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Sapsali Information & Dog Breed Facts

Collection of all the general dog breed info about Sapsali so you can get to know the breed more.

Group Hunting Dogs
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Other Names
What other names does the Sapsali have? The dog breed also known as...
Sapsal Gae, Sapsaree, Exorcising Dog, Ghost Hunting Clever Dog
Breed Type
What type of dog breed is it?
AKC Group
Is Sapsali recognized by the American Kennel Club?
Not recognized by the American Kennel Club.
FCI Group
Is Sapsali recognized by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI)?
Not recognized by FCI.
How much does the Sapsali puppy cost? What is the price range of this puppy? What is the average price of this dog in the United States? Is this puppy expensive? How much should I pay for it? Sapsali price:
If you choose to purchase the Sapsali, you should know that the mentioned amount of money is an average of the collected data from breeders’ sites and puppy finder places. If you have a Sapsali for sale, please advertise it on a reliable website to make sure the Sapsali gets to a happy place.


Sapsali is one of the few native Korean dogs originating in the region of Silla, an ancient kingdom of south Korea. This breed has a rich and fascinating origin story, bearing today the status of national treasure of Korea, just like the Pundog. The first historical records of the Sapsali breed dates back to the Three Kingdom period which lasted from 37BC to 668AD. They were looked upon as good luck charms with the ability to ward off adversaries. Although they never had a physical job in there they filled a symbolic role when brought to battle in the military. While originally a breed kept as companions of royals and aristocrats, over time, the Sapsali became a household pet for all social classes within Korea.

While on the ancient times and middle ages the Sapsali breed continued to thrive and develop, the 20th century wasn’t so lucky for them.

During WWI, government records indicate that during the Japanese Colonial Rule (1910-1945) the practice of killing shaggy-haired dogs to harvest the leather from their hides and the fur from their coats, as raw material for winter clothing worn by the Japanese military was usual. According to the documentation kept by the Chosun Raw Hide Company(a business with government affiliations during the Japanese occupation of Korea), 100,000 to 150,000 Sapsali were killed for their fur every year during WWI and WWII.

The Korean War in the 1950s would cause further disruption to the country of Korea, their society and culture, and even their native Sapsali dog breed. A purebred Sapsali was a rare sight in Korea at this time as the breed’s numbers had seen a massive decline from which it seemed challenging to recover. The survival of the breed is thanks to a team of professors and students of the  Kyungpook National University in South Korea In 1969, they saved the breed from the inevitable extinction it was heading toward by rounding up all of the surviving Sapsali dogs in the region and developing kennels for them.

The mentioning of Professor Ha Ji-Hong and his father is essential, if we talk about this breed, because they did outstandingly much for its re-establishment. Professor Ji-Hog was an American educated geneticist, who returned home to Korea in 1985. His father took a crucial part in the establishment of the first kennels in 1969 but although they started with thirty dogs, by the time his son returned in the ’80s, only eight dogs remained.  Ji-Hong is quoted in a Reuter’s article as saying:

“The thought of Sapsarees being gone forever was like a jolt to my thoughts and it woke me up to take on the challenge. My father told me, ‘Restoring a dog breed is a project fit for an English nobleman with unlimited capital.  I don’t know how you’re going to take on such a challenge with your college professor’s salary.”

Professor Ji-Hong brought the dogs from a reported number of eight to a population of around 500. He utilized proven breeding methods and even tested their DNA to reduce the prevalence of health conditions in the breed.

In 1992, the Korean government designated the dog a national treasure, just like the Korean Jindo and the Pungsan dog. At this time, the government also provided funding for the preservation of the iconic breed. While not yet internationally recognized, the Sapsali is a member of the Korean Kennel Club.

General Appearance

What size is this breed? How big is this dog? Sapsali size:
How much does the Sapsali weigh? Sapsali weight:
Male: 18–27 kg (40-60 lbs), Female: 16–25 kg (35-55 lbs)
Avg. Weight
What is the average weight of the Sapsali? Sapsali average weight:
Male: 18–27 kg (40-60 lbs), Female: 16–25 kg (35-55 lbs)
How tall is the Sapsali? Sapsali height:
Male: 50–60 cm (20–24 in), Female: 48–58 cm (19–23 in)
Avg. Height
What is the average height of this fido? Sapsali average height:
Male: 50–60 cm (20–24 in), Female: 48–58 cm (19–23 in)

Hair & Care

What type of coat does the Sapsali have? What does this canine coat look like?
What color is the breed's coat? What color is a proper Sapsali's coat?
How to groom the Sapsali and how often?
Advanced: The Sapsali requires a lot of grooming. Cutting the dog's hair by a professional groomer can be helpful sometimes. Regular brushed dog's coat is less likely to shed. Ears and eyes should be cleaned often to avoid infections. Don't skip the seasonal flea treatment too. Occasional dog nail trimming and dog bath is important. Check the local pet store for dog grooming supplies and find the best dog shampoo to keep its coat healthy and to give your Sapsali a pleasant experience of a dog bath. If you don't have the time, skill or money to take care of your Sapsali, search for the best dog groomer or clipping service in your area and book an appointment. Maybe you're lucky to have a dog boarding service that includes grooming or walk in dog bath places nearby.
Shedding Level
How much do Sapsali dogs shed? How to control, reduce and prevent the shedding of the Sapsal Gae? Sapsali shedding level:
Sapsalis are heavy shedders. It's a natural process of the hair growth cycle. Be prepared for the daily vacuum cleaning. The amount and frequency of hair loss mostly depend on their health status and breed type.


What kind of personality does the Sapsali have? What characteristics does the breed have?
Intelligent Rank
How smart is the Sapsali? Are they intelligent?
Very smart: Sapsali is an excellent dog breed. You can teach them many tricks and commands. The limit is your creativity. They understand and memorize new commands in 5-15 repetitions. This breed obeys for the first command 85% of the time or better.
Are Sapsali dogs easy to train? Do they go well on dog training?
Sapsalis are easy to train. They find out the association between commands and actions quite quickly.
How playful is this breed?
The Sapsali is a highly playful breed. Excited barking and sometimes nipping will alert you to play.
Sensitivity Level
How sensitive are they? Sapsali sensitivity:
They are a little bit more sensitive than other dog breeds. Soft punishment affects them emotionally. Sapsalis don't tolerate irregular daily routine, noisy household and frequent guest visits really well. They are receptive to their owner's emotions and make wonderful family companions.
Affection Level
How affectionate are they?
Sapsalis are highly affectionate dogs. They like being involved in the family's life. This breed isn't considered as an aloof dog.
Social Needs
How much social interaction does the Sapsal Gae need? Sapsali social needs:
Sapsalis need for social interaction is average. This breed likes being around people or other animals, but they don't mind being left alone for a few hours either.
Do Sapsali dogs bark a lot? Why does my Sapsaree bark?
High: The Sapsali is a very vocal breed. Definitely not the best choice if you prefer a quiet breed. They often enjoy barking and howling loudly. They can change their barks depending on their emotional level and what they're trying to say. Different barks could mean the same and same barks could have a different meaning. Top reasons for barking: protection, alarm, fear, boredom, attention seeking, greeting, separation anxiety, compulsive barking.
Watchdog Ability
Is Sapsali good as a watchdog?
Sapsalis are one of the best watchdogs. Their main job is to observe and they're very consistent in their effort. The best vocal cords and sense of hearing belong to them. Usually, they're very territorial and protective about their property, so the Sapsali dogs will alert you if they sense something different.
Do Sapsali dogs have an aggressive behavior to protect their territory?
Sapsalis strongly protect their territory. This breed is a complete security guard, so you don't have to be afraid in case of danger.
Biting Potential
Do Sapsali bite humans? How likely are you to get bitten from the Sapsal Gae? What are the odds of getting bitten by a Sapsali? Why do dog bites happen?
The Sapsali has a low chance of biting somebody. Top reasons for dog bite: protection, pain, excitement, herding instinct, being provoked. (Data based on the available online bite statistics.)
How much mouthing/nipping/play biting does the Sapsali do?
Sapsalis have an average tendency to nip, chew, play-bite, or herd people. It's a common habit during puppyhood, not aggressive behavior. These "bites" don't hurt, but Sapsalis need to be taught for a good attitude.
Impulse to Wander or Roam
How likely is the Sapsali to run away? Does this breed explore or wander a lot? Does Sapsali roam?
Wanderlust potential of the Sapsali is strong enough to escape from home. They have a strong desire for exploring the world. Safer to walk them on a leash unless you teach them how to get back to you on command.
Prey Drive
Do this canine have a strong prey drive? Does Sapsali have high prey drive?
Sapsalis have a higher impulse to chase and catch something than other dog breeds. Cats or any other small animals might be in danger. It's a natural instinct, doesn't necessarily mean that Sapsalis are aggressive. Better to keep this breed on a leash.
Apartment Friendly
Is Sapsali good as an apartment dog? Can they live in a flat?
Sapsalis are not apartment-friendly dogs. If you don't have a garden, you may have to reconsider your choice for having a puppy from this breed.
Are they adaptable and easy-going?
Sapsalis adapt well to lifestyle changes and different living environments. They don't mind moving from one place to another with their owner.
Tolerates Being Left Alone
Can you leave this breed home alone?
Just like every puppy, they are prone to panic, cry, bark, whine when they left alone by their owner. With proper socialization and quality time with the dog can solve this problem.
Fighting Dog
Where Sapsali dogs used as a fighting dog in the history?
Not really
In history, this breed was not really used for combat dog.

Good With

Stranger Friendly
Are they friendly with strangers?
Sapsalis are not the most stranger friendly dogs.
Child Friendly
Are Sapsali dogs kid-friendly? Are they good with young children? Sapsali and children:
Sapsalis are very kid-friendly dogs. This breed enjoys being surrounded by children.
Cat Friendly
How well do Sapsali dogs get along with cats? Are they good with kittens? What is this fido's temperament with cats?
Sapsalis are cat-friendly dogs.
Dog Friendly
Is Sapsali good with other dogs? Are they dog-friendly dogs? How well do Sapsali dogs get along with other dogs? What is this canine temperament with other dogs?
Sapsalis are dog-friendly dogs. If you want more dogs in your family or you'd like to join dog meetups, the Sapsali can be a great choice.
Office Friendly
Are Sapsalis good office dogs? Do Sapsalis make good office friendly dogs? Can Sapsalis be office dogs?
Sapsali is not the best dog breed for office environment.
Senior Citizens Friendly
Are they senior citizens friendly dogs? How well do Sapsali dogs get along with the elderly people? What is the Sapsal Gae temperament with senior people? Are Sapsali dogs good for elderly owners?
Sapsalis are one of the best breeds for elderly people.
Pet Friendly
Are they pet-friendly dogs? How well do Sapsali dogs get along with other pets? Are Sapsali dogs good with pets? What is this canine temperament with other pets?
Sapsalis are usually friendly towards other pets.
Good For First Time Owners
Is Sapsali breed good for first-time owners? Do they make a good dog for novice owners?
Sapsalis are not good for novice owners, due to their stubborn personality.
Service Dog
Are they good as service dogs? Can Sapsali be a service dog?
Not really
This breed generally not used as a service dog. A service dog is a term used in the USA to refer to any type of assistance dog specifically trained to help people who have disabilities, such as visual impairment, hearing impairments, mental disorders, seizures, mobility impairment, and diabetes. Service dogs are protected under the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act). Sapsali is not the best breed for service purposes.
Therapy Dog
Are they good as therapy dogs? Can Sapsali be a therapy dog?
Not really
This breed generally not used as a therapy dog. A therapy dog is a dog that might be trained to provide affection, comfort, and love to people in hospitals, retirement homes, nursing homes, schools, hospices, disaster areas, and to people with anxiety disorders or autism. Sapsali is not the best breed for therapeutic purposes.
Detection Dog or Sniffer Dog
Are they good as detection dogs? Can Sapsali be a sniffer dog?
Not really
A detection dog or sniffer dog is a dog that is trained to use its senses (mostly its smell) to detect substances such as explosives, illegal drugs, wildlife scat, currency, blood, and contraband electronics such as illicit mobile phones. Sapsali is not the best breed for detection purposes.
Search and Rescue Dog (SAR)
Are they good as SAR dogs? Can Sapsali be a search and rescue dog?
Not really
The use of dogs in search and rescue (SAR) is a valuable component in wilderness tracking, natural disasters, mass casualty events, and in locating missing people. The Sapsali is not the best breed for SAR purposes.
Boat Dog
Are they good as boat dogs? Can Sapsali be a boat dog?
Not really
Sapsali breed usually doesn't like being on a boat.
Cart Pulling or Drafting Dog
Are they good as cart pulling dogs? Can Sapsali be a drafting dog?
Not really
A drafting dog or draft dog is a dog bred and used for cart pulling. Dogs bred for this work have strong builds and qualities that are needed, strength and determination. Sapsali is not the best breed for drafting purposes.

Health Factors

Health Issues
Is it a healthy breed? Do Sapsali dogs have health problems?
Very healthy dog breed. The Sapsali rarely meets with the veterinarian.
Life Expectancy
How long do Sapsali dogs live? What is the average lifespan of this breed? How old can a Sapsali be?
11-13 years
Is the Sapsali breed hypoallergenic?
Sapsalis don't do well with allergy sufferers by causing allergic reaction. Some of the dog breeds are even considered to higher the possibility of an allergic response. Coat type isn't necessarily relevant, because most people are allergic to dander (flakes on the dog's skin) or saliva, not actually to dog hair.
Energy Level
How much energy does the Sapsali have?
Sapsalis have an average energy level, so if you live a semi-active life, this breed can be a good choice for you.
Exercise Need
How much exercise does this dog need? How much exercise do Sapsali dogs require per day?
Sapsalis have an average exercise need. This breed is satisfied with short walks every weekday and a long one on weekends.
Sleeping Need
How much sleep does this fido need?
Sapsalis sleep 12-14 hours a day as an average dog and they're not considered as a lazy breed.
Avg. daily food consumption
How much food does the Sapsali need? How often should I feed my canine? What dog products should I buy?
1.5 to 2.5 cups of high-quality dry food a day, divided into two meals.
Weight Gain Potential
How easy to gain weight for this dog? Sapsali risk for obesity:
Average. The Sapsali has an average risk for obesity. Daily walks should be on schedule. To make your dog happy and fit, feed him with quality dry dog food and live an active life together. Try to find the happy medium between exercise and feeding. If you notice any weight gain, consult your veterinarian and make a diet plan. Reduce unhealthy food and snacks, and measure the Sapsali's weight regularly.
Weather & Climate
Which weather condition is preferred by this dog? Can they tolerate hot and cold weather & climate?
Prefers average to cold weather conditions
The Sapsali can adapt to well to cold weather conditions, some dogs even can be a good mountain dog.
How stinky is this dog? Why does it smell bad and how to get rid of the smell?
The Sapsali has an average chance of bad smell. Top reasons for dog stinkiness: infection of bad tooth/ear/skin folds, gas attacks.
Drooling tendency
Does the Sapsali drool?
The Sapsali is an average drooler. Drooling is the unintentional saliva flowing outside of the mouth. It can be completely normal or a sign of a health problem. If you notice any change in your dog's drooling habit, you should contact a vet as soon as possible.


Gestation Length
How long does this dog's pregnancy last? How long is the Sapsali pregnant? How long does it take to have this dog puppies? Sapsali pregnancy time period:
60-64 days
Reproductive cycle of the female Sapsali: The first period called Proestrus lasts for about 9 days. During this time the females start to attract males. You can notice by swelling vulva and bloody discharge. The second part is the Estrus when the bitch is receptive for the male. It lasts for about 3 to 11 days. The sign of the proestrus part is the soft and enlarged vulva. The discharge decreases and lightens in color. The third part is the Diestrus. Normally, it occurs around day 14. In this period the bitch’s discharge changes for vivid red and coming to its end. The vulva returns to average, and she will no longer permit mating. The fourth part called the Anestrus. The time frame between heat periods normally lasts about six months.
How often can the Sapsali have a litter? Once a year.
More frequent breeding is not healthy. It is very important not to buy a dog from a puppy mill, where the needs of the pups and their mothers are ignored. It's an inhumane high-volume dog breeding facility, where puppies born several times a year.
Litter Size
How many puppies can the Sapsali have? What is the average litter size of this fido?
4-6 puppies

Pros & Cons of Sapsali

  • Intelligent Rank: Very smart: Sapsali is an excellent dog breed.
  • Trainability: Sapsalis are easy to train.
  • Health Issues: Very healthy dog breed.
  • Watchdog Ability: Sapsalis are one of the best watchdogs.
  • Adaptability: Sapsalis adapt well to lifestyle changes and different living environments.
  • Child Friendly: Sapsalis are very kid-friendly dogs.
  • Cat Friendly: Sapsalis are cat-friendly dogs.
  • Dog Friendly: Sapsalis are dog-friendly dogs.
  • Senior Citizens Friendly: Sapsalis are one of the best breeds for elderly people.
  • Hypoallergenic: Sapsalis don't do well with allergy sufferers by causing allergic reaction.
  • Apartment Friendly: Sapsalis are not apartment-friendly dogs.
  • Grooming: Advanced: The Sapsali requires a lot of grooming.
  • Shedding Level: Sapsalis are heavy shedders.
  • Impulse to Wander or Roam: Wanderlust potential of the Sapsali is strong enough to escape from home.
  • Office Friendly: Sapsali is not the best dog breed for office environment.
  • Good For First Time Owners: Sapsalis are not good for novice owners, due to their stubborn personality.

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  • Donna Connor

    Dec 21, 2019, 11:18:51 PM:

    I rescued a Sapsali from South Korea July 18,2019. He is a great dog. Was easy to house train, walk on a leash, come, stay. He is great with other dogs but is shy around people. It takes him awhile to warm up to people. So glad we appointed him.