The Shikoku is a medium-sized breed that fills the gap between its larger cousin, the Akita, and the smaller Shiba Inu. Originating from Japan, this breed was once used to hunt deer and wild boar,and many of the Shikokus of today still retain their hunting instincts. They have also kept the thick double-coat that makes hunting in colder weather a breeze for them. With the proper tools, grooming the Shikoku’s coat can be an easy undertaking.
Caring for the Shikoku's coat
The double-coat of the Shikoku must never be trimmed. Instead, this is a breed that should be routinely carded to remove excess undercoat and control shedding. There are many commercial carding tools available, which can be easily found at your local pet supply store. One can also use a disassembled #40 blade to complete the task.
Take your carding tool and, moving with the grain of the hair, run it across the coat. I find that quick, short strokes work best when carding a dog. Be sure to pay close attention to areas that tend to become packed with coat, such as around the neck, back and haunches. This is especially true if your buddy is “blowing his coat” (a biannual event where the shedding of the undercoat becomes extreme). Once you have removed a sufficient amount of hair, take a rubber curry over the coat to help loosen any remaining hair.
More Grooming Tips
With your Shikoku’s coat properly cared for, there are a couple of other areas that should be checked in between bathing sessions. First, check his nails. If any are touching the ground then they should be trimmed or grinded back. When performing this task, always be mindful of the quick and slice or grind nails with care and due diligence. Also, check your furry friend’s ears. If there is any waxy residue, it should be carefully removed using cotton balls and an ear cleaning solution specifically formulated for dogs’ ears.. Always follow the manufacturer’s directions on the ear cleaner and never insert anything into your dog’s ear canal.
Afterwards, you’ll notice a more vibrant coat that will bring out the beauty of your Shikoku. You’re now ready to show off this spectacular rare breed to everyone you meet.