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Tibetan Mastiff

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Physical Characteristics


Breed Group:

Working/Guardian Dogs


On average, a Tibetan Mastiff weighs around 100 pounds to 160 pounds.


25 to 28 inches


The Tibetan Mastiff can be solid black, black and tan, various shades of gold, or diluted gray and brown.


The Tibetan Mastiff has a thick, long double coat that sheds once a year. Relatively little grooming is required; regular brushing with a stiff-bristled brush is usually sufficient.



Like the land it originates from, this breed is shrouded in mystique. A faithful companion of the ancient Tibetan nomads, the Tibetan Mastiff was bred to be tenacious defenders, and has the ability to confront predators such as wolves and leopards. The massive stature and proud, courageous nature have made Tibetan Mastiffs ideal guardian dogs, and continue to garner attention for this breed to this day. The Tibetan Mastiff is still celebrated as sacred protectors in their native land.

Country of Origin:



The Tibetan Mastiff is an ancient breed that possibly shared a common ancestor with other Mastiff types and large dogs. There is quite a bit of variation within this breed, since Tibetan Mastiffs came from a long history where function was more important than appearance. They started to emerge as a family guardian in the western world, although with the political unrest in Tibet the breed nearly became extinct. Today this breed is still considered relatively uncommon, with breeders working hard to preserve the bloodline and reduce the occurrence of genetic diseases.


In the Tibetan language Tibetan Mastiff is known as “Do-khyi,” which means “tied dog.”


While in its native land the Tibetan Mastiff is known for being ferocious and aggressive, the westernized version is quite easy-going. Due to their nomadic ancestry, Tibetan Mastiffs are intelligent but also very independent, and are aloof around strangers. They are faithful and protective once familiarity is established. Socialization at an early age is especially important with this breed. A well-socialized Tibetan Mastiff is calm and patient, and can get along very well with children.



Training a Tibetan Mastiff can be a challenge, since this is a breed with strong wills and high pack instinct. Obedience classes are recommended. Socialization has to begin early, before the puppy reaches an unmanageable size. Tibetan Mastiffs are naturally independent, and prefer to be treated as a companion.


While Tibetan Mastiffs only need an average amount of exercise, because of their sheer size a fenced yard with some acreage is recommended. They enjoy roaming around and will turn destructive if left confined in a small area for too long.


Because of the massive size and need for space, Tibetan Mastiffs are definitely not apartment dogs. They can be physically very imposing, and owners have the onus to properly train and socialize them so that they do not turn into overly aggressive, uncontrollable attackers.


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