Weighing in at up to 200 pounds, the Sumo wrestler of the dog world—the Japanese Tosa—was once the prize fighter in the nation's dog pits. Today, this canine wonder, possessing proverbial loyalty and courage, is an esteemed guard dog and protector of home and property, a faithful family companion, and an impressive show dog. Written by Tosa breeder Steve Ostuni of the famous DogStar Kennels, this Comprehensive Owner's Guide begins with a chapter retelling the Tosa's colorful origins in Japan, including the breed's turbulent history as a fighting dog, its rise to the status of a cultural icon in Japan, and the worldwide attention the breed garnered in Western nations, especially the United States and Europe. (Sadly, this noble and worthy breed was banned in Britain, thus the breed has no history in that country.) The author's chapter on the breed's characteristics well describes the physical traits and unique temperament of this naturally dominant canine that requires an experienced owner able to contend with the dog's tremendous strength and determination. The same traits that made the Tosa an indomitable fighting dog serve the breed well as a home guardian. The author strongly urges new owners to seriously pursue the socialization and training of young dogs to thereby mold these awesome canines to become the trustworthy, unshakeable companions they are meant to be.
New owners will welcome the well-prepared chapter on finding a reputable breeder and selecting a healthy, sound puppy. Chapters on puppy-proofing the home and yard, purchasing the right supplies for the puppy as well as house-training, feeding, and grooming are illustrated with photographs of handsome adults and puppies. In all, there are over 135 full-color photographs in this useful and reliable volume. The author's advice on obedience training will help the reader better train his Tosa into an obedient and biddable companion. The extensive and lavishly illustrated chapter on healthcare provides up-to-date detailed information on selecting a qualified veterinarian, vaccinations, preventing and dealing with parasites, infectious diseases, and more. Sidebars throughout the text offer helpful hints, covering topics as diverse as historical dogs, breeders, or kennels, toxic plants, first aid, crate training, carsickness, fussy eaters, and parasite control. Fully indexed.