Tosa Inu

Breed Rating

family friendly:
Dog friendly:
Watch/guard dog:
Affection / Dependance:
Exercise needed:
Space needed:
Tendency to bark:
Grooming Requirements:
Tendency to bark:
Grooming Requirements:

Breed Attributes


Breed group: Herding    Type: Pure Breed    Talent: , ,


Size: Large     Weight: 90-170 lbs     Fur length: Short    Ears: Flappy    Fur type: Straight    Fur Color: Black, Dark Brown / Chocolate, Light Brown / Golden


Life Expectancy: About 10-12 years    Rarity: Uncommon    Availability: Hard to find    Climate: Not good for cold climate.

Breed Details


The Tosa Inu is a breed of dog that originated in Japan. The dog was bred as a fighting dog in Tosa (now Kochi) and still is fighting dogs today. The dog is considered a rare breed. The Tosa is also known to be called Tosa Inu, Tosa Ken, Tosa Token, Japanese Tosa, Japanese Fighting Dog, Tosa Fighting Dog, Tosa-Inu, Tosa-Ken and Japanese Mastiff.

These dogs are large, short-coated dog with a stately manner and a robust, powerful and agile body. They are tranquil, quiet and obedient dog in nature with a calm but vigilant demeanor. The dogs need an experienced owner who will provide them with consistent obedience training in a firm but respectful manner.

The Tosa has a very confident temperament and personality which makes it unsuitable for an average home. This breed can be trustworthy around children that it?s been raised with and forms a good bond with them; however, they should never be left alone. If you wish to own a Tosa, you should take into consideration that there are countries that looks at this breed as a dangerous one that they have banned the breed to reside in their country. Check whether you are living in those countries.


The Tosa's coat color usually comes in Red, Brindle or Fawn. It can also be Dull Black occasionally but it happens very rarely.


The dog's short-haired coat is dense and harsh which makes it fairly easy to groom. Maintenance is as easy as occasional brushing to remove dead and loose hair to keep it at its best shape.


The Tosa Inu is not a suitable dog for the inexperienced dog owner as the dog's origin is of a fighting dog. These dogs are fighters and will definitely try to dominate any other animal in their family. They should never be kept with another large dog breed as they may not get along well. As one of the largest dog breeds available, they can be extremely difficult to control except by the strongest of both body and will. These are very brave dogs, cautious, quiet, sympathetic, patient, smart and are not barkers. They are devoted, protective and affectionate with their master and his family making it a wonderful watch dog. They get along well with children while treating strangers with caution which makes them perfect family dogs for the experienced owner. Early socialization would be beneficial for the family as it will allow them to tolerate small animals in the household but still, it has the tendency to dominate over other dogs.


These dogs are fairly easy to maintain because of their short coats. Grooming is as simple as brushing occasionally to remove the dog?s dead and loose hair to keep the coat at its best condition. These dogs shed very little. These dogs drool but it may not be as bad as other mastiffs do especially when they are excited, hot or when they drink. The Tosas are prone to bloats. it can be a major problem for large dogs. Bloat is an emergency medical condition wherein the dog should be brought to the doctor right away. It can be avoided to occur if the dog?s meal can be divided into three small meals instead of having one large meal a day. This allows the dog?s digestive system to process the food in minimal amounts.


The Tosa's training must be done by an experienced handler. One who knows how to emphasize to the dog that the pack leader of the family is. Training must be done in a firm, calm and patient way without becoming cruel or harsh as the dog can be sensitive to the voice tone. Early socialization and obedience training would also be beneficial to avoid the large dog from becoming unruly.


These dogs require plenty of exercise for its large size. A large securely fenced yard would be sufficient for its exercise needs but like most other dog breeds, they would still like to go for walks or jog to satisfy their instinct to migrate. Tosa Inus who are not taken into their walks tend to develop behavioral problems that could further escalate.

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