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Tosa Inu: What's Good About 'Em, What's Bad About 'Em

Tosa Inu temperament, personality, training, behavior, pros and cons, advice, and information, by Michele Welton, Dog Trainer, Behavioral Consultant, Author of 15 Dog Books

Tosa Inu dog breed

The Tosa Inu (inu  just means dog in Japanese) was developed to be a massive dog-fighting machine. It should be no surprise, then, that animal aggression is a serious issue.

I would never keep a Tosa with another dog of the same sex. Frankly, I wouldn't keep one with another dog at all. No cats, either. Tosas can display predatory behavior toward cats. And small dogs. Any animal that runs, really. This is not a dog for a farm with livestock.

Now, a Tosa Inu is not supposed to be aggressive towards people. And yet the athleticism and agility of this breed, combined with his immense power, mean that he must be well bred, well socialized, well trained, and under control at all times.

The Tosa is often described as being "stately, quiet, calm, and relaxed, until aroused." Now, you probably picture that as meaning a bad guy rushing at your family. And it could mean that. But it could also mean a neighbor's child rushing toward your child to play.

When you own a breed like a Tosa, your legal and ethical responsibilities are enormous. Erect high solid board fences all around your property. Never leave a Tosa in the yard unsupervised. Never let a Tosa off-leash in public. Have plenty of personal liability insurance, assuming an insurance company will even give it to you.

Honestly, there are very few people who need or should want a Tosa. Maybe if you want a dog to participate in the sport of weight pulling. Tosas excel at this, with some Tosas pulling more than 3000 pounds.

But how many people can handle a dog who can pull more than 3000 pounds? Physically, of course, the answer is, "No one." This breed cannot be outmuscled.

That means he needs to be convinced – psychologically – to respect you, which in turn means you need to be an experienced and confident person who thoroughly understands how to elevate yourself above a dog in the family pecking order.

With this dominant, self-willed breed, anything less is just asking for trouble. And it won't be a question of "if" but "when."

Couple more things....

Serious health problems. The life span of an Tosa Inu is short – about 10 years. An alarming number are crippled by bone and joint diseases and/or succumb to cancer in middle age.

Legal liabilities. The Tosa is banned or restricted in a number of countries, including the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Norway, Denmark, and others.

In the United States, insurance companies may cancel your homeowner's policy. Your friends and neighbors may be uncomfortable around this breed.

In this day and age, the legal liabilities of owning a giant breed that looks intimidating and has a dog-fighting history should be considered. People are quicker to sue if such a dog does anything even remotely questionable.

In summary, the Tosa Inu is "far too much dog" for the average household.

Michele Welton with BuffyAbout the author: Michele Welton has over 40 years of experience as a Dog Trainer, Dog Breed Consultant, and founder of three Dog Training Centers. An expert researcher and author of 15 books about dogs, she loves helping people choose, train, and care for their dogs.

To help you train and care for your dog

dog training videos Dog training videos. Sometimes it's easier to train your puppy (or adult dog) when you can see the correct training techniques in action.

The problem is that most dog training videos on the internet are worthless, because they use the wrong training method. I recommend these dog training videos that are based on respect and leadership.

book coverRespect Training For Puppies: 30 seconds to a calm, polite, well-behaved puppy. For puppies 2 to 18 months old. Your puppy will learn the 21 skills that all family dogs need to know.
If your dog is over 18 months, you'll want book coverRespect Training For Adult Dogs: 30 seconds to a calm, polite, well-behaved dog. Again your dog will learn the 21 skills that all family dogs need to know.
book coverTeach Your Dog 100 English Words is a unique Vocabulary and Respect Training Program that will teach your adult dog to listen to you and do what you say.
book cover11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy helps your dog live a longer, healthier life.
book coverDog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams will help you find a good-tempered, healthy family companion.

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