Shikoku: a loyal wolfhound from Japan

Shikoku in het bos

The Shikoku is a Japanese dog breed and is related to the Shiba. It comes from the island of Shikoku. Another name for the Shikoku is Japanese wolfhound. It gets this name from its beautiful, wolf-like appearance. In Japan it is a popular dog breed, in the Netherlands it is less known. The Shikoku is an active dog and benefits from an active owner.

It is a faithful and loyal dog. The Shikoku gets along well with children; this makes it a suitable family dog. It is an enthusiastic hunter and is very alert. His alertness makes him a suitable watchdog. Are you curious what other characteristics the Shikoku has and do you want to know if this breed suits you? Then read on!


History: a Japanese hunting dog

The Shikoku originates from Japan. The dog was bred in different areas in Japan, creating three varieties of this breed. Eventually, the dog got its name from the mountainous region in which it originated. The Shikoku has a close relationship with the Japanese dog breed Shiba Inu. Although these two breeds are very similar in appearance, they have very different character traits.

The Shikoku was used in Japan as a guard dog and as a hunting dog. It helped hunters hunt big game such as deer and wild boar. The Shikoku would drive the game into a corner and he would then wait for the hunter. The Shikoku still has this hunting instinct today.

The popularity of the Shikoku increased in 1999. In that year a movie was released about this breed of dog and the island of Shikoku. This film introduces viewers to the Shikoku’s loyal character.


The character: enthusiastic, brave and loyal

The Shikoku has an independent and courageous character. Compared to the other Japanese dog breeds, the Shikoku is very social and more willing to please its owner. This dog breed can easily adapt to different situations, provided its owner is around.

In general, the Shikoku is friendly towards strangers. Should he not trust it, the Shikoku will bark and be reserved and cautious. Towards their owner, the Shikoku is very loyal and loving. He loves to cuddle and can make it very clear when he wants to be cuddled. A Shikoku gets along well with children, but with unfamiliar children it is important to keep an eye on them. This dog breed is suitable for a family. You can build a strong bond with a Shikoku.

The Shikoku is alert and has a strong hunting instinct. This makes the Shikoku suitable as a watchdog. It is important to be careful if you have small pets. The Shikoku may see a small pet as prey. If a Shikoku is well socialized with other animals, it can generally live well with them. A Shikoku is also happy to form a social bond with other dogs.

Shikoku close-up

The appearance of a Shikoku

A Shikoku is a medium sized dog and has a balanced and powerful body. This dog breed is also compared to a wolf. This is because both animals have the same physique. The coat and head are also similar. A male dog has a height at the withers between 49 and 55 centimeters and weighs between 16 and 25 kilograms. A female has a height at the withers between 43 and 49 centimeters and weighs between 16 and 25 kilograms. The coat can have different colors, namely:

  • Sesame
  • Red sesame
  • Black sesame

These colors are interspersed with beautiful, white