Here's the paraphrased question:
I would like to move to [Seoul] South Korea in the fall, and I would need to bring my dog with me, as I do not know anyone who can watch her for a year and I am not going to leave her with a stranger. She is a 50 pound mutt (I understand that larger dogs and mutts are not viewed as positively in Korea), though I think she could pass for some sort of imaginary pure breed based on her look. She lives with me in a small apartment now in a city and she is not a barker or high-strung. Is this just a horrible idea (in your opinion)? I have attempted to research this and received mixed feedback from others. Some of the feedback has been quite negative. Would I be setting me and my doggie up for disaster if we moved to Seoul, or are some people just over exaggerating? What could I reasonably expect? Will people be yelling at me multiple times every day when I am out with the dog, or is it not as common an occurrence (a few times a week)?
As you know, the Internet is THE place for people to vent and unleash whatever tirade they choose without having to own up or defend anything. That's why we love it, but you really shouldn't listen to what you read on anonymous forums. Most of the time, they'll be severely biased and, in the case of Korea, they'll almost be exclusively biased. Even in the case of big dogs, you're certain to find a handful of expats using a simple question like "Where can I buy a big dog?" as a chance to rail into Koreans for their preference for toy dogs, dog meat, xenophobia and a laundry list of other typical expat complaints. Rob has a good write-up about why expats in Korea complain so much. Make sure you check that out.
I would never be able to suggest that someone should separate from their dog. No way! That would be a horrible experience with both of you being miserable. Bring your dog. You'll be much happier as both of you would be adjusting together. However, you and your dog must be ready for a few changes.
Korea, and especially Seoul, is a tight, cramped place with high population density and overly crowded streets. If you're in a location with a lot of foot traffic, walking your dog is going to be an interesting experience. To truly understand public perception of dogs, we must first look at what Koreans view as pets. Koreans are not that pet-friendly to start with. Some of them have hamsters, fish or cats, but it is not a majority. Not even close. As for dogs, any non-toy dog is essentially not a pet. Rather, they are animals that live on the farm or in the country side. You will see a few here and there, but the idea is that big dogs are not cute or stuffed animal-like, so why have them? With apartments the size they are and easy access to outdoors areas limited, having a big dog in Seoul is overwhelmingly uncommon. I say that, but it doesn't mean you and your dog will be screamed at or chastised. Let me offer this story.
I have a puppy. He's a brown jindo-lab mutt that looks totally harmless and acts just as any other puppy would. He's curious, chases birds in the park, eats shoes and wants to play with everyone. When I take him out to go to the bathroom and am patiently waiting for him to squeeze out a few drops or drop a nice one, many people walk by -young women, old men, students, you name it and they pass by without so much as a glance. I have even had a few kids at the park run so fast when seeing my PUPPY that you would think a wolf was chasing them. Most of the time, the initial reaction is to fear it. That's right. My little three month old puppy strikes fear in the heart of some Koreans. But why? Well, since Koreans only have toy dogs, they only know how those breeds react to humans. A big dog is viewed just the same as a small unknown breed: with suspicion. Sure, a bigger one might scare them a little more, but it has more to do with unpredictability rather than size. Fear of the unknown, right?
When I walk my dog, most people look at him with interest, but they always keep a safe distance. Rarely will I have people walk up and pet him. This, however, is more of a blessing than you might think. If your dog was being pet by every person, she would start becoming more irritable on the walks, get less exercise and, of course, you would hate walking her because it would take much longer than usual.
I don't think you have decided on where in Seoul to live yet, but staying away from busy areas (Gangnam, Apgujeong, Jungno, Hongdae, Itaewon) might be a wise decision. Furthermore, heading to an area with easy-access to mountains, water or a park would enhance you and your dog's enjoyment while here. I'd be happy to recommend where some good, more natural locations are if you would like. Let me know.
To wrap it up, bring your dog. Both of you would be miserable without the other, so there's no reason to even consider that. Koreans might do a double-take and will even take a few steps out of the way to avoid crossing paths with you two, but there will be no screaming. Keep him on a leash and as long as he's not barking, destroying your apartment or biting the people he does happen to encounter, then you two will have a great time in Korea.
Here's a podcast on the subject.
If anybody has any questions, just send me an email at email@example.com or leave a comment.