Have you ever heard of a breed of dog called the Tosa Inu? If you haven’t you’re certainly not alone. There are a lot of people that have never heard of this breed, even those who love dogs and have had them their whole lives. Much of that is because for the most part, the dogs are bred in Japan, although that isn’t always the case. If you really want to know more about this unique breed of dog that looks not unlike a slimmed-down version of the Mastiff, continue reading about the 10 most interesting things about this breed.
1. It’s known by more than one name
In reality, the breed is known by several different names. One of the most common names, besides Tosa Inu, is the Japanese Mastiff. The reason it’s often called by that names is because when the breed was in its infancy, the Mastiff was one of the crossbreeds used to make the Tosa a larger, stronger dog.
2. The breed comes from a storied Japanese village
Today, the village is known as Kochi. Many years ago it was actually known by a different name, Tosa. As you can see, this is where the breed originally got its name.
3. The dog was bred for something controversial
Even in the earliest days of the breed, the dogs were bred to fight. As a matter of fact, that is virtually the only thing they’ve ever been bred to do. Dog fighting might be more accepted in Japan than it is in many other parts of the world, but even there, people are starting to take notice of the cruelty involved in such an activity. Therefore, many people are moving away from this tradition.
4. It’s a Japanese tradition that still continues to this day
That being said, there are a few places in Japan where the older traditions, including fighting dogs, prevail. As a direct result, the breed is still being bred to fight to this day.
5. Not all dogs are bred in Japan
While the dogs did originate in Japan and they are still bred in the country, that isn’t always the case. There are some dogs of this breed who are bred in other countries as well.
6. There are major differences between dogs bred in other countries
The dogs that are bred in Japan are actually quite a bit smaller than the ones who are bred in other countries. This is largely because of the crossbreeds used in different countries.
7. They have a very short coat
In almost every case, the dogs always have a short coat. In fact, their hair is so short that they don’t need hardly any grooming at all.
8. The breed is considered dangerous
Since the dogs are bred to fight, they are considered dangerous. In addition, the larger versions of the breed that are more powerful are considered to be an even bigger threat.
9. There are certain restrictions on them in parts of Japan
Since they are considered dangerous, there are certain areas of Japan where the breed is no longer allowed. As previously mentioned, the more progressive areas of the country are trying to move away from the tradition of fighting dogs, so they are becoming more strict about allowing them.
10. They are even banned in some countries
There are actually several countries where the dogs are banned country-wide. In several other areas, the dogs are banned in certain areas or owners are required to get a special permit in order to keep them. For instance, it’s illegal to own or breed the dogs in the United Kingdom without a permit.
Now you know a few things about this unique dog breed that is so rare, most people have never even heard of it. If you’re interested in getting one of the dogs for yourself, you may have to jump through a few hoops in order to it. The first thing you need to do is find out what the restrictions are in your area and then determine whether or not you can find a responsible breeder. If you do plan on getting one of these dogs, make sure that you know what you are doing and that the dog is well trained. Doing so will go a long way toward making sure that the dog fits in well with your family. They can be good watch dogs, but they require a great deal of experience in order to handle them properly.