The Shikoku Dog (Shingoku Ina) or Kochi Ken (Koi fish) is a short-haired working and hunting dog originating from the Kochi Prefecture in the southern part of Shikoku Island, Japan. It was originally bred to catch carp and to be an important part of a local village’s economy. The breed is said to have been brought about by crossing a Japanese black bear with a carp. Since the time it was brought into this country, it has been bred to excel in all areas of canine work. This is just one of the six original Japanese dog breeds currently known other five are the Akita Inu, Shiba Inu, Kai Ken, Kishu Inu, and the Hokkaido Dog.
History and origin of Shikoku Dog
Although not much is known about the origins of the Shikoku dog it is generally accepted that they were probably brought over during the First World War. During this period many businessmen would breed dogs for their work in the hopes of producing more soldiers for the army. The men would purchase these primitive breeds and mate them with females of their own breed. This resulted in a litter of bright fur coloured dogs which were then trained to catch food and fight when necessary.
Today there are a number of different Shikoku dog breeds and most are bred to excel in any given area of canine work. The colour of your Shikoku dog is not as important as the good amount of work it can produce. Many breeds can produce a good amount of colour and are quite elegant looking although not as posh as some of the other competing breeds such as the mikawa inu.
Appearance and Behaviour
A common size for a Shikoku dog is around ten inches in height at the shoulder and around twenty-two inches in length. They are strong and compact with light coats that must be regularly cleaned. The coat is naturally golden with markings that resemble a cross between a greyhound and a shiatsu cat. The Shikoku dog is the perfect companion for children since they are gentle with children under the three-year-old age category.
Traits and Characteristics
The Shikoku dog is one that must be properly socialized in order to prevent the tendency to fight or to develop aggressive behaviour. The dogs naturally have a wedge-shaped head with the right side having the largest part of the brain and the left side smaller. The head is naturally marked with a dark blue line along with its top rimming the eyes.
Shikoku dog: One of the best guard household pet
Today the Shikoku dog is often bred for its delicate, long, silky wool as well as its beautiful silken coat. The dog was introduced to the Japanese as a hunting companion around four centuries ago and has remained there ever since. They are also known to guard household pets against prowlers such as coyotes. Today, these dogs are commonly found in various farmhouses in the prefectures of Shikoku, Okayama, Hachijojima, Niigata and Hokkaido.