The Shikoku – what are the breed’s origins?
The Shikoku dog is native to Japan. It’s one of the several popular spitz breeds of this part of the world. Dogs of this breed are considered medium-sized animals.
The Shikoku dog breed descends from an animal living in the ancient Japan. It probably came there from the Asian continent. The breed was started in mountainous regions, in the Kochi prefecture on the Shikoku island. Dogs living there were the only ones, and their isolation helped with the creation of an unmixed breed. They were used mostly for wildlife hunting. Two bloodlines – eastern and western – were distinguished, with five additional sublines within each.
The Shikoku started being appreciated and protected at the beginning of the 20th century. That’s when proper breeding has begun. Dogs from the original regions were placed in kennels. Hogawa and Hata were the most important lines back then.
The breed was named after the island of its origin in 1973. In Japan, it’s still considered an incredibly rare dog, mostly because of its low population.
What does the Shikoku look like?
The Shikoku is a medium-sized dog. Males grow up to 52 cm (1.7 ft) at withers. Females are slightly smaller, measuring about 46 cm (1.5 ft). Males of this breed weigh from 19 to 26 kg (41.9-57.3 lb), and females – from 16 to 19 kg (35.3-41.8 lb). The breed has short, two-layer fur – the external coat is quite straight and stiff, and the underfur is thick and soft.
The Shikoku – temperament
The Shikoku are fascinating dogs, not only because of their appearance, but also character. In many aspects, they might resemble other popular Japanese dog breeds such as Akita and Shiba Inu.
Shikoku dogs have loads of energy. They are also very curious about their surroundings. Thanks to their high intelligence, they have no issues with learning new behaviors. They are quite affectionate and communicative towards the people they spend time with. A well-trained Shikoku is a perfect companion, also for children.
The Shikoku – a dog for everyone?
The Shikoku dog, just like other spitz breeds (e.g., the Finnish spitz, requires an experienced caregiver. It’s a perfect companion for the youngest family members. The dog might be wary of strangers and distance itself from them. This dog breed needs a lot of attention. It’s important to set enough time every day for playing and walks, but also training.
Do Shikoku dogs need special training?
Those who decide on a Shikoku should remember that these dogs were bred mostly for hunting. Their independence and bravery shouldn’t be surprising. Currently, kept as household pets, Shikoku dogs can be stubborn and individualistic. The dog has to be socialized from its earliest days.
Do Shikoku dogs need a special diet?
The Shikoku doesn’t need any special kind of feeding. The dog can be fed with both dry and wet food. Make sure the portions are adequate – the meals should be more frequent for puppies, and reduced as the dog grows.
The type of food should also be adjusted to the dog’s age. Shikoku puppies require a type of mix with a lot of nutrients for their proper development, while senior dogs need something completely different.
The Shikoku dog – grooming
The Shikoku is not a type of dog that needs special grooming. Just make sure to brush its fur from time to time to remove dead hair. It should be repeated more frequently during the shedding season.
Avoid frequent baths. Too many baths might dry the dog’s skin, which is not ideal for its health. It doesn’t mean, though that the dog cannot be bathed at all. We recommend doing it when the dog is very dirty.
What are the typical diseases a Shikoku dog might suffer from?
The Shikoku inu is a strong Japanese dog that is immune to most diseases. Thanks to this, they aren’t vulnerable to any particular diseases. It doesn’t mean, though, that one doesn’t have to monitor their health. Regular vet checkups are recommended.
A well-adjusted and balanced diet is also very important. Too many calories might cause obesity.
The Shikoku dog – lifespan
The Shikoku inu is a breed of a medium lifespan. These dogs live about 12 years on average. But note it’s not a rule and not every dog will reach this particular age. Many factors affect the dog’s lifespan – mainly its living conditions and provided care.
The Shikoku – puppies and prices
The Shikoku is a very rare dog. It’s bred mainly in Japan, and there are only about over a dozen registered dogs in the United States. Similarly, there are few Shikoku breeders in Europe. If you decide to buy a dog of this breed, be prepared to spend a lot of money. A purebred dog may even cost $3,000.
📍 What does a Shikoku dog look like?
The Shikoku is a dog of a wedge-shaped muzzle. It has small, triangular, wide set eyes. Its ears are triangular, pointy, and relatively small. The tail is thick and located high, kept on the back.
📍 How long does the Shikoku dog live?
The Shikoku inu is not a long-living dog. Depending on the conditions it lives in, the feeding method and the past diseases, it lives from 10 to 12 years on average. Of course, it's not a rule. Some Shikoku dogs live shorter or longer.
📍 How much does a Shikoku dog live?
The Japanese Shikoku dog is not very popular outside Japan. It might be difficult to get because of the lack of available breeders. The average price of Shikoku puppies is about $3,000.