Activities For Shikoku Kens

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Introduction

A Shikoku Ken is a dog very similar in looks and nature to a Shiba Inu, but with a lovely temperament. Known as one of the purest breeds in the world, they are a beautiful dog that does well with one dominant owner, or an active family with no children or older children. They are less suitable for households with young children or small pets due to their no-nonsense approach to teasing, and their high prey drive. Shikoku, also known as Mikawa Inu or Kochi-ken, were traditionally bred for hunting and tracking, and it’s an instinct that remains to this day. Therefore, they are man’s best friend for those who love going into the great outdoors or need a watchful guard dog that’s always on alert. Given the energy levels of a Shikoku Ken, there’s every reason to think outside the square when it comes to activities you can do together. 

Hiking

Popular
0 Votes
Any Day
Moderate
Hard
1 - 3 hrs
Items needed
Leash
Water
Food
Doggy waste bag
Activity description

Shikoku dogs are a breed that when not given a task, will become destructive in your home or backyard. Therefore, if you own one, you will be well aware of how vital activities like hiking can be. Shikokus are adept at navigating through mountainous and challenging terrain, which makes them a delightful companion on hiking adventures. So, when the sun’s shining, grab your pup, some food, and water for you both, and get going. You are sure to find your dog will have the time of their life when you take them with you on your travels – be it one hour or three. 

Step
1
Pack a bag
Even if you only plan on being away for a few hours, or a day at most, it’s essential to prepare for any eventuality. The weather might turn, you might find the trail is longer than expected, or you may encounter an emergency situation. Therefore, you want to pack a harness for your dog, a mobile phone for an emergency, high-energy snack food for yourself and your pup, as well as doggy waste bags and plenty of fresh water.
Step
2
Select a trail
No matter which state you live in, you are sure to find many pet-friendly hiking trails suitable for you and your Shikoku. However, that doesn’t mean they are all going to be adequate. Before you head out on your adventure, do your research. Acadia National Park in Maine and Runyon Canyon in California are two of the many hiking trails your dogs are welcome to traverse.
Step
3
Go hiking
When the sun is shining, and your pup is bursting at the seams for fresh air, it’s time to get going. Be sure to carry your backpack with you and keep your dog on a leash until signs permit you to unleash him. Whether you’re out for a few hours or a full day, you are sure to find that the Shikoku can navigate the most challenging terrain as if they were walking across a smooth golf green. Then, once you’ve finished your trip, they will be quite happy to curl up in their bed and go to sleep.
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Hunting

Popular
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Any Day
Expensive
Hard
3 - 10 hrs
Items needed
Harness
Kevlar vest
Water
Food
GPS Tracker
Activity description

If you are an experienced dog owner with a significant amount of knowledge and time, then heading out into the great outdoors for a day of hunting with a Shikoku is a valid activity option. However, such an adventure is not for novices. While the Shikoku is commonly used to hunt boar and deer in Japan, they are not a preferred choice in the United States. With the correct training, however, there is no reason why your furry friend can’t become a useful hunting companion to help you fill the family’s freezer. Choose a location, be prepared with food, water, and hunting accessories, then plan a day of action. It’s an expensive activity, but one that can prove lucrative if your pup can help you to secure that kill. 

Step
1
Training
It’s in your best interests to ensure your Shikoku is well-trained for your hunting adventure, as their instincts can only take them so far. They need to be able to follow the scent of their prey, track, stalk, encircle, then close off escape routes barking until you can come and kill the animal. Typically, hunting with Shikoku takes more than one dog, so if you’re part of a Shikoku Ken Kennel Club, making it a team outing could be beneficial. You may even learn some training pointers.
Step
2
Get prepared
No matter how long you intend on going hunting for, it’s helpful to be as prepared as possible. Therefore, pack a bag in advance, check to make sure everything is in it, then hit the road only once you’re sure you’ve got everything. Your pup will need fresh water and food, a Kevlar vest to protect them from boar tusks, a harness for you to control them, and a GPS tracker to alert you to their location. You also need plenty of warm clothing, a locator beacon, a mobile phone and a first aid kit. It’s also helpful to print a map of your chosen hunting location, so you know your entry and exit points.
Step
3
Go hunting
When you’re ready to go, your pup is sure to be wagging their tail at the door excited for the adventure. Therefore, there’s no time like the present to hit the road and enjoy the experience. Given that your dog will be well-trained for you to consider taking it hunting, it’s going to be a fun activity that enables you not only to fill the freezer but bond with man’s best friend.
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Obedience Training

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Any Day
Moderate
Normal
1 hr
Items needed
Leash
Treats
Activity description

A Shikoku is very much a dog that relies on a human for guidance and dominance. If you don’t provide them with it, they can quickly become a dog that does what they want, misbehaves, and is exceptionally difficult to control. Therefore, when you first get one, it’s crucial to enroll them in training. They respond well to a firm yet gentle hand and want nothing more than to please you in return for your love and guidance. While training can cost some money, it’s something that you can do in any weather and only takes around an hour a session. 

Step
1
Enroll
While you may find that traditional dog obedience classes are okay for your Shikoku, it’s going to be even better if you can find a trainer who knows and understands the Shikoku breed. Therefore, it’s in your best interests to contact a kennel club specializing in the breed which can point you in the right direction of a trainer. It’s not going to be the end of the world if you take your pup to a regular class, but given the unique personality of your furry friend, someone who knows the breed is going to understand how to approach them even better.
Step
2
Know your pup
The Shikoku Ken is an exceptionally intelligent breed, known for quickly picking up new skills with minimal effort. However, when you’ve enrolled in obedience training, you’ll want to have a fair idea of what you can expect to learn. To do this, you need to know what your pup’s weaknesses are. Are they destructive? Dominating? Do they fail to come when called? There are many naturally-born traits you cannot remove from a Shikoku, but there are just as many you can alter with a bit of education and training.
Step
3
Commit to training
Most training sessions run for one hour, once a week, for several weeks. You learn the basics in the course, then practice at home before returning for the next session. The length of the class is perfect for keeping a dog’s attention span, but you must be willing to commit. Not only do you need to turn up to each session, but you also need to reiterate what you learned by putting it into practice at home. Your pooch wants to please, so don’t forget to keep repeating everything you discovered in your home environment.
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More Fun Ideas...

Kennel Club

If you and your dog could benefit from like-minded individuals with a passion for Shikoku Kens, then joining a kennel club for the breed could be beneficial. Your dog can learn to socialize with dogs from a young age, you can take part in Shikoku events, and you may even learn helpful advice and tips for ownership as well.  

Scent Games

Traditionally, Japanese people would breed Shikoku to track wild game, before encircling them for the hunter to kill. This trait is deeply ingrained in your pooch, even if you have never taken them hunting. Knowing your dog’s keen sense of smell is one of its best features, they may love a game that involves them having to use their senses. Put three cups on the floor with a treat under one. Your dog then has to sniff out the treat before they are allowed it. Scent games such as this one make the perfect rainy day activity for mental stimulation. 

Conclusion

When you’re trying to think of activities to entertain your Shikoku, you need to put your best paw forward. This intelligent breed needs plenty of mental and physical stimulation to keep them out of trouble, and it’s going to benefit you both to remain active as well. When you’re stumped for ideas, give any of these activities above a try. Your pup is bound to have a lot of fun!