A Sumo Dog, the Japanese Tosa Breed
The Japanese Tosa is among the breeds of dog suffering from BSL (breed specific legislation) and is banned in places like England, Ireland, Australia, and many other countries.
Did it make the Dangerous Dog list by killing and attacking other dogs? No. The dog just has a history.
What is this history?
The Japanese in the Tosa region had a medium sized dog that they wanted to develop into a sumo-type wrestler. About 150 years ago they started crossing their local breed with Mastiffs, St. Bernards, Great Danes, and Bull Terriers.
Before World War II there were thousands of Tosa breeders in Japan.
The dog fighters in Japan did not want a normal type of fighting dog. They wanted a dog that would fight in a sumo style, wrestling, and they developed this breed for that purpose.
The dogs are large, thick, and strong.
Just like what every sumo wrestler wants be.
What are Tosa like?
Tosa are big, but in Japan they weigh from 35 to less than about 60 kilograms, and outside of Japan breeders have selected them so that they weigh up to about 100 kilograms. They have short coats, usually red, blocky heads, and a thick muscular neck. Although they do not drool as much as some big dogs, they do drool.
The Tosa is a sensitive and quiet dog. They are usually quiet, but when they do bark it is impressive, and they make good guard dogs because of their size and appearance.
They live about 10 years.
Are they expensive?
Any time you consider getting a large dog, of course, the expenses will be that much more. The Tosa eats more, will require a strong outdoor kennel or good fencing around your yard, and if he does have any health problems (like hip dysplasia or bloat) the expenses will be high.
Tosa are still a rare breed and the purchase price will also be high.
If you are interested in finding and owning one of these dogs,Tosa breeders usually recommend they only be purchased by a person with experience handling dogs.
There are a lot of other things you need to think about. The first thing to find out is if the Tosa is banned where you live. If you rent you need to find out if the Tosa will cause you to lose your home.
You also need to socialize your dog when still a puppy. Reinforce the bite inhibition lessons he learned from his mother. Start obedience training early when your dog is still young and continue lessons to reinforce your position with your Tosa.
The Japanese Tosa should be exercised daily but they are not a dog that should be taken to a dog park. If your Tosa is attacked by another dog they are difficult to control, and since they have such a high pain tolerance they usually have no trouble fighting other dogs.
Warning: This is a graphic display of what can happen when you allow two Tosa to wrestle outside of the ring.
This is the area in which the Tosa breed was developed.
Do some people still use these dogs for fighting? Yes. Does that mean all dogs are bad and should be kept out of so many countries? No. If you want a Japanese Tosa no one should stop you.