The Shikoku is a medium-sized Japanese dog breed, known for its balanced physical appearance and sesam coat. They are energetic, alert and possess great physical endurance, being excellent hunters.

General details

The breed has a medium size and a balanced structure. The weight varies between 16 and 25 kilograms, while the height is between 43 and 56 centimeters. The life expectancy of the Shikoku is 10 to 12 years. The breed belongs to Group 5 of the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI), which includes Spitz-type and primitive-type dogs.

Breed history in brief

The Shikoku breed originates from Japan and was bred as a hunting dog in the mountainous districts of Kochi Prefecture. It is characterized by being hardy and agile, capable of running over mountainous terrain. The Hongawa variety is considered the purest, as its breeding area was inaccessible. In 1937, the Shikoku breed was designated as a "natural monument" due to its cultural and natural importance. Today, Shikoku dogs are valued for both their hunting ability and their loyalty as companions. They have found their place in Japanese homes and elsewhere in the world, maintaining their reputation as hardy and affectionate dogs.

Breed characteristics

The Shikoku is a medium sized dog with a well balanced musculature. Its ears are small and triangular, erect towards the front. The tail is high set, thick and carried tightly curled or sickle-shaped. The eyes are almost triangular and dark brown in color. The distinctive coat of the breed consists of a rough, smooth outer coat, along with a soft, dense undercoat. Color-wise, they can exhibit a variety of colors including sesame (a mixture of black, red and white hairs), as well as shades of red, black and brown. The Shikoku is a dog with a balanced and versatile temperament. It combines physical endurance, liveliness and great sensory acuity with a docile and affectionate attitude towards its family. Their energetic and alert nature, together with their hunting instinct, make them excellent companions for outdoor activities. With proper socialization and stimulation, the Shikoku becomes a loyal, protective and friendly dog that can be an integral part of family life.

Common health problems

The Shikoku breed is characterized by good health. However, they are prone to develop certain disorders or pathologies such as distichiasis, dwarfism, hemolytic anemia, retinal detachment, thrombocytopenia, cataract, cleft lip, ectropion, entropion, hypothyroidism, progressive retinal atrophy and von Willebrand's disease.

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