Fun Facts About Tosa Ken

Tosa Inu is fighting dogs that originated in Japan. ‘Inu’ is Japanese for “dog.” What many people may not know is that this large dog breed spent its early days fighting samurai. There was even a point in history when Tosa Inu were nearly extinct.

The Tosa Inu is one of the top breeds in Japan and is one of the largest Tosa dog types. These animals are also known as Tosa Ken, Tosa Dogs, Japanese Fighting Dogs, or Japanese Mastiffs.

The dogs were originally bred as fighters, but now the dogs are known for their calm demeanor. However, it may take consistent training to get the Tosa Ken to be docile.

Here are some interesting facts you should know before decided to purchase the Tosa Ken as a pet.

Tosa Ken are considered Japanese warriors

Japanese breeders are very proud of the Tosa Ken. This large dog has been popular in Japan for nearly 1,000 years. Tosa Ken dogs are originally from Shikoku Island in a place called Tosa Wan (this is how the Tosa Ken got its name).

The Tosa Ken were Nordic dogs originally. Over time, the dogs were bred with bigger breeds like the Mastiff and bulldog to make them stronger and bigger. The “new” breed of Tosas became well known for their ability to fight.

Tosa Inu were fighting next to samurai, who trained them for battle, which is how the dogs learned to be ferocious. Around WWII, they were nearly extinct due to a lack of food. During the war, Japan was suffering drastically, and the country was barely able to feed its citizens, so most of the dogs were killed.

However, the best breeds on Shikoku Island and other dog enthusiasts took 12 of the Tosa Ken dogs and hid them on the island of Hokkaido.

The Tosa dogs remained in Hokkaido until the end of WWII. Once the war was over, it was no longer illegal to keep the dogs as pets.

In 1998, the Tosa Ken breed was regarded by the United Kennel Club as a guardian breed. However, Tosas aren’t recognized by the American Kennel Club. However, Tosa dogs may compete in American Kennel Club events like obedience.

Tosa Ken is a large dog

Tosa Inu is a huge dog and exudes an air of confidence. Since these animals have a history of fighting, they are sturdy and strong and have heavy muscles.

Generally, Tosa Ken can grow up to 24 inches tall; this applies to both female and male dogs. However, male and female Tosa dogs differ slightly in weight. Males are usually between 120 and 170 pounds, and females are between 90 and 140 pounds.

These weight ranges are for dogs in the West. Tosa Ken that are bred in Japan range in weight from 66 to 88 pounds. All Tosas can pull about 3,000 pounds of weight and have a lifespan of about a decade, although some dogs can live up to 12 years.

Tosa dogs are very quiet

Tosa Ken will act swiftly and won’t make much noise. This is because the dogs are trained to fight silently since Japanese dog fights occurred in quiet surroundings.

Tosa Ken dogs have learned how to engage in battle without making a sound. Even if the dogs are scared or injured while playing with children or other family members, the dogs won’t bark or yelp. Because the dogs are trained to be fighters, they have a high threshold for pain as well.

Tosa Inu are ideal guard dogs

If treated well, Tosa Ken dogs are extremely loyal. This breed is perceived as dangerous, and the dogs are very attached to their owners. Sine Tosa dogs are so loyal; they make excellent guard dogs.

Tosa Ken dogs are also fond of children and will protect young members of the household vigilantly. However, Tosa dogs may bite children out of pain or fear while playing with kids. An adult should be present when children are playing with Tosa dogs.

Tosa Inu instinctively chase anything they see moving because of their fighting instincts. The dog owner must be present if the Tosa is playing with other children to keep the dog from chasing or attacking.

If you introduce your Tosa Inu to a stranger in a calm manner, the dog will likely respond in a welcoming manner. However, the owner needs to be nearby until the Tosa gets used to the visitor.

Tosa dogs are Japanese celebrities

As mentioned, Tosa Inus are very famous in Japan and are considered celebrities. It’s also important to note that dogfighting is not connected to betting or gambling in Japan.

It’s considered a sport, and the decision(s) of the judges is held in high regard. Japanese dog trainers never protest the judge’s ruling in a canine battle.

The best Tosa fighting dogs are given a rank. The dogs are divided into Sumo wrestling categories. There are three grades of Sumo fighting: Yokozuna, Ozeki, and Sekiwake.

These same classifications are used for honoring skilled fighting Tosas. ‘Yokozuna’ is the honor given to the most successful Tosa fighting dogs. These dogs are adorned in braided rope and cloth.

The owner of the dog is awarded these decorative items as well. Once a Tosa dog reached Yokozuna status, the dog is given a one-minute grace period before fighting.

Tosa Inus are strong-willed

Tosas are very intelligent dogs. The animals are also affectionate but can be very stubborn. Most of the time, Tosas knows how to behave in stressful situations, but this doesn’t mean they will act as they should.

It takes lots of training and effort to get a Tosa Inu to obey its owner. The dogs are well aware of their size and will use this to their benefit.

Training is a must for this breed since Tosa dogs are huge and can be very dangerous. Owners should always keep in mind that these dogs were bred for fighting, and the tendency to attack is still instinctual.

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