The Tibetan Mastiff is a large, guarding breed. They have heavy bones and a thick weather-resistant coat.
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Finding a Tibetan Mastiff
- Large build with huge head
- Coat: Heavy, coarse guard hair of medium length; thick mane and soft undercoat
- Eyes are almond shape; any shade of brown
- Bushy tail curls over back
- Heavy, V-shaped ears that hang down
- Height: 24-26 inches
- Weight: 140-170 pounds
- Average lifespan: 11-15 years
- Loyal, brave, calm, smart, protective, reserved, fearless
- Interaction with people: Good with family children but may guard against visiting children; doesn't trust strangers
- Interaction with animals: Good with other dogs
- Training: Needs early socializing to become family companion pet; needs strong training based on mutual respect. Wants to please owner but can be stubborn and determined.
- Protection: Good guard dog
- Canine Inherited Demyelinative Neuropathy (occurs in puppies)
- Hip and elbow dysplasia
- Osteochondrosis Dissecans (defect in cartilage)
- Panosteitis (bone disease that can cause lameness in growing puppies)
While the listed ailments may be common in this breed, not all members of the breed suffer from these conditions. Responsible breeders screen for orthopedic and genetic diseases.
- Not recommended for apartments; does best in rural areas
- Needs a large, fenced yard
- Weather-resistant coat allows them to be comfortable in a variety of climates
- Average shedder
- Needs regular brushing
- English and American-bred Tibetan Mastiffs are more obedient and loyal than those bred in Tibet, which are prone to aggressive behavior
- Precursors to this breed are believed to have traveled in the armies of Attila the Hun and Genghis Khan
- Centuries of close-knit relationships between humans and this breed made the Tibetan Mastiff very responsive to humans
- Native Tibetans believe the souls of ineffectual monks and nuns are reincarnated as Mastiffs
- Native to the Himalayan Mountains and the plains of Central Asia
- Some Tibetan Mastiff skulls can be traced to the Stone Age
- Time of origin is unclear, but the first written accounts are from 1100 B.C.
- Pure Tibetan Mastiffs still live in Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan and other Himalayan regions, bred by the nomadic people of the Chang-Tang plateau; they live at an average altitude of 16,000 feet
- Used as a primary protector of women and children, as well as sheep and other flocks