|MIXED MATCHED DOG FIGHTS. WHICH IS THE TOUGHEST BREED?
by Mr. Jan Libourel, Editor of HANDGUNS MAGAZINE and Editor of TOSA Newsletter
In issue #17 of FILATALK MAGAZINE, the claim appeared that the most deadly fighting dog in the world was a 30 pound Pit Bull Terrier. It was also stated that smaller Pit Bull dogs can get underneath a larger opponent and rip out its throat in short order. The claim was made that such a dog could kill "even the most powerful Fila".
Right: Gabriel, a Fila Brasileiro at 215 lbs owned by Shoo-its Mountain Filas
This seems most improbable. Few would probably disagree with the claim that pound for-pound the American Pit Bull Terrier is the finest fighting dog in the world. Moreover, the smaller Pits Bull are usually the gamest and the most talented. Thus, one of these little dogs can often defeat a substantially larger dog, especially if the other dog is not a Pit Bull. However, it should be noted that serious dog fighters are very careful to closely match weights in the most intensely contested matches. A difference of only a few pounds can count a lot in a dog fight.
Moreover, the claim that a smaller dog has a great advantage by being able to get to the throat more readily becomes very silly on close examination. (Editors Tosa on right) By that logic, a Jack Russell Terrier should be able to defeat the small Pit Bull, and a Chihuahua should be able to kill the Jack Russell, thus establishing the Chihuahua as the most formidable dog of all!
In point of fact, if a 30 pound Pit Bull went against a huge Fila like Gabriel, Jetson, Chaka, or Reno, the larger dog would crush the life out of the smaller dog long before the superior gameness or athletic ability of the Pit Bull came into play. Assuming the small Pit Bull did get a throat hold, it would most likely get nothing more than a mouthful of dewlap. It is commonly held that the only two real fighting dogs in the world are the American Pit Bull Terrier and the Japanese Tosa. I have heard it suggested that the ultra-rare Majorcan Presa (aka Ca de Bou) might also qualify. The Korean Jindo (looks like an Akita) is also reputed to be a very tough customer. Middle Asian Ovcharkas are also reported to be used for fighting in their homeland and may possess some talent.
Mixed matches between Pit Bulls and Tosas have produced mixed results. In Japan, one informant states, the Tosas defeat the Pit Bulls about 90 percent of the time. In such matches in the United States, the Pit Bulls have, with few exceptions, been victorious. However, such encounters typically involve Pit Bulls that are seasoned fighting dogs pitted against Tosas that have been little more than house pets.
Most Tosa breeders will have a story about how a dog from their bloodlines has killed or maimed a Pit Bull. It should be pointed out that there is a good deal of variation in the size and quality among both Tosas and Pit Bulls, the latter breed having suffered from the scourge of puppy mill breeding. In the case of a 140 pound Tosa of the finest East Japan fighting bloodlines against a 40 pound Pit Bull of indifferent breeding, I would have little doubt about the outcome.
On the other hand, a seasoned, game bred, game tested Pit Bull should be able to hold his own against almost any Tosa. As a matter of interest, several years ago a correspondent to the old Bulldog Review Magazine mentioned having visited Taiwan. He inquired about the presence of the Tosa fighting subculture in Taiwan. He was told that they had been killed off by Pit Bulls. One prominent Tosa breeder reported seeing four mixed matches in Hungary. One involved a large male Tosa against a Neapolitan Mastiff. This was a very one-sided slaughter that was soon halted to stop further harm to the Neo.
In the second bout, a smallish, young female Tosa fought to a draw with a male Pit Bull that was nearly as large as herself. In the other two bouts, the Tosas decisively defeated the Pit Bulls. In one of these contests, the Pit Bull was seriously mangled, loosing an eye in the fight. In both fights, the Tosas became more dominant as the fight progressed. Evidently, the Pit Bulls had tired from wrestling with the larger dogs. The same breeder mentioned having seen two spontaneous, accidental fights between Tosa's and Fila's at American dog shows. In both cases the Tosas very much dominated the action while it lasted.
Proceeding to some of the other mastiff type breeds, the American Bulldog varies considerably in size and temperament. They seem to be capable of fighting ferociously and capable for a short period of time and then losing interest quickly. My informant tells me of a mixed match which an American Bulldog punished an Argentine Dogo non stop for about 15 minutes and then quit when the Dogo finally fought back. I have also heard of a mixed match between a Tosa and an American Bulldog in which the Bulldog quickly jumped out of the ring to avoid further punishment. The Argentine Dogo was developed primarily as a hunting /pack dog. It does have some fighting breeds in its make up and can give a good account of itself in a scrap, but not on the same level as level as the "real fighting dogs".
The Presa Canario has its origins as a fighting dog. Today, it is largely a reconstructed breed, with heavy infusions of English Mastiff and American Staffordshire Terrier. As a fighter, it is reported to be similar to the American Bulldog - furiously aggressive for the first few minutes of the fight but lacking in gameness and staying power. The Dogue de Bordeaux has not been used as a fighting dog for about a century. In a mixed match with the Tosa witnessed by my principle informant, the two dogs collided in the middle of the ring and the Tosa knocked the Dogue de Bordeaux cold.
The Cane Corso looks like a fighting dog, but really isn’t. In functions, it is more akin to the Fila; being primarily an estate guardian and protector of livestock. Also like Fila, it is a good pack dog. One of the leading Cane breeders tells me that he has as many as seven male Canes playing together peaceably. When all is said an done, the "Toughest Dog in the World" is probably either a 60 or 70 pound Pit Bull dog or a Tosa weighing about 130 pounds.
The Fila should not be considered a fighting dog. It was never bred for that purpose. It should be pointed out that the specialized fighting dogs are often of limited utility for much else. Many, if not most, Pit Bulls are too friendly to make effective property protectors, and many of them are stolen themselves.
A fair percentage of highly bred game Pit Bulls from the best fighting bloodlines are quite man-shy, and the same seems to be true with of Tosas, quite frequently, Other Pit Bulls and Tosas are very "waggy" in fact, for people whose primary interest in a dog is personal protection, I usually recommend the Fila over the Tosa, even though I dearly love my Tosa and am very partial to the latter breed.
Sincerely Jan Liborel , Editor Handguns Magazine