This is the interview with Lauren Ho, who adopted Yanghee the Jindo, a year ago.
1. How did you find Free Korean Dogs?
We had a wonderful experience with Free Korean Dogs (FKD). We had been looking to adopt for about 3 months prior before coming across Korean rescues on Petfinder. EK has a huge heart and we appreciated all of her advice and assistance to ensure Yanghee had a smooth transition into our home. She took the time to get to know us before pairing us with her to ensure we were the correct fit.
2. What made you choose your pup?
We are open to a variety of breeds, genders, colours, and even ages. All we knew is that we wanted to provide a loving furever home for a rescue pup! When we came across Yanghee’s profile something about her captured our hearts. Although upon first meet, Yanghee was much more interested in chewing on a branch but we knew we’d win her over.
3. What was the application process like for you?
The application form was quite lengthly and after filling out quite a few of those during our search it become quite daunting. We liked that FKD’s application form was specific and easy to fill out. Communication in the process was good and EK was able to set up a meet and greet with us quite quickly! We appreciated EK’s honesty and assertiveness with regards to each dog’s needs. You can tell she takes the time to ensure that she’s pairing adopters with the right pup! So, if one dog isn’t quite for you, don’t be discouraged! You’ll find the right one.
4. Tell me about the day you got your dog, how did you feel?
Once we were ready to bring Yanghee home things happened really quickly! We were nervous, and a touch overwhelmed as first-time dog owners but Yanghee is the most gentle and calm pup! I have to say she made it really easy for us! EK was also super helpful in preparing us and providing us with the correct information and tools. We took every step one at a time and prioritized her needs. Once we registered her in training at When Hounds Fly, we gained a lot more confidence in ourselves as dog owners. We exercised the right precautions when meeting other dogs while we got to know Yanghee’s personality.
5. How was the first week?
Yanghee adjusted very well. We must have watched a million YouTube videos on dog training. She was a bit skittish at first but made herself quite comfortable in our home. Her walking on leash skills were atrocious. Pulling at every bird and squirrel! We made sure to follow the training advice EK provided – communication, consistency and lots of exercise! Even if times were tough we walked her and fed her at the same time everyday, took the same routes and used the same vocabulary. Something else that we learned in our first week is to let them come to you. As much as you want to cuddle, kiss them and show them affection you need to build their trust first.
6. What are some of the difficulties your pup has/had?
Yanghee’s prey drive is quite strong. She pulls and jumps at the sight of cats, squirrels and birds. We’ve had some close calls where she’s nearly caught her prey. Her instincts are incredible! If we see the prey first, repeating no to her before she sees it is very helpful. But once she’s in the zone it is difficult to break her attention from the animal. This made wearing a waist leash for the first several months. Her recall is not great. We have only tested this in official fenced in parks and wouldn’t dare in a non-fenced area as we know she could be gone in a second. You may think your Jindo’s recall is superb, but we agree with EK that it isn’t worth testing! Yanghee has also had some digestive issues and some hunger strikes. We have adapted to her grazing and now buy her the Royal Canin GI Low Fat kibble, which has been the most successful!
7. How long did it take your pup to adjust to life in Canada/US?
It didn’t take Yanghee long to adjust. Her playful spirit and friendly demeanour made her plenty of friends! We have been part of a regular dog walking group every weekend morning and she loves her dog fam! She hasn’t been affected by weather and is down for her walks no matter what it is looking like outside.
She has been known as the “butt dog” in the neighbourhood. She likes to do a fun swipe motion with her butt in another dog’s face and follow through with a rollover onto her back. It is very cute and hilarious!
9. Did you rename your dog? What is the story behind the new name?
No, we have kept her Korean name. We had thought of a few potential names for whichever dog we ended up adopting but Yanghee suited her and we felt that it was important to keep her national identity! It may be confused with “Yankee” or difficult for some to pronounce but we don’t care and she will always be our little Yanghers!
10. If you could do it all over again, would you?
Absolutely. We still creep the dogs for adoption on the website from time to time! However, we think we have our hands full with Yanghee .. for now at least!
Interview by Tatiana Thompson