This paper describes an experimental study of failure and softening behaviour in dense Toyoura sand. A true triaxial apparatus equipped with three pairs of rigid loading platens is used to test sand sample under three-dimensional stress condition. The testing results demonstrate that the rigid boundary around the sand samples cannot prevent formation of shear localization. Shear localization are observed to emerge in the hardening or the softening regime in the loading depending on the magnitude of intermediate principal stress. Uniform deformation for the whole strain range is obtained only in triaxial compression tests. The peak stress state obtained from tests of sand samples of the same initial density can be described with good approximation by the Matsuoka-Nakai criterion.