“While he mused on the effect of the flowing sands, he was seized from time to time by hallucinations in which he himself began to move with the flow” (Kōbō Abe, The Woman in the Dunes)
The Shikoku Ken
Originating from the island of Shikoku in Japan the Shikoku Inu is a medium sized dog that was used for hunting in the treacherous mountain terrain. Their bark is loud and is perfect for holding predators at bay or prey in one place. Their movements are light and agile giving them the ability to quickly leap away from a large boars sharp tusks. They are opportunistic and indiscriminate hunters, going after game much larger than themselves. Their independence and intelligence allows them to think critically and work with their handler, but can also make them difficult to control. Patient and consistent training is recommended from a young age into adulthood to create a well balanced Shikoku.
They have a duel coat with the outer being course and weather resistant and the under being thick and soft. Their coat comes in four colors; red, red sesame, black sesame, and black and tan. Black sesame and red sesame are the two most common coat colors and are the most "wolf-like'. Red is less common, while black and tan is rare. They should have white on their lower jaw, cheek, and chest. The cheeks can have a fully closed white circle or an arc. They can have a white of black tip on their tail. They do not come in cream, brindle or black. Their eyes are distinct diamond shape with the lower line curved upward in the outer corners. They have a slightly narrow stop, with the nose and skull being similar in length. The males have strong round heads while females are mor narrow and “foxier”. Their bodies are slightly longer than their height height at the spine above the shoulders with the chest being strong and broad. The tail should be in a loose curl along their back and in rare cases a sickle shape. It cannot curl more than once. Overall they should have good Noam structure and lean muscle throughout.
Shikoku Book Standards
Is Shikoku part wolf?
Yes & no. While the Shikoku Inu is said to be the outcome of the now extinct Japanese Wolf and the island dogs of the Shikoku prefecture from genetic research, it is unofficial since much of the earliest records of their lineage were lost during the Warring States period of Feudal Japan.
Do Shikoku Shed a lot?
Unlike German Shephards who shed constantly year-round the Shikoku only sheds 2 times a year for a period of 1-3 months. now mind you during this "defloofing" you will think that there is enough hair to provide warm winter coats for the entire US Army.
Are Shikoku Good with Other Dogs?
This is a great question and frequently misconstrued. Shikoku as a breed are not the best with other dogs. They are prone to same-sex aggression, bullying of smaller or more submissive dogs, and some even may have an instinct to "eliminate" weaker pack mates. This is why we as breeders put so much effort into socializing our puppies and push for training with our puppy owners.
What is Conformation?
Conformation is the formal judging of a dog to a set breed standard (for Shikoku this is FCI). This determines the dogs eligibility to become breeding stock and produce offspring. The closer a dog is to the standard the better a representation they are for the breed. Shikoku who do not meet the standard often become pets.