A gentleman named Karsten had written this short note to the Forum E-mail List under the subject heading of "Re: Fighting talk" and he wrote:
"Tosa (a Japanese dog breed or Tosa=Inu) are being fought similar to Sumo wrestlers. The dogs involved have to push the opponent to the ground, or out of a ring. ANY form of biting is strictly prohibited. The animals are by rules not supposed to be harmed or the skin to be broken in any way. At least so I was told by an official of the German Molosser dog club. See, not even a dogfight's a dogfight."
Steve Stone, speaking from experience in the breed, wrote the following anecdotal reply:
This reminds me of a true anecdote about a dogfight that wasn't a dogfight.
Those who aren't interested are invited to use the "delete" key.
One summer day in the late seventies in Omaha, I received a telephone call from a Stafford owner in Colorado whose name and whose dog's name I knew on paper only. She was undergoing a messy divorce and needed to rehome her two year old brindle bitch, and she asked if I could help.
As luck would have it, in a week I would be going to the Rush Creek Land and Live Stock Ranch in the far western Nebraska Sandhills to officiate at a Competitive Trail Ride, which would put me 450 miles closer to Denver, so we made arrangements that she would drive to the ranch headquarters on a given day, and I would take the bitch to rehome her with a suitable family.
On the appointed day, about noon, I was on the prairie many miles from ranch headquarters when the Denver lady drove up to the camp in her VW. Upon arriving at the ranch headquarters, she had inquired as to my whereabouts and decided not to waste any time.
The bitch was a lovely mahogany brindle, and after a brief conversation and exchange of registrations papers she handed me the lead, and I took the bitch to the far side of a draw so that she could not see her owner departing.
Most of the ride competitors and ranch workers gawked at the bitch (Staffords were pretty rare in those days) and speculated as to her ancestry. Used to such things, I bantered words with them and invited them (in pure spoof) to bring on their worstest dawgs for a tussle.
Naturally everyone was much more interested in horses and the ride than in canines, so the topic lasted only a few minutes.
As we were riding in the pickup to the next stop, the ranch owner suddenly said, "You know, my family used to have a dog like that...."
The owner of the huge ranch, the largest privately-owned ranch in the state, was no ordinary cowboy but the scion of a wealthy Chicago family that also owned one of the largest breakfast cereal companies in the world. Every summer, he and his wife would leave their mansions and their Mercedes and go to the ranch where they lived in a modest bungalow to "work cow" like ordinary ranch hands. If you didn't know they were "somebodies," you'd never have guessed while at the ranch.
I had a small problem visualizing one of America's wealthier families owning a Stafford many decades earlier, so I inquired as to the nature of the dog, and this is what he told me:
"Back in Chicago, my mother used to have one of those dogs, a brindle. It was great with the family and with us kids, and my uncle was in charge of seeing that it never ran loose. But he wasn't always as careful as he should have been, and the dog got to getting off the place. Before long my mom started getting complaints from the neighbors that their Great Danes and Shepherds and Dobermans were getting savaged, but even then my uncle would accidentally let the dog out on occasion.
"Finally the neighbors got so upset that my mom decided to send the dog away to her other brother who was living in the Far North, and after a letter or two she shipped the dog off.
"In the north where my uncle was staying, the lumberjacks used to fight all kinds of dogs, usually huskies, so my uncle who knew mom's dog and what he could do immediately began bragging that he was getting the toughest dog on earth and that this dog would whup the tar out of anything they could throw at him.
"Well, when mom's dog arrived the lumberjacks could see that he was a half to a third the size of a husky, and they hooted and jeered, but my uncle told them, 'Put your money where your mouth is 'cause there's going to be some scrapping this evening.' Well, those lumberjacks could hardly get their hands into their pockets fast enough!
"That evening, my uncle showed up with the dog which looked like some kind of toy next to the giant husky already in the pit, so my uncle said, 'Boys, I know it don't look like a fair fight, but I'm gonna pit my dog anyway. What kinda odds you gonna give me?'
"They started offering three to one, then five to one, then seven to one, so after the hubbub died down a little my uncle said, 'I'll tell you what, boys. My little dog here can whup that husky while wearing a muzzle." Well, that caused considerable commotion, so my uncle said, 'Okay, boys, what odd will you give me if I muzzle my dog?'
"In no time at all he was being offered ten to one, twenty to one, and even fifty to one, so he made a bunch of bets and the contest began.
"My uncle was no fool. He knew what the little dog could do. He muzzled him, put him down in the pit, and told him to go. Before the husky knew the fight was on, the little muzzled dog launched himself across the pit and dived head-first into the husky's ribs, like a battering-ram, stunning the big dog.
"Without so much as a by-your-leave, the little dog ran to the other side of the pit and again launched himself into the husky's ribcage. And before any of the startled spectators could voice amazement, the little dog repeated his move again.
"By the third time, the husky was completely helpless, and all he could do was to lie down on the ground, trying to breathe, and pee.
"My uncle collected a lot of money that evening from a lot of surprised lumberjacks.
"Yessir, my mom's little dog was something, alright...."