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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!