crime

Tosa dog bites boy, postman in Osaka; owner arrested

41 Comments

A 1.5-meter-long, 3-year-old Tosa dog bit two people, seriously injuring them, in Matsubara City, Osaka, on Monday afternoon. The 23-year-old owner of the dog was arrested and charged with negligence, police said Tuesday.

Police said the dog's owner, Akitoyo Sera, who owns five Tosa dogs, forgot to lock the cage. One dog escaped and bit a 9-year-old boy and a 23-year-old postman around 4:55 p.m. on the street. The two victims were taken to hospital. The boy suffered heavy injuries to his neck, chin and stomach, while the postman suffered minor injuries on his arms.

Sera captured his dog about 15 minutes later, police said.

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Those things are nasty - hope the owner pays with jail time, especially considering the poor kid.

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Another moron who gives responsible owners of big dogs a bad name. Would like to know more about this story. Were the dogs kept in cages all the time (stress)? For what reason did the owner have 5 big active dogs on his property? Something about this story stinks of dog fighting. Then again, I will not hold my breath regarding the police doing anything about it.

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Rakish - Dogs are only as bad as their owner.

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What a moron

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Biting the postie? Way to reinforce canine stereotypes, genius.

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Dogs are only as bad as their owner.

If you mean abused dogs are more apt to attack people, I agree, but there are also some breeds which are more naturally aggressive. I personally like bigger dogs than little yippy rodents, but some are nicer than others.

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I would agree that some dogs are naturally more wary of their surroundings than others. However, at the end of the day, whether a dog freelances or not is very much dependent on the training (leadership) they receive from the owner. At 23 years of age, I would question how much experience this guy had in handling medium-sized to large dogs. I would also question the logic of owning 5 such dogs in a urban environment. Dogs (big or small) thrive on leadership. As an owner you have to be able to demonstrate to your dog that you are the leader. You also have to allow for enough hours in the day to interact with your dogs. Owning 5 large and active dogs at one time would probably take up a lot of time (if done correctly). Based on what is written in this article, it seems that the dogs were locked in cages (one would assume for long periods of time).

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Curious... was the dog destroyed after this attack? Am pretty sure this would happen in places like the UK if a similar dog attacked 2 people.

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That does not look like a happy dog!! Many dogs would have a alert almost cheerful expression at all of the attention and new surroundings. This poor dog looks like it doesn't care. I'll wager that the owner had plans to make lots of MONEY from his dogs and didn't treat them well.

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Tosas are actually on the restricted list in many countries, cannot import them, cannot breed them, cannot own them. The reason is as follows:

Up until about 120 years ago, the Tosa was a totally different dog. However, Japanese dogfighting enthusiasts in the Meiji Era decided to import some rather tough breeds from Europe to remake the Tosa. This move coincided with the dog fighting being banned in the UK and other countries. As such, today's Tosa has the body mass of an English mastiff combined with the jaws of an old-style bulldog. It also has the same personality traits that these dogs used to have. This makes the Tosa rather interesting and rather difficult to own. Then again, as the owner of possibly Japan's biggest dog, I can tell that even a angry Tosa does not compare to a mastiff with a full head of steam.

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Agree 100% with timorborder. There is no such thing as an innately 'nasty' dog, only nasty owners. The stench of dog-fighting is pretty overwhelming here. Why else would a 23-year-old have 5 Tosas in a cage?

No dog deserves to spend its life in a cage. Curled up in a basket in front of the fire, yes, hogging the Boss's favourite armchair, yes, spread out on the Boss's bed yes, lifelong incarceration, No.

Maybe Sera would benefit from a bit of time spent in a cage, let him see what it feels like.

Poor dogs. I hope they are found better homes, not put down for the crime of having been bought by a loser. Not many people with the wherewithal to take in a full-grown Tosa, though, especially one that's been abused.

Also poor little boy and poor postie. Get well soon. I hope the experience doesn't traumatise the lad and put him off dogs for good.

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Its all my family and I can do to keep with our Corgi sometimes, I can't imagine what 5 would be like. Fortunate enough to have a house he can stay in and a relatively big back yard he run around in. I hate his hogging my arm chair too. 5 dogs!? In cages?! Now Mr. Sera knows the feeling. Hope the boy recovers.

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"There is no such thing as an innately 'nasty' dog, only nasty owners. " What! I hope you're being serious? There are some very 'innately nasty' dogs around and plenty who've been bitten by the same. This is not 101 Dalmatians we're talking about here. Some dogs can just go off like time bombs for no clear reason.

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From 'dogbreedinfo' -

The Tosa is a brave, fearless and bold dog. Very attuned to his master's wishes and greatly sensitive to the tone of ones voice. Protective and loyal......They are highly intelligent and do not need repetitious training, but do require an equable, firm, consistent, friendly approach. The dog is very affectionate towards their family members and more reserved with strangers, but will accept newcomers if properly introduced....Both males and females make excellent home and family protectors and companions. The sheer size of the Tosa and his deep bark are effective deterrents. Tosas show remarkable acceptance of children and will not snap or bite from fear or pain. .....They need a strong, firm, consistent, confident pack leader...Self aware, a very good guard and watchdog. This is not a breed for beginners.....This breed is not suitable for kennel life. They like to be close to their owners and would be unhappy.

There are some cool videos on YouTube of Tosas playing in the garden, chillin' out in a dog basket, etc. Bonny looking dogs.

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nuts-

Absolutely serious. Show me a 'nasty' dog and I'll show you a nasty/incompetent/clueless/ineffectual owner.

Just because the reason a dog can 'just go off like a time bomb' isn't clear, don't mean there isn't a reason. And 99.9% of the time the reason is in the way the dog has been raised, treated, trained... or not trained, as the case may be. In many cases there's a history of abuse, albeit unintentional abuse on the part of a clueless owner who doesn't realise what s/he's doing. I'll grant you the remaining 0.1% may be congenital nutters, but that has little to do with the breed and is a much lower figure than the human nutters that walk the streets.

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Dogs like people are the net result of a number of inputs. Mastiffs, Ridgebacks, Tosas, etc., are not born vicious, rather their personalities are the net result of the lives they lead. If you lock a dog up in a restrictive cage for long hours, fail to interact with it, and use a heavy hand when you do interact with it, you are going to end up with timebomb. On the other hand, if you display leadership and confidence when interacting with the animal (and allowing it to interact with you), you are going to end up with a well adjusted dog that you can take anywhere. The thing that upsets me (and Cleo also) is that people buy these big dogs for show, failing to understand that to mold the dog's personality they have to display clear leadership and be proactive. My big dog (just under 140kg at the moment) is a mastiff who is massive in every sense of the word. He has enough power to rip the wheels off a motor scooter without raising a sweet. Now, if I had not made an active commitment to responsibly care for this dog, he would have been terrorizing the neighborhood. However, this is not the case. Rather, he is a member of my family whose favorite pastime is wrestling with my kids (elementary and junior highschool). At the same time, however, he is also a totally reliable guardian who my younger son can take to the park with him.

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Cleao: Points taken but it's the unpredictability with the few that scares me.

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One dog escaped and bit a 9-year-old boy and a 23-year-old postman around 4:55 p.m. on the street.

Wow! Getting bitten on the street sounds painful!

These kinds of incidents happen regularly in Australia, but they are rare in Japan. I have no idea why anybody would want or need to own an amount of large dogs in Japan. I have students who live in an apartment and own ten small dogs, one of which just had a litter. I hope the irresponsible owner gets a hefty fine and the victims sue his # off for damages!
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As an aside, I live in one of the Tosa dogs areas and every once in a while, they hold a traveling fight show in the area. Why the authorities allow this is another of the ongoing mysteries as to why the Japanese do some things. Masquerading under the highly dubious name of 'culture' it's a bloodbath. And quite obviously many Yakuza and their snack/bimbo companion types involved, if the people watching are anything to go by.

If you look ever so carefully and have enough language skills, the side betting can be observed as well. The cages of these dogs are open on only one side and the conditions whilst not filthy, defy description. They're caged right up until they enter the ring. Then the fights are broken up with a lit rolled up newspaper. Some of the most tattered and bloodied ears you'll ever see. Frankly, it's all a pathetic sight.

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I would love to see the size of the cage this dog was confined in. Except I'd be saddened, rather than "love" to see it, I suppose. People here have no idea how to care for pets. Dogs are either chained up outside as guard dogs, or pampered like dolls, dressed up with inappropriate accessorie and carried around in shopping bags.

I'm glad the owner has been arrested. I would like him to be done for mistreating animals too, but why single him out when nearly every dog owner in Japan does it?

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People here have no idea how to care for pets. Dogs are either chained up outside as guard dogs, or pampered like dolls

Things are changing. You see the chained dogs and the 'dolls', but you don't see the sensibly-raised and well-cared-for dogs that share the family home, and happily these are growing in number. Nothing wrong with pampering a dog. My two are pampered and happy, wouldn't have them any other way.

why single him out when nearly every dog owner in Japan does it?

Nearly every dog owner in Japan keeps multiple fighting-breed dogs in a cage, possibly untrained, certainly abused, most likely for dog-fighting purposes? Rubbish.

A dog, by the way, is not a 'pet'. A goldfish is a pet. A hamster is a pet. A budgie is a pet. A dog is a lifestyle choice. And Sera apparently made the wrong choice.

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TimorBorder, Sounds like you have an awesome dog, which just goes to show that any dog can become a well behaved friendly dog if brought up in the right way. While I still tend to believe that some breeds of dogs are just easier to have an agressive nature, The stats are heavily skewed by the fact that the the kind of potential dog owners who are attracted to the image of 'dangerous breeds' often arent the best kind of owners and its nothing more than a self fulfilling prophecy.... And for people who say just look at the stats... agreed more people are injured by large dogs, but thats not the same as there are more attacks by these dogs. Its just that 'I got mauled by a toy poodle' doesnt have the same ring to it. Its not the mastiffs fault they can do more damage than a chihuahua..... If someone was to argue their size and power alone makes them inherently more dangerous, then I might agree

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Nope - I didn't say they all keep them in cages. Try reading again - I clearly referred to both sides of the spectrum of poor care of pets. I see the overpampering as failing to care for pets as well. In the UK you can prosecuted for over-feeding your pet and rightly so. In Japan I've seen TV shows where the owner has brought their obese cat (usually) to the studio for a panel of tarento to laugh at, and put on high platforms, laughing at its obvious distress as it can't get down.

Care of animals here is centuries behing the west.

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It's an awful incident from the victims' point of view and also a tragedy from dog's one.They are all unhappy...There must be stroger restrictions on breeding dogs.

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Schoolboy - you raise an interesting point. Unfortunately, many people in this country (and in others) see animals as being just another possession like a bag, a pair of shoes, etc. The result of this mentality is that the dog or cat is treated like a possession in that interaction with the owner occurs only when the owner wants it to. One result of this is that many dogs in this country are socially inept in their relations with other dogs (and people) because they are not given any chance to develop mentally (another issue is the puppy farm business and the selling of puppies that are mentally immature). Thus in every neighborhood of Japan, there is a maladjusted dachshund or chihauhau who is absolutely fawned over by its owner, while raising hell with everybody else. In my experience, the best relations with dogs are built on the principle of leadership. Dogs don't want a human friend, they want a leader (this doesn't mean being heavy-handed). Leadership is the core relationship that drives canine groups.

Finally, talking about TV programs, a couple of months ago I was out with our large dog and somebody gave me a business card. The guy worked for a TV production company and wanted to know if my big dog would like to go on TV. He gave me a video of the TV program (the one on NTV), and I gave him a video of our big dog undergoing guard training (mauling and knocking out a dog trainer). For some reason, the guy didn't call me back.

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tzvete, unfortunately the breeding of dogs is the realm of the yakuza, so they do whatever they want to maximize profit. Its so bad some countries I believe BAN the export of dogs for pets/breeding to Japan, forget where I read that but pretty sure it was true. Any paperwork you get for a dog froma pet store is most likely fake. Also inbreeding is a large problem here as well

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Agree with GW about the pet shops, inbreeding, false paperwork. Puppy farms are a disgrace and should be shut down wherever they are found. If you want a dog go to a reputable breeder or choose a rescue from your local pound. Earlier this month it was reported that 17 full-grown chihuahuas had been abandoned on the streets of Hachijoji - now that the chihuahua boom has passed (and everyone wants a toy poodle with a teddy-bear cut), these dogs were nothing but surplus stock or, more like, no-longer-needed breeding machines.

But for all that pet shops are vile heartless places dealing in canine flesh and misery, I've yet to see or hear of Tosa pups being offered for sale in a pet shop.

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Dogs chasing postmen, who would of figured.

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"Sera captured his dog about 15 minutes later"

Sera needs to be captured in a prison for about 15 months.

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It's true, gangster groups have a big stake in this dog industry as breeders and sellers. Pups and kittens have best-bought-by dates, and once their shelf life is over and the kawaii factor no longer marketable, to the executioner they do go. Make no mistake.

There's a place near me that snack broads like to gawk at with loaded salarymen in arm and exclaim; 'Awww...hoshii ne!" "Kate kure?" Heitaro salaryman plonks down the 20,000 and the broad takes home the pup. Only to return it the next morning for a cut of the profit. A neat trick.

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Pups for 20,000 yen??

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Don't about pups going to the executioners, I always imagined them being sold off live for animal testing, or worse being given over to vet students. When I was young, our pups all used to go to the Guidedog Associations in Australia or overseas.

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Poodles? To the Guide Dog Associations! Don't buy it... unless they were for R&R purposes for the Labradors. Er, hem...

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Poodles - No, my family (or my grandfather at least) started breeding labradors and golden retrievers after WW2 because of the serious shortage of guide-dogs for wounded service people (he retired as a Lt. General in the Australian Army). The facility he established (like a huge farm with rivers, lakes, etc.) also offered a place to employ wounded service people. When I was young, the place employed 50 trainers and we used to turn off about 300 pups a year. Some went to the guidedog associations in Australia, while others were exported to other countries (US, Japan, UK). The business is still running, but these days it is about 90% labradors and most of the breeding is done through frozen DNA and artifical insemination.

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I'd disagree that there's no such thing as nasty dogs but would agree that there are many nasty owners.

However it's interesting to note that the ownership of Tosa's is banned or regulated in a number of companies. Whether this is because the dogs are nasty, or because the people who own them usually are is debatable.

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Schoolboy, yep a good point. Dont know if anyone saw the tv program the other night about people judr dropping them off at the shelter. "We jsut bought this jack russel puppy, but we cant keep him cause our cats pregnant" "We know itll probably be put down but thats ok" WTF is wrong with these people!!!!

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the dog order a box of bone in internet,and the postman eated it on the way ,,that was the porpuse....

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maninjapan, don't know if it was the same programme, but I saw one I think it was last week, aired in the morning. It showed the van going round picking up unwanted cats & dogs, and taking them to the Dobutsu Aigo Centre where they were moved day by day from cage 1 to cage 7. After a week, they were herded into a gas chamber.

The stories of some of the people bringing in dogs was atrocious; "She keeps having puppies" (Then get her spayed, moron!); She's old and sick, I can't be bothered any more (Hope your kids say the same about you when you're old...wonderful ethics you're teaching them...)

They didn't know or care what happened to the animals. I found myself swearing at the telly. 

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Sorry, you seem to have misunderstood my earlier post. My home was involved in the breeding of dogs (mainly labradors and golden retrievers). The puppies that were born were given early socialization training by us and then sent off to different guide dog associations for further socialization and training. We were not in the business of doing full training ourselves. At the same time, however, my first 3 dogs when I was small were all guide dog veterans who had been retired due to age or on medical grounds. What happened to the dogs we bred after they were sent off was not our concern. Their training and welfare was handled by various GDA. I do know, however, that our bloodlines had very low instances of medical issues.

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Interesting that the dog was arrested too. I hope he gets a lawyer appointed though, they are serious charges he is facing...

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Terrible news! I hope the owner of this do in Osaka is put in jail for a long, long time and while they are at it, make sure idiots like this one are also spayed! You know, just to make sure idiots do not reproduce anymore idiots in Osaka or anywhere for that matter.

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