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.
Description 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.
Appearance 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.
Temperament 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 its 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)
History 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". Near extinction in the mid-1980s, the breed was revived using the eight remaining dogs.