Its native land is the island of Shikoku, in Japan, and more precisely the city of Tosa where the first breeders, with the aim of creating an epic Japanese fighter, made the first selections.

We are in the Meiji Era (1868-1912) during the reign of Emperor Mutsuhito. From time immemorial, the local Kochi-Ken breed (Kochi is the name of the region where the city of Tosa is located) also known as Shikoku-Inu, dominated the fights and, in the hopes of creating a larger dog who was even more “aware” of his symbolic role in the fight, they began to cross the local breed with dogs of Western origins such as the bulldog, the St. Bernard, the Mastiff, the Bull Terrier and others still such as the German shorthaired pointer for its excellent sense of smell and the Great Dane for its height.


Origini1And here is the Tosa Inu, the Japanese Molosser chosen for fights that were never cruel or bloody, but rather with precise rules. The two fighters were placed within an octagonal enclosure facing one another and had to try to knock over and block their adversary.

The match was overseen and judged by:

  • a judge
  • two assistent judges
  • four inspectors

Origini2A dog who whines, growls, takes more than three steps back when attacked or is dominated by the other dog is declared the loser.

These fights, which are quite legal, are rituals where the winner is the dog who is most even-tempered, aware of his strength, respectful of the rules and of his opponent. In addition, fights are never held in hot seasons or in conditions that could be harmful to the dogs’ health.

Origini3Since 1930, an organization has existed in Japan that protects and propagates the breed, of which there are hundreds of dogs, most involved in the various fighting categories.

The Japanese have always guarded the best lines jealously, continuing traditions and training each dog with passion and respect from puppyhood.

In certain countries in Eastern Europe and South America, the Tosa (like other breeds) has been used for illegal fighting or interbreeding with the intention to create breeds for use in cruel fights.

Origini4I do not deny, therefore, that dogs with a “difficult nature” can exist, but consider the origin, genetics, training and habits of each individual dog rather than judging a breed that is considered almost sacred in its country of origin.

It is essential that every dog of every breed receive a proper upbringing alongside people and animals, and therefore be socialized. As soon as he is introduced into his new family (at around 2 months), the puppy should “come into contact” with both the other animals he will have to live with and those he will encounter on his first walks. The puppy’s young age allows him to better assimilate his surroundings and he should be observed in order to correct any undesired behavior.

Origini5Personally, I believe that every four-legged friend may not seem so loyal at times, but this is often due to the “ignorance” of the owner, to his “lack of respect” for his loyal friend and to his lack of essential historical notions that lead to an improper propagation of a breed and the true qualities for which it was created, like in our case (more often twenty years ago) with the Tosa Inu.

Origini6His balanced-nature makes him well-suited to family life. He is patient with children and sociable with other animals. His cleanliness and awareness of his size make him well-suited for both the home and yard. The innate cautiousness in his behavior makes him a unique dog who will react, demonstrating unparalleled courage and strength only when faced with the “need to defend himself and danger.”

for the Tosas ...

Daniele e Christal


di Lissoni Daniele
20060 - Truccazzano (Mi)

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