Fun Shikoku Dog Facts For Kids

Moumita Dutta
Oct 20, 2022 By Moumita Dutta
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Monisha Kochhar
Fact-checked by Spandana Kantam
Shikoku dog facts to know this indigenous breed better.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 8.4 Min

Shikoku Ken or Kochi Ken is one of the indigenous breeds of Japan. They are medium-sized Spitz-type dogs that range from red sesame to black sesame color. They are among the oldest of the Japanese breeds.

Shikoku is a rare breed dog and has high prey drive. They are naturally intuitive, protective, and fiercely loyal. They were in the mountain ranges of Kochi on the island of Shikoku of native Japan.

These medium-sized dogs also come in black and tan and sesame red color and this may vary from one dog to another. This breed is often confused with other breeds of dogs such as Akita and Shiba Inu because of a slight resemblance.

They are very energetic and indulge themselves in outdoor activities. They have been designated as an important breed by major kennel clubs like the Japanese as well as the American Kennel Club.

If you are already intrigued to read more about them then you should continue reading this article for more surprising facts. You may also like our articles on Lhasa Apso and Shih Poo facts.


Shikoku Dog Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Shikoku Dog?

Shikoku or Canis lupus familiaris is a type of dog.

What class of animal does a Shikoku Dog belong to?

Shikoku dog belongs to the class of mammals or Mammalia.

How many Shikoku Dogs are there in the world?

There are over 8000 Shikoku dogs in Japan but the aggregated number of dogs all over the world is not precisely stated.

Where does a Shikoku Dog live?

Shikoku dog or Kochi ken are among the six native dogs of Japanese breed who has an origin in the mountain ranges of Kochi which is mostly covered in forest in the Shikoku Island. Presently they can found all over the world in the house as pets.

What is a Shikoku Dog's habitat?

A Shikoku dog has Japanese origin where they were found living in the mountains of the Shikoku Island and hence derived their name from there. But now they are found all over Europe, America, Asia, and other parts of the world but not in abundance.

Who do Shikoku Dogs live with?

Although the Shikoku dog is recognized as a hunting dog (mostly for boar hunting) it never lived in packs. Now they live with humans and are considered loving family dogs.

How long does a Shikoku Dog live?

The average life span of a Shikoku dog is 10-12 years. However, there are various underlying health conditions and genetically transmitted disease which can affect the average life span of a dog and hence it is recommended to contact a vet as soon as it starts showing any abnormal or unusual symptoms.

How do they reproduce?

Just like every other dog breeds, a Shikoku dog after attaining a certain age will start to reproduce through the process of copulation with the opposite gender. Sometimes it may involve other dog breeds as well in order to give birth to Shikoku mixed breed.

What is their conservation status?

Shikoku dog is a native Japanese dog and there are more than 8000 of them currently in Japan. As it is recognized as one of the indigenous breeds among the six oldest breeds of Japan they are well protected and hence the conservation status is not listed since they can be bred.

However, due to the insufficient population count, they are being taken care of in the kennels.

Shikoku Dog Fun Facts

What do Shikoku Dogs look like?

Shikoku dog is a medium-sized dog, sturdily built and has a combination of rough and smooth double coat just like Shiba Inu. The coat of this breed may vary from black and tan to red sesame to red black and dark brown.

The wedge-shaped head is well balanced by the fluffy curled tail. This breed has pointed ears and small eyes. Their muscles are generally clean-cut and well developed but they do require constant exercise.

Shikoku dogs are quite sweet.

How cute are they?

Shikoku ken is a very extraordinary-looking dog, they are medium-sized and covered in fur. They resemble a lot of other breeds as well but show no similarities in the characteristics.

They come in various colors such as sesame red, black, and tan. They have pointed ears and wedge-shaped head which makes them look like Shiba Inu although they are not as big as Shiba Inu. They are extremely adorable and the cutest animal to be with.

How do they communicate?

Dogs have their unique ways of communicating through various physical gestures, and noises like barking, growling or howling. Shikoku ken develops a bond with their dog parent which makes communication easier non-verbally.

The constant barking may associate with warning or nervousness because of a stranger, growling is generally associated with intolerance, and howling is associated with a large number of emotions and hence the dog parent has to be intuitive enough to understand them.

How big is a Shikoku Dog?

An average Shikoku male dog height is around 49-55 cm ( 19.3-21 in) while the average female dog height is around 43-49 cm (16.9-19.3 in). Shikoku dog is medium size and is slightly smaller than the Shiba Inu.

How fast can a Shikoku Dog run?

Shikoku dog is a natural hunting dog and even though no particular unit has been allotted to the speed, they can run very fast.

How much does a Shikoku Dog weigh?

A Shikoku puppy when it is three months weighs around 14-15 lb. While a grown-up male Shikoku dog when grown-up weighs around 35-50 lb (16-23 kg), a female weighs 30-45 lb (14-20 kg).

What are their male and female names of the species?

Shikoku ken dogs do not have a separate name for their genders. The male Shikoku is called a dog while a female one is called a bitch, as is the case with all dogs.

What would you call a baby Shikoku Dog?

A baby Shikoku dog is known as a Shikoku dog puppy just like every other offspring of dogs.

What do they eat?

A Shikoku dog has the tendency to gain weight very easily therefore you should maintain a proper diet for them. Also, they need a high-quality protein-rich diet for both bones and muscle development.

They can be fed both home-cooked meals consisting of meat and fish or else you can get packaged high-quality food (dry-moist) which is also widely available in the market. Since they gain weight so easily, it is important for proper exercise for Shikokus.

Are they slobbery?

The Shikoku dog does not tend to slobber too much.

Would they make a good pet?

The most remarkable feature of a Shikoku dog is its protective instinct and loyalty. They are fiercely loyal and would go to any extent to protect their loved ones, but they can be skeptical around the stranger and new people.

They are slightly difficult to train as they are born with leadership qualities. Since they are hunting dogs, they inherit even high prey drive so it is better not to leave them with other non-canine pets.

They go along with children very well and they are delighted to be in the company of a human. However, it would be an injustice to keep them in an enclosed apartment.

Even though they do not need a lot of exercise, they are more comfortable in a house with a big lawn and they are still very active and like to play a lot. Closed space makes them restless and anxious.

They fall under the category of moderate maintenance as their double coat needs to be groomed and maintained properly. They shed a moderate amount of fur just like Shiba Inu and need to be brushed.

They love to get attention and they love getting pampered as well which makes them a great pet to have if you do not live in an apartment.

Did you know...

Here are some of the underrated facts about the Shikoku dog.

On 20 October 2014, this rare breed was added to the Foundation Stock Service Program.

The Shikoku island from which this Shikoku dog belongs is established as the natural monument of Japan in 1937.

They are kin to larger Akita and Smaller Shiba Inu.

In 2010, the Shikoku dog was recognized as an eligible breed to contend in the American Kennel Club companion events.

They are also known as Mikawa Inu, Japanese Wolfdog.

History of the Shikoku Dog

Shikoku dog inherits the title of one of the indigenous breeds of native Japan.

Being a primitive breed that is very rare they could only be found in the Kochi mountain ranges of the Shikoku Island which was rather difficult for the non-natives to reach.

During their initial development years of being a hunting breed, they maintained a pure bloodline but later when people started to keep them as a pet they limited their crossbreeding tendency in order to maintain a pureblood line and this gave rise to numerous strains.

In the initial period of their discovery, the Matagi hunters greatly respected them for their ability to track and hunt down wild boar, and hence they acquired the reputation of hunting dogs.

It is found that there were two distinctive Shikoku lines, one is the Western Shikoku who was found in the southeast foot of the mountain range and was known as Mount Ishizuchi Shikoku dog while the Eastern Shikoku dog was found in the northwestern foot of the mountain range and was known as Mount Tsurugi Shikoku dog.

When Japan finally acknowledged the significance of the Shikoku dog breed it took the initiation to collect them from the mountain areas and place them in the protected kennels of the city where they are properly taken care of by the Japanese Dog Protective League.

The Shikoku breed that we see today has an influence of Honakawa and Hata which are the western bloodline.

Getting your own Shikoku Dog

The Shikoku dog price is around $3000-$4000 USD. Being one of the native Japanese dog breeds they are not found in abundance outside Japan.

The dog parent has to consider a lot of aspects before getting their own Shikoku. They need to be fed high-quality food to provide essential nutrients in a moderate amount so that they do not gain excessive weight as excessive weight may cause hip dysplasia.

They are highly active and hence an enclosed apartment is not a suitable place to keep them. Therefore, before getting this breed to keep all of these things in mind.

Also, ensure that you engage your Shikoku with early socialization since they can be quite disobedient if they are not socialized from a younger age. In addition to this, they shed twice a year so they are not hypoallergenic.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other mammals including miniature Husky, or Shiba Inu.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our Shikoku dog coloring pages.

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Written by Moumita Dutta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

Moumita Dutta picture

Moumita DuttaBachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.

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Fact-checked by Spandana Kantam

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Political Science and Sociology

Spandana Kantam picture

Spandana KantamBachelor of Arts specializing in Political Science and Sociology

Spandana holds a Bachelor's degree in Political Science from Acharya Nagarjuna University. She has a passion for writing and enjoys reading crime and thriller novels while listening to RnB music in her free time.

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