Korean dog culture has evolved considerably over the past few decades.
From a time when dogs primarily served functional purposes (like guarding or hunting) to the modern era where they are cherished family members, there's been a significant shift in how dogs are perceived and treated in Korea.
Many of the breeds popular globally are also loved in South Korea. However, some breeds are particularly favored due to their size, temperament, or historical significance.
Here are some breeds that have been popular or hold cultural importance:
The Korean Jindo Dog is a native breed and is one of the most well-known Korean dog breeds outside of Korea. They are known for their loyalty, intelligence, and hunting capabilities. They are also designated as a national treasure in South Korea.
This breed is native to North Korea and is known for its thick white coat and hunting skills, especially in mountainous terrains.
Historically, the Shih Tzu breed has Chinese origins but has been popular in Korea, especially among those living in urban environments due to their small size and affectionate nature.
Like the Shih Tzu, the Maltese's small size makes it a favored choice for urban dwellers. They're often seen in Korean cities and are known for their gentle disposition.
Toy breeds, in general, are quite popular in urbanized areas of Korea due to apartment living and space constraints. Toy Poodles, with their intelligence and trainability, are among the favorites.
Known in Korea as "Sosis Gae" (Sausage Dog), Dachshunds have become increasingly popular as household pets.
Their compact size and unique appearance have made French Bulldogs a sought-after breed in urban settings in South Korea.
These breeds are popular globally and Korea is no exception. They are loved for their friendly and loyal nature.
In recent years, Corgis have seen a surge in popularity in South Korea, often highlighted in popular media and by celebrities.
A native Korean breed, the Sapsaree was once on the brink of extinction but has since been revived. It's recognized for its shaggy coat and gentle temperament.
Cultural, economic, and lifestyle changes, as well as the influence of media and celebrities, can significantly impact breed preferences.
The trend of living in apartments in cities like Seoul has made smaller breeds more favorable.
However, with a growing pet-centric culture, there's a broader appreciation for a diverse range of breeds in Korea.