Other names: Tosa Inu, Japanese Mastiff, Sumo, Japanese Fighting Dog, Japanese Mastiff

3.9 / 5
8 reviews

The Tosa, or Tosa Inu, is a large, even giant, dog with a robust constitution and impressive dimensions. Powerful and imposing, it is nonetheless endowed with a certain elegance in its lines and attitudes.



Photo: Tosa breed dog on Woopets
Hair type Short
Origin Japan
Template Giant
Head shape Square
Weight and size
Sex Weight Cut
Female From 30 kg to 50 kg From 55 cm to 70 cm
Male From 40 kg to 65 kg From 60 cm to 80 cm
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History of the breed

The Tosa inherits a long history as a fighting dog. Originally from Japan and bearing the name of the region where he was raised, he was indeed selected for his physical and moral qualities during the confrontation. It is the result of the cross between the Shikoku-Ken and several Western breeds during the 18th and 19th centuries: Bulldogs, Mastiffs, German Shorthaired Pointer, German Mastiff. It would also seem that he benefited from contributions from Saint-Bernard and Bull Terrier. The Tosa breed was definitively recognized by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale on April 1, 1964. Its official standard currently in force was published on September 9, 1997.

Tosa Pictures

Photo by Goliath, Tosa

See all photos of Tosa from Woopets members

Physical features

His hair: short, hard to the touch and quite dense.
Its color: fawn, apricot, red, black and brindle, possibly with white markings on the chest and feet.
His head: square muzzle and broad skull, with a very marked stop.
His ears: falling against the cheeks, small in size, not very thick and set high on the sides.
His eyes: dark brown in color, small in size, displaying an expression of dignity.
His body: of imposing dimensions, with the withers well extended, the back horizontal and straight, the kidney wide and muscular, the chest wide and high, the belly well pulled up.
Its tail: strong at the set and tapering towards the tip, of medium length.

Behavior and character

Barks / howls

Behavior with others

Cohabitation with children
Sociable with other animals
Love strangers

Tosa is pure strength in its purest form. Calm, patient and level-headed, he never barks for no reason and only becomes less friendly when he feels that his master’s house or his family is threatened by an intrusion. In this, and combined with his great courage, the Tosa un   is an excellent watchdog. Moreover, its imposing size fully plays its dissuasive role, forcing it to take action only very rarely. He is also a very good companion dog, since he is very attentive to his surroundings. More or less obedient, the Tosa can adopt a dominant behavior towards other dogs of the same sex, but without becoming overly aggressive. In short, we are dealing with a balanced dog.

To temper his somewhat stubborn and domineering character, it is necessary to educate the Tosa with firmness from an early age. Otherwise, it becomes difficult to manage and control due to its potency. Well educated and socialized, the Tosa is a quiet, gentle, docile dog who only asks to learn to please his master.

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Living conditions

Suitable for apartment living
Good for new masters
Love it hot
Love the cold

It is clear that with its size and power, the Tosa is not a dog made to live in an apartment, despite its fairly calm character. Rather, it is aimed at active people, who know how to show firmness during their education and who are capable of ensuring that their status as teachers is respected, without, however, tending towards the balance of power. The Tosa can live in a family with children, but it is best to never leave them alone with them. This type of large dog feels much more comfortable in a house with a large, fenced garden.


Ease of gaining weight

The Tosa is a robust and very resistant dog. He has no fear of health, as long as he enjoys a balanced diet and regular care.

Hypoallergenic breed


Litter size


To protect you from these risks and insure your companion in the event of health problems, Woopets recommends Tosa dog insurance .

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Life expectancy

The life expectancy of a Tosa is, on average, less than 0 years.

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Maintenance and hygiene

Ease of maintenance
Cost of maintenance
Hair loss
Drool level
Ease of grooming

The Tosa is not a particularly difficult to maintain dog, despite its large size. This is a hardy dog that only requires regular maintenance to stay clean and healthy.

The Tosa needs long daily walks to exercise, but care should be taken not to overexert it so as not to put excessive strain on its joints.

It is recommended to brush the dog at least once a week and more frequently during the moult. The bath is only necessary if it is really too dirty (if it is covered with mud, for example). His nails, eyes, ears and teeth should be checked and cleaned regularly to prevent the accumulation of debris.

Price and budget

Purchase price

1000 €
1500 €

The purchase price of a Tosa is between 1000 € and 1500 €.

Annual maintenance cost


The annual maintenance cost of a Tosa is between NC and NC.

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Physical activity

Energy level
Potential to play


Master character <span class="btnTooltip qTip2" title="- Calm: the master must be gentle and know how to show patience.
– Active: the owner must be energetic and dynamic to live in harmony with his dog.
– Hyperactive: the owner must be stimulating and very restless to suit the temperament of his dog.”>

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