the first few days we locked him up, but now he is happy to be in there and just sleeps when we aren't at home. This keeps him safe, as well as protecting the rest of our house from puppy mayhem. This also helps with housebreaking your puppy, as they tend not to mess where the sleep (the same is said for crate training...see below). 

His crate goes in his room as well as a cheap little bed we found at Daiso. He doesn't like blankets or anything that most dogs like to snuggle in. Even now with it snowing outside, he doesn't like the underfloor heating and chooses to sleep on the cold stone floor by the front door when he isn't in his room....strange pup.

I had never heard of crate training before, but as we will one day leave Korea, Shadow will have to travel in a crate for over 20 hours and so getting him used to it as soon as possible was very important for us. The sooner your pup gets used to the crate (and hopefully to see it as a happy and safe place to be) the easier it will be when they really have to be in it. There are lost of great videos on crate training (just google it and you'll find hundreds of great resources) and it took Shadow a while to be comfortable being inside it. He still doesn't like being locked in it for hours at a time, but he is getting used to it and it's only to help him in the end. We feed him in his crate, and put him inside it with some treats while we watch TV. He will eventually fall asleep in it and then we leave him in it over night. With crate training it's important to start off slowly, and progress gradually. Don't rush it or your poor pup will start to hate it. Also, never 'banish' your pup to his crate when he is naughty. You want the crate to always be a safe and welcoming place for him to be in.

Finding the right size crate can also be difficult. We had no idea how big Shadow would be and so had to make a guess. Crates are also super expensive here (this is one of the largest sizes and cost W165 000 or $165 on Gmarket. Click here for the link). If your pup is going to be traveling by air, the crate needs to be sturdy, IATA approved, and your dog needs to be able to stand up and turn around comfortably. Our crate is still a little too big for Shadow, but he is probably going to grow into it and we would want his journey home to be as comfortable as possible. 

Food

This has been a tough one as there are soooo many different opinions and different kinds of foods. I had done a lot of research and decided that I wanted to feed Shadow grain free food (a lot of the super market brands use grains as fillers, leaving far fewer nutrients in the food and leading to huge poos). We were feeding him Taste of The Wild grain free puppy food until the stockist ran out on Gmarket and have resorted to Kirkland Nature's Domain food for all life stages until we can order more Taste of The Wild.  Click here for a great comparison of dog foods as well as star ratings for quality and nutritional value. 

We buy in bulk and store the food in large kimchi containers to keep it fresh. I got this 13litre containers from Daiso. 

Toys

OwningADogInKoreaToys

You can go wild with all the fun things you can buy for your dog here in Korea. Shadow loves his homemade toys the most (the tennis ball alien thingy that Farmboy made using old rope and a drill) and the grey t-shirt. We bought lots of toys that have rough edges on so he can chew away and help relive his itchy gums now that he is teething. 

Here are the links for the toys above:

Blue Ball thrower, Green squeaky ball, rope

Red Fireball Bento Treat Chew Toy

Black Squeaky Food/Treat Dispenser (this makes dinner time fun and keeps them occupied and their brain stimulated as they have to work out how to get the food out).

Ball Thrower

Purple food dispenser: bought at a pet shop in Gwangju

White nylabone

Treats

I mainly use treats for training (I follow Clicker Training which is based on positive reinforcement). You can find treats online through Gmarket, or at most marts and all pet stores here in Korea. When we leave the house for the day we also always make sure we give Shadow a Kong (the red toy pictured above) which will save your lives and keep your pup entertained for a good amount of time while you are gone. You fill the kong with treats, peanut butter, cheese, meat, carrots, bananas apples etc and the pop it in the freezer over night and voila! One very happy pooch! Click here for a link to them on gmarket. 

Grooming

I found all of these things at my local DC mart. The orange brush helps to really scrub and remove the dirt from Shadows thick fur. I also have a bunch of old small towels for drying him off after baths and for putting over his bed when we give him frozen bones. That just stops the yucky bits of blood and tissue from the bones messing everything. 

Training

I have been very strict with Shadow from the moment we got him and it has led to us having a very calm, well behaved dog. He doesn't jump on people, he has good manner, waits to be let in and out of doors and most importantly doesn't snap or grab things from people. It hasn't been easy but it has been worth it, and using a clicker (pictured above) has been life changing. This being said, we have only had him for 3 months and it's important to stick with your training, especially when you feel like your dogs knows all the tricks you have taught them. It's especially important to keep changing up the environment in which you ask your dog to do things for you, thereby helping to cement their learning.   I can highly recommend Kiko Pup on youtube & Training Positive.  Clicker training used food based rewards, but these videos give lots of advice for weaning your pup off the treats and ensuring your dog continues to do what you want him to do even without the treats. 

Walking

One of our biggest challenges has been to train Shadow to walk nicely on the lead. Using a harness instead of his just his collar has helped a lot but he still pulls and is a bit of a pain to take on walks. We do have a car, so luckily we can drive off to a field to give him his exercise but lead walking is a very important skill your dog needs to know how to do, and to do well. Click here for the link to where we bought this harness. It's soft and padded and doesn't cut into him like other harnesses have. They also have all sizes and colours and so you should be able to find one to fit your dog.

We only use the extension lead when we take him out to go to the bathroom.

Bathroom

Deciding where or how you want your dog to use the bathroom is another big decision to make. A lot of people use pee pads for their dogs, but we don't want our dog to get used to those and then have to be re-trained to go outside when we move back home. It's not easy having to wake up in the middle of the night in the freezing cold and take your dog out for a walk in the snow but it's a decision we have made. Shadow was pretty much housetrained from the moment we got him (something that is a common trait of Korean Jindos) and only pooed in the house on the first night we got him. Since then he has only had a handful off weeing accidents, mostly due to us not taking him out after he has eaten, slept  or been playing. Puppies should be taken out to the bathroom after each meal, ,nap, or play time until they are about 4 months old. 

Collar

Shadow is growing like a weed and has outgrown two collars already. This is one I found on Gmarket (click here) for him that included laser engraving for his name and for my number in case he gets lost. It comes in a variety of colours and sizes (it can be very hard to find a collar for larger dogs and this company were super easy to deal with!).

There is alot more I am still to learn about having a dog, but these are the basics that have helped us over the past 3 months. Do you have any other suggestions of tips for having a dog here in Korea? 

Winter in Korea....it's going to be a white Christmas!

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This is our third winter here in Korea and yet this is the first winter that Farmboy and I have ever seen or experienced so much snow. Our first year in Daejeon and last year here in Buan it snowed twice. This year has been completely different. The snow started on Monday and hasn't stopped since! We have had a few hours of sunshine in between but it just keeps on coming. It's incredibly beautiful and the first few hours of morning when the snow is falling are like magic. Everything is quiet, the snow muffles out all the usual sounds of the town and it's incredibly peaceful. 

But, the snow is not very kind on our poor old car, Cherry. Whose doors and windows freeze shut locking us out (and sometimes even in!). It's really scary driving in the snow, the roads are icy and people have very little control over their cars. But even still, we feel like little kids at Christmas every time we wake up and find it's still snowing. And our little pup Shadow is in his element. He just loves the snow. He saw it for the first time this week and even though he hates water, he can do snow. It's so cute watching him jump and burrow his way around, in and under everything. He doesn't feel the cold, unlike us!

Here are a few photographs from our first early morning out in the snow.

Enjoy!

x

Shadow our Black & Tan Korean Jindo rescue pup

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We've had little Shadow for 2 months now, and boy have our lives changed. The first 2 weeks of having him were an absolute nightmare. We really had no intentions of having a pet while living here in Korea, not just because of the logistics of keeping a pet in an apartment, but also because of the costs associated with bringing them back home to South Africa. But once we started getting into more of a routine, around the 3 week mark, and of course once we decided that we could keep him, he has brought us so much joy.

You can read the full story of how Shadow came into our lives by clicking here, but to sum things up, we found him wondering a dark road late at night. He wasn't in bad shape when we took him in, he was obviously owned by someone, whom we later found out had to get rid of his dogs to go to the military. There's pretty much only one place an unwanted pup ends up here in Korea, and that's in the soup pot. Dog meat is an age old tradition here in Korea, especially in the more rural areas like where we live. It's too easy to judge people for their cultural differences, and so have just learnt to accept that eating dog is a part of the older traditional culture here in Korea. We may not agree with it, but that's not to say that the Koreans are wrong in their ways.

Anyway, here are some of photographs our little pup. In the first few we had just got him and he was about 2 or 3 months old. The last few photographs are of him from the past few weekend, he is about 5 months old now and growing by the second. I have been taking weekly photographs of him which I will share here on the blog in the next few months. It's been such fun watching his little legs grow and his ears get bigger and bigger and floppier and floppier.

Owning a puppy or dog here in Korea isn't easy. But it can be done with proper training and a lot of patience. I'll also be sharing a few more puppy related posts in the next few weeks for anyone thinking about getting a dog. In the mean time, I hope you enjoy these pictures.

x

 

Shadow & Nami {Puppies in Korea}

Today my four month old Jindo puppy Shadow, had his first play date with another pup.

Nami is an 8 month old Golden Retriever who lives with his humans (Tom & Mairead) in a town nearby called Namwon. Nami was also a rescue pup like Shadow, found on the streets of Korea. Unfortunately there are too many unwanted dogs littering the streets here, but his and Shadow's stories are happy ones.

Poor Nami was absolutely terrorized by Shadow, who is a little bundle of energy with razor sharp teeth. But they had a ball nonetheless, and even kept still long enough for me to take a few photographs. Here are a few snaps from this afternoon in the golden Autumn sunlight in Jeongeup Park.

Shadow our Korean Jindo puppy

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World, meet Shadow, our +-2 month old black and tan rescue Jindo puppy. We think he is a Jindo from what we can found out on Google (Rotweillers and German Shepards are extremely uncommon here in Korea) so this seems like the most likely option considering his colouring.

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Farmboy and I found Shadow 3 weeks ago wondering around a dark road, late at night and narrowing avoiding oncoming traffic. He had no sign of any owners, so we picked him up and took him for the night with no intentions of keeping him. We have since found out that his owner had to go to the military and aren't sure whether he was being sold for food (eating dog meat it is an age old tradition here in Korea) or whether he was destined for a life chained up outside a kennel.

Jindo dogs originate from Jindo Island, a small island off the West Coast of South Korea. Jindos were bred for hunting and are most well known for their fierce loyalty and brave nature. Mainland Koreans keep Jindos as watch dogs, and all of the ones we have seen are chained up outside their homes. We have only ever seen 4 or 5 Jindos being taken for a walk by their owners in the 2.5 years we have lived in Korea. Space is a big issue here in Korea, and that is why when Koreans choose to have dogs as pets they favor the small breeds, like Chihuahuas, Toy Pomeranians, Maltese Poodles and Pekingese. 

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Jindo's grow to a medium size, similar to the a Border Collie . We don't think Shadow's original owner would have been as uncaring as we was if he was a pure Jindo pup, so depending on what mix he is he might be smaller (or maybe even larger!) than a sheep dog. Jindos come in 6 different colours. White, Yellow or Brown, Black & Tan, Grey, Tiger Brindle and solid Black. White and Yellow are the most prized and popular colours.

As I have spent the past 3 weeks scouring the internet for information on this unusual breed, I thought I'd share some facts with you about them:

1. They are pretty much housebroken automatically - We just though Shadow was super smart II'm sure everyone thinks this about their dog), having only pooped in the house on the first night we had him and then only peed once or twice since then if we ignored his winning in the early hours of the morning.

2. They are super-clean. Like most northern breeds, they have self-cleaning coats. Dirt just falls right off, and they are super fastidious about the condition of their fur and groom themselves like cats. They also have no doggy odor. 

3. They are aloof with strangers. Jindos are incredibly loyal and loving to the people they know and love, not just their owners. But a correct Jindo temperament means that they will ignore or avoid attention from strangers - Because of this we are trying to socialise Shadow as much as possible with our friends so that he gets used to being petted and stroked by people. We have also read that Jindos only bond with one owner in their life, I'm not sure just how true this is, but it has been the most consistent thing Korean friends have mentioned to us when we tell them we think he is a Jindo. 

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4. They are quiet. Some dogs yap or bark for attention. A socialised Jindo only occasionally barks when he feels it is absolutely necessary - Shadow only has barked a total of 5 times since we found him.

5. They are wonderful guard dogs. They have a strong sense of territory and will work very hard to maintain borders and to protect their families. 

6. They are incredibly intelligent. This dog was bred to think for themselves. They have very strong problem-solving capabilities, and if left in a backyard 24/7 will find a way to entertain themselves and escape. Also, they are so smart and independent that although they pick up obedience commands very quickly, they don't always listen. Similar to cats. But on the other hand, they are super-submissive to their owners. A harsh word can bring them quivering to their bellies. In that sense, they are a soft breed that needs very positive training techniques. 

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7. They are very quiet and calm inside the house. As puppies they can be destructive like any other breed, if not excercised enough, but as adults, you hardly notice they are there until they come by to check up on you. They don't even like to go on furniture. This is a common trait  with fellow Jindo owners. You invite them to sit on the sofa with you, but once you're done petting them, they prefer to be laying next to your feet.  So the upholstery stays clean. - We gave Shadow all kinds of blankets and pillows, and yet he prefers to sleep on the floor

8. They are the best independent hunting dogs. They were made to hunt their prey in difficult terrain. They will range over large territories in pursuit of game. This is part of the reason why they are known for "wandering" if not kept indoors - This is why we are okay with keeping him inside our apartment during the day when we are away at work. We make sure to walk him twice a day and play with him whenever we are home, and so far so good. 

*Thanks to The Jindo Project for the above information.

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However, having a dog in Korea is not ideal. It's not ideal for any dog to be kept inside alone all day. But we are making it work. We are very lucky that so far we haven't had a problem with any barking, and so have had no complaining from our neighbours. This has been a big problem for a lot of our friends who have dogs here in Korea. And the fact that we are now 'tied' down, and can't just jet off for holidays has been something else to consider. Luckily we have a car here in Korea, so we are able to take him with us when we go away for the weekends (we usually camp and so have had no issues so far with accommodation...click here for more posts on camping in Korea).

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The last hurdle we have had to deal with is the cost of taking him back with us to South Africa when we leave Korea in 2016. It costs A LOT to take a dog to SA (they have to go into quarantine, they need blood work sent back and forth to Korea and SA, the cost of the flight alone is ridiculous...we're talking thousands of $US). But, to us he is worth it, and we are simply going to make it work. We had never planned on having any pets in Korea, we knew the costs and the apartment living situation wouldn't be good for any animal, but Shadow came into our lives the night before our two year wedding anniversary. And well, he just feels right. 

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So please bear with me as I flood Instagram and Facebook with images of #ShadowTheJindo. I'm sure the puppy pictures will once again make way to stationery and other pretty things, but for now I hope you can understand that with a blogger and photographer mom, he is going to be one photographed pooch!

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