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|Other names||Sapsal Gae
Ghost hunting clever Dog
|Country of origin||Korea|
|Dog (Canis lupus familiaris)|
The Sapsal is a shaggy Korean breed of dog. The word is followed in Korean by either gae (meaning "dog") or the suffix ee/i, but is most commonly romanized as "Sapsaree". Traditionally, these dogs were believed to dispel ghosts and evil spirits.
Sapsaree, just like the Korean Jindo dog, was designated as a National Treasure (No.368) in 1992 by the Korean Government. The Sapsaree has been identified and recognized by both leading Korean dog societies, the Korean Canine Club (FCI affiliate) and the Korean Kennel Club.
The Sapsaree has been called a "lion dog" for its bulky and strong upper body and its large and imposing paws. Sapsarees are medium-sized and slightly tall. Their adult coat is long and abundant, and comes in various colors, including solid and/or mixed shades of black, golden yellowish-blonde, reddish-orange, browns, and salt-and-pepper greys. Their hair falls over the eyes in the same manner as that of the Old English Sheepdog.
The Sapsaree's friendly outer appearance is matched by its innate patience and congeniality towards other animals and human beings. They are known to be playful in a group setting and have long been acknowledged and valued for their loyalty.
Height and weight
Male: 50–58 cm (20–23 in) / 18–28 kg (40-62 lbs)
Female: 48–55 cm (19–22 in) / 16–25 kg (35-55 lbs)
The breed was very popular among aristocrats of Silla and may have been used as military dogs. After the collapse of Unified Silla, the Sapsaree breed became popular throughout the Korean peninsula, appearing in classic Chosun era literary works such as "Chunhyangjeon" and "Yeolha Ilgi". They were slaughtered in large numbers by the Japanese when Korea was under Japanese rule to make winter coats for its military in Manchuria. Near extinction in the mid-1980s, the breed was revived using the eight remaining dogs.
- "Sapsaree Dispeller of Evil Spirits". Worldly Dogs, 2008. Retrieved 30 September 2012.
- "Man Saves Rare Sasparee Dog Breed From Extinction". Global Animal. September 27, 2011.
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