The Tibetan Mastiff, also known as the Do-Khyi (home guard/door guard), is an ancient breed who served as both a herding dog and a guardian dog for the nomads of Tibet and a watchdog at the Tibetan monasteries.
There are many varieties of this breed (from the sheep-herding varieties to the heavier-boned Mastiff ones), as working performance and physical soundness were historically much more important than physical characteristics. The large Mastiff variety of this breed (the better-known variety) stands from 24 to 30 inches tall and weighs 80 to 160 pounds. The head is broad and heavy, with a broad muzzle, medium-sized eyes, and pendant ears. The body is strong, with a deep chest and a medium-length tail that is carried high and curled over the back.
The undercoat is wooly, while the outer coat is thick and dense. The coat may black, blue, or brown, with or without tan markings. This breed’s coat requires twice weekly brushing for most of the year. However, the coat does shed, and when it does, daily brushing will help keep the hair in the house under control. The coat of a Tibetan Mastiff lacks the unpleasant big-dog smell that affects many large breeds. The coat, whatever its length or color(s), should shed dirt and odors.
This is not an overly active breed and will do well with daily walks and a chance to play in the yard. Puppies are more active than adults and, without exercise, can be destructive. Socialization is very important, as this breed is quite watchful and protective. These dogs should meet a variety of people and other dogs, both in a puppy class and out on walks. Training can be challenging, as these dogs can be quite independent and sometimes stubborn. However, if the training is firm and structured, yet fun and upbeat, this breed can be trained.
Tibetan Mastiffs need experienced dog owners. They are protective, and the owners must have control. They can be good with children but may not understand rough play. They are good with other family dogs but will not tolerate strange dogs. The breed has fewer genetic health problems than many breeds – health concerns include hip and elbow dysplasia, eye problems, and thyroid disease.
Dogshaadi.com loves the Tibetan Mastiff.
For many Tibetan Mastiff breeders, owners and fanciers, there is simply no other breed that captures the beauty, nobility or the magic of the Tibetan Mastiff breed. But the Tibetan Mastiff breed is NOT for everyone so please ensure that you thoroughly investigate the true character and requirements of the breed. Acquiring a Tibetan Mastiff is a lifetime commitment so it is important that you prepare yourself before making the huge decision to welcome one of these dogs into your home.
Some important points to be considered before buying a Tibetan Mastiff
- The Tibetan Mastiff is a primitive guardian breed. The powerful Tibetan Mastiff is a naturally protective and territorial dog. This means he will guard your property (house, yard, car, other pets, etc.) and your person. It also means that he will be typically suspicious and reserved with new people and situations. A securely fenced yard is a must!
- The Tibetan Mastiff is a highly independent and intelligent breed. The Tibetan Mastiff exhibits an extremely independent, stubborn nature and a wondrous depth of intelligence and character. He does not tend to show any of the attributes of the more obedient/trainable breeds that can be taught to perform simple or complex routines. Leash training is a must. While other more domesticated, people-pleasing breeds may enjoy fetching games, the primitive Tibetan Mastiff focuses on his working abilities which include guarding, alerting through barking, patrolling and basic territorial/dominant behavior. This breed has been bred for thousands of years to do so and it is unwise to think that you will change that.
- The Tibetan Mastiff requires an interactive relationship with his owner. Committed and interactive owners are required to teach boundaries and guide a dog through the steps of basic dog manners. The Tibetan Mastiff is considered to be a challenging breed to care for and lifelong training requires dedicated work. Respect and patience are the essential keys to this breed.
- The Tibetan Mastiff needs socialization as his guarding tendencies are instinctual. He needs to be introduced to many people, places and different situations right from early puppy-hood and well into the first two years of his life. Appropriate socialization leads to confident, well-adjusted and reliable dogs.
- The Tibetan Mastiff requires a fenced yard. This is a guardian breed and it is neither wise nor responsible to allow a guardian breed to be loose on your property, be it a surrounding open yard or acreage. Not only do these dogs have a strong tendency to roam but they are also very protective of their home, yard and family.
- The Tibetan Mastiff is sensitive to change. The Tibetan Mastiff thrives on routine and familiarity. Frequent arguments, loud voices, turbulent, excited lifestyles and/or professions (i.e. military life) that result in numerous disruptions can tend to undermine the confidence of this breed. The resulting unbalance can lead to over-protective, reactive behavior and health issues.
- The Tibetan Mastiff is a slow maturing breed. Although the Tibetan Mastiff is a large-to-giant breed, it has a relatively long lifespan. 10 to 14 years is typical. The breed is very slow to mature. While it is usually agreed upon that females mature quicker than males, both genders can take up to 4-7 years to fully mature to their physical potential.
- The Tibetan Mastiff does not typically do well in extremely hot and humid conditions. This does not mean that he cannot live in warmer climates but it does mean that he should be provided access to air-conditioned facilities during the summer.
They say money can’t buy love – but £1million will get you man’s most expensive best friend.
Red Tibetan Mastiff
A red Tibetan mastiff has become the priciest dog in the world after being sold for 10 million Chinese yuan, or £945,000. Big Splash, or Hong Dong in Chinese, was bought by a coal baron from the north of China. And it’s lucky his new master is a multi-millionaire, because the hefty price tag doesn’t factor in Big Splash’s diet – enough chicken and beef to fill a growing 180lb dog, spiced up with Chinese delicacies such as sea cucumber and abalone.
Tibetan mastiff originates from China’s Qinghai and Tibet regions and is considered to be one of the oldest precious breeds in the world. Some researchers even believe that Tibetan mastiff is the ancestor of many large mastiff breeds in the European continent.
The first legend: Tibetan Mastiffs came from the heavens The most widespread legend about Tibetan Mastiffs is as follows: A long, long time ago, there was an outbreak of a mountain torrent one year and the land was covered with ice and snow in the winter. With a rampant plague, people were suffering from various types of hardships, and a heavenly god riding a Tibetan Mastiff.
The second legend: Descendants of lions or bears It is said that the Tibetan Mastiffs descended from lions. Legend says that there once was a breed of lions in the Himalayas, smaller in size than current lions. The reason why Tibetan Mastiffs are so ferocious is because they were produced through mating with these lions.
The third legend: Genghis Khan’s “fierce dog troops” The most amazing legend about Tibetan Mastiffs is one about Genghis Khan in which he once led 30,000 Tibetan Mastiff soldiers to conquer Western Europe. The writer, Yang Zhijun made specific literary records in his book “Tibetan Mastiffs” about the legend.
A Tibetan Mastiff poses during the 7th International Farm Produce Fair of China in Changchun, capital of northeast China’s Jilin Province.
Three Tibetan Mastiff puppies rest during the 7th International Farm Produce Fair of China in Changchun, capital of northeast China’s Jilin Province.
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