Shikoku or Shiba?

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I am Sparkticus!
Barked: Sun Jan 3, '10 12:18pm PST 
Okay guys - So we've had Sparky now for 5 months and he's absolutely won our hearts (as he tries to squeeze his big body underneath the sofa, which he has successfully done because he is Sparkoudini).

I've spent most of my afternoon reading and looking at pictures/videos and reading some more about the Shikoku. After Henry's mom pointing out that Sparky's coloring looks like a Kawakami, I've been curious if our Sparkster is really a shiba after all.

I personally have never seen a Shiba w/ his colors, as he is absolutely the darkest sesame I've ever seen. The Shikoku colors and markings look very similar to Sparks.

He's about 35lbs which is on the small size for a Shikoku male, but still within the standard. And the Shiba is averaged at 23lbs. Now Kobe is only 18lbs and very small for a Shiba male, but when I look at Kobe and Sparky together they look similar but also so different.

Also, I was reading on one breeders website about the difference in personality between the shiba and shikoku.

"Shikokus are not Shibas. The Shikoku is very submissive towards their master. They are friendly towards people...In some ways the Shikoku is much easier to handle than a Shiba. They are not as stubborn and independent as a Shiba...They are easy to show because they love to be touched..Tying up a Shikoku with a leash or line, even for a few minutes, is not a good idea. Your dog will be loose and running around searching for you or for something else to do."

All of these characteristics, Sparky has. Including liking to be touched and wanting affection and he is not independent at all compared to Kobe. Sparky can't bare being away from us, he is extremely loyal and wants to be at your side where ever you are.

Now I know some Shiba's can have these characteristics as well, but Kobe doesn't show any of these specific ones listed for the Shikoku.

Maybe I'm just looking into it too much. I'm not sure how Shikoku's breeding is tracked, but we have no clue where Sparky came from besides the family we got him from. They never gave us his pedigree (if he ever had one). And we have no clue what breeder he came from.

All I know is he's twice the size of Kobe, and just seems like a different type of dog. Not completely, but just enough for me to question.

I'll try to find a picture of a Shikoku and post a pic of Sparky side by side for comparison.

Just curious your opinions...as I'm thoroughly confused and debating a DNA test if its not too expensive.

Are you going to- eat that?
Barked: Sun Jan 3, '10 12:29pm PST 
Hmm...since I have no knowledge about shikoku ken, I don't have a definitive answer. However, Faye's father's coat looks similar to Sparky. I've seen sesames with similar colors to Sparky.

However, check this forum out for more shikoku ken info. I would ask them since they seem like experts: http://www.nihonken.org/forum/?CategoryID=4 Either way, Sparky is GORGEOUS! smile
Tsuki, Kit,- Kiba &- Buckley

Barked: Sun Jan 3, '10 12:44pm PST 
On that same forum you'll find a dude in WI who just got a shikoku pup and has two other shibas, one named Gin (?) who looks JUST like Sparky.

There are side by side comparisons (though the Shika is just a pup)
http://www.nihonken.org/forum/comments.php?DiscussionID=5123&p age=1#Item_0

I think Sparky is just a beautiful Shiba!


I am Sparkticus!
Barked: Sun Jan 3, '10 12:53pm PST 
To be honest - I don't care which he is, as I love him to no end.

And even tho the coloring did spark (haha) my curiosity, the personality description from a couple breeders sites is what really made me think.

I photoshopped a photo of Sparky and his Akita cousin, w/ some pictures of shikoku's I found on the web.

Its really the temperament descriptions that made me really think....because despite size a lot of the japanese breeds look very similar.

I love my Sparkinator regardless....but my curiosity has definitely got the better of me today, and I've got none of my house work done.

Sparky v Shikoku

Edited by author Sun Jan 3, '10 12:56pm PST


Hunter Haun
Barked: Sun Jan 3, '10 1:52pm PST 
Here's a picture of a Shikoku we saw at the LA Shiba Show in 2007. I think Winnie's mom saw him also. She might have a better picture. shrug You can see the size difference though.

Shikoku 2007 LA Shiba Show

OK, have you- ever actually- SEEN a fox?
Barked: Sun Jan 3, '10 2:17pm PST 
I don't know much about shikoku- other than they are gorgeous!- but, I just wanted to say that size isn't necesarilly an indication anyway.
Yoshi is over 35 pounds! Not overweight at all, just a very tall, muscular shiba.
Ayla is also almost 40, however she is overweight. Though once she loses she will still be over 30 pounds since she is not much shorter than Yoshi.

Also, Ayla is very cuddly and affectionate for a shiba. Yoshi is the aloof, anti-social one. But Ayla loves to be cuddled and will get excited when people want to touch her at the park, while Yoshi hides behind me.

It's possible that Sparky can be a Shikoku. But also possible that he is just a bigger, more affectionate shiba smile
Either way he's a gorgeous dog. I hope you have luck finding out further info on what he may be.

Edited by author Sun Jan 3, '10 2:18pm PST


I am Sparkticus!
Barked: Sun Jan 3, '10 2:43pm PST 
He's probably not a Shikoku.....but its interesting to investigate.

I measured him and he's about 18.5 inches at the withers which is bigger than the Shiba "standard" but still he's 2 inches too short for the Shikoku.

Sometimes he looks like a Shiba and sometimes he doesn't.

I love him all the same and couldn't imagine our family w/o him. But I love just reading and learning the differences between the two breeds. They definitely look different, but sometimes I have trouble really telling the physical differences.

You obey ME!
Barked: Sun Jan 3, '10 6:01pm PST 
We have a blogger/Flickr friend that has a Shikoku. Here is a photo of Loa on flickr:

Loa's pic

We do have a sesame in our Shiba meetup group that has markings similar to the Shikoku, but it's pretty definitive that he's a Shiba.

Sesame Shiba

You obey ME!
Barked: Sun Jan 3, '10 6:05pm PST 
We had some trouble finding the picture of the Shikoku at the 2007 Shiba show, but finally found it!

Shikoku at the Shiba Show

Barked: Sun Jan 3, '10 6:29pm PST 
Mom thinks that this is a very dangerous thread ... she is now convinced that she wants a shikoku. Yikes!
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