• Join our Facebook Page!
  • Follow us on Twitter!
  • Subscribe to our YouTube channel!
  • Subscribe to the Wiki-Pet.com RSS feed
  • |

208 Breeds, 422 Health Conditions  |  Find a Vet

Wiki Pet - health, breeds, pets, friends!

Suggested Friends

Rhino NeiseBarbara CoxTierney DewittSheila Driggers

Meet fellow pet fans & make new friends!

Tosa Ken


Tosa Ken Facts

  • Group
  • Working
  • Affiliations
  • UKC
  • Height
  • 21" - 23.5"
  • Weight
  • 100-200+ lbs.
  • Lifespan
  • 10 years | Add yours

    Login or Join to contribute

  • Exercise Requirement
  • Moderate - This breed enjoys typical daily activity
  • Training Requirement
  • A Quick Learner
  • Grooming Requirement
  • Easy
  • Colors
    • Various Colors
  • Breed Characteristics
    • Can be trained as a watch dog or guard dog
    • Can be trained for defense
    • Good with children
    • Should sleep indoors

True Cost Of Ownership

Alternate Names

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.

Health Concerns

Bloat, eye problems, hip and elbow dysplasia.

Additional Information

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

Website: http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/

Author: Liz Palika

Dog Bible

Publisher: BowTie Press, 2005

Website: http://www.bowtiepress.com/bowtie/

Authors: Kristin Meuh-Roe, Jarelle S. Stein

Simon & Schusters Guide to Dogs

Publisher: Simon & Schuster inc, 1980

Website: http://www.simonandschuster.com

Author: Elizabeth Meriwether Schuler

The New Encyclopedia of the Dog

Publisher: Dorling Kindersley Publishing, 2000

Website: http://www.dk.com

Author: Bruce Fogle

0 Comments For "Tosa Ken"