Height: 24 -25 inches
Weight: 120-200 pounds
Coat: Short, dense and rough
The Tosa dog, also popularly known as Tosa Inu and Tosa Ken, is touted as the original Japanese ‘tournament dog’, essentially bred to grace the fight-pits in Japan. Produced at around late 19th century, the Tosa dog owes its roots to Tosa (presently known as Kochi) from where it drew its name. Warrior by heart, Tosa dogs were deliberately styled by the fighting enthusiasts to lead the dog fighting tradition in Japan. However, the dogs proved to be a no-match for the more massive-sized European breed and thus Western breeds were introduced to Tosa bloodline to create more sinewy, large-sized Tosas. Known for their agility and dexterity, the canines have won quite a fan following for their calm disposition and loyalty. Tosa dogs have been honored and edified for their fighting skills as well as faithful temperament. To know more on this breed of dogs, read on.
Popularly touted as "sumo wrestler of the dog world", Tosa dogs have been bred in Japan for centuries now. The roots of the more ancient breed of Tosas can be traced back to the 11th century Japan that unlike their modern counterparts resembled the primitive spitz-type dogs. However, the modern jumbo-sized Tosa dogs were essentially the upshot of a deliberate crossing between contemporary European breeds like Mastiffs, Bulldogs, Great Danes, English Pointers, Bloodhounds, Bulldogs, Bullterriers and St. Bernards. This dynamic breeding resulted in a more robust, agile and athletic breed of Tosa dogs, much feted for their size and strength today. Tosa dogs have been favored for their excellent fighting skills and have dominated the world scene as one of the best fighting dogs ever. What makes this breed of fighting dogs so unique is their silent and relentless disposition while fighting, something that equaled with the fighting protocol in Japan. Tosa is a rare breed of dogs that has been recently introduced to USA, but has been banned by several nations, owing to the gargantuan fighting status. Tosa isn’t a dog for the first timers. However, with a little skill and socializations, the dog can make for a wonderful human companion and a great watchdog.
Very sinewy, athletic, and massive - this is possibly the best way to describe the brawny build of Tosa dogs. Dynamic, muscular and very flexible, Tosa dogs have been lionized for their sturdy features, big broad skull, a boxy muzzle and very apparent dewlap. Though the Tosa dogs vary in their size, the average size of Tosa bitches is usually 56 cm, while the general size for Tosa dogs is 60 cm. Their color usually varies from very light fawn to dark red, black and even brindle. However, the light color breed of Tosa dogs are much favored over their tanned counterparts. These stately-looking dogs have small, dark diamond shaped eyes, long thick tail that tapers to a point, droopy ears, powerful jaws and short, dense, rough coat.
Brave, courageous and audacious are words that best distinguishe a Tosa dog from the other canine companions. The dogs are best known for their unwavering loyalty and dauntless courage. Protective, possessive and extremely faithful, a Tosa dog is very sensitive to its master’s wishes. Strangely this huge dog bears a very poised mental disposition and is usually calm, quiet and patient unless aggravated. However, when it senses threat, it can become overly eager and alert. The dogs comfortably fit the demanding roles of a companion, watchdog, guide dog and a guardian and can be easily domesticated. They are easy to train, but need plenty of socializing, since this reserved breed of dogs is easy to befriend with proper grooming. They are very intelligent breed of dogs and are usually very affectionate towards kids. However, because of their gargantuan size, they should never be left alone with children. They should be trained from an early age so that they do not grow up to be unruly and disorderly.
Tosa dogs, like most other mastiffs, are vulnerable to certain genetic disorders, like hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia and bloat. They are also prone to eye disorders and blindness.
Being a light medium shedder, Tosa needs minimum grooming. An occasional brushing is all it takes to keep the dead loose hair off its coat. Since this breed is prone to excessive drooling, the muzzle needs to be cleaned more frequently. A Tosa dog does well without bathing, but occasional cleaning is recommended to keep it in good health.