Tibetan Kyi Apso vs Pungsan Dog - Breed Comparison

Tibetan Kyi Apso vs Pungsan Dog - Breed ComparisonTibetan Kyi Apso is originated from China but Pungsan Dog is originated from North Korea. Tibetan Kyi Apso may grow 11 cm / 5 inches higher than Pungsan Dog. Tibetan Kyi Apso may weigh 21 kg / 47 pounds more than Pungsan Dog. Both Tibetan Kyi Apso and Pungsan Dog has almost same life span. Both Tibetan Kyi Apso and Pungsan Dog has almost same litter size. Both Tibetan Kyi Apso and Pungsan Dog requires Moderate maintenance.


tibetan kyi apso - historyThe Tibetan Kyi Apso is an ancient rare breed. In fact, it is one of the rarest breeds on earth. Coming from Tibet, the Kyi Apso guarded livestock and homes for the nomads of the “rooftop of the world”. Apso means bearded and Kyi meand dog thus the Kyi Apso is a bearded dog.

This breed is very intelligent with a great personality and charm. In Western countries the breed is called Apso Do-Kyi or the Tibetan Collie. The first time these dogs are mentioned in any kind of documents was the late 19th and early 20th centuries in writings about Central Asian dogs. The Kyi Apso is related to the Tibetan Mastiff.

The breed is known to have been imported by Captain George Augustus Graham as a Tibetan wolf dog. The dog was also known to be owned by the 13th Dali Lama. There have not been many exported to Europe or North America, with the first coming to North America in the 1970’s.

There have been no registered litters since 2000 and the Tibetan Kyi Apso Club closed in 1999.

The Pungsan Dog hails from Korea.

pungsan dog - historyIt is a hunting dog and considered to be a National Treasure of Korea. It was during the Japanese occupation of Korea that the dog’s thick coat was sought after for use in fur coats for the Japanese military.

The population numbers plummeted dramatically, with the Korean War reducing the numbers even further. The North Korean government assisted with re-establishing them.

Today, the Pungsan isn’t recognized by the Federation Cynological International (FCI) and also remains unrecognized by any major kennel clubs.

Basic Information

Working dog
Working dog
North Korea
Height Male:
61 - 71 cm
24 - 28 inches
55 - 60 cm
21 - 24 inches
Height Female:
60 - 70 cm
23 - 28 inches
55 - 60 cm
21 - 24 inches
Weight Male:
40 - 45 kg
88 - 100 pounds
18 - 24 kg
39 - 53 pounds
Weight Female:
38 - 43 kg
83 - 95 pounds
18 - 24 kg
39 - 53 pounds
Life Span:
12 - 14 Years
12 - 15 Years
Litter Size:
4 - 6
2 - 4
Large dog
Large dog
Other Names:
Apso Do-Kyi Tibetan Collie
Phungsan, Poongsan
Colors Available:
Any coat color is permitted; Black and tan, golden, mahogany and chocolate are also found and are equally acceptable , and black and silver are the most common colors. Multi-colored coats (more than two colors) are also acceptable.In Tibet, black and gold,black with a white chest spot, white
long and full erect tail
Thick, short to medium length
Affectionate, Independent, Intelligent, Playful, Protective, Stubborn, Territorial
Affectionate, Alert, Cheerful, Courageous, Curious, Energetic, Friendly, Independent, Intelligent, Lively, Loving, Loyal, Outgoing, Playful, Protective, Responsive, Social, Stubborn, Territorial
Moderate maintenance
Moderate maintenance
Kids Friendly:
New Owners Friendly:



tibetan kyi apso puppy - descriptionThe Tibetan Kyi Apso is a large dog with a bearded face, full coat and curled tail. They have longer hair than the Mastiff and of course the shaggy, bearded muzzle. It is not as hefty as the Mastiff of course, and he is more athletic. Like many primitive dogs before them, the Kyi Apso comes into heat only one time a year, contributing to the rareness of the breed.

With their bearded face, the breed’s head appears bigger than it is. The ears are shaped as a V and skull is flat with the eyes on the outside of it. Their muzzle looks larger than it is due to the beard. Nose and lips are black, eyes are amber and almond shaped.

The coat is double, sheds odors and molts once a year. The coat can be black and tan, shades of red, blue-gray with white and solid black.

pungsan dog puppy - descriptionThe Pungsan dog is a large dog – a kind of spitz-type dog which stands between 55 and 60cm in height and weighs between 18-24 kg.

The dog has a thick whitish coat that even allows them to sleep in the snow. They have a muscular build with a deep chest. The legs are straight and strong, with the typical Spitz-type triangular head with the almond-shaped eyes and erect ears. The tail is high-set, curling over the back. After mating, within 60 – 70 days they can produce 2 to 4 puppies.


It it thought that the Pungsan’s intelligence is due to wolf DNA but there is a question mark over this. They are intelligent dogs though.

These dogs are always loyal and protective of their owners, forming strong bonds with them. They are strong-willed and independent and will require training and socialization if you want them to be obedient, well mannered dogs.

They’re intelligent so won’t have problems learning. When properly trained and socialized, they can be good playmates for children. He is also able to get along well with other animals in the house.

They’re aloof with strangers and have strong territorial instincts, but this just goes towards making them excellent watchdogs.


1Children friendliness - under the right circumstances never sneak up on them

2.Special talents - exceptional agility and fast starts

3.Adaptability – large dog not good for apartment life. Need large yard

4.Learning ability – intelligent and trainable but stubborn.

pungsan dog dog - characteristicsThe Pungsan is a wonderful dog if you’re looking for an affectionate, loyal pet.

These dogs thrive on having an owner that is energetic and a strong leader. It likes to become involved in all the activities the family is involved in, loving to join them on hikes and camping trips. Its a dog that is also protective and territorial and makes a good watchdog too.

With proper training and socialization he gets on well with children and other pets in the home, making him a welcome canine family member for any busy household.

Health Problems

Hip dysplasia: Can cause lameness and arthritis.

tibetan kyi apso puppies - health problemsBloat: Fatal unless treated immediately by a vet. Common to this size dog and can be controlled by eating habits.

Elbow dysplasia: Just like hip dysplasia can cause lameness and arthritis.

Other than these the Tibetan Kyi Apso is an ancient dog and very healthy as they were mostly isolated and did not interbreed. No genetic predetermined health problems.

pungsan dog puppies - health problemsThe Pungsan is a healthy breed prone to very few health issues, yet there will always be those common health issues that plague dogs like these. One of these is hip dysplasia, while others are obesity, bloat and cancer.

Hip dysplasia:

It can be very sad when your vet tells you that your dog has hip dysplasia. Fortunately with modern veterinary medicine, a dog can be kept happy with this ailment.

The hip joint doesn’t develop properly and painful wear and tear with arthritis makes it very difficult for the dog to be mobile. It’s a genetic condition but diet and environmental factors play a huge part too. Get your pet to the vet to ensure he is pain free.


Seizures in a dog can be caused usually because of trauma, tumor or infection. Seizures can start from as young as 6 months of age.Some seizures can last for a long time and are considered an emergency, requiring immediate veterinary help.Your veterinarian will want a complete history and perform a neurological exam.

Caring The Pet

tibetan kyi apso dogs - caring1Feeding the puppy – grow quickly don’t overfeed. High quality large breed puppy food and feed 4 small meals a day.

2.Feeding the adult – don’t over feed and don’t feed right before or after exercise due to the possibility of bloat. Feed high quality adult large breed dog food 2 x day in smaller meals.

3.Points for Good Health – ancient breed generally healthy

4. Games and Exercises - enjoys running, luer chasing,


pungsan dog dogs - caringWith his dense coat, this dog will require a brush twice a week to keep the fur free from matting and from loose hair. He is after all a fairly heavy shedder and will require this regular brushing to remove the dead hair and maintain the luster and sheen of the coat.


This is a strong, athletic dog and he is mentally sharp as well. He will require vigorous physical- and mental activity each day. He isn’t the kind of dog to lie around for long periods of time as this leads to frustration and destructive behavior and then the owner should be blamed.

Take him on walks or long hikes – he’ll love that – and play ball- and rope games with him. He will be quite game for swimming as well.


Your Pungsan dog can get to 14 years of age with good food. While you do get some excellent commercially manufactured dog foods, you want to be sure your pet gets some nutritious home-made food too.

Make sure that the kibble is the high quality ones with lots of vitamins and minerals. Add in some home-made food twice a week. Boiled chicken, brown rice or pasta and spinach, sweet potatoes and carrots are a healthy choice for your pet. Your dog will do well on plain, simple, nutritious, tasty food like this. Chop this food up and add it into the dry kibble a couple of times a week.

Some raw meat added in from time to time will help his skin and coat remain healthy. Never leave him without a constant source of fresh, cool water.

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