Own a Shikoku already? Want to be a part of NASC? Want to publically show your committment to your Shikoku? Take the ownership pledge below.
Read through the pledge carefully. Print it out and keep it in your home. Share it with your friends. Act on it! When you're ready to take the pledge, take a family portrait of you and your Shikoku. At the end of this page is a webform. Give us your contact information and upload the family portrait. When you click submit, you will have taken the pledge and we will list you and your family portrait on our website and send you a free NASC bumper sticker! Note, your contact information will be kept private. Please read our Privacy Statement if you have any questions.
As an owner of a Shikoku Ken, I acknowledge that I am privileged to share my life with such a rare and amazing animal. Further, I acknowledge that stewardship of this privilege comes with certain responsibilities. In addition to the terms of the contract I have signed with the breeder of my Shikoku, I hereby pledge to adhere to the following code of ethics and to provide the best possible life for my Shikoku Ken.
Responsible ownership starts with education about the breed, its unique temperament, original working function, and the special needs that it has. I acknowledge that my Shikoku will need daily exercise and stimulation and that I must provide it. Shikoku tend to have a very high drive. If not given a suitable outlet for their drive via activities like hunting, obedience/agility training, or other outdoor activities like hiking, Shikoku may develop severe behavior problems. I acknowledge that in addition to daily exercise, I must provide a structured outlet for my Shikoku's prey instincts.
Shikoku are tough, high drive dogs with strict rules for social interactions. A Shikoku ken must have as many positive social experience as possible when young. As a Shikoku matures, they may become less tolerant of rudeness or confidence in other dogs, and that puts an increased management burden on the owner to ensure continued positive social interactions. As a Shikoku owner, I acknowledge and embrace these socialization challenges.
Despite their tough exterior and "sharp" temperament, Shikoku are often "handler soft". Being a responsible Shikoku owner requires developing a bond with your dog through positive, non-confrontational training techniques. Dominance and aversive methods (e.g., prong collars, choke collars, or "alpha rolls") are sure-fire ways to ruin your relationship with your Shikoku. I understand how sensitive my Shikoku can be and agree to only use fair, constructive, and non-aversive training techniques.
I acknowledge that I have chosen to share my life with a high drive working dog that can be a difficult breed of dog to live with. They need space to stretch their legs and their minds. While a shelter is a highly stressful environment for any dog, a Shikoku would have an incredibly difficult time in a shelter environment. Many of the typical personality traits of a Shikoku would be a death sentence in a shelter. I pledge that I will never, under any circumstances, surrender my Shikoku to a shelter. Additionally, I pledge that I will never abandon my Shikoku. Should my circumstances change and the need arise to re-home my Shikoku, I will only do so in consultation with the breeder that produced my puppy.
Additionally, I understand that with such a rare breed of dog, breeding programs need very careful oversight and coordination among breeders. Therefore, I will never breed my Shikoku without the express consent of the breeder from whom I obtained my Shikoku. Further, should I choose to breed my Shikoku, I will strictly adhere to the Shikoku Ken Breeder Code of Ethics set forth by the North American Shikoku Ken Club, including coordinating breeding programs with other breeders and submitting all health checks and certifications to the NASC Registry and Tracking System.
Shikoku are filled with endless energy and tend to play very roughly. As a result, they are sometimes injury prone. Further, as a rare breed with a limited gene pool, little is known about the genetic diseases that may occur in the Shikoku population. I understand as an owner of a Shikoku Ken I am making a commitment to care for and provide all of the health care necessary to keep my Shikoku happy and healthy. I make this commitment knowing that my dog may be prone to injury or to genetic diseases I am unaware of. Further, I pledge to contribute timely information about the health and acheivements of my Shikoku in the NASC Registry and Tracking System.
I pledge to adhere to the ethics specified in this code and more generally, will always act with the best interests of my Shikoku and the breed in general in mind. I will never, either through action or inaction, knowingly put my Shikoku or the breed in a position to fail and will work to maintain a strong positive image for the breed and my dog and to make my Shikoku an ambassador for the breed.