By Kim Young Shin
Photos = Rural Development Administration
According to recent research, Jindo (진돗개), Pungsan (풍산개) and Donggyeonggi (경주개동경이) dogs, all breeds that originated on the Korean Peninsula, have notable differences from other dogs.
The Rural Development Administration conducted a study of native dog breeds to celebrate the year 2018, the year of the dog. It compared the genome of certain dog species with those of 2,258 canines from 33 other breeds. Those included wild canines, such as the wolf and coyote, ancient breeds, such as the Chow Chow and the Siberian Husky, and modern breeds, such as Border Collies and Chihuahuas.
The research compared and analyzed the genomic DNA of all those dogs. Results showed that the three Korean breeds have small genetic distances between them, and have a unique range of DNA diversity.
The three Korean species of dog showed a close relationship with wolves and coyotes, compared to other non-Korean breeds, which means they are “wilder.” Pungsans share the most genetic traits with wild wolves, followed by Donggyeonggis and Jindos.
The three breeds also have the closest relationship with the Chinese Shar-Pei, the Chow Chow, the Akita and the Shiba Inu, ancient dog breeds common in China and Japan.
The research results were featured in Plos One, a scientific journal published by the U.S. Public Library of Science.
“We will let international organizations, such as the Federation Cynologique Internationale, know about the genetic information about these dog breeds, to help them raise good dogs,” said Park Beom-Young the head of the Department of Animal Biotechnology and Environment at the National Institute of Animal Science.