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Tosa Inu


Dog fighting became one of the favorite recreational activities in the 14th century and since then this breed was given high preference. It was a very famous fighting dog for more than 1000 years. Tosa Inu originated at the end of the nineteenth century and 1872 it was firstly crossed with the Old English Bulldog. In 1874, it was again mixed with St. Bernard and in 1876 with German Pointer. To develop an active and extensive dog, it was further crossed with Bull Terrier and with Great Dane in 1924. Its breeding has reached the highest peak now, and there are more than 5000 Tosa Inu breeders in Japan.

Facts About Tosa Inu
Breed Group Crossbreed
Breed Type Watchdog, fighting, working, mastiff
Country of Origin Japan
Other Names Tosa Tōken, Japanese Mastiff, Japanese Tosa, Tosa Ken, Japanese Fighting Dog, Tosa Fighting Dog
Size & Height Male- 24-32 inchesFemale- 22-28 inches


Weight 85-200 pounds
Competitive Registration / Qualification Information AKC/FSS, ACR, DRA, CKC, FCI, ACA, NAPR, APRI, NKC
Shedding Minimal
Hypoallergenic No
Litter Size 6-12 puppies
Color Brindle, Brown, Yellow, Black, Fawn
Life Expectancy 10-12 years
Coat Dense, wavy., Straight
Price $600 – $1000

Temperament & Personality

Tosa Inu is a fearless, peaceful and quiet natured dog, it is very loyal and devoted to its family. This breed is not ideal for the first time dog owners and requires an authoritative master. Otherwise, the dog might get aggressive to humans, pets and other animals. However, they are the best playmates for children. Proper training can develop general etiquette and gentle behavior. They do not mix well with unknown people and take a minimum of four years to grow completely. Dogs of the same size, temperament and sex should not be kept together as they are fighting dogs and can end up fighting and injuring the other pet. They tend to do things in their way as they are very stubborn and independent-minded.



They are very energetic and exercising is very crucial for this fighting breed. Without adequate training, they might develop odd behaviors. Long walks or jogs twice a day with ample of playtime in the yard will be sufficient for the dog.


They are low shedders and require little maintenance. Brushing them once a week will remove the dead hairs and dirt from their coat. A natural bristle brush will be suitable to retain the glossy look of the fur. Bath them once in three months or when they are incredibly filthy. They suffer from skin fold infections, hence cleaning their wrinkles by a moist cloth is necessary. Its droopy ears will retain moisture and wax, requiring cleaning every week, to prevent painful ear infection. Nails will require trimming two to three times a week with a nail clipper. Teeth brushing twice or thrice a week will avert tartar collection and tooth decay.

Health Problems

Tosa Inu is a healthy breed, but like other large dogs, it tends to suffer from gastric torsion (bloating). Other problems like hip dysplasia and eye conditions are also common in the dog. However, random veterinarian checkups and occasional tests will keep the dog healthy and fit. Even before buying, one can ask the breeder about its parent’s history of health problems.


The dog has an independent nature, and a firm and persistent trainer is crucial to control this dog. Early socialization is vital because they can be hostile to all. Visiting public places like bus stops, parks or dog parks will allow the dog to meet new people and dogs which will fraternize it. They also require leash training due to their ferociousness.


They like to eat homemade food consisting of bones and meat. Avoid exercising just after eating or before to prevent bloating. They have substantial body weight and can develop weak legs with age. Therefore, provide the dog with calcium enriched food and add more vitamins and minerals to the dog’s diet.

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