Thursday, May 26, 2011

Jindo Dogs Not Suitable for Police Work

The Los Angeles Police Department has failed to train two Korean Jindo dogs, a breed designated as South Korea's 53rd National Treasure and one of the most abandoned types of pet in Seoul, according to the National Veterinary Research and Quarantine Service. The dogs "didn't like have enough like focus, drive or consistency needed" according to an LA newspaper.

The dogs, named Daehan and Mingook, which translate as 'Korea' and 'Republic of', were given by the Korean government's Jindo Dog Promotion and Innovation Agency to the LAPD last October as candidates to work alongside often-used police dog breeds such as bloodhounds, Dutch Shephards and Belgian Malinois. As a designated national treasure, it is normally illegal to export Jindo dogs outside Korea, but the government decided to break the law on this occasion.

During the first four years of their lives, 'Korea' and 'Republic of' were intensively trained from 7am each morning, with classes typically not ending until late evening, and the dogs were expected to continue training in their own time. But once their apparently successful training period was over, they didn't perform consistently when taken out in the field to work in a real-world environment.

While the male dog Mingook, who underwent some of his training with the Korean military, did attempt to perform the tasks given to him by the LAPD, the bitch Daehan often refused to work and was more interested in curling up and watching TV all day, although it is thought this might be because she had already had puppies. Senior Korean generals say the military has also tested female dogs for field work, but stopped after running into similar problems. It is not clear why the government gave the dogs to the LAPD knowing they were likely to fail, but some sources suggested it was in exchange for the native-English teachers given to Korea by the Americans.

The government still hopes to see the Jindo breed qualify as police dogs in future, but admits "it may require more training". However, while the government was keen to turn the non-exportable dogs into Korea's equivalent of China's giant pandas, to be gifted on occasion as international favors, many experts doubted that a successful result in LA would have led to further success in other cities, since Jindo dogs don't like water and often refuse to go out in the rain, even with an umbrella.

According to The Ministry of Culture, the failure of the dogs in LA is likely to see them downgraded from Korea's 53rd National Treasure to 54th during the next annual review.

Related Links
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