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Shikoku Breed Description

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Breed Organization

United Kennel Club (UKC)

Native Country

Other Names
Japanese Wolfdog, Shikoku-Ken, Kochi-ken, Mikawa Inu

Life Expectancy
Approximately 10-12 Years

Litter Size
No Information Available

Breed Group
Primitive Spitz

General Description

The Shikoku is one of the native Japanese breeds intermediate in size between the large Akita Inu and the small Shiba Inu; all are within the Spitz family of dogs. The Shikoku was bred mainly for hunting deer and boar in the mountainous districts of Kochi Prefecture. It is sometimes referred to as a deerhound. The Shikoku dog is somewhat unique in its appearance. It looks similar to an Alaskan Husky dog physically, but differs in its size and color.

Breed Standard

Head: Broad forehead. Stop not very pronounced. Straight nosebridge. Muzzle fairly long, wedge-shaped. Tight-lipped.
Ears: Small, triangular, well-spaced, dark brown.
Eyes: Small, triangular, well-spaced, dark brown.
Body: Stocky. Thick, powerful neck. Chest well let-down. Well-sprung ribs. Pronounced tuck-up. Straight back. Broad, muscular loin.
Tail: Set on high, thick, carried curled on the back or in sickle fashion.
Hair: Short, harsh, straight. Fairly long on the tail. Soft, dense undercoat.
Coat: Sesame-colored, black sesame and red sesame (reddish-fawn brindle and white).
Size: Dog: 49 to 55 cm. Bitch: 43 to 49 cm.
Weight: 15 to 20 kg.


This very old breed is descended from medium-sized dogs. The Shikoku was bred for hunting (wild boar, in particular) in the mountainous regions of the Kochi Prefecture. In fact, he was once known as the Kochi Ken (Kochi Dog). The Hongawa variety is the purest. The breed was declared a "national monument" in 1937.


It is cautious and brave with good judgment. It is also loyal to its master. It has sharper features than most Japanese dogs and is sometimes allowed to chase wild boar so it will maintain its nature.

Shikoku dogs are tough and sufficiently agile to run through a mountainous region. They are the ideal companion for active outdoor people. They are very energetic and active outside but they are calm and quiet indoors. The Shikoku is a very intelligent dog and a quick learner. They are not as stubborn and independent as the other native Japanese breeds, but still it is not a dog for every person.

He needs space to exercice. Regular brushing.


Hunting Dog, Pet.


A very robust breed.

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