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.

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

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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.

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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.

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

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:

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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

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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!

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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.

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