Federation Cynologique Internationale (F.C.I.)
Secretariat General: 13, Place Albert 1 * B 6530
FCI Standard # 260 / 09.12.1997 / GB
Date of publication of the original valid standard: 09.12.1997
Utilization: Formerly fighting dog, nowadays watchdog.
FCI Classification: Group 2, Pinscher and Schnauzer, Molossoid breeds, Swiss Mountain and Cattle dogs and other breeds. Section 2.1: Molossoid breeds, Mastiff type. Without working trial.
Brief historical Summary: Japan has a long history of dog fighting, beginning in the 14th century. With such a history in the background this breed was produced as a hybrid of Shikoku-ken and Western breeds. Named after the area where they were bred, these dogs are sometimes called Japanese Mastiffs. The Western dogs used for creating the breed were Bulldogs (1872), Mastiffs (1874), German Pointers (1876) and Great Danes (1924), all of which were used to improve the breed by sequential mating. According to some accounts, St. Bernards and Bull Terriers were also involved, but it is not known in what years they were used. The Tosas established features of stamina and the fighting instinct typically found in Mastiffs might be attributed to the involvement of such breeds.
General Appearance: Large-sized dog with a stately manner and robust build. The dog has hanging ears, short hair, a square muzzle and hanging tail thick at the root.
Behaviour/Temperament: The temperament is marked by patience, composure, boldness and courage.
Stop: Rather abrupt
Nose: Large and black
Muzzle: Moderately long, nasal bridge straight.
Jaws: Upper and lower jaws strong.
Teeth: Strong with a scissor bite.
Eyes: Rather small, dark brown in colour with a dignified expression.
Ears: Relatively small, rather thin, set high on the skull sides, hanging close to the cheeks.
Neck: Muscular, with a dewlap.
Back: Level and straight
Loins: Broad, muscular
Croup: Slightly arched at the top
Chest: Broad and deep, ribs moderately sprung
Belly: Well drawn up
Tail: Thick at the root, tapering towards the tip, reaching the hocks when let down.
Shoulder: Moderately sloping
Forearm: Straight, moderately long and strong
Pastern: Slightly inclining and robust
Hindquarters: Muscles very, developed joints of stifle and hock moderately angulated, strong.
Feet: Lightly closed, pads thick and elastic, nails hard and preferably dark in colour.
Gait: Robust and powerful
Hair: Short, hard and dense
Colour: Red, fawn, apricot, black, brindle. Slight white markings on chest and feet are permitted.
Size: Minimum height at withers for dogs 60cm, for bitches 55cm.
Faults: Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered as a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree.
N.B.: Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.