The Shikoku (四国犬 Shikoku-inu?, alternative names: Kochi-ken, Mikawa Inu, Japanese Wolfdog) is a native, primitive Japanese breed of dog from Shikoku island that is similar to a Shiba Inu. The Shikoku is not a recognized breed of the American Kennel Club, but it is recognized by the Japan Kennel Club, an organization recognized by AKC as an official foreign registry (AKC recognizes the Shiba Inu, however). The Shikoku is also in the Canadian Kennel Club Hound group and the United Kennel Club, awaiting full recognition. In 1937 the Japanese Crown recognized the Shikoku dog as a living "natural monument" of Japan.
With a life span of ten to twelve years or so, Shikoku need to be properly taken care of, like every other dog. Health is a big part of the Shikoku's life, because dogs such as these suffer from common illnesses when not given the proper things to eat, or not getting enough time outside.Common illnesses in the Shikoku can appear in the bones, joints, ears, muscles, and nerves. Disease also occurs from things such as trauma and infection. Other more serious issues relate to heart, lung, digestive, and urinary problems.
In popular culture
The anime-only characters of the series Ginga Legend Weed Ryo, Ryu, Heita, and Hanji (four dogs shown aiding Jerome) may be Shikoku. The series is by Yoshihiro Takahashi.