Characteristics of the breed Tosa Inu

The Tosa is a huge dog with short hair and muscular body, originating from Japan. It is also known as the Japanese Mastiff, Japanese fighting dog, "Tosa touken" or "Tosa Token" which literally means "fighting dog".

Without doubt, the Tosa is one of the most fascinating breeds, but it is less known among people in general. It is not understood, and neither is the culture they originate from. So in their character, we can see a reflection of Japanese culture and mentality.

Tosa, Tosa Inu Tosa Ken Tosa Token, Tosa touken, Japanese mastiff, Sumo Ken, a Japanese fighting dog - these are all names for Tosa Inu, the breed with not very long, but extremely interesting history. It was created by crossing with indigenous Japanese breed Shikoku Inu (general called Nihon Inu, meaning a Japanese dog) that was used to hunt wild boar, and is named after the smallest Japanese island of Shikoku, where it was originally bred. Tosa Inu is named after the same area where it was bred, at the old province of Tosa, now known as Kochi province, while the suffix "Inu" or "Ken" means "dog".


Body: The Tosa is a large and massive dog with impressive look. It has a flat and horizontal back with higher hips, broad and muscular loin with slightly rounded croup. Its body is not entirely rectangle-shaped (slightly longer than the height at the withers). The tail is strong or thick at the root and gradually tapering towards the top. It is set high and touches the lower leg. The chest is deep, ribs moderately expressed, the legs are straight, knees and ankles under moderate angles. The Tosa has compact feet with toes and hard pads. The neck is muscular and has loose skin, but not so excessively

Head: It has a wide head and abrupt stop. The muzzle is square and of a medium length with a flat black nose. Ears are set high, medium-sized and thin (considering the rest of the body skin), "V" shaped and falling on cheeks. Eyes are relatively small, dark brown, tan and of a dignified expression. The jaw is broad and strong. Lips are firm and thick, slightly dark. Jaws are strong, with strong teeth. They have a scissor bite.

Height: Tosa Inu males should be at least 61cm at the withers, while for females the minimum height at withers is 55cm. Maximum height is not set, so these heights are usually exceeded.

Weight: Not determined, there are considerable variations in weight.

Coat: They have short hair, which is hard and thick.

Color: The usual color of Tosas coat is red (lighter or darker shades of red). Not so often can be seen a Tosa of sand, brindle, brown or black color, not even black and tan. White markings are permitted on the chest, toes and tip of a tail. The nose is always black, eyes are dark and it is desirable that the nails are black.


Character: The Tosa is very confident, patient, balanced, intelligent and quiet dog. Rarely are they upset, it happens when they feel that their family is threatened or at arrival of unwanted visitors, especially when their owners are not present. They are excellent watchdogs, with an innate instinct to defend his family and territory. They are extremely brave. Usually rarely they bark. They are very attached to their owners and like to be touched. Tosa usually don’t salivate, and when they do, it is very little.

Socialization: Family, to which a Tosa belongs, is the most important to it. They do not care about strangers. Moreover, they are wary and cautious with strangers, but accept them when their owner approve of it. They have friendly approach to friends and family. They are good with children because their tolerance is high. Males may be particularly prevalent towards the same sex so it is recommended that they stay away from the combative dogs. If they are attacked, they will not be afraid of conflict, given their size and power, the fight usually ends up in their favor. When it comes to cats and other pets, little or no problems can be expected, especially if the dog is well socialized.

Care of the dog

Care: Their hair care is quite simple. It is enough to be weekly brushed and nails shortened if necessary. At the time of shedding, it is best to use a rubber brush or a rubber glove to remove dead and fallen hair. Dog uses a soft place to rest. As a result, ugly blisters can be avoided in places where body pressures the ground (such as elbows).

Education: education of these dogs must be balanced, consistent with a lot of love. They are sensitive to the tone of voice. If your dog is submissive, punishment and shouting are excessive. However, this is not the dog for everyone. They need owners which can lead them mentally. The dog needs to learn how not to pull the leash while still a puppy and should be given plenty of time to socialite.

With activity in a well fenced area, a dog might be able to take care of his physical activity. Occasionally, it should be taken out to other places where they will experience different adventures and visit various places, such as, beach, forest, meadow, lake. The average activity is usually more than enough. They are not up for ball games and similar games. They are quiet in the house.

Purpose: These dogs are the best for the family with whom they live, with plenty of space in the house and outside of it.