Initially, these dogs gained popularity among the nomadic people of Tibet. These mastiffs have the ability to protect sheep from other animals such as wolves and bears.
If you’re interested in one of these incredible dogs, you probably want to find out as much as you can about them. Keep reading to find out what you should know about the Tibetan Mastiff.
Native to Tibet, the Tibetan Mastiff was popularized by nomads from places like China, Mongolia, and Nepal. The breed’s name, which is Drog-Khyi in Tibetan, translates to ‘nomad dog’. This name is fitting because Tibetan Mastiffs have are a nomadic breed. However, despite its their ability to wonder, these dogs have also become known for their loyalty.
Like several other dog breeds, studies have proven that the Tibetan Mastiff descended from the gray wolf. But with its lineage dating back to 58,000 years ago, the Tibetan Mastiff is the oldest breed to come from this wolf.
Although the breed originated in Asia, King George V brought Tibetan Mastiffs to England in the 20th century. Despite nearly completely dying off in England the breed eventually gained worldwide popularity in the early 1980s.
The Tibetan Mastiff made its first appearance at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in 2008.
As mentioned earlier, the Tibetan Mastiff is a fairly large dog. As with other breeds, the sex of the dog will determine what you can expect for an average height and weight.
In general, male Tibetan Mastiffs grow to be 26-30 inches and between 100-160 pounds. Female Tibetan Mastiffs are typically 24-28 inches and 75-120 pounds.
Before making the commitment to bring a dog into your home, it’s important to get a general idea of the personality/temperament that is most common among that breed.
Since the Tibetan Mastiff was originally used as a guardian dog, its temperament has developed into one that can be very protective. Domesticated Tibetan Mastiffs tend to be a little more laid back but are still known for keeping their owner’s safety at the forefront. As a result, Tibetan Mastiffs don’t usually take kindly to strangers.
These dogs are known for being stubborn and protective, so adequate training and socialization are a must.
While the Tibetan Mastiff can make a great family pet, it is important to keep in mind that these dogs are best for families with older children. The dog’s size and temperament may not be a good match for smaller children.
Tibetan Mastiffs generally get along well with other dogs and even cats, but the chances of successful interaction are much higher if the dog is introduced to other pets at a young age.
Tibetan Mastiffs are generally very healthy dogs. According to the American Kennel Club, this breed has a life expectancy of 12-15 years and is known to have fewer health problems than many other dog breeds. However, some health issues that may be common among Tibetan Mastiffs are hip and elbow dysplasia and autoimmune hypothyroidism which is the result of an issue with the thyroid gland.
As always, if you think your pet is suffering form any sort of health issue, it’s always a good idea to make an appointment with your bet.
One of the main things to keep in mind if you plan on getting a Tibetan Mastiff is training. These dogs tend to be very intelligent, so it’s extremely important that they know who’s boss. Proper obedience training will teach your dog to understand that you’re in charge and to respect you as its owner.
Another important aspect to the overall care of Tibetan Mastiffs is exercise. If you life in a small apartment or have a home that doesn’t have a lot of yard space, you may not want to get a Tibetan Mastiff. These large, high-energy dogs require lots of space to run around and have fun.
Aside from exercise and training, properly socializing your dog is also something you’ll want to do. When your dog is a puppy, make it a point to bring him/her to pet friendly areas so he/she can interact with other dogs. If not properly training and/or socialized, the Tibetan Mastiff can become aggressive.
Creating a feeding schedule for your pet is very important, and it’s also important to feed him/her high-quality food. Tibetan Mastiffs should have two meals per day. It’s best to have these meal times be distinct as opposed to just leaving food out all day for your dog to eat. However, your dog should have access to clean water all throughout the day. Exactly how much to feed your dog will determine on the individual animal’s size and activity level.
Consulting with your vet or breeder can help you get a good idea of which specific brand(s) may be best for your Tibetan Mastiff.
Tibetan Mastiffs have long and thick double coats of straight hair. Male Tibetan Mastiffs tend to have longer and thicker hair than females. Since Tibetan Mastiffs have heavy coats, they may not be comfortable in humid climates. However, places with dry heat are likely to suit them just fine.
This breed comes brown, black, gold, and sometimes even blue. The coat may include tan patches near the eyes and other areas of the body.
If shedding is a concern of yours, you’ll be happy to know that although Tibetan Mastiffs shed, it is typically not a lot and can depend on the climate in which they live. Regularly brushing your dog’s hair will help prevent shedding.
To some, the Tibetan Mastiff may seem like an intimidating breed, but with a loving family and the right training, these dogs can be some of the most loyal pets in the world.
With a combination of devotion, good health, and intelligence, there’s no other breed quite like the Tibetan Mastiff.
As long as you’ve got the space and the patience to welcome one of these dogs into your home, it could be one of the best decisions you’ve ever made.