On Monday January 10 and Tuesday January 11, 2020, the 144th annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show will take place in New York’s Madison Square Garden. The event plays host to hundreds of dogs vying for the coveted Best in Show. While it’s fun to watch the annual event, there’s nothing better and more loyal than the pooch right beside you if you’re a dog owner.
Dogs are known for their loving hearts and loyalty, and for years, stories of their love and devotion earn viral attention whenever someone needs to hear something positive and uplifting.
Naturally, we want to celebrate “man’s best friend” here at Kcrush in honor of one the United States’ most popular February events by celebrating some dog stories that captivated people across the world and stem from Asia.
On Jindo Island in South Korea, one of Korea’s national treasures resides. Here, the Jindo Dog thrives, and the residents raise up to 30,000 to 50,000 puppies a year, and no dog can leave the island without a government permit. The Jindo Dog is a source of income for those who live on the island, and now they are a tourist attraction thanks to Donji-ri’s Jindo Dog theme park and research center.
At Jindo Land, the dogs are trained and socialized daily while handlers at the park promote the skills and intelligence of the breed. Here, dogs learn tricks, do agility, and even perform daily shows for tourists where they even paint pictures and dance. During an NBC Sports segment during the 2019 PyeongChang Winter Olympics, the dogs’ handlers even state the Jindo has an ear for music, particularly rap.
At the Jindo Museum, guests can learn more about the dog’s history, in particular the story about Baekgu, the dog that brought attention to the island and global attention toward the breed due to her 180-mile journey home from Daegu to Jindo Island. The Jindo Museum has information about breed traits, and you can see how they are trained for agility and obedience. Guests can even leave notes for the dogs.
The research center also is a place to learn more about the breed. Here, researchers can trace the dogs’ ancestry, especially when it comes to finding descendants of the island’s beloved Baekgu, and owners who have descendants of Baekgu receive certificates. The center also works and making sure the breed remains pure and true to breed standards. The research center also has a vet for the island’s dogs and also provides housing for the dogs.
Naturally, many do have issues with Jindo Land as rescue groups and animal rights advocates feel that those who run the theme park and museum do not do enough to educate people about the dog meat trade in South Korea, but with growing interest in the breed and with the theme park becoming a tourist attraction, there may be hope for change and education regarding this matter.
If you want to visit Jindo Island and the Jindo Dog Theme Park, it is located at 7 Dongoe-ri, Jindo-eup, Jindo-gun, Jeollanam-do, South Korea. More information can be found here. Tourists can also take guided tours around the island to learn more about the culture, landscape, people, and the dogs that call it home.
Photo Cr. Jindo.go.kr