Dog Breed Profile

Tosa History

The Tosa is a medium-sized, Japanese spitz-type breed of dog. Tosa dogs are descended from the indigenous Miyatsuko strain of Japanese Spitz, and are a popular show and companion animal in Japan. Tosas were developed from crosses between the Miyatsuko and various European spitz-type dogs, including the Pomeranian, Keeshond, Samoyed, and Siberian Husky. The introduction of the Tosa to North America began in 1973, when several Tosas were brought to the United States from Japan. Tosas are medium-sized, muscular, well-muscled dogs with thick, soft, and dense coats. The head is wide and flat, with a rounded muzzle, dark eyes, and triangular ears. The tail is curved and bushy, and is carried low.

Time of Origin


Country of Origin


Tosa Physical Characteristics

The Tosa is a small, toy-sized breed of dog that is typically 12 to 15 inches tall at the shoulder. They have a small, muscular body and long legs. Their medium-length coat is white and comes in a variety of patterns, including bi-color, tri-color, and merle. They have a flat, round head with a straight muzzle and dark eyes. Their tail is thin and curved. They are intelligent, active, and protective.

Eye Colors


Nose Colors


Coat Colors

Fawn, Red, Brindle, Black

Height Range

Male Height Range: 24 – 26 inches

Female Height Range: 24 – 25 inches

Weight Range

Male Weight Range: 120 – 170 lbs

Female Weight Range: 90 – 140 lbs

Tosa Health

Description of breed health.


10-12 yrs

Tosa Health Concerns

Hip Dysplasia, Gastric Dilation Volvulus (GDV) or Bloat, Eye Problems

Tosa Temperament and Behaviour

The Tosa is a spirited, independent and intelligent breed of dog. They are highly athletic and like to perform tasks, such as fetching or following commands. They are agile and graceful, and love to run and play. They are easy to train, but can sometimes be stubborn. They are loyal to their families and will bond closely with them. They are wary of strangers and can be very protective of their families.

Tosa Activity Requirements

The Tosa is a large, powerful hunting dog from Japan. They are extremely smart, loyal, and strong. Tosas make a great pet, as long as their strong prey drive is managed properly. Tosas are known to be independent thinkers and can be difficult to train, but with a good, patient trainer they can be a great companion. Tosas require a strong, confident owner who will take the lead. They are also a high-energy breed who need lots of exercise and mental stimulation. Tosas are not a good choice for people who like to sit at home and relax. They require a lot of activity and can be very destructive in a home that does not provide enough outlets for their energy. Tosas can also be very vocal, barking or howling for attention. Tosas are also not a good choice for first-time dog owners. They are not the easiest of breeds to train and can be very stubborn. Tosas require an owner who is mature, confident, and committed to providing the proper training and leadership. Tosas are very protective of their owners. This makes them great guard dogs and excellent protection dogs. If you plan to own a Tosa, you will need to be prepared to take your dog to training classes.

Miles Per Day


Activity Per Day


Daily Food

4 cups

Kennel Club Recognition

American Kennel Club

Recognized by the American Kennel Club

Tosa is part of the Foundation Stock Service group.

Visit the American Kennel Club website.

The Kennel Club

Not Recognized

Tosa is part of the Unclassified group.

Visit the Kennel Club website.

Australian National Kennel Council

Not Recognized

Tosa is part of the Unclassified group.

Visit the Australian National Kennel Council website.

Canadian Kennel Club

Not Recognized

Tosa is part of the Unclassified group.

Visit the Canadian Kennel Club website.