Pungsan

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45-68 lbs
21-24"
Korea
Poongsan, Phungsan

The Pungsan dog is a medium to large-sized spitz-type dog with a thick, creamy white coat that originates from the harsh mountainous regions of Korea several hundred years ago, and is now considered to be one of the National Treasures of Korea. Many enthusiasts believe that this breed's cleverness, hunting ability, and their aggressiveness are due to the inclusion of wolf DNA to the breed but no evidence has been presented either way. This breed came close to extinction due to their perceived value as a fur-bearing animal in the early 19th century but concentrated efforts from the North Korean government has begun to restore their population. 

Purpose
Hunting, Military Dog
Date of Origin
Ancient Times
Ancestry
Unknown

Pungsan Health

Average Size
Male Pungsan size stats
Height: 21-24 inches Weight: 45-68 lbs
Female Pungsan size stats
Height: 21-24 inches Weight: 45-68 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Hip And Elbow Dysplasia
  • Gastric Dilation Volvulus (GDV) or Bloat
Minor Concerns
  • Ear Infections
  • Entropion
  • Ectropion
  • Cancer
Occasional Diagnoses
  • Obesity
Occasional Tests
  • X-rays of various parts of the skeletal system
  • Blood Panel
  • Eye and Ear Examination

Pungsan Breed History

The Pungsan is one of only a few dog breeds that was developed in the harsh mountains of Korea and is a very rare breed, particularly outside of their own country. While history has obscured their origins somewhat, most believe that this breed was developed as a hunting dog for large game at some point during the Joseon dynasty, which lasted from 1392 until 1897. Many people claim that the Pungsan was ultimately the result of dogs mating with wolves in the area which is credited for their hunting ability as well as their aggressive natures and their cleverness; legends even refer to a Pungsan dog who defeated a Siberian Tiger in battle. During the Japanese occupation of Korea, the warm, thick fur of the Korean dog breeds was prized as a material for fur coats for the Japanese military and their populations plummeted. In 1942 the Pungsan was declared to be National Treasure number 128 but the Korean War reduced the number of these dogs even further. It was through the efforts of the North Korean government that this breed was re-established after the Korean War but information about them was exceedingly scarce and they were all kept within the borders of North Korea. In 2000, talks between the leaders of North and South Korea resulted in an exchange of puppies; the leader of North Korea received two Jindo puppies, and the leader of South Korea received two Pungsan pups, the female of which went on to have a litter of puppies herself. 

Pungsan Breed Appearance

The Pungsan is a medium to large sized dog breed with a spitz-type conformation. They are slightly longer than they are tall, giving them a fairly rectangular shape overall with a very muscular build and a broad, deep chest. The Pungsan also has strong, straight legs and well-rounded paws. Their heads are relatively triangular in shape and tend to be somewhat broad across the forehead with well-balanced straight muzzles and fairly tight fitting lips, usually with black colored noses although flesh colored occasionally occurs as well. The Pungsan breed also sports almond-shaped eyes in dark brown with striking black rims, as well as medium-sized prick style ears that stand high up on the head, and a long, high-set tail which typically curls up over their rump. Their abundant, thick coat is well designed to handle the harsh weather of the Korean mountains and comes in several shades of creamy white.

Eye Color Possibilities
brown Pungsan eyes
Brown
Nose Color Possibilities
black Pungsan nose
Black
Coat Color Possibilities
white Pungsan coat
White
cream Pungsan coat
Cream
Coat Length
Short Medium Long
Coat Density
Sparse Normal Dense
Coat Texture
Pungsan straight coat texture
Straight Wiry Wavy Curly Corded

Pungsan Breed Maintenance

This breed has a dense, abundant coat with a soft, insulating layer underneath a coarser layer of straight, somewhat weatherproof fur. While low doggy odor makes bathing only an occasional requirement, they do shed rather heavily and they require fairly frequent brushing sessions to remove the dead and dying hair and restore the sheen to the coat. Typically, brushing your Pungsan a few times a week is sufficient to keep them happy and healthy, but they do tend to shed more heavily during the change of seasons and may require brushing one or two times a day to better control their fur.  Don't neglect the nails (clip monthly) or the teeth, which should be cleaned a few times per week.

Brushes for Pungsan
Pin Brush
Deshedder
Nail Clipper
Brushing Frequency
Pungsan requires daily brushing
Daily Weekly Monthly

Pungsan Temperament

These dogs are typically very loyal and protective canines when it comes to their people and property, but they are also more independent than the average dog and may be more aggressive as well, particularly in regards to other animals. If properly socialized, they can be quite companionable with children but as these are extremely powerful dogs, interactions between the two should be supervised. Although they may get along with other canines, particularly those they are raised with, these are not appropriate dogs to have in mixed pet households as their dominant personality and high prey drive can make them dangerous to smaller animals even when socialized. They tend to be standoffish or aloof with strangers as long as their territory is left alone. While they do have strong territorial instincts, they are not prone to barking unless it is truly needed, making them excellent watchdogs and guard dogs. They are intelligent and can learn commands when they choose to but they are also somewhat stubborn and are not particularly eager to please, which can make training challenging. 

Pungsan Activity Requirements

This is a strong, agile breed with a quick and flexible mind that requires around an hour or so of vigorous physical activity each day as well as suitable mental stimulation. Being taken for a long walk or jog will always be appreciated by your Pungsan dog, but they are well-suited to many other activities as well such as agility training or tracking exercises. Pungsans who do not get their activity requirements may become restless and resort to chewing, digging, and barking to keep themselves entertained. While these dogs make excellent companions in larger homes and cooler climates, they are susceptible to the heat due to their thick coats and they are too active and independent to be comfortable in an apartment setting.

Activity Level
Low Medium High
Rec. Walk Mileage Per Week
10 miles
Minutes of Activity Per Day
60 minutes

Pungsan Food Consumption

Cups Per Day
2.5 cups
Daily Cost
$1.2 - $1.4
Monthly Cost
$34 - $45

Pungsan Height & Weight

6 Months
Male Pungsan size stats at six months
Height: 19 inches Weight: 40 lbs
Female Pungsan size stats at six months
Height: 19 inches Weight: 40 lbs
12 Months
Male Pungsan size stats at 12 months
Height: 21 inches Weight: 51 lbs
Female Pungsan size stats at 12 months
Height: 21 inches Weight: 51 lbs
18 Months
Male Pungsan size stats at 18 months
Height: 22 inches Weight: 56 lbs
Female Pungsan size stats at 18 months
Height: 22 inches Weight: 56 lbs

Pungsan Owner Experiences

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