The Shikoku is a dog of marked endurance, keen in sense with a naive feeling, energetic and highly alert.

Daily Care

Grooming Tips

They blow coat once or twice a year. A good undercoat rake makes grooming easy. Over-bathing may dry out their skin and therefore a bath every few months is usually sufficient. They do not have a strong doggy smell. The strong, fast-growing nails should be trimmed regularly with a nail clipper or grinder to avoid overgrowth, splitting, and cracking. Their ears should be checked regularly to avoid a buildup of wax and debris, which can result in infection. Teeth should be brushed regularly.

Exercise Tips

As an active hunting breed, the Shikoku has very high needs for exercise. These dogs require at least an hour of exercise per day as well as mental stimulation to prevent boredom. They will also appreciate having an outdoor fenced area in which to run and play
Options for exercise include playtime in the backyard, preferably fenced, or being taken for walks several times a day. Exercise can also come in the form of indoor activities, like hide-and-seek, chasing a ball rolled along the floor, or learning new tricks. Certain outdoor activities like swimming, hiking, and retrieving balls or flying discs can provide a good outlet for expending energy. If you live in an apartment, even short walks in the hallways can give your dog some exercise, especially during inclement weather. Training for dog sports like agility, obedience, and rally can also be a great way to give your dog exercise.

Feeding Tips

As a medium-sized breed, the Shikoku would do well on a high-quality adult dog food diet. They need plenty of protein to maintain lean muscle mass with healthy fats for energy. Because these dogs are very active, they may do better on an active or working breed formula. These recipes have higher fat levels to increase the calorie content and therefore the energy.
If you get a Shikoku puppy from a breeder, they would give you a feeding schedule and it’s important to stick to the same routine, feeding the same puppy food to avoid any tummy upsets. You can change a puppy’s diet, but this needs to be done very gradually always making sure they don’t develop any digestive upsets and if they do, it’s best to put them back on their original diet and to discuss things with the vet before attempting to change it again.
Older dogs are not known to be fussy or finicky eaters, but this does not mean you can feed them a lower quality diet. It’s best to feed a mature dog twice a day, once in the morning and then again in the evening, making sure it’s good quality food that meets all their nutritional requirements. It’s also important that dogs be given the right amount of exercise so they burn off any excess calories or they might gain too much weight which can lead to all sorts of health issues. Obesity can shorten a dog’s life by several years so it’s important to keep an eye on their waistline from the word go.
Treatscan be an important aid in training, but giving too many can cause obesity. Learn about whichhuman foodsare safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet.Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.

Health Tips

As an ancient breed, the Shikoku is very healthy with no known inherited health problems specific to the breed. Even so, these dogs may be prone to certain health problems including elbow dysphasia, hip dysplasia, patellar luxation, epilepsy, and allergies. Good breeders utilize genetic testing of their breeding stock to reduce the likelihood of disease in their puppies.


The Shikoku is very intelligent and can respond well to training when there is a firm and consistent authority figure. Training should be started at a young age and early socialization is equally important. These dogs learn very quickly, and they are generally not as stubborn or independent as other Japanese breeds, though they do get bored easily. Keep your training sessions short and fun to ensure that your Shikoku stays engaged.


The Shikoku is also known as the Kochi-ken “ken” or “inu,” which means dog in Japanese. Kin to the smaller Shiba and larger Akita Inu, the Shikoku-Ken is a rare breed of dog, even in its native Japan. In 1937, the Shikoku was established as one of Japan’s national treasures. The Japanese bred the Shikoku to hunt deer and wild boar in the mountainous and fairly isolated Kochi prefecture located on the island of Shikoku. Shikokus are some of the purest dog breeds due to the remote nature of the region, which greatly restricted crossbreeding.
These dogs are tough and sufficiently agile to run through a mountainous region. They are characterized by their sesame colored coats. The breed took on the name of the region and was designated as a Natural Monument in 1937.