Last Updated on August 6, 2023 by Pets Feed
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.
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.
Tibetan Mastiff photos
The Tibetan Mastiff is a giant dog. The length of the body slightly exceeds the height. He is a powerful, muscular, supple and athletic dog with an appearance full of dignity and composure.
The height of adult males is 66 – 76 cm and 45 – 73 kg. Females weigh 34 – 55 kg with a height of 61 – 71 cm.
The dense coat is quite long and forms a mane around the neck and shoulders (more visible in males). The wool comes in different colors with spotted patterns. See the breed standard for more details.
- Head: Large and strong with a broad forehead, with strong superciliary ridges. It has a well-marked occipital protuberance and a transition from the frontal bone to the muzzle, but there are no clear outlines.
- Wide and square, with a broad, well-pigmented nose and open nostrils. The standard nose color is black. But in blue, gray and red individuals, the lobe is colored in the darkest shade of brown. The value of the size from the stop to the tip of the nose should be between half and one third of the length from the back of the head to the stop.
- Jaws: Strong with a scissor bite. A level bite is acceptable, but an undercut or undercut is considered unacceptable.
- Ears: Medium sized, pendulous and V-shaped; Tied high and carried forward, they hang close to the head. When the animal is alert, they are raised and aligned with the top of the skull. Covered in thick, soft short hair.
- Eyes: Deep-set, almond-shaped, widely spaced and slightly slanted, with black lids close to the eyeball. All colors have expressive, medium-sized eyes in all shades of brown, except for blue, gray, and red individuals, which have dark gray eyelids and golden yellow eyes.
- Torso: With excellent muscle mass, a straight back, turning into a wide and slightly domed croup. The thighs are slightly inclined, muscular. The chest is deep, with protruding ribs giving it the shape of a heart. The sides are slightly flattened.
- Legs: Powerful, strong and rounded with well arched toes and thick hair between them, partially covering the pads in winter and preventing slipping on icy surfaces.
- Coat: Long and thick, while in males it is hard and shiny. In the cold season, it becomes 2 times thicker than in the warm season. Acceptable colors: black; deep black with tan markings; gray with and without tan marks; golden with a range of juicy tawny to deep red. The palette of tan marks ranges from rich chestnut to lighter. A white star on the chest and minimal white paw markings are not excluded.
Character and behavior
The Tibetan Mastiff is a watchdog through and through. He is careful of strangers and protects his family and property. It is necessary to have the necessary experience to treat, socialize and train it, as is the case with all guard dog breeds. In the right home, he is a calm, affectionate and faithful companion.
He is an independent dog, but very loyal and protective with the family to which he belongs. Although he is not an attached dog, he appreciates the presence of his loved ones.
With the children
This breed of dog is generally docile and friendly with the children in the house, however, and although he is a calm dog around the house, due to his large size and strength, he can hurt them unintentionally. It is therefore recommended to always monitor play sessions between children and dogs, as well as to offer a game that is the “intermediary” in their relationship and their moments of pleasure.
With other animals
This dog generally gets along with other dogs and animals, especially dogs of the same size, although this behavior is closely tied to the socialization he received as a puppy.
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.
With proper care and feeding, the Tibetan Mastiff can live for 10-14years.
- 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.
This breed adapts perfectly to different climates, be they cold or temperate, although it is generally not comfortable in particularly humid and hot places.
- 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.
History of the breed
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.