Current Preservation Situation

Breeding Ranch in Gyeongsan

The preservation and proliferation of Sapsarees began in a ranch located in Hayang-eup, Daejo-ri 810 in Gyeongsan. The area was a lowland that had high risk of flood during summer and frequent cold strong winds during winter along with other horrible conditions.

Although Sapsaree breeding work officially began in 1985, there were many obstacles such as influx of flies and rage of mosquitoes caused by wastes produced by cows in nearby farms. Moreover, many Sapsarees had to sleep outside in cold winter weather due to shortage of house facilities in the ranch. Despite these problems, Sapsarees were successfully designated as National Monument #368 in 1992. In the same year, The Korean Sapsaree Foundation was established and bases were established for proper preservation and breeding of Sapsarees. Dog facilities were improved with government support and with much effort from Sapsaree researchers, obstacles were overcome and outstanding form and traits of Sapsarees were retained and fixed throughout many generations, producing a pack of high-quality Sapsarees.

The 500 dogs that are currently being reared in the Sapsaree research lab have passed the selection criteria and are mostly superior in terms of temperament, body shape, and breeding capability. As these Sapsarees were being protected and breeded, the breeding laboratory took a pivotal role as Sapsaree distribution throughout the country began in 1999 and, by 2007, there were nearly 2500 Sapsarees being affectionately raised by Sapsaree lovers throughout the nation. In addition, foundation branches and individual databases for efficient pedigree maintenance were being established. In order to globalize the Sapsaree breed, the Gyeongsan breeding lab will continue to strive to become a base and cradle for superior Sapsarees.

The Korea Sapsaree Foundation is currently breeding a group of 500 mature Sapsarees, which retain original form, in a Gyeongsan ranch in Kyungpook providence with government support.

Previous Sapsaree Branch- Panorama of Gyeongsan Ranch

2007- present Panorama of Gyeongsan Ranch - arrangement of dog houses and facilities by government support and donations from civilians

Present, The Korean Sapsaree Foundation carries out the following preservation duties: maintenance of national monument #368, Sapsaree distribution/preservation/breeding/research

Dog Therapy

In November 2000, the Korean Sapsaree Foundation hosted its first symposium regarding dog therapy for mental health patients in Kyungpook National University. During the symposium, scholars from various majors and fields gathered and discussed issues regarding the tasks and plans involved in turning Sapsarees into domestic therapy dogs. It was Korea's first symposium regarding dog therapy, but this kind of symposium involving academic discussions regarding practical applications of therapy dogs has been ongoing in many foreign countries for a long time.

The representative effect of using animals in therapeutical programs is that it reduces the psychological burden for people who dislike associating with other people. For these people, animals' continuous expression of unconditional love toward them allows them to gradually open their mind to people and the society. These programs, which are already actively taking place around the world, are finally becoming active in Korea through Sapsarees.

Since discovering Sapsaree's aptitude for being a therapy dog during Children's Day in 1999 at the National Folk Museum of Korea, a therapy-dog team consisting of dog trainers and volunteers was organized to provide therapeutic programs for autistic children and schizophrenic patients. Friendly and warm-looking Sapsarees can easily approach patients. These medium-sized dogs have been scientifically proven to carry a pure Korean pedigree. Consequently, no other breed is more appropriate for Koreans' emotional taste than the Sapsarees. Sapsarees' aptitude for therapy-dog was seen through their loyalty and patient temperament. Furthermore, Sapsarees can be good therapy dogs even without receiving professional training, although participating in programs taught by special trainers or ordinary people is always possible. Looking at a journal entry of a special trainer who received a Sapsaree from the Foundation ,Sapsaree seems to be highly qualified as therapy-dogs.

The Korean Sapsaree Foundation is currently making specific plans for the development and expansion of turning Sapsarees into therapy-dogs. First, the foundation seeks to continue with the program designed for children with autism, which has been ongoing for the past year, as well as the joint-hospital program designed for adult schizophrenic patients. Additionally, programs for mentally ill patients in prison, orphanage, nursing homes, and youth detention are being promoted.

Volunteers are being recruited and groups are being formed in universities to carry out the above activities and programs. Since manpower must increase together with activities, university students possessing good-will around the nation are being recruited for volunteer work. Cooperation with hospitals and other associations is being promoted so that professional manpower, supply, and research as well as necessary education for volunteers are available.

Family Dog

The appropriate dog-breed depends on how the dog will be raised. For example, German Shepherds make good military dogs, German's Rottweiler make good security body-guard dogs, Labrador Retrievers make good guide dogs for the blind, and Pointers make good hunting dogs.

As Sapsarees inhabited the Korean peninsula for over 1000 years since the Silla Dynasty and shared the joys and sorrows of our ancestors, Sapsarees have adapted to the peninsula's climate. As pure indigenous breed of our ancestors' ethnicity, Sapsarees are extremely loyal to their master and can easily tell who strangers are. Also, Sapsarees guard houses well and are amiable to people. Upon their master's return, Sapsarees greet with joy. Sapsarees can recognize their once-acquainted master for a very long time.

It is quite humorous to see a Sapsaree whose long hair covers the eyes and produces a humorous expression that altogether reminds people of a thatched roof. Sapsarees have great sociability and get along with other dogs very well. When walking alongside their master outside, Sapsarees have a strong tendency of staying close to their master's side and circling around their master. Also, the rich barking noise of the Sapsarees comfort their master. Because Sapsarees are very clean animals, as long as the master regularly walks his or her Sapsaree, they will avoid urination and defecation inside the house and wait until the master takes them outside for a walk. Two years of just living with their master, without enforcing special education, is enough for intelligent Sapsarees to quickly understand and perform their master's commands. Sapsarees have these excellent virtues as good companion dogs and family dogs.

Military Dog

In 1998, the Korean Sapsaree Foundation sent a pair of Sapsarees to Dokdo Island. From 2001 to present, Sapsarees have been used as security dogs by the Dokdo Security guards. The entry of Sapsarees into Dokdo Island has a symbolic meaning towards Japan. Having almost been totally exterminated by the imperial Japan, Sapsarees now have a role of protecting the East Sea by watching-out for Japanese patrol boats.

When Sapsarees were first being sent to Dokdo Island, many security guards were worried that Sapsarees wouldn't be able to handle the strong and salty sea-wind and bugs that were known to attach to animal bodies. However, the Sapsarees adapted well to the environment and became good friends of the security guards. Sapsarees are now famous in Dokdo. During the stay in Dokdo Island, one of the Sapsarees gave delivery to litter several times and most of these beautiful puppies were sent to Ulleung Island where they are currently being reared by the security guards there.

According to Lieutenant Kim Jang-soo (Dokdo Security Chief), after delivery of puppies, the paternal Sapsaree would catch a seagull in the sea-shore and place it in front of the maternal Sapsaree's house every day, much like what an affectionate person would do. The Sapsarees, who have now become a family to the security guards, would play around in the barracks and even lay down comfortably with their legs fully spread apart. As good playful friends of the guards, Sapsarees have become their mascot. What the security guards of Dokdo hope for when the Sapsarees bark towards the Japanese sky is that all of the wicked spirits will be driven away into Japan.

The following number of Sapsarees were donated to the following locations: 6 to Ulleung Island Security Force; 10 to frontline GP; 2 to Dokdo Island Security Force; 10 to 50th Division in Daegu (East Sea Coastline Security Force). Sapsarees are currently serving as great security dogs, but if a systematic breeding designed for raising security dogs can be arranged, then Sapsarees could be upgraded and be able to perform many more professional roles.

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