Tosa Inu


A large sized Tosa Inu
Tosa Inu Quick Summary
Also Known AsTosa Ken
Height (at withers)24-43in (61-109cm)
Weight80-200lbs (36-91kg)
Hair Colour(s)Red, brindle, fawn
Lifespan10-12 years
Energy LevelMedium
Litter size5-10
Barking TendencyMedium
Exercise requirementsMedium
Ease of trainingMedium
Suitability for kidsLow
Animal compatabilityLow
Aggression levelsHigh
Distress if leftHigh

The Tosa Inu is a large dog that can vary greatly in size. The body is well muscled and boned with a broad chest, a level topline, arched loins, long and strong legs and a long low-set tail. The heavy head has a strong muzzle, dark eyes and nose and forward folding ears. The characteristic coat is short and smooth, and the colouring tends to be red, brindle, or fawn. Occasionally it can be a dull black.


Tosa Inus are bold and fearless dogs that are also loyal and protective towards their owners. Although generally calm and intelligent, these large dogs were bred as fighting dogs and so generally do not make suitable dogs for families with children or other pets. These dogs are banned from many countries and are regulated in the UK under the Dangerous Dogs Act. However, they are very trainable and can make loyal, protective companions with the correct training, although they should not be left in kennels as they will pine for their owners. It is very important that this breed is properly trained at a young age before they become too powerful, and they are only suited to experienced dog owners that are capable of handling such large, powerful dogs. Tosa Inus should not be left around children unsupervised, but can sometimes get along with other pets providing they are socialised with them from an early age; however, they tend to be dominant or aggressive towards other dogs. They are naturally cautious around strangers and must be socialised with people to reduce their suspicious natures and reduce aggression. These dogs make exceptional guard dogs, with their size alone being enough to deter intruders.

History & Skills

Tosa Inus originate from Japan, in particular the Tosa district from where they take their name, and were originally bred as fighting dogs, which unfortunately they still are. Considered rare these days, they were devloped from local medium-sized dogs used for hintng boars and crossed with Western dogs such as Bulldogs, Mastiffs and Bloodhounds, amongst others.

Breed Specific Ailments

Tosa Inus tend to live between 10-12 years and are a pretty robust breed. Some of the health problems that have been noted in this breed include bloat and hip dysplasia.


Tosa Inus are low shedders and so are suitable for those suffering from allergies. Their grooming requirements are low too, and their short and sleek coats simply need an occasional brushing and wiping down with a damp cloth.

Exercise & Environment

Tosa Inus tend to live indoors and need moderate exercise. A daily walk plus access to a safe and secure outsode area should meet most of their demands. Their exercise should be moderated when they are young so as to limit damage to developing bones and muscles.


FCIFCI - Federation Cynologique Internationale
KCThe Kennel Club (UK)

Breed Clubs

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Owners Gallery

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