Stray Flowerz

History and Origins of the Tosa Inu

The History and Origins of the Tosa Inu is really interesting. The history of the Tosa Inu began in Japan and the first records or mention of this breed was from almost 1000 years ago. The Tosa Inu was originally bred specifically for dog fighting. What started off as a small Spitz type, Japanese Fighting Dog (Kochi or Shikoku Inu) got out of hand when Western and European traders started to cross the dog with their own breeds, such as Mastiffs, Old English Bulldogs, St Bernard, Great Dane, German Pointer and Bull Terrier. They did this in order to create a ferocious, powerful and fearless, much larger type of fighting dog. This left the original smaller dog unable to withstand attack from the newly developed Tosa Inu, which was to become king of the Japanese fighting arenas. This particular dog is strongly associated with ancient Japanese culture, history and traditions, and the samurai warrior clans.

How the Tosa became the most feared fighting dog

The Tosa Inu was further developed in 1848 during the first year of Kaei when a Tosa resident crossed the dog with a bulldog that they had obtained from Kyushu, this began the creation of an even larger and more ferocious fighting dog. This blood sport was immensely popular throughout Japan and many dog fighting tournaments were held. This breed is the most feared of all Japanese canine breeds that were specifically bred to fight. When the start of the Second World War arrived, dog fighting and the ownership and feeding of 150 pound dogs became illegal in Japan and it was banned. During these times, the Tosa Inu was almost reduced to complete extinction, however, some Tosa enthusiasts hid a few Tosa Inus on the Hokkaido Island, Northern Japan until the war was over. The breeding of the Tosa Inu commenced once again in Tosa Wan after the war and dog fighting was once again legalized.

How the Tosa Inu got its name

The history and origins of the Tosa Inu continues with how the dog got his name! The name derives from the area in which the dog was developed which was Tosa Wan Bay in Kochi prefecture in Shikoku Island, Southern Japan. The word Tosa was then combined with the word Inu which means Dog. This breed is also known as Tosa Token (fighting dog) and it is sometimes referred to as the Japanese Fighting Dog or Tosa Fighting Dog. The Tosa Inu is illegal in many countries including Iceland, Denmark, Norway, New Zealand, Malaysia, Australia and Malta as they are believed to be a danger risk and many countries wanted to reduce the number of dog attacks on people, and in particular children. In Great Britain the ownership of a Tosa Inu is regulated under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991.


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