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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Microchipping your dog in Korea

Microchipping dog in Korea

A microchip is a small device (about the size of a grain of rice) which is implanted in your pets skin. There are no batteries, no tracking technology and no radiation involved. The chip is implanted under the skin between the shoulder blades and contains all your information (phone number, address etc). The needle used is a bit bigger than those used for vaccinations, and so some people prefer to have their pet microchipped while their pet is undergoing another anaesthetic operation (such as neutering) to avoid any unnecessary pain. However, most pets tolerate the procedure with little or no reaction (Shadow included).

Once your pet has a micro chip, your vet will then scan the chip and load your personal info onto a data system, thereby registering you as the owner. South Korea is clamping down on dog owners, imposing heavy fines of up to KRW 1million on unregistered dog. So many pets are abandoned in Korea (after they loose their puppy cuteness or when their irresponsible owners realise how expensive it can be to own a pet) registering the pet allows those owners to be traced. 

Microchip pet in Korea

There are three methods of registering your dog in Korea;

  • an embedded RFID chip (Radio Frequency Identification)
  • an electronic tag
  • or an ordinary dog tag

Microchipping your dog in Korea is a very simple process. The only thing you need to research is what kind of micro chip is used in your home country, or the country you plan on taking your pet to when you leave Korea.  Different countries have different chips/scanners, and so depending on where you will be taking your dog when you leave Korea, you need to keep this in mind. As Shadow will be returning with us to South Africa, we needed to make sure his micro chip was an ISO (International Standard Organisation) either ISO 11784 and ISO 11785. South Africa, Canada, Europe & South Korea are countries that I know have 15 digit ISO chip and so getting your pet chipped here will mean they will be able to be scanned in those countries. I have been told by my local vet that I will be able to change my information and address easily when I get back to South Africa as currently Shadow has been registered with my address & phone number here in Korea. In most countries, pet microchips adhere to ISO to promote compatibility between chips and scanners (this refers to the 15 digit ISO chip I mentioned before). In the US, however, there are three different types of chips other than the international standard. Click here for more info on the different chips and scanners.

Microchip Dog in Korea

South Africa (our home country) have a very strict import policy with animals and as such, pets have to be microchipped. For travel to the US, I have read that your dog doesn't have to be chipped (do check with your travel agent to be sure). Also, having your dog chipped and registered here (or any country) just gives you peace of mind, knowing that if they get lost for any reason, they have a much higher chance of being returned to you. A lot of dogs are able to get loose of their collars, and so there is a chance that an electronic tag on a collar could get lost.

All vets will be able to chip your dog. I live in a very small 'rural' town and my vet was able to do it for me quickly and effectively, and all with his very limited English and my even more limited Korean. As I live in a small town, the cost of veterinary services is much cheaper than the bigger cities here in Korea. Micro chipping and registering cost me W25 000 (about $25) but W40 000 ($40) seems to be the going rate in bigger cities. The actual procedure was very quick. It just involves a needle and the chip is implanted into the base of the neck, just below the skin. The needle was large though, that was a bit scary, but it was over in a few seconds and Shadow didn't even notice anything afterwards. Afterwards I was given a certificate as well as a few copies of his 15 digit chip number. It was so easy to do and I can't urge pet owners, especially those here in Korea, to get one done for your pet. I have also heard of people who have ordered their own chip from the US and then simply asked their vet to insert it for them. You are then able to configure the chip to your home address in the US. That option might appeal to you if you are leaving the country soon and know where you are going to be living when you get back home. As we will still be in Korea for at least another year I need to have my Korean address and phone number set up on my dogs chip.

Have you had any experience microchipping your pet? Please leave me a comment below, I'd love to hear from you!

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

KoreanJindoSheddingGrooming

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!

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!

ShadowTheJindoHuskyPuppy (6 of 7).jpg

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. 

DogCheckUpVaccinationsSouthKorea

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!