GENERAL APPEARANCE : Large dog with an imposing bearing and robust build. It has hanging ears, short coat, square muzzle and a tail that is also hanging and thick at the root.

Personality:  Active, alert and agile.

Energy Level : Very Active.  This dog is active and energetic, and needs daily exercise.  

Good with children:  Yes.


Good with other dogs:  With supervision.


Grooming:  Seasonal.


Life Expectancy : 13-16  years old.

Bark level:  High.


Japan has a long history of working with fighting dogs, starting in the 14th century. With this past and history, this race was developed as a hybrid of Shikoku-ken and Western races. Named after the geographic areas where they were bred, these dogs are sometimes called “Japanese Mastiffs”. The western dogs that were used in the creation of the breed were: Bulldogs (1872), Mastiffs (1874), German Pointers (1876) and Great Danes (1924), all of which were used to improve the breed in sequential crosses. According to some records, Saint Bernards and Bull Terriers were also involved, but it is not known when they were used. The established characteristics of the Tosas of courage and fighting instinct typically found in Mastiffs can be attributed to the involvement of such breeds.

Country of origin:  Japan.

BEHAVIOR AND TEMPERAMENT:  The temperament is marked by patience, composure, audacity and courage.





Skull: Wide.


Stop: Preferably abrupt.




Nose: Broad and black.

Muzzle: Moderately long. Straight nose bridge.


Jaws: Both upper and lower jaws are strong.


Teeth: Strong and scissor bite.  


Eyes: Preferably small, dark brown in color and with a dignified expression.


Ears: Relatively small, rather thin, set high on the sides of the skull and hanging down to the cheeks.


NECK: Muscular and dewlap.




Withers: High.


Back: Level and straight.


Loin: Broad and muscular.


Croup: Slightly arched at the top.


Chest: Broad and deep, ribs moderately sprung.


Belly: Well tucked up.


TAIL: Thick at the root, tapering towards the tip, reaching the hocks when low.






Shoulders: Moderately sloping.


Forearm: Straight, moderately long and strong.


Pastern: Slightly sloping and robust.


HINDQUARTERS Well developed muscles. Knee and hock joints moderately angled and strong.


Feet: Toes closed and tight. Thick, stretchy cushions. Hard nails and preferably dark in color.  


  • GAIT/MOVEMENT: Stout and powerful.


COAT HAIR : Short, hard and dense.


COLOR: Red, fawn, apricot, black and brindle. Slight white markings on chest and paws are permitted.


SIZE Minimum height at the withers: Males – 60 cm. Females – 55 cm.


  • FAULTS  

Any deviation from this standard should be considered a fault and penalized in exact proportion to its severity and its effects on the health and well-being of the dog.  



• Aggressiveness or excessive shyness.

• Any dog that shows any sign of physical or behavioral anomaly must be disqualified.

• Atypical dogs.