Shikoku Dog Breed Care, History, Training, Diet and Adoption

Shikoku is a breed developed in Japan. It is considered a rare breed with a small population. The word Shikoku means “three islands” in Japanese. Shikoku is one of the 15 recognized dog breeds in Japan. Shikoku is a small, compact dog with a wrinkled face, short muzzle and short, weak legs. The head is large and broad, and the muzzle is long. The ears are small and set high. The tail is docked and is strong. The coat is short, smooth and straight. Shikoku is a popular dog breed in Japan. It was originally bred by the Samurai as a companion and guard dog.


Height: 33 to 38 inches (85-99 cm) Weight: 14 to 16 pounds (6-7 kg) Coat: The coat should be soft and silky. The colors are white, brindle, black, and brown. Eye color: As with all dog breeds, eyes should be blue, brown or green, even black in a Shikoku. Eyes: Eyes should be blue, brown, green or hazel. Size: At 4 months of age, the average adult is 37 to 43 cm (14 to 16 in) in height and 44 to 51 cm (17 to 19 in) in length. The largest male Shikoku can reach 44 to 55 cm (17 to 20 in). Temperament Shikoku is a loyal, trusting and self-sufficient dog. Shikoku is confident in its relationship with humans, which often results in lack of boundaries with other animals.

Breed History

The Shikoku was developed in Japan by the Samurai after adopting dogs from different parts of the world. It is the smallest of the Japanese dogs. The first Shikoku was introduced to Japan during the Sengoku period (1334-1568) and was bred primarily for use as a guard dog. It was not until the Edo period (1603-1868) that it gained popularity as a companion breed. During the Edo period, owners of Shikoku dogs enjoyed great popularity and the dogs became much more common in urban areas. It was the preferred companion of the high class samurai and the kabuki actors. During the Meiji period (1868-1912), the government enacted the Dog Breed Law of 1901. The law banned the breeding of various types of dogs with undesirable traits.

Training and Care

Shikoku are friendly and easy-going dogs. They are good with children and other dogs, but they may bite if touched on the nose. They are curious and love to explore. They do not like to be tied up, and they like to run free. They prefer to keep a low profile. The only job they need is guarding, and they can do this well when properly socialized. Shikoku’s cute looks and broad head may attract owners, but the breed is too small to do much with. Here’s a brief overview of some of Shikoku’s health care needs. Shikoku dogs are strong and healthy, but they can be easily injured or killed in a fight. 1. Visceral Hydrops Visceral hydrops is an injury in the stomach that is treated through surgery. The muscles in the stomach are too weak, and this often results in internal bleeding or ulcers.

Health Problems

Shikoku dogs are capable of some form of dwarfism. For some, this is minor. Most have no permanent deformities and can easily manage to keep up with their lighter-sized companions. They do not require special equipment or a larger cage. If you feel your Shikoku is suffering from some type of physical or health condition, it is recommended to seek the advice of a veterinarian. The most common health problems include: Neuropathic problems Injury to the face or head Cancer Hypothyroidism Pneumonia Deafness Reproductive Problems If you have a pregnant Shikoku, watch out for delayed delivery. Shikoku breed puppies (called “sweet-faced” by their owners) and pre-eclampsia. Learn more about Shikoku breed health issues: what are pre-eclampsia symptoms?

Diet and Nutrition

Shikoku breeds are almost always well-fed by their owners. They eat a balanced diet and almost never need a special diet. Food Type: (High protein, high fibre, low carbohydrate and vitamins & minerals) Crumbs and Dog Food Products Shikoku Food & Treats Feeding ratio: 1:1 Purina Shikoku Dog Food Nutro Pure Kibbles Galvista Shikoku Collars and Leashes Shikoku Dog Food: Recipe Soak 5 cups of rice with water until the rice softens. Discard the excess water and add 1 cup of any grain-based dog food. Stir together until mixed well. Cover tightly and store in the fridge overnight. The next day, open the packet and give 1/2 cup of the contents to each dog. A word of caution: This is the basis for the recipes mentioned above. It may cause stomach upset in some pets.

Where to Adopt or Buy

If you are interested in adopting a Shikoku, please contact us at Click here. We have three Shikoku puppies at Pet Haven Rescue in Houston, TX. You can find more information here: Shikoku Pups We have Shikoku dogs available at the Middletown Valley Animal Hospital in Middletown, VA. Click here for more information about adopting a Shikoku dog from our local shelter. We also have Shikoku dogs available at the Virginia Beach Animal Care & Adoption Center. If you are interested in adopting a Shikoku dog from us, you can find our information here. If you are interested in Shikoku dogs, or any other dog, coming to the rescue, please contact us at Click here.

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