Shikoku dog Information & Dog Breed Facts

Collection of all the general dog breed info about Shikoku dog so you can get to know the breed more.

Group Companion Dogs
Popularity Rank210
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Shikoku dog dog profile picture
OriginJapan flagJapan
Other Names
What other names does the Shikoku dog have?
Japanese WolfdogKochi-kenMikawa InuShikoku dog
Breed Type
What type of dog breed is it?

Shikoku dog Price and Availability

How much does the Shikoku dog puppy cost? What is the price range of this puppy? What is the average price of this dog in the United States? Is this puppy expensive? How much should I pay for it?
If you choose to purchase the Shikoku dog, you should know that the mentioned amount of money is an average of the collected data from breeders’ sites and puppy finder places. If you have a Shikoku dog for sale, please advertise it on a reliable website to make sure the Shikoku dog gets to a happy place.
How easy is it to get a Shikoku dog?
Average: The Shikoku dog is a commonly available dog breed. There is less risk of overbreeding compared to the very popular dogs.

Of course, they may be more popular in some countries, and inbreeding may occur, so be careful.

Shikoku dog Size

What size is this breed? How big is this dog?
Large Medium
How much does the Shikoku dog weigh? Shikoku dog weight:
Male: 35-50 pounds (16-23 kg), Female: 30-45 pounds (14-20 kg)
Average Weight
What is the average weight of the Shikoku dog? Shikoku dog average weight:
Male: 42.5 pounds (19.5 kg), Female: 37.5 pounds (17 kg)
How tall is the Shikoku dog? Shikoku dog height:
Male: 18-20 inches (46-51 cm), Female: 17-19 inches (43-48 cm)
Average Height
What is the average height of this fido? Shikoku dog average height:
Male: 19 inches (48.5 cm), Female: 18 inches (45.5 cm)

Shikoku dog Grooming, Hair and Care

Coat / Hair Types
What type of coat does the Shikoku dog have? What does this canine coat/fur look like?
What color is the breed's coat? What color is a proper Shikoku dog's coat?
BlackBlack & TanCream
How to groom the Shikoku dog and how often?
Easy to groom: The Shikoku dog doesn't require a lot of grooming. Seasonal flea treatment is needed, but cutting the dog's hair by a professional groomer isn't necessary.

Ears and eyes should be cleaned regularly to avoid infections. Shikoku dog is a good choice if you don't have the time, skill, or money to take care of a high-maintenance dog.

Recommended for beginners.
Shedding Level
How much do Shikoku dog dogs shed? How to control, reduce and prevent the shedding of the Japanese Wolfdog?
Shikoku dogs shed moderately. It's a natural process of the hair growth cycle. Regular brushing reduces the amount of hair that sheds. It mostly depends on their health status and breed type.
Bath Time / Bathing Frequency
How often does the Shikoku dog need a bath? How often should bathe this dog? Can I bathe my Shikoku dog every day?
3-4 weeks
More often than average. These dog coats tend to be longer, softer, and oilier than short-haired breeds. While a good bath every now and then is a great way to keep your buddy from becoming overly smelly, be mindful about overbathing. Bathing will wash away your dog’s natural oils, while a simple brushing every few days should keep them clean.

Shikoku dog Personality / Temperament

What kind of personality does the Shikoku dog have? What characteristics or traits does the breed have?
Intelligent Rank
How smart is the Shikoku dog? Are they intelligent?
Average: It takes patience to teach this breed any tricks or commands, but the effort is worth it. They understand and remember new commands after an average of 25-40 repetitions.
Are Shikoku dog dogs easy to train? Do they go well on dog training?
Shikoku dogs are quite easy to train. Sometimes they can be challenging, but if you're consistent in teaching new commands they will obey for sure.
How playful is this breed?
Average: Shikoku dogs, like any other dog breed, like playing. Sometimes they bark in excitement for playing, but they are not the most playful dog breed.
Sensitivity Level
How sensitive are they? Shikoku dog sensitivity:
They are a little bit more sensitive than other dog breeds. Soft punishment affects them emotionally. Shikoku dogs don't tolerate irregular daily routine, noisy household, and frequent guest visits really well. They are receptive to their owner's emotions and make wonderful family companions.
Affection Level
How affectionate are they? Are they affectionate?
High: Shikoku dogs are genuinely loyal, soft and gentle, loving and affectionate dogs toward their handlers. They enjoy quality time with their owners despite the activity and are considered great therapy dog for those in need. This breed responds strongly to their handler's emotions because they bond closely. Their happiness is your happiness.
Social Needs
How much social interaction does the Japanese Wolfdog need? Shikoku dog social needs:
Shikoku dogs are a social breed. They enjoy being around people or other animals. This breed doesn't tolerate being left alone.
Do Shikoku dog dogs bark a lot? Are they barkers/noisy? Why does my Japanese Wolfdog bark?
Low to Average: The Shikoku dog rarely barks. This breed could be a good choice if you're looking for a quiet breed. They don't bark unless there is a good reason. Top reasons for barking: protection, alarm, fear, boredom, attention-seeking, greeting, separation anxiety, compulsive barking.
Watchdog Ability
Is Shikoku dog good as a watchdog? Are they alert at night?
Shikoku dogs are average watchdogs. If they sense something different, they will alert you, but the observation isn't considered their main job.
Guarding Behavior / Territorial
Do Shikoku dog dogs have an aggressive behavior to protect their home/house/territory? Do they have guarding instincts?
Shikoku dogs strongly protect their territory. This breed is a complete security guard, so you don't have to be afraid in case of danger.
Biting Potential
Do Shikoku dog bite humans? How likely are you to get bitten from the Japanese Wolfdog? What are the odds of getting bitten by a Shikoku dog? Why do dog bites happen?

Low 🔽

The Shikoku dog has a low chance of biting somebody. Top reasons for dog bite: protection, pain, excitement, herding instinct, being provoked. (Data based on the available online bite statistics.)
Bite Force
Does the Shikoku dog has a hard bite?

Between 200 and 400 PSI

Shikoku dog bite force: Ordinary. Average dogs have a bite force between 200 and 400 PSI. The Shikoku dog, and many others, have a fearsome presence because they have significant jaw strength, so it is important not to anger the dog and have it around strangers until it is fully trained. However, they are usually quite calm and good companions, they work well in families and are easy to care for.
How much mouthing/nipping/play biting does the Shikoku dog do?
Shikoku dogs have an average tendency to nip, chew, play-bite, or herd people. It's a common habit during puppyhood, not aggressive behavior. These "bites" don't hurt, but Shikoku dogs need to be taught for a good attitude.
Impulse to Wander or Roam
How likely is the Shikoku dog to run away? Does this breed explore or wander a lot? Does Shikoku dog roam?
Shikoku dogs have average wanderlust potential. Sometimes they like to explore the world and they might escape once or twice, but usually, they prefer staying safely at home. Safer to teach them how to get back to you on command.
Prey Drive
Do this canine have a strong prey drive? Does Shikoku dog have high prey drive?
Shikoku dogs have an average prey drive, which means that they don't have a high impulse to chase and catch something like a cat or any other small aminals, but it might happen. Training can help to achieve good behavior.
Apartment Friendly
Is Shikoku dog good as an apartment dog? Can they live in a flat?
It is not the best choice if you want to keep them indoors, however, with careful exercise and several walks a day, they will tolerate the indoor environment, so it is possible to keep Shikoku dog indoors.
Are they adaptable and easy-going?
Average: Shikoku dogs adapt to lifestyle changes and different living environments quite okay usually.
Tolerates Being Left Alone
Can you leave this breed home alone?
Shikoku dogs do best when a family member is at home during the day or if their workplace is dog-friendly so they can take the dog at work.

Shikoku dog Good With

Stranger Friendly
Are they aggressive or friendly towards/with strangers? Shikoku dog temperament with other people:
Shikoku dogs are average friendly towards strangers.
Pet Friendly
Are they pet-friendly dogs? How well do Shikoku dog dogs get along with other pets? Are Shikoku dog dogs good with pets? What is this canine temperament with other pets?
Shikoku dogs are generally with other pets.
Child Friendly
Are Shikoku dog dogs kid-friendly? Are they good with young children? Shikoku dog temperament with children:
Shikoku dogs are average friendly dogs towards children.
Cat Friendly
How well do Shikoku dog dogs get along with cats? Are they good with kittens? What is this fido's temperament with cats? Can they be good with cats?
Shikoku dogs are average friendly towards cats.
Dog Friendly
Is Shikoku dog good with other dogs? Are they dog-friendly dogs? How well do Shikoku dog dogs get along with other dogs? What is this canine temperament with other dogs?
Shikoku dogs are average friendly towards other dogs.
Good For First Time Owners
Is Shikoku dog breed good for first-time owners? Do they make a good dog for novice owners?
Shikoku dogs are good for novice owners, due to their easy-going personality.
Office Friendly
Are Shikoku dogs good office dogs? Do Shikoku dogs make good office friendly dogs? Can Shikoku dogs be office dogs?
Shikoku dog is not the best dog breed for office environment.
Senior Citizens Friendly
Are they senior citizens friendly dogs? How well do Shikoku dog dogs get along with the elderly people? What is the Japanese Wolfdog temperament with senior people? Are Shikoku dog dogs good for elderly owners?
Shikoku dogs are commonly okay with elderly people.

Shikoku dog Health

Health Issues
Is it a healthy or unhealthy breed? Do Shikoku dog dogs have health problems or genetic diseases?
Shikoku dogs tend to have more frequent health issues than other breeds. Regular vet check-ups are needed.
Veterinarian Visits
How often does the Shikoku dog breed need to go to the vet? How often should you take your dog to the vet? How often should the Shikoku dog see the vet?
The Shikoku dog should have a complete physical check-up at least once (but preferably twice) per year. If your dog shows any symptoms, call your veterinarian.
Life Expectancy
How long do Shikoku dog dogs live? What is the average lifespan of this breed? How old can a Shikoku dog be? What is the age limit of the Shikoku dog? How many years can the oldest Shikoku dog live?
10-12 years
The average lifespan of Shikoku dog: 11 years
Is the Shikoku dog breed hypoallergenic?
Shikoku dogs don't do well with allergy sufferers by causing allergic reaction. Some of the dog breeds are even considered to higher the possibility of an allergic response. Coat type isn't necessarily relevant, because most people are allergic to dander (flakes on the dog's skin) or saliva, not actually to dog hair.
Energy Level
How much energy does the Shikoku dog have? What is the activity level of the Shikoku dog?
Shikoku dogs have an average energy level, so if you live a semi-active life, this breed can be a good choice for you.
Activity Requirement / Exercise Need
How much activity does this dog need? How much exercise do Shikoku dog dogs require per day?
Shikoku dogs have an average exercise need. This breed is satisfied with short walks every weekday and a long one on weekends.
Sleeping Need
How much sleep does this fido need?
Shikoku dogs sleep 12-14 hours a day as an average dog and they're not considered a lazy breed.
Average daily food consumption
How much food does the Shikoku dog need? How often should I feed my canine? What dog products should I buy?
1.5 to 2.5 cups of high-quality dry food a day, divided into two meals.
Weight Gain Potential / Prone to Obesity
How easy to gain weight for this dog? Shikoku dog risk for obesity:
Average: The Shikoku dog has an average risk for obesity. Daily walks should be on schedule. To make your dog happy and fit, feed him with quality dry dog food and live an active life together. Try to find the happy medium between exercise and feeding. If you notice any weight gain, consult your veterinarian and make a diet plan. Reduce unhealthy food and snacks, and measure the Shikoku dog's weight regularly.
Weather and Climate
Which weather condition is preferred by this dog? Can they tolerate hot or cold weather and climate?
Tolerates warm and cold weather
Dogs that tolerate hot and cold weather are typically those that have a double coat of fur. Dogs with a double coat of fur have a layer of fur that insulates their skin and helps protect them from the cold and the heat.
How stinky is this dog? Why does it smell bad and how to get rid of the smell?


The Shikoku dog has an average chance of bad smell. Top reasons for dog stinkiness: infection of bad tooth/ear/skin folds, gas attacks.
Drooling Tendency
Does the Shikoku dog drool?
The Shikoku dog drools quite a lot, so if you dislike being covered by slobber spots on your clothes, you may want to choose another dog breed. Drooling is the unintentional saliva flowing outside of the mouth. It can be completely normal or a sign of a health problem. Certain dog breeds drool more than others, just like the Shikoku dog. If you notice any change in your dog's drooling habit, you should contact a vet as soon as possible.

Shikoku dog As a Working Dog

Service Dog
Are they good as service dogs? Can Shikoku dog be a guide dog? Are they used as seeing-eye dogs?

Not really

This breed generally not used as a service dog. A service dog is a term used in the USA to refer to any type of assistance dog specifically trained to help people who have disabilities, such as visual impairment, hearing impairments, mental disorders, seizures, mobility impairment, and diabetes. Service dogs are protected under the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act). Shikoku dog is not the best breed for service purposes.
Therapy Dog
Are they good as therapy dogs? Can Shikoku dog be a therapy dog? Are they good anxiety dogs? Can a Shikoku dog be an emotional support animal?

Not really

This breed generally not used as a therapy dog. A therapy dog is a dog that might be trained to provide affection, comfort, and love to people in hospitals, retirement homes, nursing homes, schools, hospices, disaster areas, and to people with anxiety disorders or autism. Shikoku dog is not the best breed for therapeutic purposes.
Detection Dog or Sniffer Dog
Are they good as detection dogs? Can Shikoku dog be a sniffer dog?

Not really

They are not typically employed for this type of work, but there may be exceptional cases. A detection dog or sniffer dog is a dog that is trained to use its senses (mostly its smell) to detect substances such as explosives, illegal drugs, wildlife scat, currency, blood, and contraband electronics such as illicit mobile phones. Shikoku dog is not the best breed for detection purposes.
Search and Rescue Dog (SAR)
Are they good as SAR dogs? Can Shikoku dog be a search and rescue dog?

Not really

This dog breed is not typically used as a search and rescue dog. The use of dogs in search and rescue (SAR) is a valuable component in wilderness tracking, natural disasters, mass casualty events, and locating missing people. The Shikoku dog is not the best breed for SAR purposes.
Boat and Sailor Dog
Are they good as boat dogs? Can Shikoku dog be a boat dog?

Not really

Shikoku dog breed usually doesn't like being on a boat.

Boat dogs were typically bred for their strength, stamina, and water resistance, as they were often required to perform tasks such as pulling in fishing nets, and jumping into the water to retrieve ropes or lines, or helping to move cargo.

Sailor dog is a type of dog that was bred to accompany sailors on their voyages. They were typically used for three purposes: as a working dog, a watchdog, and as a companion. A boat dog is a term used to describe a type of dog that was traditionally bred and used as a working dog on boats.

Cart Pulling or Drafting Dog
Are they good as cart pulling dogs? Can Shikoku dog be a drafting dog?

Not really

A drafting dog or draft dog is a dog bred and used for cart pulling. Dogs bred for this work have strong builds and qualities that are needed, strength and determination. Shikoku dog is not the best breed for drafting purposes.
Fighting Dog / Military Dog
Where Shikoku dog dogs used as fighting / military dogs in history?

Not really

In history, this breed was not really used for combat dog.

Shikoku dog Reproducibility

Gestation Length
How long does this dog's pregnancy last? How long does this dog pregnant? How long does it take to have puppies?

60-64 days

Reproductive cycle of the female Shikoku dog: The first period called Proestrus lasts for about 9 days. During this time the females start to attract males. You can notice by swelling vulva and bloody discharge. The second part is the Estrus when the female is receptive for the male. It lasts for about 3 to 11 days. The sign of the proestrus part is the soft and enlarged vulva. The discharge decreases and lightens in color. The third part is the Diestrus. Normally, it occurs around day 14. In this period the female’s discharge changes for vivid red and coming to its end. The vulva returns to average, and she will no longer permit mating. The fourth part called the Anestrus. The time frame between heat periods normally lasts about six months.
Litter Frequency

Once a year.

More frequent breeding is not healthy. It is very important not to buy a dog from a puppy mill, where the needs of the pups and their mothers are ignored. It's an inhumane high-volume dog breeding facility, where puppies born several times a year.
Litter Size
How many puppies can the Shikoku dog have? What is the average litter size of this fido?
4-6 puppies

Shikoku dog Recognition

AKC Group
Is Shikoku dog recognized by the American Kennel Club?
Not recognized by the American Kennel Club.
FCI Group
Is Shikoku dog recognized by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI)?
Not recognized by FCI.

Shikoku dog Pros and Cons

  • Grooming: Easy to groom: The Shikoku dog doesn't require a lot of grooming.
  • Good For First Time Owners: Shikoku dogs are good for novice owners, due to their easy-going personality.
  • Health Issues: Shikoku dogs tend to have more frequent health issues than other breeds.
  • Hypoallergenic: Shikoku dogs don't do well with allergy sufferers by causing allergic reaction.
  • Drooling Tendency: The Shikoku dog drools quite a lot, so if you dislike being covered by slobber spots on your clothes, you may want to choose another dog breed.
  • Tolerates Being Left Alone: Shikoku dogs do best when a family member is at home during the day or if their workplace is dog-friendly so they can take the dog at work.
  • Office Friendly: Shikoku dog is not the best dog breed for office environment.

Shikoku dog History

The original Shikoku or in its other name, Kochi-ken have existed in the mountain ranges of Kochi Prefecture, on the fourth largest island in Japan, the Island of Shikoku. This remote area is defined by the mountainous terrain, that is not really accessible for outsiders. This is the reason why, during the creation of the Shikoku, the breeders were capable to maintain a high degree of purity in their ancestry. Moreover, those who developed and preserved the Shikoku were staying in isolation from each other, limiting the ability to crossbreed their own lines, preventing any malfunction in the DNA bases. This isolation contributed to the breed development into different strains. There were two initial bloodlines, which can be traced back to five different strains that were easily identifiable by their unique marks.

Resembling another type of Spitz dogs, the Shikoku-Inu was originally bred for hunting purposes. Unlike most breeds, they were not developed to hunt in packs, yet rather to work individually with their companion, to track and trap larger game including, wild boar and deer. Thanks to the mountainous terrain, which was usually covered with thick under brushes and bamboo, the breed got used to this working environment, leading to being very agile and hardy dogs, capable to work in rough, remote areas, sometimes without any help. The breed was highly esteemed by the Matagi, the Japanese hunters. The hunters used two different techniques; the barking to detain and the biting to detain. Mostly the dog’s duty was to track down the animal, then hold them in position long enough for the hunter to arrive and terminate them. When it came to a larger specimen of wild boar, it took courage and sturdiness for the dogs to be able to keep the animals in position. This behavior left its mark on today’s Shikoku’s characteristics as well.

During the Tokugawa period, the Japanese foreign policy was based on isolation, thus, the Shikoku-Inu got preserved for centuries. Although the introduction of Western breeds began to influence the Japanese culture, moreover foreign dog breeds started to be more valuable and popular than their Japanese counterparts, leading to a decrease in the breeding of native breeds. However, fortunately, in the early 20th century, with the rise of Japanese nationalism, the native breed’s revival process had begun. In 1937, this culminated in the description of several Japanese dog breeds, including the Shikoku-Inu as “Living National Monuments”, which afforded the existing dogs, and the breeding programs some protection.

Nowadays, the Shikoku-Inu remained rare outside its homeland, and the breed is not widely recognized by the major kennel clubs. The Shiba-Inu is far more popular in the Western world, and because of the high degree of resemblance between the two breeds, some are still mistaking the Shikoku for a Shiba, nonetheless, it is two very different breeds.

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