Dog Breeds

Tibetan Mastiff

The Tibetan Mastiff is a powerful, richly hairy mountain type of dog, often considered the ancestor of other breeds. An excellent guardian, endowed with a strong and independent character. Very attached to the family, he maintains good condition and youthful temperament for a long time.


The Tibetan Mastiff is a breed that has retained many primitive features, such as independence. At the same time, dogs of this breed become very attached to their guardians – they treat family members with delicacy and can be very patient with them. They like the company of their man and willingly participate in home life.

The mastiff has a very complex psyche. He is independent, but very attached to the human family, proud and serious, but also willing to play – both with other dogs and people. Even a mature, dignified representative of the breed can suddenly turn into a frolicking teddy bear. This is due to the fact that these dogs mature late – bitches around 2-3 years old, dogs only around 4 years old.

An improperly conducted Tibetan mastiff can become aggressive towards strangers, especially in its own territory. Also dogs from pseudo kennels or growing up in poor conditions can be unimaginably problematic. Due to their large size, aggressive mastiffs are a huge threat and it is difficult to control them.

Dogs of this breed need a busy, interesting activity – bored they can become real destroyers and devastate not only the house, but also the garden.


In the presence of the owner, mastiffs generally welcome guests. However, it should be remembered that the same dog in the absence of the owner will try to defend his territory. Mastiffs do not need to be taught to guard the area, this feature has been innate for centuries.

Training and education

The Tibetan Mastiff does not belong to dogs that easily undergo training. Extremely independent and intelligent, they will be reluctant to carry out commands even for food or toys. However, using coercion against them can cause the dog to become aggressive. Training should, therefore, be based on a good relationship with the dog, mutual respect and be planned so as not to bore the dog. Therefore, the guardian should show a large dose of patience and a sense of humor.

A Tibetan Mastiff puppy should be socialized – just like any other dog. Under no circumstances should it be enclosed in the garden. Despite his territoriality and passion for patrolling the designated area, this dog should go out for frequent walks, where he will be in contact with both dogs and strangers. Isolation of the Tibetan mastiff from the outside world and lack of socialization can result in aggression that is difficult to control.

Who is this race for?

The Tibetan Mastiff should fall into the hands of an experienced, consistent guardian. A strong, independent dog is not suitable for the elderly or families with small children. Due to its large size and strong territorial instinct, it will not be a good choice for people who live in a block of flats.

Tibetan Mastiff. Advantages and disadvantages

Tibetan Mastiff – what is it like? Learn its pros and cons!


  • strong and independent
  • difficult to train
  • some individuals can be very aggressive
  • it can even jump over a high fence
  • left overnight in the garden can bark loudly
  • not suitable for housing
  • requires careful socialization


  • excellent watchman
  • very attached to the family
  • healthy and resilient
  • retains youthful temperament for a long time

Tibetan Mastiff. Health

The Tibetan Mastiff is a relatively healthy and disease-resistant breed of dog. Of the genetic diseases, hip and elbow dysplasia occur. Eye diseases (entropy, ectropium) and hypothyroidism may also occur.

Bitches of this breed have a heat only once a year. However, it lasts longer than other dogs – ovulation usually occurs between the twenty-twenty-fifth day of the heat. Therefore, you should keep an eye on the bitch longer to avoid unwanted pregnancy.


The Tibetan Mastiff is not a picky dog, but he is not prone to binge too much. Some dogs of this breed, however, can be exceptional eats and will only eat when they are actually hungry. Do not worry too much about it, as long as the pooch maintains the correct weight and does not start to lose weight rapidly. You must also avoid being overweight, which in such large dogs can be particularly dangerous and overload the joints. You should also take care of a slim figure during the puppy period.

Dogs of this breed can be fed both good quality dry and wet food as well as meals prepared at home. In the case of a home diet, it is important to remember about appropriate supplements and mineral supplements that will ensure the dog’s proper growth and healthy coat.


The Tibetan Mastiff does not require complicated care. Thick hair should be thoroughly combed at least once a week. During molting periods, i.e. twice a year, it is worth doing it every day. Dogs who have the opportunity to walk in more “wild” areas may have a tendency to collect Velcro – they should be removed immediately, otherwise it may be necessary to cut a large amount of fur. You should also check its eyes, claws and ears regularly.


Dogs of this breed should be walked on in a wide, solid collar or harness created especially for dogs with such thick fur. The leash should be standard, minimum 5 meters long and equipped with decent carabiners. It is also worth equipping the dog with a comfortable physiological muzzle.

The message for the Tibetan mastiff should be large enough for the pooch to stretch out without difficulty. For combing thick hair, a brush with long metal pins and a comb with a wide tooth spacing are best suited. The undercoat falling out during molting will most effectively brush the hook trimmer or furminator for long hair.


This is probably one of the oldest breeds in the world. Tibetan mastiffs, who have guarded flocks in the Himalayas for centuries, are considered the ancestors of all dogs. In fact, in the Himalayas, there are closely related breeds of similar appearance.

These dogs are referred to differently by local people, e.g. “Tsang Kyi” – “best dog”. It is not uncommon to come across the name ‘Tibetan dog’. The title of Tibetan mastiff or dog was given to them by Europeans because it was difficult to use descriptive Tibetan names.

These strong and hardy dogs were bred to guard herds, but itinerant shepherds also gave them monasteries, palaces and temples to guard them well. This function that has been fulfilling for centuries still constitutes the basic characteristics of the breed.

The Western world has learned of these dogs a long time ago, as they accompanied conquerors such as Alexander the Great or Genghis Khan. They were also imported by travelers, e.g. Marco Polo. Descendants of Tibetan dogs went to Europe, where they gave birth to numerous local breeds. “Original” Tibetan mastiffs appeared in Europe in the 19th century, as many texts from that period mention.

The first two mastiffs arrived in America only in 1958, as a gift for President Eisenhover. In 1975, the first litter of this breed was born in the United States. In 1979, breeding also began in the Netherlands and Germany, while in 1980 in Switzerland, and three years later in Sweden and France.


Tibetan Mastiff – Group II FCI, Section 2.2, Model No. 230

  • Country of origin: Tibet
  • Character: brave, with a strong guarding instinct
  • Size: withers dogs – minimum 66 cm, bitches – minimum 61 cm
  • Weight: dogs 45-73 kg, bitches 34-54 kg
  • Coat: very thick, with a thick undercoat and hard coat hair; in males it is more impressive than in bitches, it forms a mane on the neck
  • Color: black, black and tan, blue, tan and blue, golden (from red to cream), dark brown (red with coating); permissible white markings on the chest and fingertips
  • Lifespan:  10-12 years
  • Weather resistance: very high

Interesting facts

Tibetans, like many other Asian peoples, especially valued dogs with a darker tan color, so-called “Four-eyed” because they believed that bright spots above the eyes are additional eyes that the dog sees evil spirits, even when he sleeps.

In recent years, Tibetan mastiffs with monstrous appearance have been bred in China – very heavy, with excess skin and coat, and construction that is a denial of health and utility. These dogs are often sold for incredibly high sums to rich people, for whom they are a symbol of their status. A red Tibetan mastiff is especially desirable.

It is believed that the highest price paid for the Tibetan mastiff was 10 million Chinese yuan (about PLN 5 million). No other dog has been sold for so much before! A Chinese businessman in the coal industry paid this record-high amount. The breeder of Tibetan mastiffs for this price sold a puppy of the so-called “Red”, which is a very intense red color.

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