Tosa Ken Facts
- 21" - 23.5"
- 100-200+ lbs.
- 10 years | Add yours
- Exercise Requirement
- Training Requirement
- Grooming Requirement
- Breed Characteristics
Tosa-Ken, Tosa Dog, Tosa-Token, Tosa-Inu, Japanese Fighting Dog and Japanese Mastiff.
The Tosa ken originated on the island of Shikoku, Japan.
Date Of Origin
This breed developed in the 1800's.
The Tosa Ken was only developed after Commodore Perry traveled to Japan in 1854, opening trade between Japan and Western countries. Japanese breeders bred foreign dogs, such as bulldogs, mastiffs, Great Danes, and German pointers with native breeds, such as the indigenous Shikoku, to create the canine equivalent of a sumo wrestler. The dogs were and continue to be used in ceremonial dog fighting. The breed came close to extinction after WW II but was revitalized by fanciers.
The Tosa ken is a large, powerful, muscular dog that is longer than it is tall. It has a large, boxy head; pendulous lips; and a prominent dewlap. The head wrinkles when the dog is alert. The skull is broad and the muzzle is broad and blunt with powerful jaws. The nose is black and there may be black on the pink tongue. The high-set, medium size ears are drip and the eyes are small, almond shaped, and brown. The natural tail is long and tapered. The short, thick coat is any solid color, brindle, black with markings, or pied. All red dogs are preferred. There may be a black mask and white on the chest and feet.
This is a quiet, reserved dog that is affectionate and friendly with family and aloof with strangers. It may be dog aggressive. It is devoted to its owner and highly trainable.
The Tosa began its career as a combat dog, and proceeded to the duties of watch dog and bodyguard. Pugnacious but patient, it has also achieved success as a companion dog, friendly with the family, but suspicious of strangers.
Bloat, eye problems, hip and elbow dysplasia.
The Tosa ken does best with a dog experienced owner in a suburban or rural home. It is fine with children if supervised but only does well with animals with which it is raised.
Show Sources & Contributors +
The Howell Book Of Dogs
Publisher: Wiley Publishing Inc, 2007
Author: Liz Palika
Publisher: BowTie Press, 2005
Authors: Kristin Meuh-Roe, Jarelle S. Stein
Simon & Schusters Guide to Dogs
Publisher: Simon & Schuster inc, 1980
Author: Elizabeth Meriwether Schuler
The New Encyclopedia of the Dog
Publisher: Dorling Kindersley Publishing, 2000
Author: Bruce Fogle