Description Shikoku

Bright, Energetic, Alert
Dog owners bring a real rarity into their home with a Shikoku. Even in its country of origin, Japan, there are hardly any Spitz breeds anymore. This is interesting given that the breed shares the name with one of the islands of its native country. Originally, the Shikoku was a hunting dog. These days, the independent, alert animals often act as companion dogs.FCI Group: Spitz – Primitive type dogs

  • Size: medium
  • Weight: 16-25kg
  • Life expectancy: 16-25 years
  • Coat type: short hair
  • Colours: sesame (mixture of black, red and white hair), red, black

Character Shikoku

The dogs are available in three color variants: sesame (equal ratio of black, red and white hair), black-sesame (the black part of the coat predominates over the white) and red-sesame (red basic color with black hair mixed in).
The hard, straight top coat lies over the dense, soft undercoat. The fur gets a little longer towards the tail. All fur variants are robust and easy to care for.
Bitches of the breed grow to about 49 centimeters.

The males can reach about 52 cm. At this height, the Shikoku weighs 16 to 25 kilograms.
As with most Spitz subspecies, this breed’s small ears stand forward. The curled tail lies over the back. She is strong and fat.

The stature of the Shikoku, on the other hand, is slim and beautifully proportioned. As former hunting dogs , the breed has well-developed muscles. This should be used regularly with a lot of exercise. Dog liability insurance and dog health insurance are recommended for energetic and persistent animals. This way you are protected in case an unwanted hunting trip of your four-legged friend should go wrong.

Life expectancy is between 10 to 12 years. The purchase should therefore be well thought out, because the four-legged companion will be part of the family for a long time.
The Shikoku is loyal to its owner despite its characteristic stubbornness. That’s why it’s important after extensive sporting activities to plan rest times together to cuddle.
The breed is considered independent , loyal , and alert .

But he can also be stubborn and needs a lot of exercise to utilize his strong hunting instinct.
Obedience exercises, on the other hand, are not popular with most representatives of the Spitz species. You should think about that before you get such a four-legged roommate.
Sporty people with dog experience enjoy a Shikoku in particular. If you are looking for an unusual companion, this breed is for you.

When choosing a reputable breeder, make sure you get enough exercise. In this way you enable your playful bundle of energy to live a long, happy dog ​​life.

Diet Shikoku

Just like humans, dogs need healthy food in order to feel particularly well and to stay in good health.
Whether wet or dry food – it must be of high quality and contain all the necessary nutrients. You can also prepare the food for your Shikoku yourself. Here you should also make sure that it is balanced. The amount depends on age and activity.

From time to time you can treat your Shikoku to treats . This can be an important help during training. Don’t forget to subtract the treats from his daily meal.
Clean fresh water should always be available.


Due to its hunting roots, this type of dog needs a lot of exercise and wants to prove its stamina. It is best to focus on a time that you can spend with your four-legged friend. Shikoku are usually not particularly fond of their conspecifics. They are considered willful and therefore need an experienced hand. Therefore, training should begin early in puppyhood.

This is the only way for the animals to enjoy their canine life alongside a human.
Shikokus are loyal to their owners. Jogging or long hikes will do him good.
The agile Japanese can shed quite a bit of hair during the half-yearly moult . Especially during this time you should brush your Shikoku daily .

This shortens the transition phase – and avoids hair in the apartment.
During the rest of the year, the robust hair does not require any care. Brushing it once or twice a week is enough.
Bathing the dog frequently is not necessary. Regular brushing removes the coarsest dirt from the thick fur.

If your animal roommate does get dirty, use mild dog shampoo. It is best to get your puppy used to being washed beforehand. Otherwise, the stubborn animals can cause problems.
In addition to grooming, you should make sure that your Shikoku ‘s ears are clean. Clean them with a special product for dogs.

If needed, use claw pliers as well . Older dogs in particular can suffer injuries if their claws are too long.


With a Shikoku you bring one of the national dogs of Japan into your home. The breeding of this breed has a correspondingly long tradition. For example, evidence of these animals could already be found in ancient Japan. Among other things, ancient ceramic figures were found.
Despite this, this breed is less known and less common than other breeds from the Land of the Rising Sun.

They were largely replaced by Akitas or Shibas.
The Shikoku is a mixture of the now extinct Nippon and the Smooth Chow . In addition to the usual three colors, there are different varieties of the Japanese Spitz.
What is probably the purest form of breeding comes from inaccessible regions: the Hongawa Shikoku.
The medium-sized breed has now become very rare.

Nevertheless, there are many names for them in Japan. This shows the long tradition of breeding these animals. They are called Tosa-inu/ken , Mikawa Inu or Kochi-ken (‘Kochi dog’).
The last name comes from Kochi Prefecture. There shikoku were traditionally used for wild boar hunting .

The endurance and curiosity of the breed still point to its origins as a hunting dog.
The breed was finally recognized by the FCI in 1982.

Shikoku Accessories

In a breed originally bred to hunt, a strong urge to exercise is considered normal. Therefore, choose toys with which your dog can really work out. Offers such as Agility or tracking are also fun for the clever, active four-legged friends.
It is important with a Shikoku to only let him walk on a leash . Especially when you go jogging together, the hunting instinct could kick in.

With a tow leash, your dog has enough space to let off steam. But you always keep control. There is also a suitable collar .
Food and water bowls, dog mats or a basket, transport box, brush and tick tweezers should be part of the basic equipment.

7.5Expert Score
Breed characteristics

There are so many different dog breeds that it can be hard to choose the right one for your family. Each breed has its own unique set of characteristics that may make it a better fit for some families than others. Our expert review system can help you find the perfect dog breed for your home.

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