The Shikoku is a canine breed originating from Japan, more precisely from the island of Shikoku. In Japanese it is also called Kochi-ken, Mikawa Inu or wolf dog. In 1937 it was declared a Natural Monument of Japan by Emperor Hirohito. Its appearance resembles the Shiba Inu, but compared to its cousin it is larger. In the past it was used for hunting wild boar and deer.
There are 3 varieties in the breed, the Awa, the Hongawa, and the Hata, depending on the region of the Shikoku island where they were bred. Dogs of the Hongawa variety are considered to be the most typical and retain the highest degree of purity compared to the original strain from which this breed was selected, being the region of origin a remote and difficult access area.
The shikoku is a dog with a prudent but courageous character and very loyal to its owner. The subjects of this breed are resistant and very agile. They are the ideal companions for active people who like to hike and walk outdoors.They are very energetic and active outside the home, but rather calm and quiet inside.The shikoku is a very intelligent dog and is quick to learn. , if well stimulated. He is not as stubborn and independent as other Japanese native breeds, but he is not a dog for everyone anyway.
The shikoku has a height of 46-55 cm at the withers and is available in five colors: sesame, red sesame, black sesame, red and black and tan (In Italy these last two colors were recognized at the beginning of 2017). This breed has a rather thick coat, suitable for cold winter temperatures. The conformation of the body is usually of the Spitz type: square body, wedge-shaped head, triangular ears and tip of the curled tail.
The weight of the shikoku varies according to gender, height and structure and can be considered medium in size.
Unfortunately we don't have much info regarding the health of this magnificent breed.
In their homeland, the breeders, especially in past years, did not usually carry out any type of health tests or checks on their breeding stock, so we do not have a historian that can indicate any specific pathology.
The fact is that in recent times,because european and american breeders start to test, we are noticing more and more frequent pathologies in the breed. The first of all is dysplasia, which is a multifactorial disease, but we have found it in several European, American and Japanese dogs. For this reason, I recommend that you always inquire with breeders if their breeding stock is officially tested or not.
There have also been cases of epilepsy, especially in a bloodlines. Unfortunately there is no test that can detect it until it manifests itself.