The Korean Jindo is a unique breed with spitz characteristics that developed on Jindo Island. There is evidence that Jindo Island had been inhabited since prehistoric times. It is said Korean Jindo dogs are a breed evolved from indigenous Korean canines crossed with the arctic spitz dogs of Mongol invaders in the 13th Century. When the Mongol invasions were occurring in 1200 BC, native Koreans hid on the island bringing their hunting dogs with them. In 1271, Mongols captured the island and left it empty, save for their dogs who mated with the native Korean dogs. Returning populations that later inhabited the island were scared away by Japanese pirates in the area. Hence the dog breed was refined into a very pure strain over years of concentrated isolation.
Interesting fact about Jindo Island; a channel of land opens up when the tide is right for an hour twice a year allowing access across the sea to Modo Island. Many people travel to Jindo Island to celebrate this unique phenomena.
In 1983, the Korean government established the Jindo as the 53rd National Treasure of Korea. They are now protected under the Cultural Properties Protection Act. Revered for their loyalty and courage, they are often given as gifts. It is rude not to accept a gift in Korean culture, so many Jindo end up becoming street dogs.