Jindo dogs have a LOT of personality and are unlike many other dog breeds. Although accepting a Jindo into your home will bring much joy, the breed requires patience, positive reinforcement, and a dominant owner to domestically thrive.
It has been such a rewarding experience seeing Mochi’s personality traits rise to the surface as he overcomes his anxiety and triggers. We would love to hear about your Jindo!
Earning a Jindo’s respect will provide a rewarding canine bond like no other. Unless a puppy, Jindo’s take a long time to “warm up”, especially if they’ve been rescued. Not the most cuddle seeking dogs, the Jindo usually likes to be around their owner and will find a spot to take guard. Mistrusting of strangers, the breed will pick up on your interaction with people when allowing them into the home. Often, they will follow the owner’s lead when it comes to feeling out certain situations. After trust is built with a Jindo, they will allow just about any loving cuddles or caretaking from their owners (unless they have specific triggers). When the same visitors frequent the home, Jindo’s will eventually trust and build bonds with them as well, but it takes time and may take bribing with tasty treats!
We find Mochi likes spots where he can see multiple entrances to the house. Trust was built by hand feeding, asserting dominance, and going for walks.
Jindo dogs can think for themselves and certainly do have minds of their own. This is why training can be difficult and requires a dominant owner. Jindo will do what they want, when they want. Since they are generally respectful dogs, this isn’t necessarily a problem but can cause issues when requiring certain cooperation.
We like to say Mochi has the personality of a grumpy old man (which we love for some reason). Even to this day after years of practice and training, he won’t listen to commands if he doesn’t want to. Sometimes his anxiety is enhanced by stubbornness as well where something triggers him and he will not let it go. Techniques to help this include giving him time to get over it, holding him to provide security, and / or letting him walk it out.
Jindo are wonderful domestic dogs because they are clean and easily house train themselves. They will often lick their coats clean and don’t have a natural dog odor that some breeds exude. Jindo dogs characteristically don’t enjoy water and because of this, usually stay out of the mud. Another interesting trait they exhibit is that they do not readily jump on furniture which is helpful in keeping things tidy. They do shed seasonally twice a year but other than that are relatively self cleaning!
The first month we had Mochi, he was crated while we were not at home and for bed. I remember the first day leaving him by himself with the crate open. All the destructive behaviors of other dogs I’d had flashed through my mind… I couldn’t help but worry about chewed shoes, damaged carpet, and excrement on the floor. Not with Mochi!
If socialized from an early age, many Jindo’s are able to be around other dogs and animals without asserting their dominance. However, if another dog tries to assert dominance by mounting or growling for example, the Jindo will stand their ground. They may do this by snapping, running away, or showing their teeth. Jindo’s will fight another dog if they are provoked, but it’s not usually their first defense. Of course there are exceptions especially in rescues. Jindo’s get along best with dogs of the opposite sex and because of their dominance, prefer being the only dog of the house. Multiple dogs won’t be a problem, but there may be conflicts. With owners, Jindo’s can show dominance by pulling on leash, and stealing attention when other dogs are in their home space. Mostly, this trait is easy to deal with in comparison to other Asian breeds (Akita, Chow Chow) who are more assertive with their dominance. It is important to establish dominance as the pack leader for your Jindo to know who is boss.
Techniques for implementing this when we first got Mochi were feeding him after we ate, enrolling him in training, and always walking out the door before him for walks.
Many people describe the Jindo breed as aloof. Though some may not prefer a dog who is detached or distant, others love that Jindo’s are not a needy breed. Jindo dogs are fully capable of taking care of themselves, as they have for thousands of years. They are strong hunters, naturally regulate their eating habits, and don’t need attention. Their independent nature makes the breed very similar to felines who can be left to themselves and only come around sparingly. When a Jindo does come around, it’s usually because they need something or in rare occasions are open to receiving affection. Although independent, Jindo dogs do not do well in isolation or left in a yard for long hours as they do like to be alongside their family.
Sleeping may seem like more of a hobby than a personality trait but the relaxed, laid back nature is indicative of living the Jindo life. Some find it alarming when all their Jindo does is sleep all day, but not to worry that's just the Jindo way! Another trait that makes them extremely cat like. You'll come to love their peaceful unimposing presence. Jindos often like to nap around the family to keep watch and may find a window or lookout spot to guard the home while snoozing all day. Seeing that your Jindo is comfortable and relaxing is a great way to tell that your Jindo is not experiencing anxiety.
Mochi has many nap spots around the house including a bay window that he watches the neighborhood from. We lovingly call him the 'Jindo in the window'. He enjoys napping in the sun and we move his beds around every so often to give him lots of options. You'll find that your Jindo will likely roll up into a donut when they sleep (a 'Jin-donut'). They also walk in circles before laying down, an ancestral trait associated with keeping a lookout and sniffing the air from all directions before settling in.