45-68 lbs
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 Purpose
Hunting, Military Dog
history Date of Origin
Ancient Times
ancestry Ancestry

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
Nose Color Possibilities
black Pungsan nose
Coat Color Possibilities
cream Pungsan coat
white Pungsan coat
Coat Length
Short Medium Long
Coat Density
coat density
Sparse Normal Dense
Coat Texture
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.

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Brushes for Pungsan
Pin Brush
Pin Brush
Nail Clipper
Nail Clipper
Brushing Frequency
fur daily fur weekly fur monthly
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 activity medium activity high activity
Low Medium High
Rec. Walk Mileage Per Week
10 miles
walk mileage
Minutes of Activity Per Day
60 minutes
activity minutes

Pungsan Food Consumption

Cups Per Day
2.5 cups
cup per day cost cup per day cost
Daily Cost
$1.20 - $1.40
food bowls daily cost
Monthly Cost
$34.00 - $45.00
food bag monthly cost

Pungsan Height & Weight

6 Months
Male Pungsan size stats at six months
Height: 19.0 inches Weight: 40.0 lbs
Female Pungsan size stats at six months
Height: 19.0 inches Weight: 40.0 lbs
12 Months
Male Pungsan size stats at 12 months
Height: 21.5 inches Weight: 51.0 lbs
Female Pungsan size stats at 12 months
Height: 21.5 inches Weight: 51.0 lbs
18 Months
Male Pungsan size stats at 18 months
Height: 22.5 inches Weight: 56.5 lbs
Female Pungsan size stats at 18 months
Height: 22.5 inches Weight: 56.5 lbs

Pungsan Owner Experiences

5 Years
4 People
House & Yard
Gomsan and I walk up and down bridges.
Gomsan and I sprint 50 meter sprints together
I throw tennis balls and he sprints for them.
My pungsan puppy is from a litter of 5 puppies and other than the girl dogs, who are about 60 pounds, the boys are all 90-120 pounds at full maturity which they reach around 3-5 years old. Gomsan doesn't run around like a hyperactive dog, or bark. Instead, he greets by wagging tail, and sometimes by whining. Pungsan rarely bark. He has a very good temperament. He never has a problem with other walking dogs, and minds his own business. He has killed 2 baby possum at night, and can be seen as territorial. If new people were to enter the house, he may be cautious, growl, and bark. Other than those newcomer occasions, he's really mellow and I couldn't hear his voice even if I wanted to. I would say that if you live in a small space or apartment, please do not consider raising a Pungsan. They NEED their space to pee, poop, and graze in their free time. They need a backyard they can freely move around. Remember, their origins sprout from the mountains of North Korea. We neutered him really young, at 5-6 months old, and he was always super easy to train and had a very good temperament. However, the other pungsan who was not neutered is VERY independent, meaning, he doesn't run up to people or dogs to play or cuddle. He's very to himself, will bark ferociously if frightened, and generally, very hands-off. We still pet this pungsan and love him. Pungsan are generally more chill/independent. They have their unique way of showing their love and appreciation for people. I just measured my dog, his height from feet to top of head is 33" and his chest is 31". Two other brothers of Gomsan are BIGGER!!! I would say the measurements here are more for Jindo, or female Pungsan! Otherwise, I would love the input of more Pungsan onto this website!
3 years, 11 months ago
Tae jo
9 Years
5 People
House & Yard
My dog is not neutered. We have had him since he was 4 months old. While he is a loving dog and can be sweet, he is very aggressive. I can no longer walk him as he drags me and is to strong for my anyone but my father to walk. We had a trainer briefly, but that went out the window. Tae Jo loves head oats, but if you pet him to low on his back or for to long he occasionally snaps at us. A snaP to tell us to sop not to hurt us. I have been bitten twice by him and almost had a broken wrist. I took away garbage he was chewing and he bit my hand pretty and my hip. Bit me again when I went to pet him after he came to me to be pet. This dog I feel is very anxious, and while his biting made me a bit fearful, we are back to a normal distance. He always likes to sit with us in whatever room we are in and keeps to himself. Loves to run and play outside but not a catch kind of dog. When he was younger we could play rough with him and tug or wore, now he wont let us touch his toys if he is using them he will growl and bark. I feel he needs more of a walk to give him some release but he will growl and bark at other dogs to the point where he drags me off my feet. He is very protective of us and as a guarded dog is amazing. He has guarded our house a few times. Very smart dog and full of love. I feel he just is aggressive that we cant have to many people over or allow others to pet him unless he says so which is rare. Its a tough breed to keep but after reading the review on here I suppose it may be that he was not snipped as a pup and developed to much of an alpha complex. I love my dog very much and am looking fro training options though he is older.The youngest child wont touch him of fear of being bit, fro some reason he seems to pick on her the most to bark out on rare occasions, but they both ignore one another he knows not to go to her for attention but he guards her with his everything when strangers are near her. any tricks advice, or trainers you know of would be great
3 years, 2 months ago
2 Years
4 People
House & Yard
Haru came into my life at 2 months and it was has been exiting and frustrating ever since. She was and still is a timid and shy dog. She had both her parents and her siblings when I adopted her. Immediately received all her shots and was spayed at 6 months. She is not a fan of being commanded but was easily trained with all the basic commands-- and will only do them if she wants to and if there are treats involved. Haru is loyal to the whole family, but she has designated one person that she will be forever loyal to (me-- I brought her) and will bark at anyone that feels foreign to her, but will never bite. She's very alert and territorial and will bark only in near proximity and very weirdly around the house. When we take her out, she is very timid and shy and will never bark even when there are many people that she doesn't know (which we rarely take her out). She hates car rides and refuses to get in the car by herself. She is a heavy shedder and will loose clumps of fur during changes in seasons and that's when she is groomed the most. As an outdoor dog, she is bathed every other week and doesn't omit too much odor. She designated her "bathroom" area without being taught and has been able to do her business without making the backyard a mess. She goes on walks 3-4 times a week for 30-40 minutes. Haru does tend to pull the leash a bit strongly, but if given tugs and letting go of leashes, she will chill out. She doesn't care for other dogs or people (she will just ignore them) and will sniff out everything. She has very good memory and knows which homes have dogs that greet her. Because Pungsan's are loyal, Haru has never ran away from home even when the gate was accidentally opened. She will play and pretend to run off, but will always come back home immediately. The only worries at the moment for Haru is her inability to digest her food well. She tends to yack often (but not throw up) and has chronic ear yeast infection. These were all examined at the vet, but since they don't have enough info on these breeds, it's hard to get a clear answer and treatment plans. Overall, Haru is an amazing dog and a great pet. I wish more people know about these beautiful majestic dogs.
2 years, 10 months ago
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