Japanese Fighting Dog
Tosa Fighting Dog
|Domestic dog (Canis lupus familiaris)|
The Tosa (土佐, also called the Tosa Inu, Tosa-Ken or Japanese Mastiff) is a breed of dog of Japanese origin that is considered rare. It was originally bred in Tosa (present day Kōchi) as a fighting dog and still is today.
The Tosa varies considerably in size, with the Japanese-bred dogs tending to be about half the size of those bred outside the country. The Japanese breed generally weighs between 36 and 61 kilograms (80 and 135 lb), while the non-Japanese breeders have focused on dogs that weigh from 60 to 90 kg (130 to 200 lb) and stand 62 to 82 cm (24 to 32 in) at the withers.[clarification needed] The coat is characterized by its short and smooth appearance and is often red, brindle, or fawn. Occasionally it can be a dull black, but this is somewhat rare. Maintenance of the coat is usually minimal.
This breed originated in the second half of the nineteenth century. The breed started from the native Shikoku-Inu, an indigenous dog weighing about 25 kilograms (45 pounds) and standing about 55 centimetres high, which closely resembles the European Spitz. These dogs were crossed with European dog breeds, such as the Old English Bulldog in 1872, Mastiff in 1874, St. Bernard, German Pointer in 1876, Great Dane in 1924, and the Bull Terrier. The aim was to breed a larger, more powerful dog. The heyday of Tosa breeding was between 1924 and 1933, when it was said that there were more than 5,000 Tosa breeders in Japan.
Ownership of Tosas is legally restricted in certain jurisdictions. In the United Kingdom ownership is regulated under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991, and in Trinidad & Tobago under the Dog Control Act 2014. A specific exemption of a British court is required to own and import Tosas legally in the UK. Some insurance companies will not insure homes with dog breeds deemed dangerous. The Australian Customs Service prohibits the import of Tosas, along with other dog breeds considered dangerous, into Australia. The Tosa is one of eleven breeds of dog banned in 2007 by the Dublin City Council from their properties, including council houses, flats and estates.
The breed is banned or legally restricted at a national level in:
- Cayman Islands
- Cyprus
- Hong Kong
- Israel
- Malaysia where the country's government claimed that the Tosas are specifically bred for fighting; the step was made in order to combat the increasing number of dog attacks on humans, especially children.
- Malta
- New Zealand
- United Kingdom
- "The Dog Control Act". The Trinidad Guardian Newspaper.
- "Dangerous Dogs Act 1991". London: HMSO/National Archives. 1991. Chapter 65. Retrieved 8 February 2010.
- "Importation of Pets in Malta". MFGC. 2 March 2010. Archived from the original on 5 November 2009. Retrieved 2 March 2010.
- "Hayvanları Koruma Kanunu". Retrieved 26 April 2012.
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- ^ Fogle, Bruce, DVM (2000). The New Encyclopedia of the Dog. Doring Kindersley (DK). ISBN 0-7894-6130-7.
- ^ Cunliffe, Juliette (2004). The Encyclopedia of Dog Breeds. Parragon Publishing. ISBN 0-7525-8276-3.
- ^ Australian customs web page on dog importation
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- ^ The New Zealand Department of Internal Affairs rules on dog control
- ^ REGLUGERÐ um innflutning gæludýra og hundasæðis. As on 24 December 2010. Retrieved 24 December 2010
- ^ Hvaða hundar eða hundakyn eru bönnuð á Íslandi? As on 24 December 2010. Retrieved 24 December 2010
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