History of the breed Tosa Inu

At the time when the breed originated, Tosa Province was one of the two most popular areas where fighting dogs lived. The second was the Odate province, today known as the Akita province. Breed Akita was stronger than Tosa, initially. The situation changed in 1854 when the Japanese policy of national isolation was abolished. Interbreeding with European breeds was then allowed.

These were the breed:

  • • English Bulldog * (1872), the solid and strong bite, strong front part of the body
  • • Mastiff (1874), was introduced because of its extraordinary musculature and structure of the skull
  • • German Pointer (1876), the calm temperament and highly developed sense of smell
  • • Great Danes * (1924), Introduced to mitigate the resulting enormous size of the dog and the added skill and athletic look
  • • Saint Bernard was crucified because of its size, and Bull Terriers * are further used due to their increased resistance. However, it is not known the exact time when they are introduced into breeding.

* Great Danes, at the time, were not gigantic proportions as today, and the English bulldog and bull terrier for example looked far different from today's specimens.

Boston bull, from which derived many other breeds, like American pit bull terrier

Some of the first Tosas clearly show influence of Pointer in breeding

Original Tosa

The original fighting Japanese Tosa is brave, sensible, obedient and of a good temperament. It is strong and has a high level of pain tolerance.

Crossing breeds began when the Japanese dogs were routinely losing fights to some European breeds. Their goal was to breed the strongest dog.

In a short period of time, they managed to create a breed that exhibited characteristics of Japanese "sumo fighters". According to some sources, from 1924 to 1933, in Japan there were 5,000 breeders, and in 1930 was founded the official organization responsible for the preservation and expansion of the breed.

All Japanese breeds, including Tosa Inu, were on the verge of extinction twice in the twentieth century. During World War II because of hunger and the invasion of the allied forces, the dogs were protected in Korea and Taiwan, where they were previously exported. Survival of the species later came into question due to the plague. The organization has adopted a program of protection that has entered 12 Tosa with character and appearance as true examples of the breed and put them into the province Aormi, in northern Japan, where wasn’t a lot of war activity. Of these 12 specimens derived most of Tosa.

Tosa Inu is probably the only breed in the world whose fights are legally held. However, the Japanese have created a type of fighting that reflects their mentality (See "Sumo wrestling"). In many ways different from the cruel fights of pit bulls that are being illegally held in the world.