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Tosa inu: character, care and the most common diseases of tosa inu

Tosa inu

Tosa inu, also known as the Japanese Mastiff, is a dog belonging to the ancient Japanese fighting breed.

Like all Japanese dogs, it is descended from the legendary nippon - inu, which in turn is derived from the peat spitz.

The name of the breed refers to the town of Tosa, where the entertainment in the form of fights with dogs is especially popular.

Originally, representatives of this breed looked similar to other Japanese dogs, namely Akitas, but in the times of rapidly developing trade with Europeans, the local dogs began to be crossed with.in. with Mastiffs, Bull Terriers and Bernardines, or other fighting dogs to develop a better exterior and predisposition to win in the arena.

The modern tosa inu is therefore more muscular and much larger than its ancestors and no longer has a curled tail.

World War II significantly thwarted the breeding work, and the Amori center became the asylum of this breed, where the best representatives of the tosa inu breed were bred, and thus the tosa survived these hard times.

Today, the tosa inu is a breed that is not very popular in breeding, due to the restrictions associated with it.

In many countries it is forbidden to have these dogs, and in Poland they are included in the list of breeds considered aggressive.

We will not enter with them also:.in. on:

  • British Islands,
  • to Denmark,
  • to Norway.

According to the FCI classification, tosa inu belongs to group II.

  • Tosa inu character
  • Tosa inu breed characteristics
  • Tosa inu care
  • Tosa inu disease
    • Hip dysplasia
    • Elbow dysplasia
    • Stomach torsion
    • Hypothyroidism
    • Cutaneous calluses
  • Is it worth choosing tosa inu?

Tosa inu character

As fighting dogs, bravery and incredible endurance are inherent in the tosa inu's genes.

In the past, dog fights took place until the death of one of the opponents, so they fiercely and patiently strove for victory, impressing with courage and strength.

They are also called dog sumo, because the best canine competitor was awarded the title of Yokozuna, as well as the best human sumo fighter.

Privately, these dogs are calm and friendly, but wary of strangers.

They are not very noisy, intelligent and learn quickly.

They need a lot of exercise and make good jogging companions.

They do not attack other dogs for nothing, especially smaller and weaker dogs.

Since their stature is right, they are unsuitable for living.

They feel better having a run, but it must be well fenced.

Of course, what character traits will dominate a tosa inu depends on how we train and socialize it, especially in the case of young puppies.

Tosa inu breed characteristics

Tosa inu breed characteristics

Tosa is a dog with a muscular figure, large and majestic.

The height at the withers for a male dog is about 60 cm, and bitches about 55 cm.

Tosa inu weight

The body weight of an adult dog can fluctuate considerably and amounts to from 40 kg to even 70 kg.

Often, dogs of this breed occupy high places in the rankings of the largest dogs in the world.

Characteristics of Tosa inu

  • The head is broad with a pronounced stop and a moderately long, square muzzle.
  • Jaws strong with a complete set of teeth in a scissor bite.
  • Lips are quite abundant, so they can salivate quite clearly.
  • Dark brown and small eyes, ears set high, hanging.
  • A muscular neck with a visible dewlap turns into a straight back.
  • Chest broad and deep.
  • The croup is slightly sloping and the belly is tucked up.
  • Tail tapering towards the end, thick at the base.
  • Limbs strong and massive.
  • The coat is short.

Tosa inu color


  • tosa inu red,
  • fawn,
  • tosa inu black,
  • tabby tosa.

There may be white markings on the feet and breasts.

Tosa inu care

Due to the short and smooth coat, tosa does not require any special care treatments.

We brush the dog once a week and bathe when it requires it.

Tosa's faces have numerous folds - some more or less - between which dermatitis can develop.

We then clean such folds with preparations from chlorhexidine or baby wipes.

In nutrition, we use food intended for dogs of large or giant breeds.

Of course, we can also cook the dog ourselves, but it is then more difficult to fully cover the demand for all micro and macro ingredients.

The Japanese breed of dogs tosa inu has a predisposition to dysplasia, it is worth supporting the functioning of the joints with preparations with glucosamine and chondroitin.

Tosa inu disease

Tosa inu disease

Hip dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is one of the most common degenerative joint diseases in large breed dogs and consists in a defective shape and mismatch of individual elements of the hip joint or their too loose connection.

The condition is poligenetic, but environmental factors, such as diet during growth and the amount of exercise you provide, also contribute to its occurrence.

Tosa inu puppies are born with normal hips, and the condition develops as a result of an imbalance between hard and soft tissue development.

Inaccurate fit of the femoral head to the acetabulum causes looseness in the joint, which increases with increasing loads, and as a result of pressure, productive changes develop.

The load on the joint is caused, among others, by too much pressure caused by excessive body weight.

Also, inadequate food compositions containing too much calcium, phosphorus and vitamins cause a delay in muscle development compared to the growth of bone tissue, which leads to stretching of the ligaments and, as a result, relaxation of the joint.

Also, too much exercise and too intense training may be harmful for a young dog, as it leads to microdamages of the articular cartilage and subluxation of the joints.

Most often, symptoms of dysplasia are noticed in dogs aged 6-12 months, but the first symptoms are noticeable in puppies 2 months old.

Symptoms that indicate HD include:

  • reluctance to move,
  • difficulty getting up,
  • frequent lying down during walks,
  • the so-called. rabbit jumping,
  • stiff gait,
  • sitting down a lot.

In young dogs, the acute form is manifested by difficulty in moving up to complete inability to walk, and in older dogs, it is a chronic form with limited mobility of the joints and stiffness of the hind limbs.

The diagnosis is made by the veterinarian on the basis of the data obtained during the interview, clinical examination and X-ray pictures.

Elbow dysplasia

This disease consists in incorrect development of the structures of the elbow joint.

It consists of:

  • unattached ulnar appendix,
  • fragmentation of the medial peak process,
  • osteochondrosis of the humerus condyle,
  • mismatch of the articular surfaces.

The diagnosis is made on the basis of an X-ray image and a clinical examination.

The dominant symptoms are:

  • lameness,
  • stiff gait,
  • reluctance to bend and straighten the elbow,
  • soreness in these joints.
Most often, dysplasia is treated surgically.

Stomach torsion

Dilation of the stomach is the increase in its volume due to the accumulation of gases from easily fermented products, as well as excessive amounts of food eaten greedily and in too much.


  • anxiety,
  • dying,
  • vomiting.

A sharp dilation may also be accompanied by a twist, which is an emergency requiring rapid surgical intervention.

A twist often occurs when the dog is subjected to intense physical exertion shortly after eating.


Hypothyroidism is an endocrine disease consisting in a reduced production of thyroid hormones and, consequently, a reduced supply of these hormones to the body's cells.

Symptoms can vary, but the most common symptoms are:

  • gaining weight,
  • getting tired quickly,
  • skin changes,
  • muscle cramps,
  • paresis.

The diagnosis is made by measuring the concentration of thyroxine, TSH and, additionally, cholesterol in the blood.

The treatment is used synthetic levothyroxine in a dose determined individually for each dog and most often must be carried out throughout the life with periodic check-ups.

Cutaneous calluses

Calluses are thickenings of the skin formed in places of chronic pressure, most often in the area of ​​the elbow tumor, and are changes characteristic of large breed dogs, especially those that like to lie on a hard surface.

Since calluses are difficult to treat, it is better to prevent them.

Prophylaxis consists mainly in providing the dog with a soft bedding and in the initial stages of lubricating the affected skin or applying creams with vitamin A.

Sometimes calluses require surgical intervention, but they frequently renew.

Is it worth choosing tosa inu?

This is a difficult question.

Tosa inu dog fights as such in Japan are held legally today, so in those areas these dogs still take part in them.

In other countries where possession is permitted, tosa inu dogs are kept primarily as guard and guard dogs.

Although their character is often described as gentle and friendly, certain instincts are deeply rooted in them.

It is not without reason that they are included in the list of aggressive breeds mentioned in the introduction and I do not think that the father of the family would think of buying such a dog as a companion to his little offspring.

A tosa inu dog must be handled by an experienced and patient person.

In order to breed or keep a dog of this breed, a special permit is required, issued by the mayor, village head or president of the city where the dog is to stay.

For this purpose, an application must be submitted containing the dog's data, the results of mental tests and training courses, and a description of the conditions in which it is kept.

When deciding on an aggressive breed dog, we must remember that we take responsibility for its behavior and possible damage, so you should carefully consider whether we are able to arrange the dog in such a way that it does not pose a threat to others.

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