(Japanese Tosa, Tosa-Inu, Tosa-Ken) The Tosa is a gigantic dog with a large, strong head and a square muzzle. A large black nose sits at the end of its muzzle while below the muzzle the breed’s loose lips hang down and its muscular neck is covered in thick, baggy skin. On the upper half of the dog’s face except a very wrinkled forehead, dark brown sad eyes, and small, thin ears. Despite the cuteness of their faces, the rest of the Tosa was built for fighting. Their chests and hips are broad while their legs are long and muscular ending with round, powerful, enormous paws. Their medium-length tail hangs straight down off their bodies. The Tosa’s coat is smooth - similar to that of a Great Dane’s or Doberman’s - and comes in fawn, red, or black.
The Tosa is a sweet, gentle-natured dog. However, it is very dog aggressive and is often wary of strangers. The dog wants only to please its owners and to get affection. It does the best with children because it will protect them at all costs. Even though the dog is not people aggressive, it will guard its family. Tosas are brave and very powerful. They need an owner who will be consistent but not overly harsh with training because the dog can be sensitive and can become unstable. Generally, they are a calm dog in the house and are usually very quiet.
The Tosa is an extra large breed and like most of these dogs are prone to certain genetic diseases, such as bloat (which seems to be found certain genetic lines), hip dysplasia, and elbow dysplasia. Also Tosa’s eyes are another potential area of concern, and you need to make sure the puppies have been properly certified to avoid future problems. This breed has an average life span of about 10 to 12 years of age.
Tosas originated in Japan in 1868. They were used for fighting then were crossed with two other Japanese fighting dog breeds, the Kochi and Shikoku. Later, the breed was crossed with European breeds like the Great Dane, Mastiff, Bulldog, St. Bernard, and Bull Terrier. This combination made a Mastiff-like dog which was large, powerful, and ideal for fighting. The breed was once known as the Japanese Mastiff and is sometimes considered a canine Sumo wrestler.
The Tosa is an easy dog to groom. All the breed needs is a brushing occasionally and its coat will look great. They should also have their nails trimmed regularly. These dogs need plenty of exercise because they are inactive in the house, so they need to be taken out to run and play often or they will become lethargic.
The Tosa Inu is a cheerful breed that needs special attention. They can live in an apartment but will need lots of exercise. The breed requires an owner who can train an immensely powerful dog without being too harsh. Obviously, they need an experienced handler. They should not be around dogs that may want to fight and should not live with other dogs because of their history with dog fighting. However, they can live with small animals with no problems. They do wonderfully with children but should not be left alone with them unsupervised because of their large size. Tosas need a family who will give them lots of affection because the breed loves nothing more then its family.
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