Shikoku Dog: Here you will find everything about one of the six Japanese native breeds.


Sensitivity to strangers
Affection for family
Suitable for first-time owners
Ease of grooming
Energy level

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The Shikoku Dog comes from Shikoku Island, Japan. It is also known as Kochi-ken, Mikawa Inu or Wolf Dog.

The Shikoku is a Japanese dog, whose Asian origins are recognizable at first glance if one takes into account the morphology of other Japanese dogs, such as the Akita Inu or the Shiba Inu.

A member of the Spitz dog category, it proves to be a very resistant animal to adverse weather conditions. Besides, we will hardly ever see it tired. To be honest, the problem is that we are unlikely to see a Shikoku Dog anywhere outside its country of origin, as it is not a very popular breed.

Shikoku: Origins

Originally, this breed was called “Kochi Ken“, which means Kochi dog. This name is a clear reference to the mountainous region where it was born.

There three types of Shikoku Dog:

  • Awa
  • Hata
  • Hongawa

But the modern dog we can admire today is mainly the result of the last two on the list.

The Awa did not survive World War II: No quality specimens were found for mating. On the other hand, Hongawa is the purest and most solid of the three varieties. It has been preserved because it comes from the most remote part of the region, a characteristic that, on the one hand, has isolated it and, on the other hand, has protected it. While dogs of this variety are light and elegant, Hata dogs are more robust and heavy. The Shikoku Dog is recognized by the AKC and the FCI and it was even designated as a national monument in 1937.

The Shikoku Dog arrived in Europe in 1997, thanks to the commitment and determination of a Dutch breeder. The first litters outside Japan were bred between 2000 and 2001. This breed appeared on the American continent a little later.

This is why there are not many Shikoku in the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada or the Netherlands. Their presence in these countries is mostly linked to participation in dog shows or to the world of dog show enthusiasts.

Shikoku: Puppies

Shikoku puppies are easy to be mistaken for other Japanese dog breeds that have very similar morphological appearance. However, there is nothing wrong with that, as they are very athletic, balanced, lively and beautiful dogs!

Our protagonist, the Shikoku Dog, is medium-sized. The average adult male is 20 inches (50 cm) tall at the withers and weighs about 35-44 lbs (16-20 kg). It is well proportioned and has excellent build compared to its Japanese peers. The Shikoku is muscular, especially in the back. Its gait is characterized by fairly long strides.

The sesame color of its coat is one of the most prominent characteristics of the breed. This color is a mixture of black, red and white hairs. The coat may be colored black sesame, brown sesame, or red sesame.

The Shikoku Dog has a thick double coat. The outer coat is stiff and straight, and the undercoat is soft and thick. The tail hair is slightly longer than the rest of the body. The tail curls upward towards the back and forms a small curl. When walking, this dog shows its tail elegantly. The curled tail is another characteristic of the Shikoku.

On the other hand, the muzzle is nothing special. It is proportionate to the body and has a broad, dark nose. The ears are small and triangular, and they are held straight and slightly inclined forward. The eyes are always dark brown, quite small and triangular.

Shikoku: Temperament

Docile and excellent hunter, the Shikoku is a good-natured dog, but above all very intelligent and alert. We must not forget that this dog is very energetic and we will almost never see it tired.

Although it is always independent, it does not hide its desire to belong to a group. This means that it takes its family into account. In fact, it is a clingy dog that wants to be part of family activities. It will follow you everywhere you go without being intrusive.

Adopters should not be lazy people, because the Shikoku Dog loves action, and it will gladly “take” you for a walk at least twice a day. This breed will be your loyal friend for life. Despite being very lively and having a high temperament, this dog is balanced. When living indoors, the Shikoku Dog is very clean and polite. In addition, it is not possessive of its space.

As a companion dog it has many advantages, and we certainly recommend it, but this does not mean that it is not a clever hunting animal. On the contrary, it has lively and active senses. It is passionate about hunting, especially when it comes to wild boar. These have been its target for centuries in mountainous regions that are difficult to cope with.

If we have to point out a defect of this dog, it is its shyness, considered by some people as excessive. Some specimens may present an exaggeratedly fearful attitude, which certainly does not make them good hunting dogs. They can even be shy around family, which makes them colder.

White Shikoku Dog

According to the standard, there is no pure white Shikoku Dog. In fact, there are three color combinations allowed: Brown sesame, red sesame, and black sesame. White color may be present in Shikoku on specific parts of the body, such as the belly area, legs, cheeks and forehead. Breeds such as the Akita Inu and Shiba Inu also have a light white shape on the chest, but for this dog it is not expected.

Shikoku: Breeders

There are only a few breeders of Shikoku Dog. There are also non-certified breeders, especially on the Internet. Before buying one, you should know that they are not an easy dog to train. Although they are intelligent, they have a strong temperament.

They always choose a single master and, if they want, they quickly learn even the most complex exercises, which they will remember perfectly. They love working. If you ask a Shikoku Dog for 100%, it will give you a 120%, but of course, it will always expect a positive reward.

Shikoku: Price, and Puppies for Sale

A Shikoku puppy can cost between 1000 and 1400 dollars, about 800-1100 English pounds. This is a similar price to other similar Japanese breeds. High prices are always linked to low availability of specimens. However, this should not be seen as a reason to consider breeders that are not certified or not serious.

It is essential that you buy a dog from a reliable breeder so that you can be sure that your puppy has been:

  • Bred for good health and temperament;
  • Well-selected (this means that its parents were chosen without genetic diseases);
  • Properly socialized, so that it is not too fearful or too aggressive;
  • Vaccinated and well-groomed.

In addition, if you adopt a puppy, the reliable breeder will provide you with a veterinary certificate which states that the animal has been dewormed and is completely healthy.

You can always ask for the pedigree, which is essential: it allows you to check the purity of the dog’s breed. An animal with a pedigree has certain characteristics of its breed that differentiate it from the rest.

Now that we have clarified all the most important aspects, you can go in search of your new 4-legged friend, who is surely waiting for you.

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