Shikoku Dog - A Dog Which Is Tough As Nail

Shikoku dog is breed from Shikoku Island, Japan. In its native place the dog is referred to as living "natural monument".  This breed shares the same bloodline to Akita and Shiba Inu. The dog has a great aptitude for challenging task which makes it a perfect partner for campaigning and hiking. Being a hunting dog, it should not be left free when taking it on a walk. It has tremendous amount of energy and needs to get exhausted through work and exercise on daily basis. It is not suitable for novice dog owners because of their alpha personality and stubborn mindset. Only a firm leader who is aware about dog’s needs and characteristics and knows how to handle alpha dogs should tame this dog. These dogs require training from their childhood phase to be a wonderful and obedient companion to humans. Because of the strong prey drive, small animals like hamster, cat should not be introduced to dogs. The dog has a typical spits type appearance- thick coat, balanced body and erected ears. It is also called as Japanese wolf dog.


Shikoku is one of the purebred and native breed of dog. The dog hails from “Shikoku Mountains” which is an isolated region.  Because of the remote nature of the Island, the dog remains to be pure and was strictly prohibited for crossbreeding. In its native place, it is also known by name “Kochi-ken” which means dog (ken) in Japanese. It is declared as national treasure of Japan. Smaller Shiba and larger Akita Inu are considered are cousins of this breed. The primary job of the breed was to hunt deer and wild boar. This breed is rare outside japan but famous in its country.


Shikoku Dog Facts & Characteristics

  1. The breed belongs to Japan and is a hunt dog
  2. Smaller Shiba and larger Akita Inu is its kin
  3. It is a purebred and also called as Kochi-ken in its country
  4. It is an agile, energetic, brave and faithful
  5. The dog is 7-21 inches tall
  6. It weighs around 16-26 kg
  7. The dog comes in black, cream, and black and tan colors
  8. Average cost of the puppy is $500 - $700 USD
  9. It is not a hypoallergenic breed
  10. Lifespan of the dog is 10 – 12 years
  11. It requires vigorous exercise and should be taken on daily walk
  12. They shed moderately and will blow out their coat twice a year
  13. Grooming needs of the dog is low and infrequent
  14. As they are hunting dogs so small animals should be kept away from it.


The dog has a spitz type body. It has a solid appearance with sturdily built up body. The dog is medium sized with well-proportioned body features. It has wide face with wedged shaped muzzle. Eyes are deep set and almond shaped. Ears are erect and set atop the head. Tail is thick bushy and carried upward. Nose should be black in color and teeth should meet in a scissor bite. Its chest should be deep and back should be straight. Overall expression on its face is gentle mixed with seriousness.

Size and Weight

Average height of the male breed should be 49–55 cm and female height should be 43–49 cm. Both the gender should weigh around 16–25 kg.

Color and Coat

It has a thick and double coat which is short. Like other dogs, top coat should be coarse to touch and undercoat should be soft. They blow their coat once or twice a year. The common accepted breed color is black, tan and sesame.



  1. Personality - They are lively and active breed that loves to spend most of its time in outside environment. Because of its strong prey drive, small animals should not be domesticated. The dog is courageous and brave enough to pick fight from big animals. It is highly territorial in nature and doesn’t like to share its toys, food with other dogs. Generally they thrive well in single animal family. Apart from hunting abilities the dog is bestowed with agility, endurance and stamina.  They make excellent companion to adventurous place.
  2. Behavior - The dog is known for its composed behavior inside home. They are not excessive barkers but will let you know of stranger approaching the door by barking. This makes them excellent watch dog. The dog is protective of its family and can literally see through the stranger’s soul to know if the person is threat or not. They can become aggressive and fierce in the dreadful situation. Around family children they are docile natured and loves to be their playmate. The dog will become destructive and neurotic, if you keep it indoor and make it habitual to sedentary lifestyle.
  3. Activities requirement - Nothing can make a dog happier than giving it opportunity to hunt. If you are keeping it away from pursuing hunting skills, it is necessary to provide long walk and vigorous exercise to the dog. Occasionally you can take the dog for hiking, trekking and other adventurous trip. The dog has passion for adventure and is highly inquisitive.
  4. Trainability - They are intelligent minded and stubborn dogs. A firm leader will be able to train the dog efficiently. Early socialization is must for this breed. The dog need to understand that human is always the leader. Basic obedience training is also necessary for the breed.


It is advisable to give protein rich quality diet to highly energetic dogs. Feed this dog dry kibble that contains proteins (20-25 %), fat (12-15 %) and moderate amount of carbohydrate.


The dog lives up to 10 to 12 years.


Health issues

It is not a hypoallergenic breed. Being a purebred dog it is a healthy dog with no signs of major health concerns. When not given proper quality of diet and sufficient exercise, the dog can suffer from health issues. Common health problems are- obesity, bloat, hip dysplasia and PRA.


The dog sheds moderately throughout the year except during the spring season. Brush its coat regularly followed by comb at the time of heavy shedding. On other days you can weekly brush its coat to keep its healthy and mats free. Do not bath the dog excessively else it can lose its natural oil found in its coat. Brush its teeth daily to avoid dental problems and bad breath. Check its ears periodically for any signs of infection and allergy.


Being a Nordic breed, they thrive in cold climates. During summers they should be given enough shade and water. The dog is suitable for house with yard.

Pet Names

  1. Kaoru
  2. Katashi
  3. Haru
  4. Aki
  5. Kane

Things To Consider Before Buying


  1. The dog remains calm nerved inside home and dedicated at hunting spot
  2. It is a naturally clean dog and requires infrequent grooming
  3. It is a healthy and hearty dog.


  1. The dog is not suitable for cozy apartments
  2. You need to provide it his daily dose exercise else it can turn destructive
  3. It is not a hypoallergenic breed.