The Shikoku (Japanese:四国犬) is a breed of dog, whose origins can be traced to China, from where they were imported into Japan. Dogs of this breed originated from an island Shikoku, where they were used to hunt wild boars and deers in the mountains of Kochi Prefecture. Some world Kennel associations do not recognize Shikoku-ken as a separate breed. It was declared a national treasure of Japan. It is a very rare dog and puppies for sale are really hard to find outside its homeland Japan.
The Shikoku has a muscular body covered with short, dense fur. Coloration occurs in different colors - the most common are red or black. Height of representatives varies from 46 to 52 cm and their weight – from 16 to 26 kg. Head is proportionate to a body and has rounded cheekbones and a strong elongated snout. Eyes are dark in color and ears are erect. Neck is thick, and tail is carried curled over the back.
Character and behavior
The Shikoku is very intelligent and affectionate dog, strongly attached to its owner and family. It is agile, energetic, playful and funny. It can stay calm at home, but will become crazy when outside. Small animals are in danger when a Shikoku is around.
Training and education
Like all Japanese breeds, the Shikoku also possesses an endurance and strength. This is an independent and smart dog. Moreover, the largest specimens have been raised by samurai in the province of Kochi to participate in dog fights, very popular in these parts.
The Shikoku should be trained from an early age. You should be confident, firm and consistent. Showing to puppy that you are the boss is a key moment, because it can be stubborn and disobedient.
Their life expectancy is about 12 years. These dogs are quite popular with their good health. There are no documents of registered hereditary diseases or any kind of genetic problems. Of course, as all small dogs, this one is also prone to ear and eye infections, skin issues and some joint problems.
Grooming and care
They will feel OK if grown in an apartment, but must be regularly taken on long walks to maintain their good physical and mental shape.
Don't let your pet off the leash in public spaces or in a field. These dogs are hunters by nature and will chase any small animal. This can often lead to accidents and your puppy can even get hit by a car.The Shikoku is athletic and resilient and will show amazing skills in obedience and agility championships
Do not bathe your dog more than one per month, because this may damage its coat and skin. These animals don't have a typical dog smell and therefore are suitable for people who suffer from allergies.
Children and other pets
The Shikoku gets along very well with children, but this could not be said for other dogs of the same sex. It is reserved with strangers. When still young, a representatives of the breed likes to bark, but over years they become calm and quiet.
The breed is not recognized by the American Kennel Club, but is accepted by the Japan Kennel Club (JKC-organization is recognized by the AKC as an official foreign registry). The Shikoku is in the Canadian Kennel Club in a mixed class and is expected to be recognized by the United Kennel Club. The breed was accepted by the FCI.
In 1937, the Japanese Royal Court recognized the breed as a living natural monument of Japan.