Korean Jindo dogs are naturally hygeinic animals that tend to groom themselves often. Again showing similarities to a cat, licking their medium length coats to maintain cleanliness is habitual. (Mochi keeps us awake licking himself sometimes! We can tell he is calm and comfortable in his environment when he lets his guard down to self groom.) They are considered double coated with a thin, fluffy, insulating undercoat covered by longer, waterproof, stiff coarse guard hairs. It is a true delight petting a Jindo, and their ears are especially soft.
Jindos are themselves, very precarious and are careful not to get dirty. This can been seen in them stepping around puddles and staying away from mud. (In fact, it’s usually interacting with other smelly, slobbery dogs that gets Mochi dirty and in need of a bath.) However, sometimes getting dirty is unavoidable. In these instances, regular bathing maintenance helps keep control of a smelly Jindo.
Shedding occurs seasonally twice a year, but can vary especially in Jindo mixed mutts that may shed more often. This makes the Jindo versatile to many temperatures. (Mochi adjusts well to the heat of Las Vegas by shedding most of his undercoat when the temperatures start to climb but loves playing in the snow when it grows back in thick for lower temperatures in Winter!). It also makes for a much needed bi-annual trip to the groomers. I prefer the de-shed treatment in which they give special attention to brushing out the shedding undercoat for a longer period of time. Shedding can take anywhere from a few weeks to over a month. Hairballs often litter the floor unless regular biweekly sweeping and vacuuming occurs. At the end of the week we always do a deep clean removing all pet hair and maintain as needed until the following Sunday.
Aversion to Water in Rescues
At first, baths will be difficult especially for a Korean meat farm rescue. Rumor has it the butchers sometimes boil the dogs alive and I believe this carries over into a deeply imbedded fear of water in Jindo meat farm rescues. It helps to introduce them to water slowly and with patience.
It was a traumatic experience for Mochi the first many times we gave him a bath. His aversion to water lasted well over a year despite many introductions to lake shores camping and riding passenger kayaking with us! The key is patience. Mochi would run around the house pacing and wiggle out of any hold knowing we were up to getting a bath prepared. Sometimes you just have to pick up your Jindo and carry them to the bathtub or shower. The poor thing may urinate out of fear, which happened several times. Trembling, fear induced biting, whining, pacing, panting may all ensue into a full blown panic attack. Always try your best to finish the procedure as fast as possible. They are quick to recover after a bath by licking themselves to their original scent.
Tips for bathing a rescued Korean Jindo dog-
- Use tools to help. Lead your Jindo on a leash towards the bathroom and pick them up from as close as you can get to the bathing recepticle.
- Get wet with them. I always make sure to be in the shower or tub with Mochi when bathing him so that he sees it’s safe for me.
- Start with lukewarm or cool water. The warm to hot water did not comfort ours at first. I believe he may have been tortured with hot water in his past.
- Be noise conscious. Run the water for a tub before bathing your Jindo and run the water for a shower grooming session after coaxing them into the shower.
- Use all of your positive behavioral queues. For Mochi that is his “Good Boy” voice with lots of pets and kisses in his favorite spots.
- Use food motivation. This took two rounds of beginner obedience classes for Mochi and many times getting his anxiety calmed to accept food in stressful times.
- Expose your Jindo to you and other dogs being wet, bathing, and water in general with random rewards. Sometimes I would give Mochi treats for just being in the bathroom with me. Mochi also got rewarded kayaking in the boats many times before we carried him into the lake to swim. It takes exposure and patience. We never forced him in, but rather got him used to water being safe by demonstrating enjoying water ourselves and showing him that other dogs enjoy swimming voluntarily. When we would go swimming, Mochi got tied up next to the shore so that he could experience the water at a safe distance, though he would still sit as far away as possible from the water.
- Don’t use scented shampoo. As we know, the Jindo’s recognition and memory bank of scents is incredible at 30,000 and counting! Our Jindo licks himself after his baths and I would never want him to ingest toxic fragrances or preservatives found in commercial shampoo / conditioner products.