Training your Jindo may be easier than expected, depending on what kind of dog breeds you’ve handled in the past. Compared to some of the more aggressive, independent Asian breeds such as Chow Chows, Akitas, Shiba Inus, etc. they are sweethearts but still do as they please.
Jindos are a naturally curious and intelligent breed. Depending on how independent the individual Jindo is, you may get your Jindo to consistently respond with ease or it may take extra training. Being a land race breed, they still have a very independent streak but often make decisions that will not put them in danger as they’re quite capable of thinking for themselves. For example, they are not prone to attack moving vehicles.
Getting a Jindo to listen is dependent on their relationship with you, the owner. They easily learn commands when trust is built in a relationship with their chosen owner, otherwise it is very difficult to get them to pay attention to you. It isn’t recommended to send your Jindo away to a training program, as training is dependent on the relationship with the trainer. It’s helpful to have built a strong bond with your Jindo before training as they are skeptical and aloof of strangers. The Korean government had tried using Jindo as a rescue dogs but due to their high prey drive and strong loyalty to a single owner it didn’t work out so well. They often abort the mission if distracted by their hunting instincts.
Naturally clean and well adapted to domestic life, the Jindo is extremely easy to potty train. Most Jindo puppies will automatically potty train themselves especially if they are crate trained and on a regular schedule.
Tips for Training your Jindo
- Obedience classes will help assimilate your Jindo, especially in rescues. I highly recommend at least six months of spending as much time bonding with your rescued Jindo before enrolling in an obedience class. This was a great way for Mochi to be around other American dogs and begin to pay more attention to me as his owner with distractions. It took a lot of patience, as he was often triggered by whistles used in class and distracted by the action of other dogs. Ultimately, we had to re-enroll him to really get the training to stick. Again, using the class as a tool to assimilate your Jindo can be very helpful for introducing them to a regular American canine social life.
- Only allow off leash training in controlled environments. Your Jindo instilled with a naturally strong prey drive may never become the safe urban, off leash dog of your dreams.
- Do not scold your rescued Jindo. Jindos are sensitive to harsh, low pitched vocal tonalities. Overusing negative reinforcement in a training capacity may equate to a loss of trust in your relationship with them. This could be a huge set back, especially in relationships with timid abused rescue Jindos. Though I’ve used more aggressive training tactics with other Asian breeds, we’ve only used positive reinforcement with Mochi to avoid triggering his panic attacks.
- Spend time doing things together. Jindo dogs are very intelligent and will pick up on routines quickly. This can come in handy when training them to accompany you on different adventures. Use positive reinforcement (or healthy negative reinforcement) in succession within a routine will help them stay regular in these tasks. For example, It’s part of our kayak routine to give him treats before putting on his life vest. He knows when the life vest goes on, he gets moved to wherever we’re going (aka the kayak) and stays close, as there’s a handle to pick him up on the vest. When he stands up in the kayak, he usually gets wet and does not enjoy it! He now stays quite still when we take him kayaking and knows what our routine is.