Shika Inus

Breed Rating

family friendly:
Dog friendly:
Watch/guard dog:
Affection / Dependance:
Exercise needed:
Space needed:
Tendency to bark:
Grooming Requirements:
Tendency to bark:
Grooming Requirements:

Breed Attributes


Breed group: Sporting    Type: Pure Breed    Talent: , , ,


Size: Medium     Weight: 30-60 lbs     Fur length: Short    Ears: Pointy    Fur type: Straight    Fur Color: 3 Colors, Black, Black & White, Merle / Spotted / Brindle / Speckled, White / Cream


Life Expectancy: 10-12 years    Rarity: Uncommon    Availability: Hard to find    Climate: Good for every climate.

Breed Details


The Shika Inus is the term that is used to describe medium size Japanese dogs. Dogs that fall into this category are the Kishu, the Kai dog and the Shikoku. Similar in appearance, these dogs slightly differ in size and some fine points. The Shika Inus dogs were used as hunting dogs of wild boar, deer and other small and medium game but with decline in professional hunting, these dogs have been adopted as family pets and guard dogs.

These dogs are smaller than Akita Inus and larger than Shiba Inus. They are all spitz type dogs with erect ears, wolf-like appearance and medium size bodies. Their average height ranges from 17 to 22 inches and weighs around 30-60 lbs.


The Kishu-Ken appears mostly in white colour but some are also seen in red or brindled colouring.

The Shikoku dog appears in Sesame (equal mix of black and white hair), black sesame (more black than white hair), and red sesame (ground color of red mixed with black hair).

The Kai-Ken dog appears in various shades of brindle (Tiger Stripes). The red is the Aka-tora, the black is the Kuro-tora and between them, the Chu-tora.


Kishu Kens have a double coat. The undercoat is soft and dense, while the outer coat is short to medium length, harsh, and straight.

The Shikoku dog has a double coat, with a harsh, straight outer coat and a soft, dense undercoat. The hair on the tail is rather long.

The Kai-Ken has coat is of harsh texture and medium length.


The Kishu-Ken is a courageous, brave loyal and very alert dog. Though loyal to all the family, it bonds itself to one person in the family. These dogs are great hunters of small query. They get along well with children and are very tolerant of other dogs. These are intelligent dogs that will be easily house-broken but they can be very willful and headstrong as well. Their reserved and alert nature around strangers make them very efficient watchdogs.

The Shikoku is an intelligent and less stubborn dog than most Japanese breeds. It is a quick learner and can be trained relatively easily. Loyal and devoted to their family, these dogs are very energetic and full of energy. They make good family pets, getting along well with children and other dogs.

The Kai-Ken dogs are intelligent, agile, alert and brave. Besides being natural hunters, they are loyal and devoted family pets. Reserved around strangers, they are very good watch and guard dogs. These dogs are good with children as long as they are not teased.


The coats of the Shika Inus do not require much grooming. Brushing the coats once or twice a week proves to be enough to keep the coats in shiny condition.


The Shika Inus generally require a firm and experienced owner as these dogs have stubborn and willful nature. They are intelligent dogs and with an experienced trainer, they can be trained. These dogs are not for first time or weak owners.


These type of dogs are working dogs, being hunters of small and medium game. As such, they are used to long and hard running when chasing the game. When employed as family pets, these dogs will need lots of physical and mental stimulation. They are not the type of dogs that should be kept in an apartment as their high exercise demands require atleast a yard where they can play and run as they like.

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