Shikoku is a medium-sized spitz breed native to the Kochi mountain ranges on Japan’s Shikoku island. The Kochi-Ken is another name for this breed. The Shikoku was a loyal friend who was used to hunt wild boar. Even in its home world, the Shikoku is uncommon, but even more so in North America.
The Shikoku is a primitive breed, which means the dogs have more wild traits than most domesticated animals that have become more used to living with humans over time.
Shikoku was founded in the Japanese island of Shikoku’s mountainous regions. Three varieties emerged on various parts of the island, despite being loosely bred. Awa, Hongawa, and Hata were the names given to the breed varieties based on where they were bred. Due to the difficulties of reaching the Hongawa area, it is said that the Hongawa variety was deemed the most pure and attractive.
Today, the Shikoku is a single breed with no varieties. Japan designated the breed a natural monument in 1937. The American Kennel Club (AKC) does not recognize them, but the breed is part of the AKC’s Foundation Stock Service, which is a turning stone to complete registration. The breed is however, recognized by the Canadian Kennel Club and the United Kennel Club in North America. The Japan Kennel Club (JKC) and the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) all accept the breed internationally.
The Shikoku has the traditional double coat of a spitz-type breed. With a smoother, dense undercoat, the topcoat is straight and rough to the touch. The top coat has some feathering on the back of the legs and is longer on the chest and neck. This breed’s main colors are black or red, with differences in sesame and brown. These breeds have blue eyes and purple noses.
The Shikoku’s short double coat is washable and doesn’t need to be trimmed. The undercoat is smooth and thick, and the outercoat is coarse, offering warmth in the winter. The Shikoku blows coats every year in the spring, a metaphor for the seasonal shedding of the undercoat. The Shikoku sheds a lot during this period. Brushing and combing with a deshedding technique on a daily basis will help speed up the process.
- Weight: 17 to 27 kg
- Coat length: Harsh, double coat
- Amount of shedding: Medium
- Color: Sesame, red sesame and black sesame
- Pattern: None
Shikoku is an intellectual breed that forms strong ties with its kin. Since he may be aloof with strangers and wary of new pets, socialization is important. When they are raised together and the children treat the dog with dignity, these dogs get along swimmingly with children.
Despite its appearance as a bigger version of the Shiba Inu, the Shikoku is calmer, less stubborn, more compliant, and more submissive to its owner than the Shiba. Keep in mind that the Shikoku, as a hunting breed, has a strong prey drive and should be kept away from dogs. To avoid boredom and the development of problem habits, this breed needs a lot of human contact and mental stimulation.
- Lifespan: 13 to 15 years
- Active: Medium
- Intelligence: High
- Vocalize: Low
Responsible breeders aim to uphold the highest breed quality set out by kennel clubs such as the American Kennel Club (AKC). Hereditary disorders are less likely to occur in dogs bred to these requirements. However, the breed is prone to certain genetic health issues. The below are few things to keep in mind:
- Hip dysplasia: A disorder in which the hip socket of a dog develops abnormally, causing inflammation and joint complications.
- Patellar Luxation: The dislocation of the dog’s kneecap
- Elbow dysphasia: the complex elbow joint suffers from a disorder, often related to its cartilage
- Epilepsy: Seizures or periods of unusual behavior, sensations, and sometimes loss of awareness
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