Dogs in South Korea: not just for dinner

It is true that Koreans eat dog, but there are also some Koreans who keep dogs as pets. I saw this old man yesterday near the Busan Museum of Art. Despite the look on his face, he was quite pleased when I asked politely in Korean if I could take his photograph. As of right now, that is the only Korean I know besides the words for yes and thank you: May I take your photograph?

It sounds something like, "Tang-shin, sah-jhin, tchi-godoo, tae-ka-yo."


This is by far the largest dog I have seen in South Korea. I imagine dogs, like any other meat sold by Korean butchers, are sold by the kilogram, with perhaps some fluctuation by breed, so it's not beyond reason to think that those dogs with more meat are less likely to be kept as pets.

This particular dog belongs to the owner of the shop in the background.


Fortunately, not all dogs sold in South Korea are sold at the butcher. These two Shih Tzu puppies, if I remember correctly, were each priced at 250,000 Korean won, approximately $230 USD.


In the United States you could easily pay four times that amount for Shih Tzu puppies, and most likely you would pay at least double. I got lucky and found my Shih Tzu for free at the San Francisco SPCA (Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals). Here is my little guy, Dragon.