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History The Shikoku is a native, primitive Japanese breed that originated in Shikoku Island. This breed is similar to the Shiba Inu and Akita Inu. The Shikoku also goes by the names Kochi-ken and Mikawa Inu. This breed is rare, even in Japan. In 1937, the Shikoku was hailed as one of the national treasures of Japan. Shikokus were bred for hunting wild boar and deer in the mountainous region of Shikoku Island. Shikokus are among the purest dog breeds because of the isolated nature of the region where they came from, where crossbreeding was greatly restricted.
This breed isn't recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC), but it has been granted recognition by the Japanese Kennel Club, which is an organization recognized by the AKC as being an official foreign registry.
Appearance Shikokus resemble arctic breeds. These dogs have a square muzzle and wedge-shaped head that resembles that of the Shiba Inu. The small eyes of Shikokus are slanted and are dark brown in colour. Their triangular ears stand straight up. Like Akita Inus, Shikokus have teeth that meet in a scissors bite. The strength of these dogs has gained them a broad chest and a thick neck. The legs of these dogs are short and muscular, and their feet are small and rounded. The back thighs of Shikokus are very muscular. Their tail curls up onto their back, and they have a very thick coat with two layers.
Colours The acceptable coat colours for this breed include black, red, red-sesame, or black-sesame. Some parts of their coat may be white, particularly their snout, legs, underside of the body, and the area near their eyes.
Temperament These dogs are brave and cautious, and they have good judgment. Shikokus are devoted to their master, and they make great working dogs. They are tough and agile, and they are capable of running through a mountainous region. Active outdoor people will find these dogs to be very good companions. These dogs are very active and energetic when outdoors, but they are quiet and calm when indoors, making them excellent family companions as well. Shikokus are intelligent and are quick to learn, and they are less stubborn than other native Japanese dogs.
Weight Shikokus stand 7 to 21 inches tall and weigh between 35 and 50 pounds.
Problems There are no health problems that are specific to this breed. The illnesses affecting Shikokus are those common to other breeds as well.
Living Conditions These dogs love human companionship, and they won't be happy if they're away from their family members for a long period of time. They can be kept indoors, but their owners must make sure that they get enough time outside to do some physical activities. It's important that these dogs have a fenced yard, because they have strong hunting instincts and may tend to roam.
Requirements It's important for these dogs to get sufficient exercise. They should be taken out for a long, daily walk or jog.
Training Requirements Although Shikokus are not as stubborn or as independent as other native Japanese breeds, these dogs are still not recommended for everyone. They need owners who know how to be consistent, confident, and firm pack leaders. The intelligence of these dogs makes them quick to learn, and with proper training, they can do very well in obedience trials.
Life Expectancy These dogs live for approximately 10 to 12 years when properly taken care of.
Grooming Shikokus are quite difficult to groom. It's very important that the coat of these dogs be brushed often, especially on those times when they are "blowing" their coat. They should also be bathed, but only once every several months so that their skin won't get dry.
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More Shikoku Information: Check out our Shikoku Clubs and links to more informative websites dedicated to the breed.
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