Tibetan Mastiff is a primitive dog developed centuries ago. Initially, these dogs were guard dogs for the property and livestock. You can even find them performing the role but also they are family dogs.
The dogs have a noble appearance, appealing shades, a long coat, and a beautiful tail. It is a conversation starter and the traffic stopper. If you are looking for such characteristics in the dog, then for sure the dog is not for you.
Before you consider the drawbacks, here is something that you love about the breed. It is a gentle, loving, and patient dog who has sophisticated nature towards humans in a way to understand the people. The dog is a hard worker, fearless, protective of the family, and loyal. It has a large size and substance. It is an independent guard dog that always looks for guidance.
- Lifespan: 12 – 15 years
- Height: Male: 66–76 cm, Female: 61–71 cm
- Weight: Male: 45–73 kg, Female: 34–54 kg
- Origin: Tibet, Himalayas, Nepal
- Temperament: Intelligent, Protective, Stubborn, Tenacious, Aloof, Strong-Willed
- Colors: Black & Tan, Brown, Black, Red Gold, Brown & Tan, Blue Gray
- Hair: Dense, Straight, Robust, Hard, Semi-long
- Coat: Two-tone, Double Coat, Dense
- Puppy Price: Average $2000 – $4000 USD
The temperament of the Tibetan Mastiff
The Tibetan Mastiff is active during evenings and mornings. If you cannot free yourself during that time for exercise, then Tibetan dogs are not for you.
These dogs are generally calm indoor dogs.
Tibetan Mastiff should never get walked off the leash, and it is all because of their protective nature. Try to change walks of the dog such that it does not become territorial over a given route.
These are highly intelligent, stubborn, and independent dogs that are sensitive to human moods. The dogs turn upset when you yell at them.
The breed is not suitable for those people who like to compete in dog sports like obedience or agility.
The dogs who are left outside will surely bark to inform you that they are on duty. But the dogs are quiet during the daytime.
Tibetan mastiffs even shed a little or say once in the year. Thus the dogs need quick and regular brushing when it is a time of seasonal shed.
Tibetan dogs need to be socialized that must continue for the rest of life. Without this, Tibetan Mastiff can turn aggressive towards the dogs and people whom they do not recognize.
The dogs are suitable for first-time owners. They need a confident trainer who is firm and consistent but also loves.
You can describe this breed in one word as to be most “Challenging.” It is applied to the independent and stubborn breed. The dog is intelligent, which has a good sense of self. The breed always wants to please people but also has an agenda. It is a loyal family dog who takes a job very seriously. The breed is aloof and reserved in front of strangers. The early socialization of this breed could prevent them from being very aggressive.
Health And Care
The Tibetan Mastiff does not shed much, except once a year. However, seasonal molt does not always happen, it depends on the climate in which he lives. The Tibetan Mastiff should be combed 1-3 times a week. Hair loss is reduced to seasonal molts: late winter and late summer. The loss is almost insignificant. A list of hypoallergenic dogs is included, and therefore more suitable for potentially allergic subjects. In addition, you must not forget about the care of your dog’s teeth and claws. Brushing the teeth of the Tibetan Mastiff should be at least 2 – 3 times a week.
Salivation and drool containment
The Tibetan Mastiff may have a tendency to drool in moments of excitement. If this is too obvious, it is advisable to inspect the oral cavity to make sure there are no infections or inflammation in progress or that no heat stroke is imminent.
Ease of cleaning
The Tibetan Mastiff’s coat is double-woven. During the seasonal molting, it should be combed often on the order of two / three times a week. For weekly management, the dog should be combed thoroughly and his ears, eyes, and mouth inspected to ensure there are no infections or other pathologies.
Tendency to gain weight
The Tibetan Mastiff is a frugal breed and is not greedy. With the right nutrition and equally right exercise, she will have no tendency to gain weight and will maintain a perfect figure.
Health and disease
Despite the large size that might suggest otherwise, the Tibetan Mastiff enjoys good health. It must be considered that this virtue is given by natural selection on the Tibetan heights where, following the nomads, the subjects moved from one place to another and thus had the possibility of “regenerating” different bloodlines. In addition to this, the couplings used to take place between the strongest subjects, which guaranteed the offspring their strength and health. It is a frugal and rustic breed that also has a considerable life expectancy when considering its size.
Are Tibetan mastiffs healthy?
Tibetan Mastiffs are generally healthy but are known to develop a few conditions, some of which are common to many breeds.
Dysplasia of the hip and elbow
Hip dysplasia is diagnosed when a dog’s hips do not develop normally, resulting in degeneration over time. Elbow dysplasia is a similar disease that occurs in the elbow joint. These conditions usually stem from genetics and are more common in large dogs. Some bloodlines of the Tibetan Mastiff are more vulnerable to this osteopathic disorder. Early-onset dysplasia occurs in puppies as young as four months old but can develop in older dogs due to osteoarthritis. Breeders regularly X-ray their dogs to identify the problem and prevent it from being passed on to future generations.
Hypothyroidism and weight gain
The Tibetan Mastiff is among the breeds whose thyroid gland is prone to malfunction, reducing hormone production. Symptoms of hypothyroidism include fatigue, weight gain, infertility, regular infections, and poor coat quality. The body type of Tibetan Mastiffs makes them particularly vulnerable to obesity, and hypothyroidism can aggravate the problem. Keep your dog healthy by exercising him regularly and controlling his portions. If he shows symptoms of hypothyroidism, have him checked by your vet.
Eye and ear problems
Tibetan Mastiffs are at risk of developing various eye conditions, including progressive retinal atrophy, in which the retinas gradually degenerate and cause blindness. Entropion, in which the eyelid curls inward, and ectropion, when it curls outward, are not uncommon; both malformations can damage the cornea if not corrected with surgery. Tibetan Mastiffs are prone to persistent pupillary membranes, which are threads of nourishing tissue that usually disappear by the time a puppy is 4-5 weeks old.
Persistent strands can obscure a dog’s vision, causing clouding or cataracts. Sometimes the threads do not cause any problems, but all dogs should be screened to avoid transmitting the disorder through the bloodline. Normal geriatric cataracts can also develop in Tibetan mastiffs. The breed’s narrow ear canals make them vulnerable to normal ear infections as well, especially if they are not cleaned regularly.
Tibetan mastiffs can develop Demodex, a mango-like condition caused by a mite that regularly lives on the skin. Not all dogs develop a reaction to the mite. Genetics and the state of a dog’s immune system determine if this treatable skin problem occurs. Without regular brushing, your Tibetan Mastiff’s coat could become matted and harbor parasites, which can also cause skin irritation.
Canine hereditary demyelinating neuropathy
Canine hereditary demyelinating neuropathy, which appeared in a Tibetan Mastiff bloodline in the 1980s, is an extremely rare condition affecting the nervous system. In affected dogs, nerve impulses between the brain and limbs have failed, leading these dogs to lose hind or front limb function. The condition usually developed before the puppies reached 12 weeks of age. Only one bloodline has ever had a verified case of CIDN and it is believed that there are no affected puppies in the world.
Are Tibetan mastiffs easy to train?
Yes, Tibetan Mastiffs are easy to train dogs because the Tibetan Mastiff is a very intelligent dog with its own personality thanks to which it is able to make its own decisions. Despite his independence, he is able to evaluate at best how to behave and act accordingly. He is reserved, independent, and gifted with good judgment. It has the ability to adapt to a variety of functions. He is strong and attentive to his territory and his family. He will never be a subordinate if the owner is inconsistent and knows how to better manage leadership.
Tibetan Mastiff Exercise
The physical demands of this breed can be met with 20-30 minutes of play in the yard or a half-hour walk. Dogs of this breed will happily play with another dog, preferably about the same size. Tibetan Mastiff puppies grow very quickly, but their physical maturation occurs no earlier than at the age of more than 1 year.
To prevent problems with joints, you should limit the time of free games of the puppy in the yard, and also avoid long walks until one year of age. Regular training and communication will help maintain your dog’s emotional and physical health. The bored and lonely Tibetan Mastiff can be more destructive and noisy than you might imagine.
Diet For Tibetan Mastiff Puppy
The number of times a puppy is fed depends on its age. In the first month of life, puppies have only the mother’s milk in the amount in which they want. From the second month, it is necessary to add vegetables, meat, and cereals to the diet. The first complementary foods can be started at 3-4 weeks of age. Up to two and a half months, puppies are added special mixtures, mousses, and pates.
Food should be soft and mushy, a mixture with a temperature of 37-38 degrees. From 3-3.5 months, you can add minced chicken, boiled chicken, veal, and turkey meat to puppies. You can also enter fermented milk products: kefir, low-fat yogurts without additives, and low-fat cream. From four months you can teach puppies to solid food.
How many times should a puppy be fed per day?
up to 2 months – 6 times a day from
2 to 3 months – 5 times a day
from 3 to 4 months – 4 times a day from
4 to 6 months – 3 times a day
after 6 months – 2 times a day
The puppy’s nutritional norm per day is divided equally by the number of times, depending on age. The diet should contain 60% of the meat product, 30% of cereals, and 10% of vitamins, vegetables, delicacies.
Feeding an adult dog
As noted above, an adult mastiff should eat 1 or 2 times a day. The daily allowance is calculated individually for each dog and amounts to 3% of the total body weight. An approximate diet for a week as we mentioned above.
Are Tibetan mastiffs dangerous?
How much do Tibetan Mastiffs cost?
The price for a purebred Tibetan Mastiff puppy ranges from $2000 – $4000 USD. A Tibetan Mastiff puppy has won the title of “most expensive dog in the world” at a fair in Zhejiang, a Chinese businessman paid out the equivalent of 1.4 million euros for a one-year-old dog.
Is a Tibetan Mastiff a good family dog?
Yes, Tibetan Mastiffs are good family dogs, although reserved, and do not behave like many other dogs towards people, the family is his whole world. He feels very responsible towards his family and will give all of himself to get affection and attention. It is an independent breed as far as decision-making power is concerned, that is, it sifts situations and acts accordingly, but as regards the emotional aspect, it gives its owner and its nucleus as much affection as possible. He has a great passion for women and children.
Are Tibetan Mastiffs good with children?
Yes, Tibetan Mastiffs are children-friendly dogs as previously written, the Tibetan Mastiff has a weakness for children and women, in the memory of a centuries-old work that has seen him responsible and guardian in the absence of men. Even today the most famous icon in Tibet is a Tibetan Mastiff portrayed next to a woman holding her baby in her arms. Obviously, the supervision of an adult in the interaction between dog and child must always be under the careful supervision of an adult.
The Tibetan Doge (Do-Khy) is an ancient working breed of nomadic Himalayan herders and a traditional guardian of Tibetan monasteries. It has been surrounded by great mysticism since it was discovered in ancient times. From its mention by Aristotle ( 384 – 322 BC ) to the famous writings of Marco Polo, who went to Asia in 1271, all historical reports praise the Tibetan Mastiff’s natural strength and greatness, both physically and mentally. Even their bark has been described as unique and characteristic of the highly treasured breed.
Leading European cynologists of the past such as Martin and Youatt, Megnin, Beckmann, Siber as well as Strebel, Bylandt has intensively investigated the Tibetan Mastiff, being fascinated with its origin and function in Tibetan culture. Some even regard it as the breed from which all large mountain breeds and all mastiffs were derived. One of the first bulldogs from Tibet to reach western shores was a male specimen sent to Queen Victoria by Lord Hardinge (then Viceroy of India ) in 1847. Later in 1880 Edward VII (then Prince of Wales), took 2 dogs back to England.
One of the first records of Tibetan Mastiff litters was in 1898, born in the Berlin Zoo. According to testimonies dating back to 2,000 years before Christ, the Tibetan Mastiff was used by the Assyrians as a war dog and for the custody of prisoners. It still appears with the same aspect in the Babylonian, Egyptian and Greek bas-reliefs, thus demonstrating the great diffusion that it had in such ancient times.
With the Roman conquests and the invasions of the Asian peoples, it spread rapidly throughout the Mediterranean basin, giving rise to all the European molosser breeds, many of the shepherd and other rescuers such as Saint Bernard, the Newfoundland, and the Mountain Dog of the Pyrenees. It is one of the oldest breeds of origin and is still used today in the Himalayan chain for the custody of herds and as a guardian of monasteries.
In the fulfillment of this function, it is safe and incorruptible, fierce and dangerous with strangers, like almost all the races that we can define as “ancient” and whose character has been forged over the centuries. It has little spread outside Asia, even among kinophiles, as it is rare to see specimens of this breed participate in international dog shows.
Types of Tibetan Mastiffs
Experts distinguish at least three types of Tibetan mastiff, differing in size, amount of hair, and anatomical features.
Tsang-Khi: The most valuable is the valley type called Tsang-Khi. These are large dogs. The height at the withers in males exceeds 75cm, females – 70cm. The main colors are black and tan and black. It is believed that it was about these dogs that Charles Darwin wrote in his book “Changing Animals and Plants at Home”. He was impressed by the large black mastiff found on the southern spurs of the Himalayan mountains.
These dogs were never used for guarding and driving herds but were raised in monasteries for protection and beauty. They did not require special endurance, the selection was carried out in the direction of the size and abundance of wool, which not only gave the dogs a spectacular and frightening appearance but also protected them from cold and precipitation. With age, these dogs become more and more soggy and wrinkled, their flies do not allow them to fight effectively with wild predators.
Mountain herding dogs: Less massive and hardy are the dro-hee or mountain herding dogs. Typical representatives of this type are dogs of the He-Qu province. These dogs are smaller (males from 73cm, and females from 53cm), they have less heavy ears and a large head relative to the body with a pronounced occipital protuberance and skin folds, which can be counted at least two. The characteristic colors are black and tan, golden and black. The coat of this variety is thick with a long and coarse topcoat and a thick undercoat that protects from bad weather and cold weather.
Lion-type dog: The third type of Tibetan mastiff is the lion-type dog. They are smaller (males from 70 cm, females from 65), have a characteristic coat on the head in the form of a mane, tightened lips without dampness. The muzzle of these dogs is shorter than that of other types, and the body is of an elongated format. The main colors are gray, gray and tan, black and black and tan.
Interestingly, white and yellow dogs in the homeland of the breed are considered non-purebred, despite the fact that many of them are of the desired type. At the same time, the standard permits black, blue, black and tan and blue and tan, golden, and sable colors of dogs of this breed.
Sonal is a Visual Artist and Social Media enthusiast. She is also a community manager of Picovico and enjoys writing and painting in her free time.