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Korean Yellow Spitz
Color yellow
Domestic dog (Canis lupus familiaris)
Revised RomanizationNureongi

The Nureongi or Korean Yellow Spitz or [1] is a landrace dog native to Korea. Like native Korean dogs such as the Korean Jindo, Korean Yellow spitzes are medium-sized spitz, but with greater musculature and distinctive coat patterns. They are generally uniform in appearance, with short yellow hair and melanistic masks, although some diverge. Korean Yellow Spitzes are most often used as a livestock dog, raised for their meat.[2]

Population estimate[edit]

In a 2009 study about dog meat consumption in South Korea, Anthony Podberscek of Cambridge University reported that, although other kinds of dogs are also farmed and eaten, the nureongi is the dog most commonly used in this way.[2][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.[4][5] The Korea Observer reported in 2015 that many different breeds of dog are eaten in South Korea, including pet breeds such as Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers and Cocker Spaniels, and that the dogs slaughtered for their meat often include former pets.[6]


Nureongi are often raised on crowded Korean dog meat farms of unclear legality, being kept on short chains or small cages with very little room to move. However, some are kept in the yards of houses, where they function as guard dogs until they are sold or slaughtered and eaten.[7][verification needed] In 2002, an estimated 765,000 or more dog farming facilities exist within South Korea. Despite often being housed within raised cages designed to allow drainage of excrement and waste, the housing is often filthy and frequently provides little protection from elements, causing the animals to die from heat exhaustion or to succumb to extreme cold.[3] They are transported by truck to market in cages which are often so crowded that the dogs can move very little; this sometimes results in injuries such as broken spines, strangulation, or death.[6][8]


Nureongi, is the transliteration of the Korean word "누렁이" meaning "yellow one" used colloquially somewhat as the American term "Yeller" as it is used as a name for any yellow animal in English.[9] A common Korean slang term is dong-gae (똥개), meaning "dung dogs" or "shit dogs," which refers to the common belief that the dogs have a habit of eating feces[10] or being fed human feces.[11]

English zoologist and ethologist Desmond Morris also noted the animal being referred to as the "Korean Edible Dog."[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Morris, Desmond (2008). Dogs: The Ultimate Dictionary of over 1,000 Dog Breeds (First Paperback ed.). North Pomfret, Vermont: Trafalgar Square Publishing. p. 585. ISBN 978 1 57076 410 3.
  2. ^ a b 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 Czajkowski, Claire (2014–2015). "Dog meat trade in South Korea: A report on the current state of the trade and efforts to eliminate it". Animal Law. 21: 33.
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ 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 vegetable 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. ^ a b Hyams, J. (January 15, 2015). "Former pets slaughtered for dog meat across Korea". The Korea Observer. Retrieved July 6, 2015.
  7. ^ Morris, Desmond (2008). Dogs: The Ultimate Dictionary of Over 1,000 Dog Breeds. Trafalgar Square. ISBN 1-57076-410-7.
  8. ^ Czajkowski p. 36
  9. ^ Lee, Brian "Dogs May Be Designated as Livestock" JoongAng Daily, April 12, 2008
  10. ^ Kim, Rakhyun E. (2008). "Dog Meat in Korea: A Socio-Legal Challenge" (PDF). Animal Law. 14 (2): 205. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-04.
  11. ^ Czajkowski p. 39