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Japanese Tosa – Dog Breed Guide

Breed summary

Size: Medium
Weight: 66 to 88 pounds
Height: around 24 inches
Longevity: 12
Bark Tendency: Low
Aggression: Low
Compatibility to other pets: High

Adopt a Japanese Tosa, Dog Breed Guide


The Japanese Tosa or locally called in Japan as Tosa-Ken or Tosa-Inu is the ceremonial fighting dog breed of Japan. These dogs are recognized as one of Japan’s National Treasure. Japanese Tosa dogs are treated like superstar Sumo Wrestlers in Japan, admired for their impressive fighting skills and also as excellent guard dogs.

The Japanese Tosa is relatively smaller in weight compared to its American counterpart.

Official Name

Japanese Tosa
Other Name:


Date – Before the 14th Century
Country – Japan
Family / Group – Mastiff


The Japanese Tosa dog breed originated during 1854, the year that Japan opened its doors to the west. They were developed to be the canine equivalent of Japanese Sumo Wrestlers in Japan’s blood sports culture.  To produce these giant fighting dogs, Japanese locals crossed the native Shikoku dogs with various foreign dog breeds including Bulldogs, Great Danes, Mastiffs, and German Pointers. Today, Tosa dogs are one of Japan’s National Treasure, admired for being gallant fighters and excellent guard dogs.


They are surprisingly reticent and very calm in stature. Tosa dogs are affectionate and devoted to their family. They standoffish towards strangers.

Bred For

Japanese Tosa dogs were bred to be the sumo wrestlers of the Japanese dogfighting world. These dogs are also used as guard dogs. They are also considered as one of Japan’s national treasures.


The Japanese Tosa can be fine apartment dogs as long as the owners give them adequate work out sessions.


The Japanese Tosa dog is covered with a short coat that is very easy to groom and maintain. They are dogs that shed hair lightly.


These dogs are primarily traditional Japanese fighting dogs trained specifically for blood sports. They can be well trained but their aggression as natural pit fighters may cause problems during training.


Eye problems, hip, and elbow dysplasia and bloat are the most common health problems that plague the Japanese Tosa dog breed.


The Japanese Tosa requires walks or jogging sessions every day.



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