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Shikoku Dog breed – Origin, Characteristic, Personality, Care

The Shikoku dog is Kochi Ken, Mikawa Inu, or Japanese Wolf. This Japanese dog breed is loyal to its owner but immediately becomes aggressive when faced with a stranger.

Join DailyPets.net to learn about the origin, characteristics, and how to care for the Shikoku dog breed through this article.

Shikoku dog origin

The Shikoku dog is a dog breed that appears on the roads to Kochi province in Japan; this road is nestled in the high mountains. The Matagi people here bred them to create a dog with outstanding abilities in hunting. They also meet the requirement of being able to survive in the forest for several days to accompany the hunter.

After the First World War, the number of Shikoku dog breeds decreased because of the economic decline. Shikoku dogs became rare and were in danger of extinction.

In 1928, the Shikoku dog breed conservation organization in Japan was born. Since then, their numbers have improved somewhat. This breed surpassed other breeds in Japan to become Japan’s “National Treasure.”

Shikoku Dog.
Shikoku Dog.

Today, people often call this breed of dog Shikoku with the name Kochi Ken, the same name as the land where they were born. Gradually, they were considered purebred dogs.

Appearance characteristics of the Kochi Ken dog

These Kochi Kens are just the right size. Usually, an adult male Kochi Ken is slightly larger than the female.

– Height: 46 – 52 cm

– Weight: 17.5 – 25 kg

The Shikoku dog breed has similar characteristics to the Akita or Hokkaido dogs. Their heads are large and proportional to their size. Their foreheads are wide and grooved, dividing their heads into two equal parts. Small, triangular ears in a standing position on top of the head. The eyes are small triangles but are observing something. The nose with a wide nasal cavity helps them easily sniff the air. The long snout and sharp iron teeth produce scissor-shaped bites.

Shikoku’s fur has two layers. The outer layer is rough; the inner layer is fluff, thick, and soft. Their fur helps them to adapt to the icy weather in Japan. Usually, their fur is reddish brown, dark brown, and light brown. They often have white spots on their legs, muzzles, and eyes. Cream-colored Shikoku dogs are considered buggy dogs. These dogs are usually not recognized.

Personality characteristics of Shikoku dogs

This Shikoku dog breed is quite cautious in all situations. Therefore, they are always wary of strangers. They are very wary of strangers who do not make them feel safe or are not friendly. This dog breed is relatively brave, especially in battles with other animal breeds. They will become strong without fear, even if the animal is larger than them.

The Shikoku dog is known as a hunter. Therefore, keeping them with other small animals in the house will not be safe. Although quite cautious, when they determine that the stranger is not dangerous, they will become friendly and welcoming to them.

Kochi Ken Dog.
Kochi Ken Dog.

To be able to control the ferocity in each Shikoku. You need to adopt and train them when they are young. Give them strict lessons so they can follow your rules. When training them, you should also be calm and strict.

How to take care of Shikoku Dogs

Shikoku dog food

Shikoku dogs require a balanced diet to maintain good health. To ensure your Shikoku dog’s healthy development, you must adhere to some basic principles of nutrition and care.

An important part of caring for a Shikoku dog is providing them with high-quality food. Following veterinary guidelines, food should be carefully chosen, including commercial dog food or homemade food. Feeding should be divided into at least two meals daily, with set meal times to create stability for your Shikoku dog.

The amount of food provided should be appropriate for your dog’s weight, age, and activity level. Ensure you provide the nutrients such as protein, fats, vitamins, and minerals essential for overall health.

Avoid feeding your dog homemade food if you do not have knowledge of dog nutrition or lack veterinary guidance. Always monitor your dog’s health status and adjust the diet based on your observations. Most importantly, ensure your Shikoku dog can always access clean water.

Remember that dietary needs can vary for each dog, so focus on monitoring and assessing the specific health condition of your Shikoku dog.

If you have any questions about the diet or nutrition of your dog, consult with a veterinarian for specific advice for your case. The key is to ensure your Shikoku dog always has a balanced and appropriate diet to maintain health and happiness.


Shikoku Inu dogs are one of the few dog breeds that do not have a distinctive doggy odor, so they do not need frequent baths.

The Shikoku Inu breed only sheds its coat twice a year. All you need to do is vacuum the shed fur and tidy up twice a year. As mentioned, occasional brushing of their coat will keep them looking neat and well-groomed.


Shikoku dogs have a lot of energy, so taking them for a walk or running at least once a day is best. They thrive in environments with ample safe space to run around, meaning a backyard or large fenced area is ideal.

However, exercise is not a one-size-fits-all idea for these dogs; they can easily get sidetracked and start hunting small animals that catch their eye.

Remember that Shikoku dogs need a daily outlet for their energy to keep them mentally and physically stimulated. Ultimately, they are considered hunting dogs and need to expend excess energy. Failing to do so can lead to destructive behavior.

Health of Shikoku dogs

This Shikoku dog breed has an average lifespan of about 10 – 12. However, if you care for them properly, they can live longer.

Kicho Ken always maintains his health in a stable state. They possess a good resistance and immune system. This helps them to fight diseases that dogs often encounter. However, this breed often suffers from bone diseases such as cataracts, eye diseases such as retinal atrophy, and heart disease in old age.

Shikoku dog price

The price of a Shikoku dog can vary depending on factors such as the dog’s age, pedigree, breeder reputation, and geographic location. Shikoku dogs are a relatively rare and ancient Japanese breed, and they may not be as widely available as some more common breeds.

On average, you can expect to pay anywhere from $800 to $2,500 or more for a Shikoku puppy from a reputable breeder. Prices may vary based on the lineage, the breeder’s location, and the demand for the breed in your region.

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