Dog Breeds

Tosa inu

Tosa – formerly called tosa inu – is a well-built, well-proportioned dog with short, thick hair, well suited as a guardian. Strongly attached to his family, but he is dominant, and in addition, he does not like other dogs.


Breeders describe tosa as a dog with an outstanding social instinct, boundlessly devoted to his master. It requires close contact with the family, so it should not be isolated. He is sociable, friendly even to strangers – if they are welcome by the owner. Usually, he gets along well with children and is tolerant of them, although there may be individuals who do not like strangers.

This excellent defender and good watchman do not bark for a reason. After nightfall, he becomes more alert, then he pays attention to every move and rustling. It does not behave erratically or inadequately to the degree of danger. The intruder is unlikely to be hurt – the dog will soon turn him over and watch over until the owner comes.

Tosa inu is not inclined to conflict, so she can live with other dogs and pets. He usually shows tolerance towards his foreign kin. Rather, it will not hurt a dog smaller than itself, but provoked by a large one can be dangerous.

A dog of this breed feels best at home with a garden (having a garden does not release you from the obligation to walk). Despite its considerable size, however, it is also suitable for keeping in the apartment – it is low-absorbing. Tosie is more suited to the short-term effort, not a long-distance runner. Quiet walks a few times a day are enough for him. Many dogs of this breed willingly swim, and also retrieve, if they were taught in their youth.

Tosa inu


Tosa inu was bred for Japanese dog fights – the equivalent of wrestling. Representatives of this breed struggled with equal opponents. Two individuals usually fought each other in the octagonal arena surrounded by bamboo balustrades. Their task was to knock down the enemy to the ground and hold him for a while in this position.

The skirmish took place in silence, lasted from five to thirty minutes and was interrupted when one of the dogs was injured. Deliberately biting, barking, showing fear, whining or moving away from an opponent for more than three steps meant disqualification. The dog who knocked down his rival, or – if none succeeded – the one who was more eager to fight, was the winner.

The winners were awarded the title of yokozuna – combat champion. A hemp belt called Shime was worn around his neck, in which pieces of paper with religious symbols were woven. The modern representative of this breed is above all an excellent defender, watchman and family companion. In the United States, it is used to work with autistic children.

Tosa inu. Training and education

This is an intelligent dog, willing to cooperate with the owner. He is not stubborn and if he is brought up consistently, he easily surrenders to the will of man. Commemorates commands quite quickly, but usually only after a while. The training should be conducted only with positive methods, treats and praise will be useful. Even verbal reprimand is a severe punishment for this sensitive giant. Growers rather advise against tosa defense training.

Like all dogs, this breed matures late. Due to their strong character, the Tosa requires careful upbringing. Puppies from the moment they appear in a new home should be treated firmly but warmly. Socialization with people, new situations, places and especially with other dogs is important – classes in dog kindergarten will be useful.

Tosa inu

Who is this race for?

The future owner of the tosa should have experience in raising large breeds, be consistent and balanced. This is a suitable dog for a moderately active family, looking for a peaceful householder and a proven guardian.

Tosa inu. Advantages and disadvantages


  • provoked can be dangerous to foreign dogs
  • expensive to maintain


  • devoted and caring
  • calm and balanced
  • suitable for families with children
  • excellent defender and watchful guardian
  • noiseless
  • intelligent, eager to learn
  • tolerant of pets
  • easy to care for
  • does not require a lot of traffic


The representative of this breed is resistant to weather conditions, however, during frosts, he should be provided with a warm shelter. He usually enjoys good health.

During the period of intensive growth, enostosis, i.e. juvenile osteitis occurs. Sometimes there is a lowering of the lower eyelid (entropy), requiring minor surgical correction. Hip dysplasia is rare.

Tosa inu


This breed is quite expensive to maintain. A growing puppy needs perfectly balanced food, so it’s best to give him dry foods from reputable companies for giant breeds.

It is worth using the specifics that protect the joints (containing glucosamine and chondroitin). For an adult dog, you can prepare homemade meals supplemented with calcium and vitamin preparations, or use ready-made products adapted to his lifestyle. After eating, you need to provide him with at least an hour’s rest.


Tosa inu molts quite intensively, usually once a year. It is worth combing the dog every day – we will get rid of dead hair faster. Outside the hair change period, you only have to do it once a week. A rubber brush or glove is best for combing this breed of dog, or you can use a hard bristle brush.

We bathe Tosa as needed, using the right cosmetics. You can also use dusting powders with disinfectants, refreshing fur and soothing irritations (you need to brush them thoroughly). It is also a good idea to wipe the dog with a damp towel or a piece of chamois leather. Every once in a while you should check your ears and shorten the claws if they are too long.

Before the exhibition, just comb the coat and use a coat polish.


The lanyard and leash should be made of solid materials – it’s best to choose a fairly wide leather set. Puppies at the beginning just need a complete set of tape (automatic lanyards are unlikely to work).

A puppy of this breed rarely destroys equipment. However, you have to make sure that he has something to do and does not stay alone for the whole day – you can get used to it for a few hours alone. Tosa likes to play dragging, which is why thick cords or strong teethers will be useful. Various types of hard rubber toys and large balls also work well. Games with friendly dogs usually involve scuffles, which is why companions should share similar dimensions.

A large mattress or pontoon is suitable as a bed for a representative of this breed – preferably with a removable cover. If we want to keep the tray on the catwalk, we must try to have a roofed playpen and a warm shed of the right size. However, the dog cannot spend all the time there, it must have access to the garden, home and be with the family as often as possible.


Tosa inu is a Japanese fighting dog, belongs to the molossoid group. The name of the breed comes from the city and province of Tosa located on the island of Shikoku (Shikoku) in Kochi Prefecture. This region of Japan has been known for hundreds of years for breeding quadrupeds used for fighting. However, they did not resemble modern tosa – they were lightweight, twisted tails, erect ears and looked like Nordic Spitz rather than well-known war dogs of powerful posture in Europe.

In the mid-nineteenth century, the Japanese government opened its borders after many years of isolation. At that time, commercial ships were massively nailing to the coast of Japan, on which, apart from goods, dogs were also imported – mainly belonging to English combat breeds. The Japanese, who had been fascinated by dog ​​fights for centuries, quickly noticed that, when confronted with overseas quadrupeds, their much lighter animals have no chance. To obtain dogs of adequate weight and build, they began to cross arrived breeds with the local population.

Unlike bloody shows in Western Europe, where dogs fought in arenas with bears and bulls, Japanese dog fights were of a sporting nature in the Middle Ages. Initially, samurai took part in them – Japanese warriors belonging to the imperial palace guard since the 11th century. During the medieval wars, they gained a high position, created their own culture and code of honor, whose main assumptions were “goodness for the weak, contempt for death, absolute fidelity to the emperor and physical fitness.” Creating breeders, Japanese breeders tried to get a dog with equally noble qualities …

Tosa inu

Modern tosa breeding probably started in the mid-nineteenth century by a man named Ohtaka, who in the Nagasaki region purchased a powerful dog brought from Europe and associated it with his shikoku. Sakai-no Hiko, Daiganji-no Hatsu and Inagi-no Bucho were born from this combination, which is considered to be the direct ancestors of today’s tosa.

MastiffsGerman dogs, pointersBernardines, bulldogs, and even bull terriers and Dogue de Bordeaux took part in creating the breed. The bred animals, however, were not very even.

Around 1900, Japanese dogfighting became a popular pastime, providing quick profit to animal owners. In 1911, high taxes were imposed on quadruped owners, which reduced the population. Japan flourished again in the mid-1920s and early 1930s. During World War II, a significant proportion of dogs on Shikoku Island became extinct, but the best was saved by sending them to Aomori Prefecture in northern Japan, which made it possible to rebuild the breed after war.

Her first representative appeared in Poland in 1991. He was brought by Małgorzata and Dariusz Skorków. At the moment the breed is enjoying moderate popularity. In 2004, the Kennel Club in Poland introduced mandatory mental tests for all breeding dogs born after January 1, 2003. Tosa is also on the list of 11 breeds for which special permission must be obtained from the municipal authority.


Tosa – Group II FCI, section 2.1, reference number 260

  • Country of Origin: Japan
  • Size: minimum height at withers: dogs 60 cm, bitches 55 cm
  • Coat: short, hard and thick
  • Color: red, fawn, apricot, black, brindle; slight white markings on chest and feet allowed
  • Maturity: 2.5 years
  • Lifespan: 10-12 years
  • Weather resistance: quite high

Interesting facts

Pursuant to the Act on the protection of animals (art. 10), breeding or keeping a dog of a breed considered aggressive – such a breed is a tosa – requires permission from the commune body. It is issued by the head of the commune, mayor or city president at the request of the person concerned, submitted before the purchase of the dog. The application may be submitted in writing, by telegraph, by teletype, facsimile, e-mail, or orally to the record. It should include an indication of the person from whom he comes, his address and his request.

The applicant has the right to appeal against a refusal decision to a self-government appeal board, and then lodge a complaint with a voivodship administrative court. If, despite a positive decision, it turns out that the animal is a threat, the authorization may be withdrawn.

Breeding or keeping dogs of breeds considered aggressive without permission is an offense punishable by detention or a fine. In the event of a conviction, the court has the right to order the forfeiture of the animal – handing it over to the shelter or other entity.

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