FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
TOSA LIFE SPAN
TOSA AND KIDS
TOSA AND OTHER ANIMALS
TOSA DOG SPORTS
TOSA GUARD DOG
TOSA DROOLING & SHEDDING
TOSA HEALTH CARE
TOSA DANGEROUS DOG
What is the average life span of a Tosa?
Actual statistics of average life span in the breed is not available, but it is said that the average life expectancy of a Tosa lies around 10 to 12 years of age. They mature slowly and generally remain strong, youthful and playful well into their old age.
Poema's grandmother Saba, 15 years old.
Nelson, playful as ever, 9 years old.
Can a Tosa get along well with children?
In general, a Tosa is a giant child-loving life-size teddy bear. They love to cuddle and snuggle, they are sensitive to their humans mood, and they are patient and understanding, which makes for a great temperament to have around children of any age.
More than anything they love to wrestle, too. This means that they can easily forget how strong and big they are. They mean no harm, but can get onto a collision course when enthusiastic. Ferociously wagging tails are generally not accepted well in a toddler's face... So in order for it to work with smaller children, you'll need to provide the dog with proper guidance and you'll want a kid that has been taught to behave appropriately around (big) dogs.
For older kids, however - let's say 8 years and up - the Tosa's love for physical play is an absolute joy and they'll quickly become best friends forever. They will accept your children's friends into the house as well, as they generally are not over-protective, especially once they notice 'a green light' from their owners.
Tosa with children
Can a Tosa get along well with other animals?
We are not going to sugarcoat it: Most Tosa's are not 'friendly by default' towards other dogs, livestock, poultry and small game. Which doesn't meant that they can't live together with them peacefully. We'll explain...
The Tosa used to be bred for dog wrestling tournaments in Japan (a different style of fighting, but still). This generally complicates mutual contact with other dogs. They will not provoke other dogs, but might easily feel provoked by medium and large-sized dogs, in which case he will almost certainly (over)react. In other words: A Tosa is not looking to start a fight, but he will definitely not flinch when challenged.
The ancestors of the Tosa originally were boar hunters, and some other lines of hunting blood (along with other types of dogs) were mixed into it as well to create the breed as we know it today. So to a certain extent, there definitely is a varying degree of hunting instinct present in the Tosa. They are however very sight-oriented - Most Tosa's forget that they actually have an outstanding nose - so movement ultimately triggers them to chase. When birds, cats, rabbits, mice, deer, foxes or small dogs go into 'flight response mode', the Tosa will want to catch them. Although they'll usually give up the chase pretty quickly, you'll want to make sure that they don't create a dangerous situation for themselves or others (like crossing a traffic-heavy road or twisting their knee) in the meantime. They will be deaf for your recall at that moment and come back only when they realize that their prey is way out of reach.
So what about animals at home? Tosa's love their family dearly, and that family may include any creature. There are Tosa's who are best friends with birds, cats, rabbits, chicken, goats, and horses, but they do need to be taught to be gentle with them. To promote a peaceful home situation in the case of multiple dogs, it is advised to make a male-and-female combination, as they generally go along very well. In the case of more dogs or same-sex combinations, it's best not to put together dogs of the same size, age and level of temperament, because they can be very unforgiving.
It is therefore of absolute vital importance to provide proper and on-going socialisation with other dogs and animals form day one. This will give the best chance of a Tosa that will show manageable and controlled behaviour as an adult.
Hummer with his tiny friend Twingo. Both are adult intact males and inseperable.
Fay and her colorful crowd of companions
Bara and her equine friend.
They can have a tendency to be agressive to other dogs
Is a Tosa suitable for dog sports?
✅ OBEDIENCE, DOG SHOWS, RECREATIONAL SCENT TRACKING OR MANTRAILING
The Tosa is well-suited for obedience, dog shows and for recreational scent tracking. They are an intelligent breed of dog and greatly appreciate spending quality time with their owner by working together as a team. In case of obedience, they can reach competitive levels, but be aware that the hard work will always have to be done by the owner, and even then, they will never be as quick to respond as a shepherd! They have a mind of their own and they will weigh all of your commands before executing them. They will have an opinion, and they will show it to a certain extent. So the owner needs to learn to work his way around the dog's (well meant) attitude and find a way to cooperate that works not only for you, but for the dog as well. Once you figure that out, though, you've created an unbreakable bond and it will all be worth it.
✅ CANICROSS, DOG STEPPING, BIKE-JÖRING, HIKING, BIKING
Once fully grown, Canicross, dog stepping and bike-jöring could be wonderful sports as well, provided that the dog can ignore hyper dogs that you as a team will have to pass by safely. Recreational hiking and biking is perfect for them - again, once fully grown - because they are athletic enough to endure longer distances with ease. It goes without saying that you'll have to gradually increase the work load and provide the dog with proper days of rest after straineous exercise.
❌ AGILITY, FLYBALL, DOG FRISBEE, HOOPERS, RACING, LURE COURSING
The Tosa is absolutely inapt to practice agility or any other swift sports like flyball, dog frisbee and their derivatives. We guess it is common sense that you do not choose a heavy mastiff to perform these sports, but we'll mention them anyway: High velocity sports like racing and lure coursing are out of the question. They are simply not built for these types of movement - much as you would not buy a Dodge RAM for Formula 1 racing. You are setting yourself up for vet bills and heartbreak if you do.
❌ PROTECTION DOGS, DEFENSE WORK, POLICE TRAINING
It is also not wise to train a Tosa to become a protection dog, as it conflicts greatly with how their personality is naturally wired. They should never be agressive to people, so you should not want to make them act as such. Respect the original purpose of a dog - if you are thinking of doing personal protection or police training, get a breed that has the right attitude ingrained in the core of it's very being. There are several mastiff-type breeds suitable for this (Rottweiler, Cane Corso, Fila Brasileiro, Boerboel), and the Tosa is not it.
Enzo loves to exceed expectations at Obedience!
Bonsai enjoys a long hike more than anything!
Oscar eagerly practices Scent tracking. Exciting!
Nelson is crazy about biking and can go on forever!
Does the Tosa make a good guard dog?
How expensive is keeping a Tosa?
Does a Tosa drool and shed a lot? How much grooming is required?
Do I need a big house and a large garden to keep a Tosa?
Does the Tosa have a lot of health problems?
Is the Tosa a dangerous dog?
Which breeds are comparable to the Tosa?
MOET IK EEN HEEL GROOT HUIS EN UITGESTREKTE TUIN HEBBEN OM EEN TOSA GOED TE KUNNEN HUISVESTEN?
Hoewel een Tosa geen luie hond is, zal hij in huis doorgaans erg rustig zijn en niet onbezonnen alles omlopen (mits opgevoed en volwassen). Een tuin is prettig zodat hij de ruimte heeft om los te lopen en wat op onderzoek uit te gaan. Veel Tosa's kunnen als ze eenmaal volwassen zijn immers niet meer los worden uitgelaten vanwege hun opstelling tegenover andere honden. Lichamelijke beweging is natuurlijk goed voor de hond.
HEEFT EEN TOSA VEEL VERZORGING NODIG?
Nee. Hoe minder een Tosa gewassen wordt, hoe beter. Neem hem als het echt nodig is liever af met een vochtige doek dan hem volledig in te soppen onder de douche. De hond uitbundig wassen zal in de regel ook niet nodig zijn, aangezien een Tosa geen overmatige hondengeur bij zich draagt en viezigheid zoals modder en zand direct tussen de haren uitvallen als de sneldrogende vacht goed droog is.
Een Tosa heeft een gemiddelde verharing. Losse haartjes van zo'n 2 cm dwarrelen dan uit zijn vacht. Dit kan tijdens de seizoenswisseling wat meer zijn, dan kunnen een paar beandelingen met een zweetmes en/of rubberen borstel uitkomst bieden.
HOEVEEL EET EEN TOSA PER DAG?
Vooropgesteld moet worden dat de hoeveelheid voedselinname uiteraard afhaneklijk is van de levensfase en levensstijl van de hond, en van de samenstelling en kwaliteit van het voer. Voor een indicatie voor een volwassen Tosa moet je echter denken aan ongeveer 500-650 gram brokken per dag of 1000-1250 gram kvv per dag.
IS DE TOSA GEVOELIG VOOR BEPAALDE GEZONDHEIDSPROBLEMEN?
Zie de pagina GEZONDHEID.