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Other names Sapsal Gae
Nicknames Exorcising Dog
Ghost hunting clever Dog
Country of origin Korea

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.





Sapsarees are medium sized and slightly longer than 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. Although Sapsaree resemble herding dogs, they appear to have been bred exclusively as house dogs; their 'work' is spiritual rather than physical.

The Sapsaree has been identified and recognized by both leading Korean dog societies, the Korean Canine Club (FCI affiliate) and the Korean Kennel Club, but the only Korean dog that has official international recognition is the Jindo.


In Korea, they are famous for their gentle, protective, and loyal characters. They are friendly and playful with people they are familiar with, but aggressive if another dog enters its homestead. Not being natural fighters, they are usually peaceful. However, when attacked, they are almost merciless, and they will not stop chasing their aggressor unless commanded to do so by their owners or until their stamina runs out.

Such characteristics may have contributed to their name. The name Sapsaree can be divided into two parts: sap, meaning to chase away, and saree, meaning evil spirits; i is a part of the Korean language to attach behind a name.

There were a breeding pair that came to America as therapy dogs but it did not turn out and the puppies were given to OHS. There are 13 in the US; one had to be put down because it bit a child.


  • National Dog, Volume 7 Number 5, May 2004

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