The Tosa Inu is a large, short-coated dog with a stately manner and a robust, powerful, and agile body. Its body is slightly longer than tall. The head is large and broad with a boxy muzzle, pendulous flews, and clearly observable dewlap. It is athletic and surprisingly agile. The jaws are very powerful. Overall appearance should be that of a massive but dynamic and flexible athlete, a true canine samurai. The Tosa Inu is a tranquil, quiet, and obedient dog with a calm but vigilant demeanor.
Solid red, though black, yellow, black & tan, fawn, brindle and multi-colored is also permissible.
Short-haired, dense, harsh coat. It is easy to groom. An occasional brushing to remove dead and loose hair is all that is needed to keep the coat looking good. Unlike many other mastiff-type dogs, the Tosa Inu does not drool. This breed is a light shedder.
It is prone to bloat. Ask about bloat in the lines. Bloat can be a major problem in these large dogs.
The Tosa Inu is a brave, fearless and bold dog. The Tosa Inu is quietly affectionate with its own family. This breed is exceptionally quiet, calm and patient. This dog is highly intelligent and doesn’t need repetitious training, but does require an equable, consistent, friendly approach.
It responds best to positive-enforced training methods because of an inherent desire to please its owner. The owner must learn to control this dog, as it is too large and strong to be unmannerly. This dog requires a strong and experienced owner capable of dealing with a large, powerful animal. With proper training and control, the Tosa Inu can be a good family companion. It greatly sensitive to the tone of ones voice. The Tosa Inu shows remarkable acceptance of children and will not snap or bite from fear or pain. However, due to its size, it should not be left with children unsupervised.
Both males and females make excellent home and family protectors and companions. The sheer size of this dog and its deep bark are effective deterrents. It is reserved with strangers, but will accept newcomers if properly introduced. It tends to be fairly dog aggressive, but it gets along with other dogs and pets only when raised with them from puppyhood. Keep your Tosa Inu away from other dogs that may want to fight; your dog will most certainly win.
This breed is not recommended in a home with other dogs of the same sex, size and temperament. Due to its fighting origins it has a very high pain tolerance. This breed matures slowly and individual dogs may not reach its prime until as late as four years of age. With a large, well-fenced yard, the Tosa Inu can happily look after its own exercise demands. In theory this dog requires only an average demand for exercise but will enjoy and be healthier with more. It makes a good jogging companion.
Tosa will do okay in an apartment if it gets enough exercise. It is relatively inactive indoors and a small yard will do as long as it gets enough exercise. This breed is not suitable for kennel life. It likes to be close to its owner and would be unhappy.