Tosa (dog)

Tosa (dog)


The Tosa is one of 11 breeds of dog recently banned by the Dublin City Council from their properties, including council houses, flats and estatesref|dublin.

The New Zealand government banned the import of Tosas claiming that they are dogs specifically bred for fighting. It was to be a step towards combating the increasing number of dog attacks on humans, especially children.


This breed originated in the second half of the nineteenth century. The breed started from the native Shikoku-Inu, an indigenous dog weighing about 25 kilograms and standing about 55 centimetres high, which closely resembles the European Spitz. These dogs were crossed with European dog breeds, such as the Bulldog in 1872, Mastiff in 1874, St. Bernard, German Pointer in 1876, Great Dane in 1924, and the Bull Terrierref|cunliffe. The aim was to breed a larger, more powerful dog. The heyday of Tosa breeding was between 1924 and 1933, when it was said that there were more than 5,000 Tosa breeders in Japan.

umo wrestling

In Japan this breed is also called Sumo Dog. Sumo fighters are Japanese wrestlers who engage in a very unusual style of wrestling that is over 1,500 years old. The objective of sumo wrestling is to stay on one's feet despite one's opponent's attacks and not to allow one's opponent to knock one to the floor or drive him from the ring.

This sumo wrestling is also the basis for the traditional Japanese dog. The Tosa is thus a "wrestling dog", and the fights are carried out according to sumo rules. The winner is the dog that presses its opponent to the ground with its body, knocks it off its feet, and holds it to the ground. Growling dogs are disqualified and are banned from further competition. Despite some rumors that they don't bite, Tosa fights do involve biting. The loser often will turn their backs away which results in a loss.

Tosa who were successful in the sumo fight received a valuable, beautifully decorated cloth apron with the crowning touch of an elaborately braided, thick hemp rope. What was demanded was not the wild fighter, the mauler, but the physically strong dog, courage paired with skill, patience and stamina.

Dog Fights

Tosas are one of the targets in modern dogfights; this is due to their impressive stamina, powerful bite and agility despite their large size. Their high price, however, prevents them from being used in great numbers in the US, like the American Pit Bull Terrier is. They are thought of as the greatest fighting dog breed in the world.

In Popular Culture

* Several Tosa Inus play pivitol roles in the Japanese manga and anime series, and its sequel, Ginga Densetsu Weed. Most notable are a Tosa named Musashi, the middle weight dog-fighting champion of Japan, and a Tosa cross named Benizakura, hailed as the strongest fighting dog in the world.
* In Gokusen, the Kuroda family keeps a Tosa Inu named Fuji. According to the special chapter titled "My name is Kuroda Fuji", each generation of the Kuroda family has a Tosa Inu named Fuji.


#Fogle, Bruce, DVM (2000). "The New Encyclopedia of the Dog". Doring Kindersley (DK). ISBN 0-7894-6130-7.
#Cunliffe, Juliette (2004). "The Encyclopedia of Dog Breeds". Parragon Publishing. ISBN 0-7525-8276-3.
# [ Australian customs web page on dog importation]
# [ report on Dublin City Council ban]

Further reading

*Ostuni, Steve (2003). "Japanese Tosa". Allenhurst: Kennel Club Books. ISBN 1-59378-336-1

External links

* [ Tosa Inu Information Pages]
* [ Molosserworld's Tosa Inu Page]
* [ More Japanese dog breeds]
* [ Tosa Inu Information Pages]

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