from Gyeongsan, Gyeongsangbuk-do
It is known that 삽살개 was raised only in a royal palace during the Unified Silla Dynasty period (676~935). After the Unified Silla Dynasty collapsed, 삽살개 spread throughout the Korean Peninsula and was easily seen in many neighborhoods.
But, sadly, 삽살개 was one of the victims of the Japanese colonial period. In the 1940s, Japan slaughtered tens of thousands of dogs living in Korea to make leather for war and 삽살개 have been on
the verge of extinction.
In 1969, the preservation project started by Professor Tak Yeon-bin and Ha Sung-jin of Kyungpook National University, collecting 30 remaining 삽살개 around the country. In 1992, 삽살개 was designated as a national monument No.368.
from Jindo Island, Jeollanam-do
Because 진돗개 has been living on an island, it seems to have preserved its pure breed. It’s known to be one of the dogs developed by the descendants of the Stone Age, but there are no clear historical records left.
진돗개 was the only breed that could survive from the massacre of Korean dogs during the Japanese colonial period. It was because 진돗개 was designated as a national monument by the Japanese Government-General in Korea in 1938. But why? It is said that it was because they resemble Japanese Kishu dogs.
from Gyeongju, Gyeongsangbuk-do
동경이 is the oldest Korean dog on record. They have been continuously raised by ancestors since the ancient Silla period, which is more than 2000 years ago.
But 동경이 has such a sad history. It’s said that 동경이 was avoided by many people because they thought a short tail would bring bad luck. And just like 삽살개, 동경이 were victimized to make leather by Japan in the 1940s.
동경이 was not recognized as a Korean native dog until 2012 when they finally were designated as a natural monument.
from Pungsan, Hamgyeongnam-do, North Korea
Many traditional tales by word of mouth praised 풍산개 for catching tigers or leopards, which shows their brave personality. 풍산개 was also one of the victims of Japanese soldiers in the 1940s.
In 2018, Kim Jong-un, the leader of North Korea, gave two 풍산개, Songgang (송강) and Gomi (곰이), to former President Moon Jae-in as a gift during the 2018 Third Inter-Korea summit.