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Shikoku Inu, a Japanese dog whose Asian origins are recognizable at first glance, if one has in mind the morphology of other compatriots such as theAkita Inu or it Shiba Inu. It belongs to the category of spitz and primitive type dogs, it proves to be a very resistant animal, regardless of rain, cold, wind and other bad weather, We will hardly find it tired and fatigued. The problem is that we will hardly find it: it is very rare that it strays from Japan and in Italy it is not very widespread, for now.
Shikoku Inu: origins
Originally this breed was called "Kochi Ken ", that is Kochi dog, a clear reference to the region in which she was born, the very mountainous one located in the prefecture of Kochi. There are three varieties of Shikoku Inu – Awa, Hata and Hongawa - but the modern dog that we can know today is mainly the result of the last two.
There Awa it did not survive the Second World War: quality subjects for mating were lacking. The Hongawa, on the other hand, is the purest and most solid, it has been preserved in this way also thanks to the fact that it comes from the most remote part of the region, which has it on one side isolated, on the other protected. While the dogs of this line are light and elegant, those of the Hata are more massive and heavier looking. As far as a dog of this breed can be, recognized by the International Cynological Federation and even declared a "national monument" as early as 1937.
In Europe it is Shikoku Inu it arrived very late, only in 1997 and only thanks to the commitment and determination of a Dutch breeder. The first litters outside Japan are in 2000 and 2001 and, let alone, in Italy this splendid dog appears even later. Today there are not many examples of Shikoku Inu neither in Italy nor in Europe in general, their presence in most cases is linked to participation in dog shows and to that world of enthusiasts.
Shikoku Inu: puppies
The puppies of Shikoku Inu they are easy to confuse with those of other Japanese breeds which have very similar morphological aspects. Nothing to be offended, though, because they are all dogs a lot athletic, balanced, lively and ... beautiful!
Our protagonist is medium in size, on average a male arrives in adulthood at about 50 cm in height at the withers and at a weight of about 16-20 kg. well proportioned and also boasts respect to his Japanese friends a excellent muscle development, especially in the back, which he shows proceeding with his typical gait with fairly wide strides.
The characteristic of the breed that makes it unique, however, is its particular coat color, also called "sesame", of various shades. It can be sesame with a mixture of 50 and 50 of red and black hair, or black sesame, with a prevalence of black hair over red, or red sesame. The Shikoku Inu it also has the undercoat, soft and dense, while the top coat is rough and straight, very long on the tail which is set high, thick. When walking, this dog carries its tail on its back elegantly letting it form a sickle-shaped curl. Another feature from Shikoku Inu.
The muzzle, on the other hand, is not particularly characteristic, it shows good internal proportions and with respect to the body, a wide and dark nose and classic small triangular ears, held straight and tilted slightly forward. The eyes are always dark brown, beyond the sesame type of the hair, and are also quite small and triangular.
Shikoku Inu: character
Very docile with his master, excellent hunter, lo Shikoku Inu he is a dog of good character but above all very intelligent and alert. And energetic: let's not forget that he never gets tired, or almost. It shows itself independent but he does not hide his desire to belong to a herd, with this he also means the family, ours. In fact, he grows fond of and wants to participate in what happens: it will follow at any time of the day, without being intrusive.
Those who adopt it must be not very lazy, because they are Shikoku Inu he loves movement very much and will gladly take you for a walk at least once a day, swearing friendship and loyalty for life. Despite being very lively and with a high temperament, this dog is balanced and, if kept indoors, also very clean, polite, never possessive with his spaces.
As pet dog it has many advantages and is certainly recommended, but it does not mean that it is not yet an animal to be considered for hunting. Indeed, it keeps its acute senses alive and active and is a passionate hunting dog in nature, especially when it comes to boar: it has had it for centuries as a fixed prey, in mountainous regions that are difficult to deal with.
If I have to indicate a defect of this dog, if we can consider it this way, this consists in his shyness considered excessive by some. In some specimens it can in fact degenerate into an exaggeratedly fearful attitude which certainly does not make it a good hunting dog. Even in the family, he can appear more detached.
Shikoku Inu White
There isn't one Shikoku Inu pure white, according to the FCI standard in fact, three different colors are allowed, one with red and black in equal measure, one predominantly red and the other more black than red. White can appear in the Shikoku Inu as "urajiraro", ie in the color markings in the belly area, on the legs, cheeks and forehead. Breeds like theAkita Inu and it Shiba Inu they also have a clear white “shape” on the chest, which is not expected in this dog.
Shikoku Inu: farms
There is only one breeding in Italy indicated by Enci for Shikoku Inu and is found in Piedmont, in the province of Novara: together with this breed it also offers Akita. There are others reported, not numerous, online, always dedicated to more Japanese breeds. In our country the number of specimens is growing from less than 20, however, in 2011 Enci reports only one registered.
Among other things, it is not even easy to train dogs of this breed: even if intelligent, having a strong temper, they must be known to take. They prefer to always be with only one reference breeder and if they like it then learns quickly even the most complex exercises, which he will remember with unfailing precision. Love to work and if you ask for 100 to one Shikoku Inu he will give you 120 minimum, but only if you use positive reinforcement.
Shikoku Inu: price
A puppy of Shikoku Inu it can cost between 800 and 1200 euros, a price similar to that of other Japanese breeds that appear similar. The problem of understanding the price is always linked to the availability of specimens, but this is no reason to give in to poorly certified farms that do not leave us calm. There are kennels full of dogs waiting for us, while we wait for them Shikoku Inu of our dreams we can dedicate ourselves to love one of them.
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