Tosa Dog Pictures and Information

The Tosa is a rare Japanese dog breed that comes in a number of different sizes. When these dogs are bred outside of Japan, they tend to be larger than those that are bred in their country of origin.


Tosa Dog Description

The Japanese version should never weigh more than 88 pounds, and those that are bred outside of Japan may weigh as much as 200 pounds, which is comparable to a Great Dane or Bullmastiff. The maximum height of these dogs should not be more than 25.5 inches. The coat should be short with a smooth texture. The acceptable coat colors for this breed are fawn, brindle, or red. Small wrinkles may be present on the head, and the ears should hang to the sides. These dogs were frequently used in wrestling tournaments in Japan, and the winners would be elaborately decorated.

Tosa Dog

Also Known As

  • Japanese Fighting Dog
  • Japanese Mastiff
  • Tosa Fighting Dog
  • Tosa Inu
  • Tosa Ken
  • Tosa Token

Country of Origin



This dog was frequently used to fight other dogs, and it is not recommended for an owner who is inexperienced. These dogs are prone to getting into fights with dogs and other animals, and because of its size, it can be hard for owners to handle it. This is not the ideal family dog, and will function best with one person that knows how to handle and lead it. This breed is called the “Sumo” Dog in Japan, and this is likely because of its size. It should be noted that while this dog was used in fights, they were never allowed to bit each other, but would simply wrestle.

Health Problems

Because of their size, hip dysplasia is a problem that may be prevalent in this breed. Other than this, the Tosa is healthy, and may have a maximum life expectancy of 13 years.


These dogs need large amounts of exercise. They were bred to wrestle and fight, and this makes them both athletic and energetic. They are not good for people who live in cities, and they will at least need to have a large yard to move around in. When these dogs are taken for walks, they should never be unleashed or brought in the presence of other dogs or animals. They can easily get into fights.

Special Grooming Needs

The Tosa has a short, smooth coat that does not need large amounts of grooming. Owners will simply want to brush the coat once or twice per week, and wiping it with a chamois will produce an impressive shine. These dogs should only be bathed when they need it.