Home Breeds Dog breeds Tibetan Mastiff | Information & Dog Breed Facts

Tibetan Mastiff | Information & Dog Breed Facts

Tibetan Mastiff
Tibetan Mastiff

The Tibetan Mastiff is one of the largest and oldest dog breeds in existence. We can easily recognize it by his muscular and imposing body, but especially by the large lion’s mane which accumulates around his neck.

Tibetan Mastiff
Tibetan Mastiff

Despite its Asian origin, it is found all over the world today. He stands out for being a good watchdog and companion dog. If you are thinking of including a Tibetan Mastiff in your family, it will be essential to inform yourself fully of the character, characteristics and care of this breed.

In this ‘ Pets Feed ‘ breed sheet, we will try to explain all the details that you must take into account before considering the possession of this animal or useful information for any lover of this breed.

Read on and find out all about the Tibetan Mastiff:

Origin of the Tibetan Mastiff

The Tibetan Mastiff is one of the oldest oriental breeds in existence. It is known to be a working breed of nomadic shepherds from the Himalayas as well as a protective dog for Tibetan monasteries. When Tibet was invaded by China in the 1950s, these dogs virtually disappeared from their homelands. Fortunately for the breed, many of these huge dogs went to India and Nepal, where the breed was repopulated. With the export of the Tibetan Mastiff in England and the United States, the breed has gained popularity among dog lovers in the West.

It is believed that the Tibetan Mastiff is the ancestor of all breeds of mastiffs and high mountain dogs, although there is no evidence to confirm this. Its bark is undoubtedly unique and is considered a characteristic of the much appreciated breed.

This ancient and incredible dog is mentioned for the first time in history thanks to Aristotle (384-322 BC), but the origin of the breed is unknown. Marco Polo also mentions him, who during his travels in Asia (1271 AD) rents a dog of great strength and size. Later, in the nineteenth century, Queen Victoria of England received in Europe one of the first Tibetan mastiffs, especially in 1847. Such was its impact, that years later, in 1898, the first mastiff of the Tibet was recorded in Berlin.

Tibetan Mastiff
Tibetan Mastiff

Physical Characteristics of the Tibetan Mastiff

The Tibetan mastiff is distinguished by being a strong and powerful dog, of giant size, very robust and imposing. In the breed standard, they describe him as a dog of solemn and serious appearance, of majestic strength.

The head of this mastiff is large, heavy and solid, with a slightly rounded skull. The occipital protuberance is very pronounced and the nasofrontal depression (stop) is well defined. The color of the nose depends on the color of the coat, but it should be as dark as possible. The muzzle is broad. The eyes are medium, brown and oval. The ears, of medium insertion, are triangular, medium and hanging.

The Tibetan mastiff body is robust, solid and a little longer than it is tall. The back is straight and muscular, while the chest is very deep and of moderate width. The tail is of medium length and high insertion. When the dog is active, it is screwed loosely on its back.

The coat of the Tibetan mastiff is made up of two layers. The outer layer consists of rough, thick and not very long hairs. The inner layer is dense and woolly in cold weather, but it becomes a thin layer in hot weather. The hairs can be black with or without fire marks, blue with or without fire, saber or gold marks. A white star is accepted on the chest and a minimum of white marks on the feet.

Once mature, males normally weigh between 40 and 65 kg. However, some have reached 90 kg. In contrast, females generally weigh between 30 and 55 kg. Obviously, their weight will depend on the diet, but they are still considered heavy dogs that eat a large amount of food.

The minimum size of Tibetan mastiff females is 61 centimeters at the cross, while males are a minimum of 66 centimeters at the cross. There is no height limit.

Tibetan Mastiff puppies
Tibetan Mastiff puppies

Tibetan Mastiff puppies

Tibetan Mastiff puppies grow slowly compared to other breeds of dogs. Most females generally reach maturity at two years of age, while males do so only at six. Puppies are sometimes considered tall for their age, knowing that before reaching one year old, many of them already measure around 60 centimeters, there are cases of Tibetan Mastiff puppies that have exceeded one meter in height.

Character of the Tibetan Mastiff

The Tibetan Mastiff is an end-to-end guard dog. It is careful with foreigners and protects its family and property. It is necessary to have the necessary experience to treat, socialize and train it, as is the case with all breeds of guard dogs. In the good house, it is a calm companion, affectionate and faithful.

The Tibetan Mastiff is an independent dog, but very faithful and protective with the family to which it belongs. Although it is not an attached dog, it appreciates the presence of its relatives, who will not hesitate to protect. On the contrary, it is often wary of strangers. This dog usually gets along with other dogs and animals, especially dogs of the same size, although this behavior is closely related to the socialization it has received as a puppy.

This dog breed is generally docile and friendly with the children of the house, however, and although it is a quiet dog at home, because of its great size and strength, it can hurt them unintentionally, so it is recommended to always monitor gaming sessions between children and dog, as well as offer a toy that is “the middleman” in their relationship and their moments of pleasure.

At home, it is a calm dog, but outside the home, the Tibetan Mastiff needs moderate activity sessions to keep its muscles in shape and relieve stress from day to day. Thanks to long walks, we will do the necessary physical activity for our mastiff of Tibet. An interesting fact to keep in mind is that these dogs tend to bark for their past as watchdogs, as well as destructive when alone, if they suffer from anxiety or even behavioral problems.

As for recommendations, this is not an appropriate breed for less experienced owners, it is recommended to have people with advanced knowledge of dog training, animal welfare and possession of large dogs.

Tibetan mastiff
Tibetan mastiff


With proper care and feeding, the Tibetan Mastiff can live for 12-13 years. Such lifespan is not common among large breeds. Nature has endowed the Tibetans with good health. We can say that adult animals almost never get sick. Unfortunately, even these robust dogs have some health problems.

The most common diseases in Tibetan Mastiffs are:

  • Curl of the eyelid – the lower eyelid is wrapped inward. Such a disease cannot be cured, the problem is solved only by surgery.
  • Dysplasia of the hip and elbow joints – in order to detect dysplasia in time, it is recommended to take an X-ray of the pet every year. This disease is hereditary, so when buying a puppy, be sure to check the pedigree.
  • Osteochondrosis dissecans is a disease of the joints. This problem is eliminated only with the help of surgical intervention.
  • Hypertrophic neuropathy – General weakness, severely affected puppies cannot get up and stay on their feet.
  • Panostitis is an inflammation of the tubular bones.
  • Autoimmune hypothyroidism – to treat hypothyroidism, daily administration of a dose of synthetic thyroid hormone established by a veterinarian is used.
  • Rickets – Can be very serious due to the puppy’s heavy bones and weight. You can avoid this problem by observing the correct regimen and diet.

It is much easier to fight disease in the beginning. In order to detect the problem in time, you need to regularly show the dog to the veterinarian for preventive examinations. Also, the owner must vaccinate on time.

Tibetan mastiff
Tibetan mastiff

Basic care

Keeping a dog as large as the Tibetan Mastiff is recommended in a spacious enclosure. A cramped apartment is not suitable for a large-sized dog, he will be constrained in his movements and will embarrass his owners. Outdoor maintenance will not harm the mastiff, wool with a thick undercoat saves him from frost.

In the hot season, the owner should make sure that the pet always has the opportunity to hide from the sun’s rays.

In the cold season, the Tibetan Mastiff should not suffer from drafts, rain, snow, wind and other unpleasant natural phenomena. That is why, before installing an aviary with a booth, you must carefully choose the right place. The aviary should not be in the sun and the “seven winds”.

If you decide to keep the Tibetan Mastiff in the house, immediately give him a place, install a mattress, a couch or a rug there. The territory of the pet should not be in a passable place, but it is not recommended to send the dog to the backyard either.

The Tibetan Mastiff puppy sleeps most of the day. Wakes up to go to the toilet, eat and play a little, then goes back to the couch. Such hibernation scares inexperienced dog breeders. But there is no reason for worry, just representatives of large breeds in puppyhood spend almost all their energy on growth.

As a result, there is no energy left for active games. In no case should you force the puppy to run, jump, such activity should come from him. Let him sleep as much as he wants, when the dog becomes an adult, everything will fall into place. Constant hibernation will be a thing of the past, the dog will be active, ready to play, guard the house and train.

Tibetan mastiff
Tibetan mastiff

Contrary to the opinion that large dogs are difficult to care for, the Tibetan Mastiff does not require special care. The main thing is to accustom your pet to all the necessary procedures from childhood, observe all the rules of hygiene and pay enough attention to thick hair:

  • Brush your Tibetan Mastiff teeth 2-3 times a week.
  • Clean your dog’s ears once every 7-10 days using cotton swabs. If you find excessive discharge, contact your veterinarian.
  • Trim the nails several times a month. If there is no experience, it is recommended to entrust this procedure to a specialist.
  • Bathe as needed using detergents for long-haired breeds. If the dog is a show dog, bathing is done more often.
  • The Tibetan Mastiff’s wool needs to be combed out 3 times a week.


Tibetan mastiff

Proper nutrition is especially important for giant breeds. Tibetan mastiff dogs have an excellent appetite and consume large amounts of food, especially as they grow up. The diet should be balanced and complete.

Adult dogs eat much less, and their daily portion is less than that of Labradors or Boxers. They are not prone to overeating and know when to stop. It is important to provide your pet with clean drinking water in the required amount. Owners are advised to adhere to some rules:

  • You cannot overfeed the pet;
  • When feeding dry rations, the food should not be soaked with milk or water;
  • You should not drastically change the brand of feed without a serious reason, as this can negatively affect the development of the animal;
  • It is important to purchase food that is suitable for the pet in age and size;
  • Hot and cold food should not be given to the dog;
  • With natural feeding, you should not give your pet smoked meats and river fish.
  • The Tibetan mastiff puppies needs to be fed 6 times a day. For a mature individual, only 2 feedings are needed.
  • The weight and height of the animal increases, and with them the serving size. Animals do not eat much for their size – 200-300 g at a time.

When feeding with natural products, the pet’s diet should include meat ingredients – meat, sea fish, offal. In addition, it is important to include cereals – rice, buckwheat. Give boiled eggs twice a week. It is recommended to flavor porridge with vegetable oil. Vegetables are served both raw and cooked, fruit is a great treat for many dogs.


Dogs of this breed will need approximately one hour of exercise daily, although they will readily accept more exercise if they can. Puppies should not exercise too much, as it is important to avoid overloading the muscles and joints of such a large breed.

These dogs may reside in an apartment, it is strongly recommended that this breed can live in a large house, with a garden, accessible at all times. However, whether you live in an apartment or in a big house, it is highly recommended to go for long, long, quality walks with our Tibetan mastiff.

This breed adapts perfectly to different climates, be they cold or temperate, although it is generally not comfortable in particularly humid and hot places.

We must keep in mind that the Tibetan Mastiff, mainly because of its large size, will also require large objects: a bed, a manger or toys, which usually have a much higher economic cost.

Tibetan Mastiff
Tibetan Mastiff

Training and education

Raising a Tibetan Mastiff puppy does not begin with a strict regime and countless punishments. A small animal at the age of one month, due to rough treatment, can find fear of a person for life and can never learn to trust its owner.

To prevent this from happening from a month to two months from birth, the pet needs to be stroked, caressed, played with him, allowing him to “chew” his own fingers or laces. Thus, the Tibetan Mastiff puppy will have confidence in the owner, he will not be afraid of him. These trusting techniques are called imprinting.

After the imprinting is successful, you can start socializing the puppy. During this period, the pet is introduced to the outside world and to the rules of behavior in public places. Socialization contributes to the formation of the character of a young animal and the hardening of the nervous system.

Without education and training, it will be impossible to cope with such a large dog as the Tibetan Mastiff. It is recommended to take a training course with an experienced dog handler.

It is interesting that a well-bred Tibetan Mastiff, led by a child on a leash, will adjust to the step of his little master. If the dog is naughty, even an adult man cannot restrain it, let alone a child.

Tibetan mastiff
Tibetan mastiff

Tibetan Mastiff Dog Breed Highlights

Purebred Tibetan Mastiff dog are considered the most expensive breed in the world. Before buying a Tibetan Mastiff puppy and spending a large amount of money, you should evaluate your capabilities. To do this, you should familiarize yourself with all the advantages and disadvantages of this breed:

Positive points

  • The Tibetan Mastiff is a good pet and a faithful and dedicated companion.
  • It’s one of the healthiest breeds in the world.
  • Although large, the Tibetan Mastiff is very good around children.
  • They lose moderately throughout the year, especially in the spring and fall.
  • The Tibetan Mastiff does not require much maintenance on the grooming front and its coat does not tend to be entangled.
  • They are very good guard dogs

Negative points

  • This dog needs enough space to express itself as a big dog.
  • The Tibetan Mastiff needs a lot of daily exercise.
  • The cost of feeding a Tibetan Mastiff is high because it is a very big dog.
  • It has a high sense of prey.
  • This is not the right breed for dog owners for the first time.
  • The Tibetan Mastiff is not a good choice for families with very young children because of its size.
  • Puppies are expensive and the cost of their diet is high.
Tibetan Mastiff
Tibetan Mastiff

Tibetan Mastiff Fun Facts

  • The name of this breed ‘Do-Khyi ‘ in translation sounds like “home guard”, “door guard”, “dog which may be tied”, “dog which may be kept”
  • Tibetan Mastiff dogs are rightfully considered one of the oldest living breeds on earth. Even Aristotle admired their greatness and spiritual fulfillment. The first information about the representatives of the breed appeared at the very beginning of ancient times.
  • For Asians in ancient times, killing a person was not such a terrible crime as bullying a Tibetan Mastiff.
  • The first representatives of the breed were brought to Western Europe in the nineteenth century. Half a century later, they reached Germany and England, where for a long time they were kept as outlandish predators in zoos.
  • After the British invaded Tibet, the aboriginal Tibetan Mastiff dogs were threatened with extinction.
  • These furry giants are among the most suitable for allergy sufferers. Their fur practically does not smell, and seasonal molt takes place only once a year.
  • Tibetan Mastiff dogs, just like cats, love to stay awake at night and sleep sweetly during the day.
  • This dog can make an excellent protector who can make an independent and correct decision in case of danger. However, the owner will be able to achieve the desired behavior from the pet only by spending a considerable amount of time on its education and training.
  • Domestic giant; not annoying or annoying. He will accept affection from close people, but he will not beg for it himself.
  • For a Tibetan Mastiff puppy with a European pedigree, you will have to pay more than two thousand dollars.
  • The latter fact remains one of the most exciting for those looking to own a fluffy Tibetan Mastiff puppy. Moreover, for a representative of Chinese ancestry, you will have to pay 2 or even 3 times more.

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