Nov. 09.2020 | Updated: November 19, 2021

Japanese Tosa Inu

Coat type
Activity level
Barking level
Friendliness to other animals

Tosa Inu is a large noble dog of a group of molossus. The height of representatives of the breed is 55 cm and higher. Weight is about 70 kg. Just a few years ago, there were a lot of Tosa Dogs weighing more than 100 kg in the world, but today the breed has reached its optimal weight, and significant deviations from it are not welcome. Female Tosa Inu is somewhat more compact than male dogs.

Japenese tosa have a massive build, strong skeleton, and developed muscles. Limbs are strong and muscular, the neck is massive, strong, with a skin fold on the throat. The head is large, wide, with a pronounced occipital bump. The skin on the head gathers in the folds. The muzzle is medium length, the back of the nose is straight, large nose lobe, black. The jaws are very strong, the bite is scissor-shaped. Japanese mastiffs’ eyes are not big, look smart, and calm. The ears are small, thin, hanging; the lower edges of the ears touch the cheekbones. The tail is high, large at the base, and narrowing towards the tip.

The hair of the Tosa Mastiff is short, stiff, and very thick. The color can be varied, while the FCI standard of 1995 allowed only pale and red color with marks (white or red). Today tosa Inu has the following color options: deer, red, black, tiger, apricot. Small white spots on the chest and limbs are allowed.


tosa inu dogs

Japanese Tosa Dogs are noble companion, a model of calmness and self-control. They are very smart, serious pets, who never impose themselves and carefully study a person before starting to trust him.

Strangers are treated coldly, with some suspicion. It makes these pets good watchdogs. At the same time, in the family circle, they are incredibly kind, gentle, and soulful animals, which amaze with their devotion to their master and gently treat the children.

But do not forget that smart and determined Tosa Inu tend to act independently and can grow naughty without proper training and education.

Remember, it is a large, fighting dog, and it can dominate the other pets. Therefore, it is recommended to get an impressive pet only for experienced dog breeders who know about zoopsychology.

Nowadays, this breed is well established in the watchdog service, in search, rescue, and even in medical therapy.

Health & Care

tosa mastiff

Japanese Tosa Inu – quite strong and hardy dogs. But, like all large breeds, they tend to hip dysplasia, as well as a tendency to bloat.

Tosa’s average life expectancy varies from 10 to 12 years.

Such large pets do not feel well in the conditions of apartment maintenance, but a private house with its yard will be ideal for them. These dogs are rather unpretentious in care. It is enough to comb a short coat only once a week. A dog needs active walks and a quality balanced diet to keep a good physical shape.


Tosa Mastiff is a national treasure of Japan. An ancient breed from the group of molossus. Many centuries ago Tosa Inu was the most popular participant of dog fights, about their bravery and strength, could be said legends. This breed was admired by samurai, dogs were praised as real heroes.

Tosa Inu dogs’ ancestors were island dog-fighters and western bulldogs, bull terriers, etc. The first breeding work was conducted on Shikoku Island. The resulting powerful, intelligent, and agile Tosa Inu surpassed all expectations of breeders and became a truly unique breed.

Today, Tosa Inu is rarely bred as a pet. And they are also actively involved in search and rescue and watch services.


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