Tosa Inu – Fighting Dog of Japan

The sight of a Tosa Inu arrayed in full ceremonial preventing regalia and historically introduced into the preventing area by two handlers, makes a formidable and unforgettable impression.

Canine preventing has been a preferred sport in Japan since historic instances. Like sumo wrestling, it was an elaborate, ceremonial affair, a sport carried out primarily by the Samurais, and the fighters, particularly the winners, had been feted and accorded a lot status. The canine had been bred particularly to boost their preventing qualities, and puppies had been jealously guarded and weren’t made generally out there.

Historical past

Initially, the native, wolf-like breed referred to as Nihon Inu, which had been additionally used to hunt wild boars, had been pitted in opposition to one another in dog-fights. Nonetheless, after Japan opened her doorways to the Western powers within the nineteenth century, the Westerners introduced lots of their canine breeds to Japan, and these had been quickly sufficient entered into contests in opposition to the Nihon Inu. The Nihon Inu, being far smaller in dimension as in comparison with the Western breeds, couldn’t maintain out its personal in opposition to the brand new opponents, and, in actual fact, started dropping encounter after encounter. This was an affront to Samurai delight, and so, to redress it, they determined to develop a bigger, stronger canine by breeding the Nihon Inu, with a sure chosen Western canine. This breeding program was carried out on the Island of Shikoku within the city of Kochi in Tosa District, area particularly famed for its curiosity in dog-fighting.

The breeders of Shikoku began off with the Bulldog and the Bull Terrier, as this canine had proved essentially the most tenacious within the contests. The Mastiff was launched for dimension and the Nice Dane for each dimension and agility. Pointers, each English, and German, had been launched for his or her sound, obedient characters, and well-developed olfactory senses. Someplace alongside the way in which the bloodlines of Saint Bernards and Bloodhounds had been additionally added. The canine that resulted was the Tosa Inu. It exceeded all expectations and proved so formidable within the bouts, preventing with a silent, unyielding ferocity and dispatching its opponents with an nearly insulting ease, that its fame quickly unfolds past the Tosa district, and breeders in different components of Japan started taking discover.

Nonetheless, much more than earlier than, the canine had been jealously guarded and really selectively bred in order to keep up the ferocious preventing qualities. It was not straightforward to amass them, not to mention handle them, and they also by no means acquired recognition as pets. They remained nearly completely within the fingers of the folks concerned within the dog-fighting contests. Amidst the meals shortages and different hardships of the Second World Battle years, the breed nearly turned extinct. It was revived within the post-war years with Tosa Inus introduced from Korea and Taiwan (beforehand bought by the Japanese to the breeders there). The numbers have drastically elevated since, and, whereas it’s nonetheless not a really generally seen canine in Japan, the breed has acquired a following abroad, particularly in America, the place they had been first introduced over by Japanese Immigrants, and later turned well-liked after the actor Jack Palance took a curiosity in them and started breeding them on his ranch. The Tosa Inus in America, nonetheless, since they’re solely bred for present qualities, are inferior to the Japanese Tosa Inus.


It is a large, regal canine, standing properly over 30 inches on the shoulders and weighing as much as 150 kilos― a lot bigger Tosa Inus, weighing 200 kilos and extra, at the moment are extinct. Females are considerably smaller than males. They’re by no means utilized in preventing.

This canine has a really distinctive, massive, wrinkled head, with drooping ears and a medium size, jowled muzzle with a scissor bite. The eyes are small, with a peaceful, clever expression. The physique is large-boned, with a broad chest and well-muscled legs. The thick coat is available in diversified colors, however pink is taken into account the best and often one strong coloration is most popular; markings are allowed on the chest, however by no means on the top and muzzle. The traditional life expectancy is 10 to 12 years. The Tosa Inu is topic to the illnesses widespread to massive breeds, like joint irritation, hip dysplasia, and intestinal bloat. Cautious breeding can, after all, mitigate a few of these issues. There are in common six to 12 puppies per litter.

Proudly owning a Tosa Inu

Regardless of their notoriety as preventing animals, these animals make extremely affectionate and loving companions. They’re dedicated to their households and are the very affected person and tolerant with the kids. Extraordinarily clever, with wonderful guarding instincts, they’re canine one can rely on. Aside from guarding, they’ve been efficiently used as Search and Rescue Canines and in Remedy Coaching.

That being stated, the Tosa Inu is nonetheless not a pet one ought to purchase without due consideration. To begin with, it’s a slightly costly animal to amass, the costs with the very best breeders starting from $1,000 and up, and its common repairs additionally is sort of appreciable. As well as, being such a large of a canine, it requires a number of areas. It isn’t going to settle fortunately in a small house, or, slightly, the house shouldn’t be more likely to, fortunately, settle with this boisterous creature―younger ones are extraordinarily boisterous they usually take a very long time rising up. Additionally, the undoubted intelligence of the breed signifies that it is a canine with thoughts of its personal – and one that it will choose to make up by itself too if the Grasp does not be taught to be masterly sufficient whereas it’s nonetheless doable. Because of this, it’s crucial that the canine be well-trained and well-socialized from a really younger age, and taught to curb its pure aggressive tendencies in the direction of different animals and strangers. With a big canine like this, tragedy may end up in any other case.

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