Tosa Information – Everything You Need To Know

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The Tosa dog breed is known for its courage, boldness, and compassion. This breed has other names such as Tosa Ken, Tosa Inu, etc. The Tosa is obedient and usually has a quiet nature.

This article will discuss different aspects of the Tosa, such as its characteristics, health problems, exercise requirements, and much more.

Tosa’s History

Tosa Information Everything You Need To KnowIn Japan, the Tosa has been bred for centuries. Japan has a long history and tradition of dogfighting, and the tradition began in the 14th century. The Tosa was developed by crossing it with several Western breeds such as St.Bernard, Mastiff, or Bull Terrier and the Kochi dog breed.

The Tosa is the ‘Sumo Wrestler of the Canine World” and is considered a national treasure in Japan. While dogfighting is now considered illegal in Japan, North America, and Europe, it does take place secretly.

Tosa Characteristics

The Tosa is an athletic dog breed; it has a large body, stamina, and is muscular. While the Japanese Tosa is big, the American varieties are even bigger, topping the scales at over 200 pounds in weight.

Tosas have wrinkled brows, muscular necks, square muzzles, and brown-colored eyes.

The neck has a dewlap (Loose skin), the ears are thin and hang down by the cheeks. The coat of the Tosa is smooth and short and comes in shades of red, black, brindle, and fawn. Some dogs have a white marking on their chest or paws. The fur continues on the long and tapered tail of the Tosa.

How Big Can A Tosa Get?

The average weight for a Tosa is 130 pounds, whereas the average height is 21 to 23 inches.

How Long Can A Tosa Live?

The average lifespan of a Tosa is 10 to 12 years.

How Much Does A Tosa Cost?

The price of the Tosa depends on its breeder and pedigree. However, typically the average price of a Tosa puppy is $ 1800 to 2200.

Tosa Personality/Temperament

There is a lot to marvel about the Tosa dog breed, as it is has a playful and, at times, silly personality. The Tosa is an intelligent dog breed and always tries to impress its owner. The Tosa is quiet-natured; it is fearless, courageous, and protective.

The Tosa requires an owner that can display leadership all the time. Usually, a Tosa attacks humans if he’s been poorly trained or handled. A well-trained and stable Tosa is a good family dog and lives well with other pets.

The Tosa should be taught obedience at a young age and is a tough breed to keep for first-time dog owners. The Tosa has a special bond with its owner, often affectionate and docile towards him. The massive size and the deep bark of the Tosa are enough to keep strangers or intruders away.

Tosa’s Nutrition

Since the Tosa is a large-sized dog and weighs around 100 to 200 pounds, they require a large quantity of food; however, you should still watch the quantity. Overfeeding the dog can lead to obesity and other types of illness. Try feeding the Tosa food for large dogs and organic dog food.

Another factor that you cannot ignore is the timing of the meal. The vet may also recommend feeding the dog several small portions throughout the day.

How Do You Groom A Tosa?

The Tosa is a low-maintenance dog breed, and it is easy to groom it. The fur is dense and lies tight to the body. You don’t need to trim the hair as it sheds naturally. However, you should still have some important grooming tools, such as a dog bathtub and dog grooming table. Don’t forget to keep toothbrushes for dogs.

You will need to trim the nails of Tosa once every fortnight. You should also clean the ears periodically to keep the infections away. If you see inflammation or redness in the ear, please contact the vet as soon as possible.

Activity Levels of the Tosa

The Tosa requires at least a jog or a walk daily since it has a primal instinct to walk. When a dog doesn’t go on a walk daily, it can develop behavioral issues. However, the Tosa requires only an average daily activity and is a good jogging companion.

You can also let the Tosa out in the backyard or a fenced area. If the weather is not suitable for a walk, try to play indoor games with the dog or teach him some new tricks.

Health Concerns for Tosa

While many dog breeds face health challenges, the Tosa is generally extremely healthy. However, that doesn’t mean the Tosa cannot be affected by health conditions. Below we have discussed some health issues that are common in the Tosa dog breed:

  • Allergies
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Elbow Dysplasia
  • GDV (Gastric Dilation-Volvulus)


Most dog breeds are prone to fall victim to allergies, and the Tosa can develop consisting of coughing and sneezing, rashes, and itching. If you feel your dog has some form of allergy, get it checked by a vet. These are some common allergies:

Flea Allergy

This is a common allergy that affects many types of dog breeds. Dogs that are sensitive to allergies may develop a skin allergy when coming into contact with flea saliva. Usually, it only takes one bite from the flea to cause an allergy in the dog. Flea allergies are common in the spring and summer months.

Food Allergies

While food allergies are not as common as environmental or flea allergies, they exist. If the dog is allergic to a type of food, it is probably because of the proteins in commercial dog food.

Hip and Elbow Dysplasia

This is a type of malnourishment in the dog’s joint. Hip and elbow dysplasia is common in large-sized dog breeds, and in some cases, the only cure for dysplasia is surgery.

Gastric Dilation-Volvulus (GDV)

Like many deep-chested and large dog breeds, The Tosa is vulnerable to GDV. GDV can become a life-threatening condition if left untreated. In GDV, the stomach fills up with air and starts to twist on its own. To cure GDV, vets often recommend Prophylactic Gastropexy, a type of surgery.

Breeds Similar To a Tosa

Best Dog Food for Tosas

Nutro Natural Choice Large Breed Adult Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food

The best dog food for Tosa is Nutro Natural Choice Large Breed Adult Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food. Nutro has crafted this food using healthy natural ingredients that include rice and chicken. The formula is rich in protein which makes it great for the muscle development of your pal. So, you can expect stronger muscles out of this food. 

  • Crafted without using any GMO ingredients, soy, corn, wheat, and by-product meals.
  • Promotes joints health with chondroitin and glucosamine in the recipe.
  • Antioxidants make immunity better.

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Best Puppy Food for Tosas

Wellness Large Breed Complete Health Puppy Dry Dog Food

The best puppy food for Tosa is Wellness Large Breed Complete Health Puppy Deboned Chicken, Brown Rice & Salmon Meal Recipe Dry Dog Food, 30-lb bag. The recipe for this puppy food includes brown rice, chicken, and salmon meal as key ingredients. The formula does not include any fillers, artificial preservatives, and by-products.  

  • Contains omega fatty acids, glucosamine, probiotics, vitamins, and antioxidants.
  • Provides healthy and strong bones and teeth.
  • DHA in the recipe develops cognition and improves vision.

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Best Dog Crate for Tosas

Midwest Solutions Series Xx Large Heavy Duty Double Door Collapsible Wire Dog Crate

The best dog crate for Tosa is MidWest Solutions Series XX-Large Heavy Duty Double Door Wire Dog Crate, 54 inches. This dog crate has been built with heavy-duty material that provides higher strength and protection. While the two doors make it highly convenient for owners to access.

  • Electro-coated wires ensure long-lasting use and superior rust resistance.
  • Super easy to operate due to drop-pin construction.
  • Slide bolt latches make it more secure.

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Best Dog Bed for Tosas

American Kennel Club Extra Large Memory Foam Pillow Dog Bed

The best dog bed for Tosa is the American Kennel Club Extra Large Memory Foam Pillow Dog Bed w/Removable Cover. This dog bed by American Kennel Club has been made of eco-friendly material. It is highly cozy and comfortable.

  • Contains non-skid bottom that makes it hard to slip.
  • Easy to wash with removable covers.
  • Supports joints health and soothes the aching.

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Best Dog Harness for Tosas

Chai’s Choice 3m Reflective Dog Harness

The best dog harness for Tosa is Chai’s Choice 3M Polyester Reflective Front Clip Dog Harness. This Chai’s Choice’s harness is comfortable to wear, and it provides better fitting through adjustable straps. 

  • O ring has been added to attach a leash.
  • Get higher control with a built-in handle.
  • Removes pressure from neck.

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