shikoku Aiko wystawa Kilece

The first shikoku litter in Poland

On 18.09.2007 the first shikoku litter in Poland was born in our kennel. The mother was Daiyume Go Iyo Tsukasasou "Sachi" brought from Canada already pregnant. After her, Ayame stayed with us. Two lovely red-sesame females AYAME & ASAMI - both became Champions! Asami left for France.

our story


Shikoku is a unique breed of medium-sized Japanese Spitz (the largest representatives of Japanese Spitz are Akitas). This breed comes from medium-sized dogs that lived in Japan in ancient times. The Shikoku was bred as a hunting dog, mainly for hunting wild boars, in the mountainous districts of Kochi Prefecture. It is sometimes called Kochi – ken (ken – dog).
There were three varieties of this breed: awa, hongawa, hata

*their names come from the names of the areas where they were bred. Hongawa, bred in an area that is not easily accessible, has maintained a high degree of purity. These dogs are tough and agile enough to navigate mountainous terrain. Their characteristic feature is a sesame-colored coat. The breed took its name from the name of the region and in 1937. it was recognized as a natural monument.

When I became interested in the shikoku breed, at the very beginning I really knew very little about it. I was looking for a dog similar to my beloved Akita breed, which has been my constant companion (currently for over 10 years), but a bit smaller. Shikoku charmed me with their original appearance, they were exactly the type of dog I was looking for. Unfortunately, there were no publications about shikoku in our country (and not only in our country). The books that were available were written in Japanese. In order to get to know the character of the breed, in 2002 I started a long correspondence with a Shikoku breeder from Canada and a less active one (due to the language barrier) with a breeder from the Netherlands. After an extremely active exchange of correspondence with Katja Weber (in the photo she is holding AIKO) - which assured me (if it is possible to be sure in this way at all) that I wanted Shikoku to come to my home - I signed up and made a deposit for a puppy. This is how the long wait for a new dog at home began. I found out for myself that Shikoku is a breed only for the most persistent, because I waited three long years for my dream dog. And finally, in 2006, I got it. After a long journey, on March 8, 2006, I brought home a tiny sesame dog, AIKO AKA-SHIMA vd Egmato. This tiny baby is the first representative of this extremely rare Japanese breed imported to Poland. AIKO's father is a dog living in Canada (imported from Japan), and her mother comes from the Netherlands.
Only about 27 shikoku species live outside Japan. In Europe (apart from AIKO), there are currently eleven shikoku in the Netherlands (the first copy was imported there from Japan in 1997, and in 2000 the first two litters outside Japan were born there - both after Kekki-Ommi) and one shikoku in Belgium (imported from Japan in 1999). I hope that at least one more representative of this fascinating breed will come to Poland soon, so that little AIKO will not feel lonely as the only shikoku in the whole country... 😉 Apart from Europe, there are also several copies in the USA and Canada (where they are including four imports from Japan - including AIKO's father). The remaining specimens are, of course, in the breed's homeland, i.e. Japan. The little troublemaker immediately conquered not only my and my mother's hearts, but also all our Akitas :) Like quick silver, agile and incredibly fast, persistent and very intelligent, yet devoid of the typical Akita desire to dominate the owner. Her behavior towards other dogs is similar to that of the Akita. He has his likes and dislikes. However, he is a very smart dog and is safely submissive towards larger dogs. Sometimes she makes funny sounds that to outsiders would almost seem like a growl... but nothing like that... she just talks like that. Immediately after such a conversation, he licks your nose and greets his friends from the yard effusively.
My experience with Akitas helped me greatly in raising little AIKO. However, with each passing day I realize that shikoku is not Akita and although fortunately it has a lot in common with Akita, it is simply in a class by itself. Shikoku is a unique dog - just like the Akita - requiring an individual approach and a wise owner. Shikoku is very attached to his master - which is similar to an Akita - but he has no desire to dominate the owner, so he is easier to manage. Shikoku's hunting instinct is incredibly strong and his sense of smell is simply unimaginably excellent, as I have noticed many times. As hunting dogs, they should not run loose where they may encounter a trail of game, because if they are not sufficiently trained, they will follow it deaf to the owner's calls to come back. Unfortunately, this may result in hunters shooting them (not necessarily on purpose, but also by mistake due to their sesame color), so this matter should be approached very responsibly. Shikoku are very intelligent and learn extremely quickly. Being full of vigor, they are always ready to play. They are perfect dogs for active people. They are very mobile and active outdoors, but at home they are gentle and quiet and, like Akitas, they do not make unnecessary noise or howl. Shikoku are friendly towards people, but may show a desire to dominate other dogs. Similarly to Akitas, early socialization of shikoku is very important. They may not be as stubborn and independent as Akitas, but just like Akitas they do not become hysterical because of injections or other unpleasant things. Caring for a shikoku coat is as easy as caring for an Akita's coat. They shed twice a year, usually in spring and autumn. Their undercoat then comes out in fluff and is very easy to brush out. They should be bathed once every three/four months or when needed. Apart from that, just trim the nails on average every two weeks and brush them from time to time. Shikoku is a lovely dog and a great family companion. He loves children and willingly shows them his love to the extreme...

successes and achievements


The first shikoku born in Poland. 

Polish Champion (35173)
Junior Champion of Poland (12630)
Best of Breed x 5
Winner of Berlin 2009
AYAME's height at the withers: 46 cm (perfect!) Free from hip and elbow dysplasia; properly shaped kneecaps. Free from genetic eye diseases! (07/02/2010)Thyroid hormone T4 test – OK (26/10/2010)


AIKO AKA-SHIMA v.d. Egmato

The first shikoku imported to Poland
Polish Champion
Junior Champion of Poland
Central European Winner. and East 2007
Winner of Leipzig 2007
Winner of Vilnius 2008

Free from hip and elbow dysplasia; properly shaped kneecaps
Free from genetic eye diseases!
T4 thyroid hormone test – OK (28/10/2010)

fci standard

Country of origin: Japan.
Use: hunting and companion dog.
FCI classification: Group 5 - Spitz and dogs of primary breeds.
Section 5: Asian Spitz and related breeds.
No trying to work
(Original standard dated: 05/06/1995)

Overall impression

A medium-sized dog with well-balanced, well-developed and sculpted muscles. It has pointed ears and a twisted or sickle-shaped tail. Strong, compact build with good bones.

Height at withers:
dogs: 52 cm
females: 46 cm
Tolerance: +/- 3 cm
The dog is extremely durable, with keen senses, simple-minded, energetic and very alert; avid hunter; gentle to his master.
Any deviation from the above indications should be considered a defect and the weight given to it should be proportional to the degree of deviation.
    slight undershot or underbite;
    long hair;
    expression of the opposite sex (male dog, male female dog);
    not pointy ears;
    hanging tail, short tail;
    severe underbite or overbite;

    NB Dogs should have two normally expressed testicles that have fully descended into the scrotum.

Important proportions

The ratio of the height at the withers to the length of the body is 10:11.

Broad forehead; stop the tile, but marked.
Nose black, straight nose bridge; quite long and wedge-shaped muzzle; tight lips; toothing strong; scissors bite; cheeks well developed. Eyes relatively small, triangular, widely spaced, dark brown. Ears small, triangular, slightly inclined forward and strongly pointed. Neck: thick and powerful.
Withers tall, well developed; ridge simple and strong; loins wide and muscular. Chest deep; ribs with good elasticity; Belly well pulled up...
Set high, thick; carried over the back, strongly twisted or sickle-shaped; the tip of the lowered tail reaches to the hock joints.


Shoulders moderately angulated with well-developed muscles; forearms straight with clear contours; elbows related; metacarpals slightly separated.
Hind limbs:
powerful with well-developed muscles; ankle joints moderately angulated and very strong. Paws/feet tightly compact, with well-arched toes; pillows hard and flexible; claws hard, black or dark.
springy, with good reach, quite narrow but light. Movement it is fast, the dog can return quickly.
Topcoat quite hard (stiff) and straight; soft and dense undercoat; the hair on the tail is quite long. Color: sesame, black-sesame, red-sesame.

Shikoku - "DOG CHALLENGE" - check if you can afford it...

Shikoku is a breed for connoisseurs of the true natural beauty and original charm of these extremely rare hunting dogs. Above all, however, it is a dog for people who appreciate independence and are able to properly train the dog using consistent behavior. Shikoku are stubborn, they have their own opinion on every topic and it is not necessarily consistent with our view on a given matter ;-). You need to respect their individuality and not try to break them, but still guide the dog wisely and skillfully show him his place in the pack hierarchy.
The average weight of females is: 17-19 kg, and the average weight of males is: 19-22 kg.
Average age: 12-15 years (some 17-year-olds, and the oldest shikoku outside Japan is 11 years old).
The character of the shikoku is typical of the Spitz, i.e. it is an independent and self-confident dog. Strongly dominant towards other dogs, requires early socialization with the environment. A fast and agile dog, very agile, with a very strong hunting instinct and an excellent sense of smell. He has a strong guarding instinct. Of course, as in every breed, there are more and less dominant individuals. Shikoku is a wonderful companion dog at home, but outdoors his extremely developed hunting instinct may cause problems during walks. He is a dog that always needs something to do, he loves chasing a ball, chasing leaves swirling in the wind, or simply running ahead to release his energy. Shikoku are nature dogs. They need a lot of frequent exercise and a lot of space. Being confined to tight concrete pens causes stress in bitches, manifesting itself, among others, in: absorption of fetuses, so shikoku is completely unsuitable for pen breeding.
As an extremely intelligent but at the same time extremely independent dog, Shikoku is not easy to train. As a hunting dog with excellent sense of smell and eyesight, it is very active and interested in everything that is happening outside, so it is difficult for the owner to focus his attention on himself. At home, he loves fetching and following commands. But outside the house there are so many more interesting things that you must see, smell, chase (birds, cats, other dogs) and, in addition, people to greet and "kiss". Outside, in order to better see what is happening in the distance, he often stands on two legs, doing the so-called bunny and can stay in this position for so long that it can practically be adopted as one of the standard shikoku positions 😉
Shikoku is an ideal homebody and family companion. Although he likes to bark outside sometimes, at home he is as quiet as an Akita and does not bark unnecessarily. However, he is very vigilant and if something really worries him, he will let us know about it. He likes to play with toys and invites household members to play with him (if he does it too insistently, ignore him). Some shikoku are terrible lickers and can spend several hours without leaving their owner's lap (they don't mind if the owner is sitting at the computer or watching TV, as long as he hugs them and scratches them behind the ears). Others (the more dominant ones) get bored quickly and immediately run away to play with other dogs or run after the ball. If we don't teach him this ourselves, he won't beg at the table or steal food from the plate. As a puppy, he learns to stay clean longer than, for example, an Akita, but this is probably because there are so many new things to learn during a walk that he simply does not have time to focus on doing his business. It may happen that during a several-hour walk, the puppy "does not find time" to relieve itself... Shikoku is a dog for persistent and extremely patient people...
If a shikoku has been properly raised and socialized with people from an early age, it will treat them very well. However, for some people his exuberance may be tiring because, for example, he likes to lick his face. He generally accepts dogs he has grown up with or has become acquainted with (especially those of the opposite sex), although it can always happen that two specific dogs will not like each other if both are equally dominant. Therefore, I advise against keeping two shikoku of the same sex at the same age. If we're trying to join the herd, we'll just get a puppy. Joining the herd of an adult shikoku of the same sex is practically doomed to failure, as I had the opportunity to see for myself. Dogs from outside the pack are not accepted by shikoku on walks (especially dogs of the same sex, but not only) unless he has formed a friendship with them as a puppy. Shikoku sometimes develops a sudden liking for a strange dog of the opposite sex and wants to play with it. Sometimes a strange dog of the opposite sex arouses respect in the shikoku with its size and then tries to encourage it to play, but at the same time shows its submissiveness. However, the rule is that adult shikoku is not friendly towards strange dogs.
Shikoku is by no means a breed for beginners. This dog is a real challenge. Not suitable for people who lack patience. It should not be bought by people who are unable to keep it occupied and go for walks. He loves running and is extremely fast, so slow walks with pensioners are not for this dog. Despite its average size, it is strong and can pull hard, so it is not suitable for a child to walk due to its dominant nature. To sum up, a shikoku is more difficult to raise than two akitas put together.

As a primary Spitz, it is one of the healthiest and most resistant breeds. However, like any dog, it can get sick and then the owner owes it the best care. People often forget that a dog is a responsibility. The shikoku breed outside Japan is so new that it is difficult to say what genetic diseases it may suffer from. Generally, Spitz dogs are one of the healthiest FCI groups, and shikoku is a medium-sized Japanese Spitz dog.
When it comes to feeding shikoku, it requires not only good quality food and vitamins but also many natural additives. Before purchasing it, it is worth considering that this is a breed that matures very quickly, so any negligence in feeding will take its toll immediately. Appropriate shikoku nutrition may cost PLN 300 per month in the first two years of a dog's life. This is not a dog for people who save on additives and believe that dry food has everything or that it will eat leftovers from the human table. I do not advise such people to buy a dog so full of energy, which is in constant motion and therefore burns a lot of energy.
The Shikoku breed is considered a national treasure in Japan and it is extremely difficult to take such a high-class dog out of Japan. This is also because in the country of origin, shikoku is mainly in the hands of hunters who are not associated with the JKC (the only Japanese club whose pedigrees can be recognized in the FCI). Outside Japan, the breed is truly unique. There are a dozen or so shikoku in the Netherlands (mostly older dogs imported from Japan), Canada (there are some younger ones, some imported from the Netherlands and some from Japan) and the USA. There are only a few examples of this rare breed in Europe. Apart from my dog, apart from the Netherlands, there are no shikoku of breeding age in Europe. They are either veterans or young people.
I imported the first shikoku (sesame) to Poland on March 8, 2006. I brought another adult dog (from Japan) last year. She is not related to my dog. After her, I had a litter born on September 18, 2007. The father of the litter - in which two red-sesame females were born - was the beautiful Champion living in Canada. AYAME stayed with me from this litter, while Asami went to France.
It is very difficult to buy a shikoku puppy. You need to sign up, make a deposit and wait. From the moment I made the deposit, I waited 3 years for my first shikoku. The cost of purchasing a puppy in Europe is approximately EUR 2,500. In the case of a defective color (e.g. white or black and tan), the puppy costs half this amount, but sterilization is required. However, above all, the decision to buy shikoku must be carefully considered. Just like the Akita, it is not a dog for everyone. In the case of shikoku, this statement somehow takes on a double force. This is a very special dog for very special people. Unfortunately, unlike the Akita, Shikoku is not suitable for the city :-(.

author: Izyda Bach-Żelewska
All rights reserved (01'2008) – COPYRIGHT RESERVED (01'2008)

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