The Shikoku Inu is one Japan's native breeds and is intermediate in size between the larger Akita Inu and the small Shiba Inu. The Shikoku Inu originated in the mountain ranges of the Kochi Prefecture on the Island of Shikoku, Japan. This island is very mountainous and not easily accessible. Like the Kai Ken dog, the Shikoku Inu was highly valued by the Matagi (Japanese hunters). They used this breed to hunt game such as boar and deer. Due to the remote nature of the Shikoku Island region, crossbreeding was very restricted. Therefore, Shikoku Inus are some of the purest of dog breeds.
Growth and appearance
The Shikoku Inu stands 17-21 inches high and weighs around 30-50lbs. Like many Japanese dogs, the Shikoku Inu has a double coat consisting of a course outer coat and a soft undercoat. The Shikoku Inu has a very unique appearance and looks very similar to the Alaskan Husky but differs slightly in its size and color. The Shikoku Inu’s coat ranges in color from sesame, black and tan, or cream. There is usually a mixture of white fur found around the underside of the Shikoku’s belly, near the eyes, snout and legs. They have a square body, wedge shaped head, prick ears and a feathered curled tail. The average lifespan of the Shikoku Inu is around 12 – 15 years.
Dog Care and Grooming
Because the Shikoku dog is a double-coated breed they need to be brushed and combed regularly. Like many Japanese breeds, the Shikoku is odorless and very clean. In the spring the Shikoku Inu will go through a period of heavy shedding where the under coat will fall out in large clumps. Many refer to this shedding as “blowing the coat.” The shedding is easily taken care of with a good shedding tool and brush. The Shikoku Inu requires daily exercise and a premium diet.
The Shikoku Inu is very intelligent, agile, alert, brave and very loyal. They are generally reserved around strangers; because of this they can make good watchdogs. The Shikoku Inu requires proper socialization as a puppy hood and obedience training. They are the ideal companions for active outdoorsy people as they are very energetic. They are very active outside but they are calm and well behaved indoors. The Shikoku Inu is a fast learner and not as stubborn as some of the other native Japanese breeds.