The original Shikoku, or Kochi-ken, was present in the mountain ranges of Kochi province on the island of Shikoku. They were highly valued by Matagi (Japanese hunters) as game trackers, especially wild boar. He is a medium-sized dog with well-balanced and well-developed, neat muscles. He has pricked ears and has a twisted or sickle’s tail. His composition is strong, well bonded and compact. His outer coat is rather stiff and straight and his undercoat is soft and dense. He has long hair on his tail. His coat may be red, black and tan, or mole, which is a well mixed color of black, red and white hair.
Shikoku resembles the medium-sized dogs present in Japan in ancient times. He was reared primarily as a Hunting Dog for boar hunting in the hilly districts of Kochi province. They are also sometimes called Kochi-ken (ken = dog). There were three varieties of this breed, Awa, Hongwa and Hata, all named after the region where they were born. Among them, Hongwa maintained the highest purity because the breeding area was not easily accessible.
These dogs are tough and agile enough to walk in a mountainous area. He is characterized by his mole-colored coat. The breed took the name of the area and in 1937 was designated as a natural monument.
Shikoku stands 18-22 inches high and comes in teal (red, black), black and tan (non-standard colours), or cream (non-standard colours). These colors are usually light brown, light reddish-brown or light black-brown. In addition, there is a cream colored coat which is very rare. All these colors usually have a mixture of white on the underside of the body, near the eyes, muzzle and feet. Shikoku sheds its coat at least once or twice a year. The dog has a fairly thick coat with pointed ears and a curled tail. The body structure is usually spitz-type: square body, wedge-shaped head, prickly triangular ears and feathery curved tail.
It is alert and brave; A temperate dog with good judgment. Shikoku is also very loyal and submissive to its owner; It loves to be touched and likes to give kisses often. Although there may be some distance from strangers. This breed needs early socialization to avoid becoming aggressive towards other dogs. Dogs that become aggressive need a competent owner/trainer who knows how to communicate to a dog that this is unacceptable behavior. Shikoku can get along with children if they are raised properly and vice versa. They have a high prey drive and therefore may not be for everyone; Not to be trusted with non-canine pets such as guinea pigs and hamsters.
The gestation period in lasts for 60-64 days The primary period of the reproductive cycle of the female is called Proestrus and goes on for around 9 days. During this time the females begin to draw in males. The subsequent part is the Estrus when the bitch is receptive to the male. It goes on for around 3 to 11 days. The third part is the Diestrus. Usually, it happens around day 14. In this period the bitch’s discharge changes for distinctive red and reaching its end. The vulva gets back to average, and she will no longer allow mating. The fourth part called the Anestrus. The time span between heat periods ordinarily keeps going around a half year. The litter size ranges between 6 to 8 puppies at a time’
Apart from regular weekly grooming, occasional bathing will keep them clean and give their best. Grooming can be a wonderful bonding experience for you and your dog. Strong, fast-growing nails should be trimmed regularly with a nail clipper or grinder to avoid overgrowth, splits, and cracks. Their ears should be examined regularly to avoid the formation of wax and debris, which may result in infection. The teeth should be brushed regularly.
As with all breeds, initial socialization and puppy training classes are recommended. This breed has a reputation for being difficult to house. However, in every other case, it is very easy to train them. For example, They like to perform tricks and learn new ones quickly. They respond very well to training based on positive rewards rather than harsh or negative methods. This breed is required to live with his family and is likely to result in undesirable behaviour if he is regularly left alone for long periods of time.
Exercise options include playing time in the backyard, preferably fencing, or taking walks several times a day. Exercise can also come in the form of indoor activities, such as hide-and-seek, chasing a ball rolling on the floor, or learning new tricks. Some outdoor activities such as swimming, hiking, and retrieving balls or flying discs can provide a good outlet for spending energy. If you live in an apartment, even a short walk in the hallway can give your dog some exercise, especially during inclement weather. Training for dog sports such as agility, obedience and rally can also be a great way to give your dog exercise.
Shikoku should perform well on high quality dog food, whether it is commercially manufactured or prepared at home with the supervision and approval of your vet. Any diet should be appropriate for the age of the dog (puppy, adult, or senior). Some dogs are at risk of being overweight, so watch your dog’s calorie consumption and weight levels. Treatment training can be an important aid, but giving too much can lead to obesity. Know which human foods are safe for dogs and which are not. Contact your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet. Clean, fresh water must be available at all times.
Most of Shikoku are healthy dogs, and working with a responsible breeder who aspires to own a Shikoku can get the education they need to learn about specific health concerns within the breed. Good breeders use genetic testing of their breeding stock to reduce the likelihood of disease in their puppies.