(aka: Tosa Ken, Tosa Inu, Tosa, Tosa Tōke,Japanese Fighting Dog, Japanese Mastiff, Tosa Fighting Dog, Japanese Tosa)
The Tosa, also called the Tosa-Inu or Tosa-Ken, is a stately, massive dog .He has a large, muscular, Mastiff-like frame covered in a short, dense, red coat (though it can sometimes be found in yellow, black, black & tan, brindle and fawn). Its large, broad head has a square muzzle, small hanging ears, almond-shaped eyes and sometimes a wrinkled brow. The Tosa’s powerful neck has a dewlap. Its strong back leads to a thick, tapered tail than hangs low.
Tosa Kens are quiet and reserved inside the home. They are affectionate and friendly with family. They are more aloof with strangers, however, and can be used as an excellent guard dog. They can be dog aggressive, however. They are devoted to their family. Tosas are trainable, excellent fighters, agile and athletic. They are well behaved at home and a protective companion. They are happy to greet friends and family, but suspicious of strangers. They do not like being left alone, and should not be left in a kennel. They bark only when necessary, and are brave and intelligent. The Tosa are also a patient breed.
The Tosa is easy to groom. An occasional brushing to remove dead and loose hair is all that is needed to keep the coat looking good. The Tosa may not drool as bad as other mastiffs but, they do drool, especially when they get excited, hot or when they drink. This breed is a light shedder.
The Tosa has been bred for hundreds of years in Japan. The country has a long history of dog fighting, beginning in the 14th century. It was developed between the period of 1868 and 1912 by crosses with the Kochi (a local Japanese breed), native Shikoku fighting dogs, with Western breeds such as the German Pointer, Mastiff, Great Dane, Bulldog, St. Bernard, and the Bull Terrier.
Tosas were often referred to as the "Sumo wrestler of the dog world." In Japan, the Tosa is considered a national treasure. Although dog fighting is now illegal in Europe, North America, and Japan, secret, illegal pit fights continue in remote rural regions of Japan, where the Tosa, at 66-88 pounds (30-40 kg.) - smaller than those bred in the West - is still used for fighting. The breed excels at Japanese-style dog fighting. Japanese dog-fighting rules in the last century demanded that dogs fight silently, without cowering, and the Tosa fought by these rules - relentlessly and silently. The Tosa is a rare breed, even in their native land and have only recently been introduced to the USA. Unfortunately, this breed is banned in some countries as a dangerous breed. It is definitely unsuitable for beginners, but with the proper socialization, handling and training, it can make a wonderful family companion. This massive dog excels at weight-pulling and makes a great watch and guard dog.
This very intelligent dog is eager to learn and does remarkably well in obedience and working sports. Due to the size of the Tosa Inu, it is only recommended for experienced owners, as this dog requires a lot of control. Obedience classes are not required, but should be looked into at an early stage to avoid any future difficulties. Proper control is necessary if both breed and owner are to be happy.
Unless raised around other pets, the Tosa Inu should be the only companion in a household
Common health issues include hip/elbow dysplasia and eye problems. Because it is prone to bloat, feed the Tosa smaller meals throughout the day as opposed to one big meal.