Photo by Bigsteeve

Shikoku Inu - Breed Profile:

Origin: Japan
Colors: Sesame, black and tan, cream
Size: Medium
Type of Owner: Experienced
Exercise: Daily
Grooming: Weekly
Trainability: Easy to train
Combativeness: Tends to be somewhat dog-aggressive
Dominance: High
Noise: Not a barker

The Shikoku Inu, also known as the Kochi Ken, is one of the native Japanese breeds. It was bred for hunting deer and boar.

Physical characteristics

The Sikuko Inu has a typical Spitz type appearance: a wedge-shape head, a square body, a thick neck, erect ears, and a tail curled over the back. The eyes are dark brown, almond shaped, and slanted. Overall, the Shikoku Inu looks very similar to the other native Japanese breeds, particularly to the Kishu Inu and the Kai Inu. Shikoku Inus are the smallest of the three. They are 17 to 21 inches tall, and they weigh 35 to 50 pounds.


Agile and energetic outside while calm and quiet at home. Very smart and easy to train. Good watchdogs. They love to learn. The Shikoku Inu is a little less stubborn than the other native Japanese breeds, but it's still not a dog for a beginner. The owners should be good pack leaders, then the dog will be obedient and loyal. Early socialization is necessary to prevent combativeness. Good with children if raised with them from puppyhood. Because of its hunting heritage, the breed has very strong prey drive so it should never be trusted with smaller animals like hamsters, rabbits, guinea pigs, etc. The same can be said about cats, but if a dog was raised with a cat, chances are they will become friends. However, it's not recommended to leave them unsupervised. Make sure the cat has access to safe hiding spots. The Shikoku Inu needs a lot of daily exercise to drain its surplus energy and to stay happy. An under-exercised dog can become frustrated and develop various behavior problems.

Coat and grooming

The Shikoku Inu most commonly comes in sesame (brown, red, black) color. There are also black and tan, and cream colors, but they are not standard. Besides, the cream is considered very rare. All of these color variations usually have a mixture of white around the underside of the body, near the eyes, face, and legs. The double coat is very thick. It requires weekly brushing. The Shikoku Inu is known to be an odorless breed.


This breed is free from genetic diseases, but it requires proper care and diet as well as any other dog. The lifespan is 10 to 12 years.

Other interesting facts

The Shikoku Inu has a very strong sense of smell. That's not surprising because tracking quarry is in the dog's blood.