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Tosa versatility

Tosas can be used for obedience, tracking, weight pulling, agility, therapy dogs and biking (no cross country treks though) to name a few. Though I don't like hunting, I've even come across reference of a Tosa that was used for hog catching. They are a very versatile dog, they just need to be given the chance to prove themselves. It is preferable that Tosas do things that include a leash, if there are other dogs nearby.

I would not recommend them for Personal Protection (bite work etc.), or for high profile guard dog duty. There are many other breeds that are meant for that. It will open you up to a lot of liability issues, "oh you're teaching a giant fighting dog to bite people". Trust me, won't score you a lot of brownie points if your dog actually does hurt someone. Well socialized Tosas are normally human friendly, and they are too big and tenacious a dog to be catching humans. Tosas are one of the most imposing looking dogs on the planet, and they can put on quite a show when they hear something outside. Nobody is likely to take a chance with one of these dogs around, besides NOTHING will stop a very determined, seasoned criminal anyway. As far as I know, the Japanese dog men do not agree with using Tosas for bite work. Most Tosas would not excel in this field although some are known to be capable enough. You want to be on the podium, pick a different breed. And anyone who truly knows how the Japanese intended the Tosa to be, should not be expecting a temperament anything like say, an Ojeriza Fila! Read more

Tosas should be able to get along with pretty well everything it was raised with, providing the dog is well trained and socialized. From what I have seen, many Tosas enjoy having canine company, preferably of the opposite sex. It can work, if you have another dog of the same sex in the household. That other dog should not be wanting to fight, be a little less dominant, stable/well balanced, and both dogs should be fixed at the appropriate age. You will have to be a very good leader, be able to recognize tension and step in before anything happens. You must also be able to maintain composure in the event a squabble does break out. Cats that are very skittish, aggressive, or prone to hissy fits may not do well with a Tosa. Giving your Tosa adequate exercise will help to keep any aggression toned down, and make the dog easier to live with. Dogparks are usually fine for their first year, but most Tosas will start getting into fights as they mature (sometime after a year, and could be as late as two). Adult Tosas do NOT do well with all sorts of strange dogs running around. If your Tosa damages another dog, you could be on the hook for hundreds or perhaps thousands of dollars in vet bills, and the other dog may die. Animal control, and sometimes the police can get involved. If they do, you may face a fine, muzzle order, spay/neuter order, or ultimately euthanasia. DO NOT think you can socialize the crap out of them, and they will be fine with all other dogs as adults. Some may be able to do that, but most won't.

Yes, they do make excellent, active family pets (dogs directly from fighting lines may not be the best choice though). However, you have to keep in mind their original purpose in life. You and the kids could be out for a nice stroll in the park, and along comes an off-leash dog. Depending on the nature of your dog, that of the visiting dog, and their genders, you may have anything from a playful interaction to a brawl that can make a UFC match look tame. You can be the most responsible owner in the world, and keep your dog from getting out of line, but you cannot help when trouble comes to you. And I can tell you, I have had countless encounters with off leash dogs, in parks, on sidewalks, and especially on my country road. Keeping your Tosa on leash in public places, is the best way to protect it from dog liability laws. It is also common for Tosas to instigate fights due to their high level of dog dominance (usually comes after 1 year old). Wherever you get your Tosa from, educate yourself on dog training and behaviour, and be prepared to correct any aggression. They need a strong minded (but not harsh or abusive) boss.






Taro relaxing with my sister's cat Thomas

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