Shikoku vs Curly Coated Retriever - Breed Comparison

Shikoku vs Curly Coated Retriever - Breed ComparisonShikoku is originated from Japan but Curly Coated Retriever is originated from United Kingdom. Shikoku may grow 42 cm / 16 inches shorter than Curly Coated Retriever. Shikoku may weigh 13 kg / 29 pounds more than Curly Coated Retriever. Both Shikoku and Curly Coated Retriever has almost same life span. Shikoku may have less litter size than Curly Coated Retriever. Shikoku requires Moderate maintenance. But Curly Coated Retriever requires Low maintenance


shikoku - historyThe Shikoku is from the Shikoku Island in Japan and they are very much like the Japanese Shiba Inu. There are six native Japanese dog breeds and the Shikoku is medium sized and sits in between the smaller Shiba Inu and the very large Akita Inu. All of the Japanese native breeds are members of the Spitz family. The Japanese have sorted their six breeds into 3 categories by size. Being medium size, the Shikoku is a member of the Shika-inus group. Others in this group are the Ainu Ken, the Kai Ken and the Kishu Inu. There are small differences between the three dogs in the Shika-inus group.

The Shikoku was bred to be a hunting dog in Kochi Prefecture to hunt boar and deer. Other names for the breed include Kochi-ken and Kishu dog or boar hound. This dog is considered to be the purest of the Japanese native dogs or Nihoken. They are today very , very rare. There are very few outsides of Japan, but some in North America are attempting to save the breed.

The are od Kochi Prefecture is a mountainous region with rough terrain that anyone outside of the area would have a hard time accessing. That is why the Shikoku is considered to be so pure as they were pretty well isolated in the mountains. The breeders were also isolated by the mountains and there was very little interbreeding. Although breeding the same dog, these different groups developed different lines of the Shikoku.

Documentation tells us that the number of originals lines was just two and these were the Western and Eastern Shikoku. The Western dog was known as the Mount Ishizuchi Shikoku and the Eastern as the Mount Tsurugi Shikoku. Within these two lines of Shikoku there are additional strains.

Within the Eastern line there is the Tokushima (lya) and the Koci-Aki strains. Within the Western line there is the Hata Uwahara, the Ehime-ken Shuso-gun and the Honkawa. Among these lines and strains, there are different coats and different colors; some heavier and some taller, but all figure into the development of the breed.

Finally, in the Showa Era the Japanese established the Dog Protective League and they began collecting the native dogs from around the country. They protected them so that the breed will go on. The Shikoku is today recognized as Foundation Stock by the AKC and it is fully recognized by the Japan Kennel Club, the Canadian Hound Club and the Shikoku has been declared a living Japanese “natural monument”.

Two bloodlines became the way the Shikoku were know after the war – the Honkawa and the Hata lines The Honkawa line were the descendants of the Choshun-go and the Hata line were the descendants of the Matsukaze-go. They bred the lines separately until 1955, when they mixed them to make the breed stronger. They are no longer considered separate in any way.

Because they are such primitive dogs, the Shikoku are good watch dogs and quite reserved with strangers. They need a lot of socialization to be a family pet but once they are, they make great companions. Intelligent, quick to learn and eager to please. Of the two lines of Shikoku dogs from the Western strains, the current Shikoku owes much of its current development to the Honkawa and Hata strains.

The Shikoku are recognized by the following organizations.

The American Canine Association Inc.

The United Kennel Club.

The Canadian Kennel Club.

The American Rare Breed Association

The AKC Foundation Stock Service Program.

The Japanese Kennel Club.

The Dog Registry of America Inc.

curly coated retriever - historyThere isn’t much on the origin of the Curly-Coated Retriever and his history hasn’t been well documented.

The dog originated some time ago in the early 19th century, with some believing that the dog was in England during the late 1700s already.

It is thought that this dog, which is identical to the Labrador but with a tight, curly coat, descended from the Old English Water Dog, the Irish Water Spaniel and the smaller Newfoundland. This mix was later crossed with the Poodle and this is where the curls come into the picture.

The Curly-Coated Retriever gained substantial recognition in England during the mid-1800s and exported to the United States in 1907. The dog was also later exported to Australia and New Zealand and has been recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1924.


shikoku puppy - descriptionToday’s Shikoku is a medium sized breed with a Spitz like body – square with a head that is wedge shaped. The ears are pointed, and the tail is curved and feathered. They have arched toes and hard pads with dark, hard nails.

The two lines of the Shikoku are slightly different in built and look. The Honkawa strain is slender and athletic; agile and single coated. They have dark eyes and most of them are black and tan.

On the other hand, the Hata strain is much heavier boned, with the front more muscular than the rear. They have small ears, a wide skull and a strong undercoat. His eyes are shaped differently than the Honkawa. Their coats are also mostly red and tan.

curly coated retriever puppy - descriptionThe Curly Coated Retriever is a medium sized dog standing at about 58–69cm and weighing anything between 25 – 40kg. The dog, mainly black or chocolate brown, is active and muscled and was used for hunting and retrieving waterfowl.

The coat has small, tight curls over the body except for the face and the legs. He has floppy ears and they eyes of the black dog are brown while in the liver-colored dogs, the eyes are amber or gold.

The tail is long. He has a wedge shaped head, and its the fact that the face is more long than wide which makes him easily distinguishable from other retriever breeds. Of course, it is the curly coat which is the dog’s most distinguishing feature.


The Curly Coated Retriever has been used as a gun dog, and today, like most retrievers, they make superb pets and are a lively, social and fun-loving breed. He becomes loyal and devoted to his human family members, making a splendid pet, but then he must be exercised.

Have him trained and socialized and he becomes an obedient, relaxed dog, eager to please. He is intelligent and self-confident and gets on well with children in the home as well as with other pets.

He fits in easily to city and country life, but if he could have large grounds to run, play and swim, which he loves, he would be at his happiest.


shikoku dog - characteristics1.Children friendliness – They might be a little aloof with children. They are hunters.

2.Special talents – speed and endurance.

3.Adaptability with your commitment to exercise they can live anywhere even in an apartment.

4.Learning ability - highly intelligent fast learners

curly coated retriever dog - characteristicsCurly Coated Retrievers are such fun dogs, full of personality, robust and active. He makes such a wonderful pet and is loving, loyal and protective. He is brave, courageous, independent and confident as well. He gets on well with children and loves to be part of all their games. He is capable of getting on well with other animals in the home.

He is an active dog and won’t fit in well with those who like to sit around all day. He wants to be active, and then loves to settle down with his human family at night. He is an excellent all-rounder and makes a loving, loyal pet.

Health Problems

shikoku puppies - health problemsBeing isolated as they were, the Shikoku was a fairly healthy breed, no genetic testing has been done. Despite this they suffer a few of the same potential issues as other breeds their size.

  • Hip, knee and elbow dysplasia.
  • Food allergies.
  • Gland infections.
  • Digestive or urinary infections and issues.

Otherwise this is an agile and hardy breed with no known congenital health issues.

curly coated retriever puppies - health problemsWith good care, the average life expectancy of the Curly-Coated Retriever can reach between 10 and 12 years. However, there are some health concerns that your dog may have to contend with and which are common in most other dog breeds too.

Ear Infections:

Apart from hip dysplasia, bloat, dental decay and eye diseases such as cataracts, ear infections are a common canine health problem, particular when your dog has floppy ears and loves the water.

Ear infections can also be caused because of bacteria, ear mites, allergies and hair growth in the ear canal. Your pet will shake his head, maybe off balance and be scratching his ear. You might notice his ears are red and oozing. Get him to the vet immediately.

Parasites and Worms:

When you brush your dog, check for fleas and ticks. Worms too, can make your dog ill, and can actually be the death of a puppy. Worms can cause weight loss, a rough, dull coat and a generally run-down appearance. Your vet will be able to guide you as to what medications are available.

Caring The Pet

shikoku dogs - caringFeeding the puppy Be careful with feeding the puppy and adult as the breed is known to have a tendency toward obesity. Fresh food is better as it is what the breed has been used to, but a high quality puppy kibble is acceptable. Feed three times per day.

2.Feeding the adult He is a high energy dog so feed a high energy food designed for a medium sized dog. Feed in two meals each day.

3.Points for Good Health The breed has remarkable endurance.

4. Games and Exercises You will need a fenced yard for this breed and time to play with them. If not, you would need time to walk her more than once a day. They love to play indoors as well, chasing balls, learning new things. The breed make great companions for hiking, swimming, play frisbee or catch outside. They do well at agility, rally, obedience and flyball.


curly coated retriever dogs - caringThe Curly Coated Retriever is a single-coated dog breed and this makes him a low maintenance dog. He doesn’t shed much and a good brush twice a week will keep the curly coat in good condition. There are some dog owners that trim the feathering around the legs, feet, tail and belly.


The Curly Coated Retriever is an attractively low maintenance breed. Therefore he doesn’t require any special diet. He does well on a top quality manufactured dog food where protein is listed at the top.

These dogs are inclined to put on weight easily so you want to be sure to follow the directions on the packaging and not overfeed him. With his kibble, sometimes add in some cooked brown rice, vegetables and chicken.

Raw meat can be expensive but if you can, try and include it into your pet’s diet to avoid nasty skin rashes and allergies. Always make sure that cool, fresh water is available to your dog and make sure the food and water bowls are regularly washed.

Basic Information

Sporting dog
Sporting dog
United Kingdom
Height Male:
17 - 27 cm
6 - 11 inches
58 - 69 cm
22 - 28 inches
Height Female:
14 - 24 cm
5 - 10 inches
58 - 69 cm
22 - 28 inches
Weight Male:
42 - 53 kg
92 - 117 pounds
25 - 40 kg
55 - 89 pounds
Weight Female:
40 - 50 kg
88 - 111 pounds
25 - 40 kg
55 - 89 pounds
Life Span:
13 - 15 Years
9 - 14 Years
Litter Size:
4 - 6
4 - 12
Medium dog
Medium dog
Other Names:
Kochi-ken • Shikoku-Ken
CCR, Curly
Colors Available:
and red sesame (ground color of red mixed with black hairs)., black sesame (more black than white hairs), Sesame (equal mix of black and white hairs)
Black or Liver
Sesame (equal mix of black and white hairs), black sesame (more black than white hairs), and red sesame (ground color of red mixed with black hairs).
Medium length with tight curls
Affectionate, Courageous, Independent, Intelligent, Lively, Loving, Loyal, Protective, Quiet, Stubborn
Affectionate, Alert, Cheerful, Courageous, Curious, Energetic, Friendly, Independent, Intelligent, Lively, Loving, Loyal, Outgoing, Playful, Protective, Responsive, Social, Territorial
Moderate maintenance
Low maintenance
Kids Friendly:
New Owners Friendly:

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