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Nureongi (누렁이)
Country of origin Korea
Color yellow
Dog (Canis lupus familiaris)
Hangul 누렁이, 황구
Hanja 黃狗
Revised Romanization Nureongi
McCune–Reischauer Nurŏngi

The Nureongi (also spelled Noo-rung-yee), also known as the Korean edible dog, is a yellowish landrace breed native to Korea. Like native Korean dog breeds such as the Jindo, nureongi are medium-sized spitz-type dogs, but are larger, with greater musculature and a distinctive coat pattern. They are quite uniform in appearance, yellow hair and melanistic masks. Nureongi are most often used as a livestock dog, raised for their meat, and not commonly kept as pets.[1][2]

Population estimate[edit]

In a 2009 study about dog meat consumption in South Korea, Anthony Podberscek of Cambridge University's Department of Veterinary Medicine reported that, although other kinds of dogs are also farmed and eaten, the nureongi is the dog most commonly used in this way. In a 1999 paper, Ann Yong-Geun of Cheung Chong University in South Korea, asserts the existence of a "unique" Korean "edible" dog "specifically bred and raised as food" distinct from pet dogs which Koreans keep and love and treat as family members.[3] In 1998, there were a total of 2,246,357 dogs in Korea but only 882,482 households with pet dogs. As most Korean pet owners do not have more than one dog, the "unique" Korean livestock dog must have outnumbered all other kinds of dogs that lived in Korea in that year.[3][4]


Nuregonis are generally raised on short chains or small cages with very little room to move on frequently crowded Korean dog meat farms of unclear legality, although some are kept in the yards of houses, where they function as guard dogs until they are sold or slaughtered and eaten.[1] They are transported by truck to market packed into cages so crowded that they can move very little if at all.[5] At the markets, they live in often very crowded cages in markets, where they are sometimes sold first and then butchered.[6]


This animal has no specific name in the Korean language. Koreans generally consider them to be mere "mutts," "mongrels," or "curs", not a unique native Korean breed or type of dog worthy of a name.

The most common English word for this dog among modern experts, Nureongi, is a loanword of the Korean word "누렁이" meaning "yellow one" which may refer not just to this dog but to any yellow animal, somewhat as the word "Yeller" has been used as a name for any yellow animal in English.[7]

Another Korean term, "Hwanggu", (황구; 黃狗) is a Sino-Korean compound meaning literally "yellow cur (dog)" and could refer to any such dog.

A common Korean slang term is ddong-gae (똥개), meaning "dung dogs" or "shit dogs," which refers to the common belief that the dogs have a habit of eating feces.[8][9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Morris, Desmond (2008). Dogs: The Ultimate Dictionary of Over 1,000 Dog Breeds. Trafalgar Square. ISBN 1-57076-410-7. 
  2. ^ Podberscek, A.L. (2009). "Good to pet and eat: The keeping and consuming of dogs and cats in South Korea" (PDF). Journal of Social Issues 65 (3): 615–632. doi:10.1111/j.1540-4560.2009.01616.x. 
  3. ^ a b Yong-Geun, Ann (1999). "Dog meat foods in Korea. (Only abstract is in English - see first paragraph of 4th Section "Result", line 68.)". Korean Journal of Food Nutrition. pp. 397–408. 
  4. ^ Ann, Yong-Geun. "Dog Meat Foods in Korea". Korean Medical Database. Retrieved 16 May 2013. In the year of 1998, the heads of dog raised in Korea were 1,846,411, and the number of the households raising dogs is 819,112 which means that the heads of pet dog and edible dos were 819,112 and 1,027,299, respectively, because each house raised about one pet dog and one edible dog breeder raised hundreds of dog. In 1998, the number of exported dogs came to 28 heads, and that of imported dogs was 296 heads. But edible dog that was slaughtered or processed has not been reported to be exported or imported. It is known that at the Shenyang Xingshan Food Ltd in Shenyang, Chinese, 300,000 heads of dogs were raised, slaughtered and processed of dog meat per year, and 20% of them were exported. In Korea, the cook of dog meat is a special food culture with a long history. During the Chosun dynasty, dog meat had been eaten to be cooked diversely such as Gaejangkuk(a soup), Suyuk(a boiled meat), Sundae(a sausage), Kui(a roasted meat), Gaezim(a steamed meat), Nurumi(a meat roasted or fried, to which lot of spice paste are added), Gaesoju(an extract), Musulju(a wine), Musuldang(a sweet cane), Now, it is cooked as Bosintang(a soup), Suyuk(a boiled meat), Jeongol(boiled meat mixed with spices, vegetables and water on the pot), Duruchigi(boiled meat added spice vegatable and slightly roasted), Muchim(boiled meat added by spice and mixed), Gaesoju(an extract), with the number of recipes lessened, compared with those of the old times. The reason is due to the intervention and criticism from foreign countries. But foreigner´s blame for the dog meat is absurd and excessive action, because Korea raises exceptional dogs which are edible. 
  6. ^ Podberscek 2009 pp. 615–632
  7. ^ Lee, Brian "Dogs May Be Designated as Livestock" JoongAng Daily, April 12, 2008
  8. ^ Kim, Rakhyun E. (2008). "Dog Meat in Korea: A Socio-Legal Challenge" (PDF). Animal Law 14 (2): 205. 
  9. ^ "똥개" [ddong-gae]. Naver Korean dictionary. 1. Poop eating mutts 2. Dogs eating and surviving on shit