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Tosa Ken Information & Dog Breed Facts

Collection of all the general dog breed info about Tosa Ken so you can get to know the breed more.

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Tosa Ken
OriginJapan
Other Names
What other names does the Tosa Ken have? The dog breed also known as...
Tosa Inu, Tosa Ken, Tosa Tōken, Japanese Fighting Dog, Japanese Mastiff, Tosa Fighting Dog, Japanese Tosa
Breed Type
What type of dog breed is it?
Cross Breed
AKC Group
Is Tosa Ken recognized by the American Kennel Club?
Not recognized by the American Kennel Club.
FCI Group
Is Tosa Ken recognized by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI)?
Not recognized by FCI.
Breed Recognition
What kennel clubs and organizations recognize or register the Tosa Ken breed?
American Canine RegistryAmerican Kennel ClubAmerica's Pet RegistryContinental Kennel ClubDog Registry of America Inc.Federation Cynologique InternationaleFoundation Stock ServiceNorth American Purebred Registry, Inc.American Canine Association, Inc.
Price
How much does the Tosa Ken puppy cost? What is the price range of this puppy? What is the average price of this dog in the United States? Is this puppy expensive? How much should I pay for it? Tosa Ken price:
$600-$1000
If you choose to purchase the Tosa Ken, you should know that the mentioned amount of money is an average of the collected data from breeders’ sites and puppy finder places. If you have a Tosa Ken for sale, please advertise it on a reliable website to make sure the Tosa Ken gets to a happy place.

Tosa Ken History

The Tosa Ken, Tosa-Inu, or in its other name the Japanese Mastiff is originated from the Tosa Province, in Japan and can trace its history back to the middle of the 19th century. Japan has a long and extensive dogfighting history, that began in the 14th century on the Island of Shikoku. The Shikoku Inu had been unequaled in the Japanese fighting arenas before the Westerners have arrived. After 1854, Japanese dog fanciers and dogfighters started to acquire foreign breeds to cross-breed with their native stock of breeds, in order to develop more sufficient, stronger, and better dogs for this purpose.

The Tosa Ken was also a product of this practice, for the reason that it is also a hybrid dog breed. The breed’s ancestors are the Shikoku Inu from the Japanese side, and other Western breeds after European explorers and travelers brought them to Japan. The Tosa Ken is believed to be developed between the period of 1868 and 1912. The Mastiff and the Great Dane are thought to be the Tosa Ken’s Western ancestors, these giant dogs were used with the aim of producing very large individuals. Other breeds including the Bulldog, Saint Bernard, the German Pointer, and the Bull Terrier are also credited with the creation of the Tosa Ken. These breeds were used in order to perfect the Tosa Ken’s abilities and behavioral traits after their size was homogeneously developed.

Dogfighting was been a popular pursuit in Japan, and it is still practiced today, mostly in rural areas, where the tournaments are often organized and supported by the yakuza, the Japanese mafia. The dogs involved in these fighting activities must be fearless, aggressive, and very powerful. After their creation, the Tosa Ken was one of the most esteemed and valued fighting dogs in Japan. Moreover, the breed is often referred to as “sumo wrestler of the dog world”. Just like the human sumo champions, these dogs are usually treated with great honor and they also get ceremonies after each win. In Japan, the Tosa is considered a national treasure, and the Tosa who are victorious in the ring is awarded a celebrity status, with the title of “Yokozuna”. The canine sumo champions are adorned with decorated cloth and a braided rope, just like their fellow human counterparts. After dog fighting became illegal in Japan, in Europe, and in North America, the breed’s numbers declined and after World War II, the breed was on the edge of extinction. Even though dogfighting practices are now illegal, many still practice this sport in illegal pits and rings, in the rural regions of Japan.

By the mid-20th century, the breed had a considerable number of fanciers outside of their homeland, Japan. Because of the increasing demand for the breed, an intensive breeding process was implemented, which resulted in thousands of litters being bred annually. This over-breeding caused the potential for extreme behavioral problems, and several serious attacks against animals and humans, which led to the introduction of bans and strict controls on Tosa breeding and ownership in many countries. For example, in Ireland, the breed is banned from public housing projects and is considered to be dangerous, and in the United Kingdom, the ownership or the import of the Tosa Ken requires legal exemption issued by the court. However, in the right environment, with strict discipline with a confident and capable owner, the Tosa Ken can be an easy-going large family pet watch and guard dog, even though their aggression towards strangers can be an issue. Regarding their recognition, the AKC (American Kennel Club) recognized the breed officially in 1997. The UKC (United Kennel Club) and the FCI (Fédération Cynologique Internationale) also registered the breed.

Tosa Ken General Appearance & Basic Info

Size
What size is this breed? How big is this dog? Tosa Ken size:
LargeGiant
Weight
How much does the Tosa Ken weigh? Tosa Ken weight:
Male: 88-176 lbs (40-80 kg), Female: 84-120 lbs (38-54 kg)
Avg. Weight
What is the average weight of the Tosa Ken? Tosa Ken average weight:
Male: 132 pounds (60 kg), Female: 102 pounds (46 kg)
Height
How tall is the Tosa Ken? Tosa Ken height:
Male: 22-24 inches (55-62 cm), Female: 21-24 inches (54-60 cm)
Avg. Height
What is the average height of this fido? Tosa Ken average height:
Male: 23 inches (58.5 cm), Female: 22.5 inches (57 cm)

Tosa Ken Hair & Care

Coat / Hair Types
What type of coat does the Tosa Ken have? What does this canine coat/fur look like?
DenseHard
Colors
What color is the breed's coat? What color is a proper Tosa Ken's coat?
BlackBrindleBrownFawnYellow
Grooming
How to groom the Tosa Ken and how often?
Effortless: The Tosa Ken requires minimal grooming. Seasonal flea treatment is needed, but cutting the dog's hair by a professional groomer isn't necessary. Ears and eyes should be cleaned sometimes to avoid infections. Tosa Ken is one of the best choices if you don't have the time, skill or money to take care of a high maintenance dog. Highly recommended for beginners.
Shedding Level
How much do Tosa Ken dogs shed? How to control, reduce and prevent the shedding of the Tosa Inu? Tosa Ken shedding level:
Tosa Kens shed moderately. It's a natural process of the hair growth cycle. Regular brushing reduces the amount of hair that sheds. It mostly depends on their health status and breed type.

Tosa Ken Characteristics

Temperament
What kind of personality does the Tosa Ken have? What characteristics or traits does the breed have?
AggressiveFearlessSensitiveBraveIntelligentSuspicious
Intelligent Rank
How smart is the Tosa Ken? Are they intelligent?
Átlagos: Átlagos intelligenciájú Tosa Ken. Türelemre van szükség ahhoz, hogy ezt a fajtát bármilyen trükkre és parancsra megtanítsd, ám az erőfeszítés megéri. Megértik és megjegyzik az új parancsokat átlagosan 25–40 ismétlés után.
Trainability
Are Tosa Ken dogs easy to train? Do they go well on dog training?
Tosa Kens aren't famous for their trainability. This breed needs more time and repetition to obey. It's challenging to teach them new commands, but not impossible.
Playfulness
How playful is this breed?
Tosa Kens, like any other dog breed, like playing. Sometimes they bark as excitement for playing, but they are not the most playful dog breed.
Sensitivity Level
How sensitive are they? Tosa Ken sensitivity:
They are a little bit more sensitive than other dog breeds. Soft punishment affects them emotionally. Tosa Kens don't tolerate irregular daily routine, noisy household and frequent guest visits really well. They are receptive to their owner's emotions and make wonderful family companions.
Affection Level
How affectionate are they? Are they affectionate?
Tosa Kens are average dogs regarding their affection level. Some breeds are forthcoming and friendly, while others are independent and don't bond too closely to their owners.
Social Needs
How much social interaction does the Tosa Inu need? Tosa Ken social needs:
Tosa Kens are a social breed. They enjoy being around people or other animals. This breed doesn't tolerate being left alone.
Barking
Do Tosa Ken dogs bark a lot? Are they barkers/noisy? Why does my Tosa Ken bark?
Low to Average: The Tosa Ken rarely barks. This breed could be a good choice if you're looking for a quiet breed. They don't bark unless there is a good reason. Top reasons for barking: protection, alarm, fear, boredom, attention seeking, greeting, separation anxiety, compulsive barking.
Watchdog Ability
Is Tosa Ken good as a watchdog? Are they alert at night?
Tosa Kens are one of the best watchdogs. Their main job is to observe and they're very consistent in their effort. The best vocal cords and sense of hearing belong to them. Usually, they're very territorial and protective about their property, so the Tosa Ken dogs will alert you if they sense something different.
Guarding Behavior / Territorial
Do Tosa Ken dogs have an aggressive behavior to protect their home/house/territory? Do they have guarding instincts?
Tosa Kens are extremely protective guard dogs. This breed doesn't hesitate to protect their territory so the Tosa Ken can be a good choice if you want an excellent guard dog. Keep calm and the Tosa Ken will take care of unwanted people or animals.
Biting Potential
Do Tosa Ken bite humans? How likely are you to get bitten from the Tosa Inu? What are the odds of getting bitten by a Tosa Ken? Why do dog bites happen?
Low
The Tosa Ken has a low chance of biting somebody. Top reasons for dog bite: protection, pain, excitement, herding instinct, being provoked. (Data based on the available online bite statistics.)
Mouthiness
How much mouthing/nipping/play biting does the Tosa Ken do?
Tosa Kens have a higher than average tendency to nip, chew, play-bite, or herd people. It's a common habit during puppyhood, not aggressive behavior. These "bites" don't hurt, but Tosa Kens need to be taught for a good attitude.
Impulse to Wander or Roam
How likely is the Tosa Ken to run away? Does this breed explore or wander a lot? Does Tosa Ken roam?
Wanderlust potential of the Tosa Ken is strong enough to escape from home. They have a strong desire for exploring the world. Safer to walk them on a leash unless you teach them how to get back to you on command.
Prey Drive
Do this canine have a strong prey drive? Does Tosa Ken have high prey drive?
Tosa Kens have a higher impulse to chase and catch something than other dog breeds. Cats or any other small animals might be in danger. It's a natural instinct, doesn't necessarily mean that Tosa Kens are aggressive. Better to keep this breed on a leash.
Apartment Friendly
Is Tosa Ken good as an apartment dog? Can they live in a flat?
Nem lakásbarát kutya Tosa Ken. Ha nincs kerted, akkor jól gondold át a döntésedet, sok gondot okozhat Tosa Ken tartása lakásban.
Adaptability
Are they adaptable and easy-going?
Tosa Kens don't adapt well to lifestyle changes and different living environments. They don't like moving from one place to another.
Tolerates Being Left Alone
Can you leave this breed home alone?
Tosa Kens do best when a family member is at home during the day or if their workplace is dog-friendly so they can take the dog at work.
Fighting Dog
Where Tosa Ken dogs used as a fighting dog in the history?
Yes
In history, this breed was unfortunately used for combat dog.

Tosa Ken Good With

Stranger Friendly
Are they aggressive or friendly towards/with strangers? Tosa Ken temperament with other people:
Tosa Kens are not stranger friendly dogs.
Child Friendly
Are Tosa Ken dogs kid-friendly? Are they good with young children? Tosa Ken temperament with children:
Tosa Kens are average friendly dogs towards children.
Cat Friendly
How well do Tosa Ken dogs get along with cats? Are they good with kittens? What is this fido's temperament with cats? Can they be good with cats?
Tosa Kens are not the most cat-friendly dogs.
Dog Friendly
Is Tosa Ken good with other dogs? Are they dog-friendly dogs? How well do Tosa Ken dogs get along with other dogs? What is this canine temperament with other dogs?
Tosa Kens are not dog-friendly. If you want more dogs in your family or you'd like to join dog meetups, the Tosa Ken is not the best choice.
Office Friendly
Are Tosa Kens good office dogs? Do Tosa Kens make good office friendly dogs? Can Tosa Kens be office dogs?
No
Tosa Ken is not the best dog breed for office environment.
Senior Citizens Friendly
Are they senior citizens friendly dogs? How well do Tosa Ken dogs get along with the elderly people? What is the Tosa Inu temperament with senior people? Are Tosa Ken dogs good for elderly owners?
Tosa Kens are commonly okay with elderly people.
Pet Friendly
Are they pet-friendly dogs? How well do Tosa Ken dogs get along with other pets? Are Tosa Ken dogs good with pets? What is this canine temperament with other pets?
Tosa Kens usually don’t get on well with other pets.
Good For First Time Owners
Is Tosa Ken breed good for first-time owners? Do they make a good dog for novice owners?
No
Tosa Kens are not good for novice owners, due to their stubborn personality.
Service Dog
Are they good as service dogs? Can Tosa Ken be a guide dog? Are they used as seeing-eye dogs?
Not really
This breed generally not used as a service dog. A service dog is a term used in the USA to refer to any type of assistance dog specifically trained to help people who have disabilities, such as visual impairment, hearing impairments, mental disorders, seizures, mobility impairment, and diabetes. Service dogs are protected under the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act). Tosa Ken is not the best breed for service purposes.
Therapy Dog
Are they good as therapy dogs? Can Tosa Ken be a therapy dog? Are they good anxiety dogs? Can a Tosa Ken be an emotional support animal?
Not really
This breed generally not used as a therapy dog. A therapy dog is a dog that might be trained to provide affection, comfort, and love to people in hospitals, retirement homes, nursing homes, schools, hospices, disaster areas, and to people with anxiety disorders or autism. Tosa Ken is not the best breed for therapeutic purposes.
Detection Dog or Sniffer Dog
Are they good as detection dogs? Can Tosa Ken be a sniffer dog?
Not really
A detection dog or sniffer dog is a dog that is trained to use its senses (mostly its smell) to detect substances such as explosives, illegal drugs, wildlife scat, currency, blood, and contraband electronics such as illicit mobile phones. Tosa Ken is not the best breed for detection purposes.
Search and Rescue Dog (SAR)
Are they good as SAR dogs? Can Tosa Ken be a search and rescue dog?
Not really
The use of dogs in search and rescue (SAR) is a valuable component in wilderness tracking, natural disasters, mass casualty events, and in locating missing people. The Tosa Ken is not the best breed for SAR purposes.
Boat Dog
Are they good as boat dogs? Can Tosa Ken be a boat dog?
Not really
Tosa Ken breed usually doesn't like being on a boat.
Cart Pulling or Drafting Dog
Are they good as cart pulling dogs? Can Tosa Ken be a drafting dog?
Yes
A drafting dog or draft dog is a dog bred and used for cart pulling. Dogs bred for this work have strong builds and qualities that are needed, strength and determination. Tosa Ken breed is a good choice for drafting purposes.

Tosa Ken Health Factors

Health Issues
Is it a healthy or unhealthy breed? Do Tosa Ken dogs have health problems or genetic diseases?
Tosa Kens tend to have more and frequent health issues than other breeds. Regular vet check-ups are needed.
Health Problems
What genetic/health problems does the Tosa Ken breed have? What are the health issues and concerns of the Tosa Ken breed? Most common health risks of Tosa Ken:
Bloat
Life Expectancy
How long do Tosa Ken dogs live? What is the average lifespan of this breed? How old can a Tosa Ken be?
10-12 years
Hypoallergenic
Is the Tosa Ken breed hypoallergenic?
No
Tosa Kens don't do well with allergy sufferers by causing allergic reaction. Some of the dog breeds are even considered to higher the possibility of an allergic response. Coat type isn't necessarily relevant, because most people are allergic to dander (flakes on the dog's skin) or saliva, not actually to dog hair.
Energy Level
How much energy does the Tosa Ken have? What is the activity level of the Tosa Ken?
Tosa Kens have a lower energy level than other dogs. If you live a chilled life, this breed can be a good choice for you.
Activity Requirement / Exercise Need
How much activity does this dog need? How much exercise do Tosa Ken dogs require per day?
Tosa Kens exercise need is minimal. If you live a slow life, this breed can be a good choice for you.
Sleeping Need
How much sleep does this fido need?
Tosa Kens like sleeping so they do sleep a lot. They're not the most active dog breed. If you live an active life, this breed can be a bad choice for you.
Avg. daily food consumption
How much food does the Tosa Ken need? How often should I feed my canine? What dog products should I buy?
4 to 7 cups of high-quality dry food a day, divided into two meals.
Weight Gain Potential / Prone to Obesity
How easy to gain weight for this dog? Tosa Ken risk for obesity:
High: The Tosa Ken breed has a strong tendency to overweight. Try to find the happy medium between exercise and feeding. If you want to keep balance, increase the amount and frequency of your daily dog walk and play with the Tosa Ken more often. If you notice any weight gain, consult your veterinarian and make a diet plan. Reduce unhealthy food and snacks, and measure the Tosa Ken's weight regularly.
Weather & Climate
Which weather condition is preferred by this dog? Can they tolerate hot and cold weather & climate?
Tolerates warm and cold weather.
Stinkiness
How stinky is this dog? Why does it smell bad and how to get rid of the smell?
Medium
The Tosa Ken has an average chance of bad smell. Top reasons for dog stinkiness: infection of bad tooth/ear/skin folds, gas attacks.
Drooling tendency
Does the Tosa Ken drool?
The Tosa Ken is an average drooler. Drooling is the unintentional saliva flowing outside of the mouth. It can be completely normal or a sign of a health problem. If you notice any change in your dog's drooling habit, you should contact a vet as soon as possible.

Tosa Ken Reproducibility

Gestation Length
How long does this dog's pregnancy last? How long does this dog pregnant? How long does it take to have puppies?
60-64 days
Reproductive cycle of the female Tosa Ken: The first period called Proestrus lasts for about 9 days. During this time the females start to attract males. You can notice by swelling vulva and bloody discharge. The second part is the Estrus when the female is receptive for the male. It lasts for about 3 to 11 days. The sign of the proestrus part is the soft and enlarged vulva. The discharge decreases and lightens in color. The third part is the Diestrus. Normally, it occurs around day 14. In this period the female’s discharge changes for vivid red and coming to its end. The vulva returns to average, and she will no longer permit mating. The fourth part called the Anestrus. The time frame between heat periods normally lasts about six months.
How often can the Tosa Ken have a litter? Once a year.
More frequent breeding is not healthy. It is very important not to buy a dog from a puppy mill, where the needs of the pups and their mothers are ignored. It's an inhumane high-volume dog breeding facility, where puppies born several times a year.
Litter Size
How many puppies can the Tosa Ken have? What is the average litter size of this fido?
6-8 puppies

Tosa Ken Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Grooming: Effortless: The Tosa Ken requires minimal grooming.
  • Watchdog Ability: Tosa Kens are one of the best watchdogs.
  • Cart Pulling or Drafting Dog: A drafting dog or draft dog is a dog bred and used for cart pulling.
Cons
  • Trainability: Tosa Kens aren't famous for their trainability.
  • Health Issues: Tosa Kens tend to have more and frequent health issues than other breeds.
  • Hypoallergenic: Tosa Kens don't do well with allergy sufferers by causing allergic reaction.
  • Apartment Friendly: Nem lakásbarát kutya Tosa Ken.
  • Weight Gain Potential / Prone to Obesity: High: The Tosa Ken breed has a strong tendency to overweight.
  • Mouthiness: Tosa Kens have a higher than average tendency to nip, chew, play-bite, or herd people.
  • Impulse to Wander or Roam: Wanderlust potential of the Tosa Ken is strong enough to escape from home.
  • Adaptability: Tosa Kens don't adapt well to lifestyle changes and different living environments.
  • Tolerates Being Left Alone: Tosa Kens do best when a family member is at home during the day or if their workplace is dog-friendly so they can take the dog at work.
  • Cat Friendly: Tosa Kens are not the most cat-friendly dogs.
  • Dog Friendly: Tosa Kens are not dog-friendly.
  • Office Friendly: Tosa Ken is not the best dog breed for office environment.
  • Good For First Time Owners: Tosa Kens are not good for novice owners, due to their stubborn personality.

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