FILE: Two Jindo dogs sit on the grass at Tanung Park in Seoul, Saturday, June 10, 2000.
Two Jindo puppies are in the doghouse with the Los Angeles Police Department. The South Korea-bred dogs have been rejected as possible additions to the LAPD K-9 unit, following months of training.
The Los Angeles Times reports that trainers determined the pair lacked the focus and consistency needed for police work.
Trainers say that while Jindos are smart and loyal, the overly independent mid-size dogs are easily distracted and not cut out for the work of crowd control, weapons detection and drug sniffing.
Sgt. Doug Roller, chief trainer for the LAPD, told the L.A. Times that they worked hard to teach the dogs to sniff out guns. "They pretty much mastered the task, but once they got out of the training environment, they got distracted in the real world.... A leaf would blow, and they'd go chase it."
The department will continue to rely on more traditional European breeds, such as German shepherds and Belgian Malinois.
The rejected Jindos — named Daehan and Mingook, which together translate as "Republic of Korea" — have been placed in private homes.
South Korean breeders had promoted the Jindos as the newest generation of K-9 dog. Roller and fellow trainer Jeff Miller had traveled on an all-expenses-paid trip to South Korea last fall to select dogs for training. Roller and Miller trained the dogs at the officers' homes.
The dogs are considered a South Korean national treasure; two pairs were offered for free to police departments in Los Angeles and Glendale. Glendale police decided, following the dogs failing to make the cut for the LAPD, to reject the free dogs.
Roller said that the breed could be used after a few more generations of specific selection to weed out unsuitable habits.
"Daehan just wanted to please me, while a good police dog does its work to stay on the hunt and stay focused to satisfy a drive, not to please its master," Roller told the Times.