All About the Breed Pungsan

Have you recently fallen for the Pungsan or do you simply love rare breeds? Learn all about the breed here, including: breed history, personality traits, train-ability, benefits and disadvantages of the breed, and common health concerns.

Also known as the Poongsan, the Pungsan is a protective, loyal, and energetic breed.

But how do you know whether you are ready to purchase a pet and if this breed is right for you?

This information is absolutely necessary in making the decision to purchase a pet.


The origin of the Pungsan can be traced back to 18th century Baikdu Mountains in North Korea. Enthusiasts believe the Pungsan to date back as far as the 16th century and to have descended from various Mastiff and Sheepdog breeds, though none of this has ever been proven scientifically or otherwise.

Throughout its history, the Pungsan has been most commonly used for hunting large game such as wolves and even tiger, and as a watch and guard dog, proving its superior abilities to work while providing protection and companionship.

The destruction of World War II threatened complete extinction of the Pungsan. Credited for saving the breed are unnamed North Korean government officials, who worked feverishly gathering breed-able specimens in order to repopulate the breed to the stable numbers it remains at currently.

Today, while the Pungsan has attained a regional popularity as both a hunting and companion dog, the breed remains extremely rare outside of its native North Korea.

Personality Traits

Best known for its protective and territorial nature, the Pungsan is willing to do anything necessary in order to protect its owner and property. This breed thrives on strong and dependable relationships with humans, and often looks to its owner for leadership and assurance.

These dogs are very intelligent, yet stubborn, overly confident, and somewhat independent, creating difficulty in training. As a pet, the Pungsan is loyal, loving, and affectionate. The Pungsan is not suited for full-time indoor or apartment living, as it enjoys spending time outdoors, playing games such as tug-of-war, and taking long and leisurely walks.


Due to its stubborn, independent, and confident attitude, the Pungsan can prove somewhat challenging to train. These dogs are known for growing bored with repetitive exercises and tasks, and can be especially difficult to housebreak.

Establishing immediate dominance, trust, and respect is key to successfully training the Pungsan. This breed requires an experienced, confident, and patient handler with a stern yet gentle approach to repetitive exercises and tasks.

Benefits and Disadvantages of the Breed

There are many benefits to owning a Pungsan. When properly socialized from a young age, the Pungsan gets along well with children, known for its sweet and gentle approach to small children. This breed is protective, alert, and territorial, making an incredible watch and guard dog by announcing the arrival of guests and unwanted visitors, and serving as a deterrent to would-be intruders.

The Pungsan is loyal, loving, and affectionate, making an excellent hunting dog, guardian, family pet, and companion alike.

Unfortunately, there are also disadvantages to owning a Pungsan. These athletic dogs require large amounts of daily exercise and room to run and play outdoors, especially when under the age of two years. Anyone wishing to purchase this breed lacking the adequate amount of time and space to dedicate to the dog is strongly advised against doing so.

A Pungsan not receiving the proper amount of exercise and space will often act out by destroying property, chewing, barking, whining, and ignoring basic training such as housebreaking.

The Pungsan has a strong instinct to hunt and will occasionally indulge in a good chase. When on the run, these large dogs are surprisingly quick, and may pose a threat to other animals, neighborhood pets, and small woodland creatures. These dogs must be leashed or properly secured at all times when outdoors.

This breed is not recommended for household with other pets. Even with proper socialization from a young age, the Pungsan is known to show excessive aggression, dominance, and jealousy towards other animals.

As previously mentioned, the Pungsan remains extremely rare outside of its native North Korea and can prove quite difficult to obtain. Individuals seeking to purchase this breed often encounter such challenges as inability to locate a breeder, high prices, and being placed on long waiting lists.

Common Health Concerns

While the Pungsan is typically known as a healthy and hearty breed, they do suffer from a few health problems, including: hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, likeliness to develop cancer, chronic ear infection, entropian - folding inward of the eye lid, ectropian - folding outward of the eye lid, obesity, and bloat.

Now that you know all about the breed, do you think you are ready to own a Pungsan?

Remember, purchasing a pet is a big decision and should be discussed thoroughly and seriously with your entire family.