The Tosa, or Japanese Mastiff, is a large-sized, robust dog known for his courage, patience and balanced temperament. Sometimes called the Japanese Fighting Dog, it was developed by selective breeding the Japanese native dogs (Kochi dogs) with Bulldogs, Mastiffs, German Pointer and Great Danes. In Japan, Tosa is considered to be a Natural Treasure. In the USA Tosa can be registered with the American Kennel Club FSS.
The Tosa breed was named after the province where it was developed, Tosa-Wan, located on the Japanese Island of Shikoku. Very courageous, athletic and tenacious, for many years these molossian dogs were known as warrior companions and were used in dog fighting which played a critical role in the development of the modern Tosa.
Photo courtesy of The Tosa House
The Tosa's coat is short, hard and dense and needs minimal grooming. It comes in many colors, including red, fawn, apricot, black and brindle with or without small white markings on chest and feet.
With all this dog fighting past, Tosas have never demonstrated any aggression toward humans. They are very affectionate, loyal and gentle with their human families, still these dogs are not a good choice for families with small children. They can be very aggressive to other dogs.
Keywords: Tosa, guard dog, watchdog, Wachhund, chien de garde, perro guardián