Dog breeds are found all over the world, ranging from native breeds that have existed for centuries to newer breeds brought in from different countries. Some dog breeds become a national favorite and gain popularity quickly. However, sometimes we come across dog breeds that we have never heard of before, such as the Shikoku, which is similar to the Shiba Inu. While both breeds share many characteristics, there are also some notable differences between them. This article will explore the differences between the Shikoku and Shiba Inu breeds, and help you decide which one is the best fit for you.
This breed is not well-known outside of Japan but has many physical characteristics similar to its smaller cousin, the Shiba Inu. The Shikoku was originally bred as a companion and hunting dog, and was trained for long periods of activity in mountainous regions. They have triangular ears, short and dense fur, with tails that are usually curled and fluffy. The Shikoku is characterized by its moderate energy, moderate grooming needs, and moderate personality. Their fur is short and dense, which means they shed less and are relatively low-maintenance dogs.
Personality / Character
The Shikoku is an adventurous dog that requires regular exercise throughout the day. They are naturally energetic and curious, and enjoy exploring new environments. They are also incredibly loyal to their owners, and will display their intelligence through proper training. However, if not socialized well, the breed can be aggressive and territorial towards others. Therefore, it is important to train this breed correctly and use positive reinforcement techniques.
Training the Shikoku is not a simple task; they are incredibly intelligent and exhibit calm behavior during the training process. However, negative reinforcement or aggressive behavior will not work with this breed. The best way to train them is through positive reinforcement methods.
Health & Care
The Shikoku needs high-quality dog food in proper portion sizes at all meals. They are medium-sized dogs, and becoming overweight would greatly impact their overall health. Overweight dogs will have issues with joint and hip conditions that will affect their mobility. The breed may also be predisposed to diabetes or muscle conditions. Additionally, it is vital to recognize any food issues they may have, such as allergies or aversions to certain ingredients.
Due to their protective and aggressive nature, the Shikoku may be most suitable for a single adult, a couple, or a family with older children. While it is possible to raise them with positive behaviors towards people, this breed tends to fit best in these situations. If you have a young family, it is important to socialize your Shikoku with children using positive reinforcement techniques.
Shiba Inu Overview
The Shiba Inu is easily recognizable because of its fox-like appearance and smaller size. They have triangular ears and are commonly a red or light brown in color, with a tail that is curled or short and fuzzy in texture. The Shiba Inu is an independent dog that is quite stubborn, requiring much more time, patience, and attention throughout the training process. This breed also tends to have longer lifespans, up to 16 years, which is much higher than the Shikoku’s lifespan.
Personality / Character
The Shiba Inu is often perceived as standoffish and tends to have a stiff facial expression. They have strong instincts and may be protective and territorial, making them excellent watchdogs. They can be trained to socialize well with other dogs and people, but their independent nature means that they may prefer to be left alone for extended periods.
Shiba Inus do require exercise, but less than the Shikoku. The average three walks a day should suffice for this breed, as they do not have excessively high energy levels. Unlike other breeds, such as Boxers or Golden Retrievers, you are unlikely to see a Shiba sprinting in circles at playtime.
They are highly intelligent dogs, but their hunting and tracking instincts make them difficult to train. They also require a different training approach from other breeds. Shiba Inus are known to have a stubborn personality and would require time and patience to train effectively.
Health & Care
Shiba Inus require relatively low maintenance due to their short and dense fur. They do not drool excessively and do not leave a lot of fur on furniture and bedding. They are easy to maintain and, due to their smaller size, have a lower potential for gaining significant amounts of weight that would lead to health problems.
The Shiba Inu would be suitable for a dog owner who has prior experience in training or has had high-maintenance breeds before. They require patience, time, and an open schedule to keep them comfortable and away from aggressive behaviors. While affectionate and loyal to those they trust, they may be more hesitant to allow young children or strangers to touch them.
Both the Shikoku and the Shiba Inu have similar physical characteristics, such as triangular ears, a bushy tail, and short, dense fur. However, there are subtle differences that set them apart. The Shikoku is a moderate-energy breed with moderate grooming needs, whereas the Shiba Inu is independent and can be more difficult to train. The Shikoku is a good choice for those who are looking for relatively low maintenance and have experience with dogs, while the Shiba Inu is ideal for those who want a loyal watchdog that can be independent for longer periods. Ultimately, both breeds will provide years of loyalty and affection if handled and trained correctly.