Pungsan

He is not recognized by the F.C.I.

Origin
Korea
Translation
Francis Vandersteen

A brief presentation of the Pungsan

The Pungsan is a medium to large Spitz-type dog with thick, creamy white fur that originated in the mountainous regions of Korea several hundred years ago. It is now considered one of Korea's national treasures. Many enthusiasts believe that the breed's skill, hunting ability and aggressiveness are due to the inclusion of wolf DNA in the breed, but no evidence has been presented either way. The breed nearly became extinct due to its perceived value as a fur-bearing animal in the early 19th century, but concentrated efforts by the North Korean government have begun to rebuild their population.

History of the Pungsan

The Pungsan is one of the few dog breeds to have been developed in the steep mountains of Korea. It's a very rare breed, especially outside their homeland. Although history has somewhat obscured their origins, most people believe that this breed was developed as a big game hunting dog at some point during the Joseon dynasty, which lasted from 1392 to 1897. Many people claim that the Pungsan was ultimately the result of dogs mating with wolves in the region, which is credited for their hunting ability as well as their aggressive nature and intelligence. Legends even allude to a Pungsan dog that defeated a Siberian tiger in combat. During the Japanese occupation of Korea, the thick, warm fur of Korean dog breeds was considered a valuable material for fur coats for the Japanese armed forces and their plummeting population. In 1942, the Pungsan was declared national treasure number 128, but the Korean War further reduced the number of these dogs. It was thanks to the efforts of the North Korean government that the breed was re-established after the Korean War, but information about them was extremely scarce and they were all kept within the borders of North Korea. In 2000, discussions between the leaders of North and South Korea led to an exchange of puppies, with the North Korean leader receiving two Jindo puppies and the South Korean leader receiving two Pungsan puppies, the female of which herself had a litter of puppies.

Appearance of the Pungsan

The Pungsan is a medium to large dog breed with a Spitz-like conformation. They are slightly longer than they are tall, giving them an overall rectangular shape, highly developed muscles and a broad, deep chest. Pungsans also have strong, straight legs and well rounded paws. Their head is relatively triangular in shape and tends to be a little broad on the forehead, with a well-balanced straight muzzle and rather tight lips, usually with a black-colored nose, although flesh color is also occasionally present. The Pungsan breed also boasts dark brown almond-shaped eyes with bright black lids, as well as medium-sized ears with medium-sized tips erect on the head and a long, erect tail that typically curls over the rump. Their thick, abundant coat is well suited to the harsh Korean mountain climate, and comes in many shades of creamy white.

Temperament of the Pungsan

These dogs are generally very loyal and protective of people and property, but they are also more independent than the average dog and can be more aggressive, especially towards other animals. Well socialized, they can accompany children very well, but as they are extremely powerful dogs, interactions between the two need to be supervised. Although they can get along with other dogs, especially those with whom they are raised, these dogs are not appropriate in mixed households, as their dominant personality and strong prey drive can make them dangerous to smaller animals, even when socialized. They tend to remain aloof with strangers as long as their territory is left alone. Although they have a strong territorial instinct, they are not inclined to bark unless really necessary, which makes them excellent watchdogs and guard dogs. They are intelligent and can learn commands when they want to, but they are also a little stubborn and not particularly eager to please, which can make training difficult.

Needs and activities of the Pungsan

This is a strong, agile breed with a quick, flexible mind that requires about an hour of vigorous physical activity every day, as well as appropriate mental stimulation. Your Pungsan will always enjoy being taken for a long walk or jog, but is equally suited to many other activities, such as agility training or tracking exercises. Pungsans that don't meet the demands of their activities can become restless and resort to chewing, digging and barking for entertainment. Although these dogs make excellent companions in larger homes and colder climates, they are sensitive to heat due to their thick coats, and are too active and independent to be comfortable in an apartment.

Maintenance of the Pungsan

This breed has a dense, abundant coat with a soft, insulating layer beneath a coarser layer of straight, somewhat weather-resistant fur. Although the faint doggy smell makes bathing an occasional necessity, it is rather heavy and requires fairly frequent brushing sessions to remove dead and dying hairs and restore the coat's luster. Generally, brushing your Pungsan several times a week is enough to keep it happy and healthy, but it tends to shed more abundantly during seasonal changes and may need brushing once or twice a day to better control its coat. Don't neglect the nails, which should be clipped once a month, or the teeth, which should be cleaned a few times a week.

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