This still primitive dog breed, the Tibetan Mastiff, was bred many centuries ago in Tibet. Originally used as guard dogs for livestock and property, Tibetan Mastiffs can still fulfill this role, but they also enjoy life as family companions and show dogs.
Despite their imposing and intimidating size, these puppies are very soft when it comes to their human families. However, they retain their protective nature, so strangers have to be careful, and getting to know people they trust is essential.
More about the breed
With its noble appearance, long coat, attractive coloration and beautiful tail, the Tibetan Mastiff is sure to be the start of conversation and stop of movement when you walk him down the street. But if that's all you are looking for from a dog, this breed is not for you.
Before looking at the downsides, here's what we love about this breed. The Tibetan Mastiff is loving, gentle, patient and understanding. His centuries of close cooperation with people made him very sophisticated in understanding people.
He is hardworking, protective of his family, fearless and loyal. Its large size and build make it an excellent guard dog, and centuries of breeding for this particular task have made it a protector.
As attractive as it sounds, it's important to carefully weigh the other qualities that might make it interesting.
It is an independent guardian breed that will not always turn to you for advice. He will like your company and connection with you, but he will not always obey you, especially in a situation in which he believes himself to be right. The Tibetan Mastiff is stubborn and does not usually do well in obedience or agility competitions.
Tibetan Mastiffs are usually quiet dogs when their needs and living conditions are met, but if left outside overnight they can bark. Of course, there is a simple solution: get the dog inside.
If you are using a yard, make sure it is well fenced; Tibetan Mastiffs are known to climb over fences to escape. And do not leave these dogs outside for a long time, because they can start digging and become territorial and aggressive.
Under certain conditions, Tibetan Mastiffs are tolerant of children in their families, especially if they grew up with them. But they are generally not suitable for homes with small children. Tibetan Mastiffs may mistake the screams, shouts and games of visiting children for signs of aggression and often prevent your child's friends from visiting.
This territorial ambition can affect not only the social life of your children, but also your own. If you are a social person and a lot of people come and go, this breed is probably not for you, as the Tibetan Mastiff may try to limit the number of people allowed to enter the house.
Socialization is essential for this breed. It is important to bring your Tibetan Mastiff puppy and adult dog to as many shops, parks and events as possible where dogs are allowed. Let him meet new people, but he understands whether he is afraid of specific people.
Tibetan Mastiffs have a strong instinct for humans, and if they don't overcome their initial dislike for a particular person, there is usually a reason for it. Tibetan Mastiffs should not be walked off a leash and should be taken along several different routes during their daily walks so that they do not become part of their walking route.
The Tibetan Mastiff may be a wonderful breed for a suitable owner and home, but it may not fit into any lifestyle. If you are interested in this breed, do your homework and talk to breeders and other Tibetan Mastiff owners.
One thing is for sure: if you acquire a Tibetan Mastiff, your life is bound to be an interesting adventure with this beautiful, faithful companion.
- Remember that from your little cute teddy bear in the form of a puppy, a dog will grow from 34 to 72 kilograms. The size of the mastiff makes it unsuitable for apartment living.
- Tibetan Mastiffs are usually active in the morning and evening. If your schedule does not allow you to do them during this time, it may not be your breed.
- They are usually calm indoors.
- The Tibetan Mastiff should not be left to live on the street. He is a companion dog and does well in the presence of his family.
- Due to its protective nature, the Tibetan Mastiff should never leave the leash. Change his walks so that he does not become territorial along a specific route.
- Tibetan Mastiffs are very intelligent, independent and stubborn, but sensitive to human sentiments. They will get upset if you yell at your children, punish them, or argue with your spouse. They like your company, but they never cherish.
- This is not a breed for people who want to compete in canine sports such as agility or obedience.
- Tibetan Mastiffs who are left outside overnight will bark indicating that they are at work, so do not leave them outside overnight. On the other hand, they are usually calm during the day.
- Tibetan Mastiffs shed little, except once a year. a They require weekly cleaning, with the exception of the seasonal barn when they need to be cleaned more frequently.
- The Tibetan Mastiff needs early socialization, which must continue throughout his life. Without it, he can be overly aggressive towards dogs and people he doesn't know. Socialization helps him to learn to discriminate, which is very important for a guardian breed.
- The Tibetan Mastiff is not recommended for timid or novice owners. This breed needs a confident trainer, consistent and firm, but loving at the same time. The Tibetan Mastiff is very strong-willed and will check if you really mean what you say.
- Tibetan Mastiffs can get bored without proper physical and mental stimulation. This can lead to destructiveness, barking and other negative behavior. If you are interested in acquiring a Tibetan Mastiff, keep in mind that you will lose at least a few things due to its sharp teeth before it reaches the age of three.
- Tibetan Mastiffs can get along well with children if raised with them, but they may mistakenly take the screaming, shouting and playing of children as signs of aggression requiring action on their part. They may not support the children of the neighborhood. They are not recommended for use in homes with small children.
- Never buy a Tibetan Mastiff from a puppy factory, pet store, or breeder who does not provide permits or health guarantees. Look for a reputable breeder who tests their breeding dogs to make sure they are free of genetic diseases and have a good temperament.
The Tibetan Mastiff originated elsewhere in Tibet. Like many other breeds, it has little documented history until the late 19th century, but it is believed to have existed for centuries.
DNA data tells us that mastiff-type dogs originated in Tibet about 5000 years ago, and the Tibetan Mastiff is undoubtedly a descendant of these dogs. They developed into two types: the Do-Khi, who lived in villages or traveled with nomadic shepherds and acted as keepers of the herd, and the larger Tsang-Khi, who were often given to the lamas, where they served as guardians for Tibetan Buddhist monks. , or the lamas who lived there.
Little is known about the Tibetan Mastiffs before 1800. In 1800, Captain Samuel Turner mentioned the use of "huge dogs" in his memoir, Report on the Embassy at the Court of Teshu Lama in Tibet, but did not describe them.
In 1847, the first dog from Tibet was imported to England and presented to Queen Victoria by Lord Hardinge, Viceroy of India. In 1873, the Kennel Club of England was formed and the Tibetan Mastiff was officially listed as the Tibetan Mastiff in the studbook, retaining its former name "Big Dog from Tibet".
In 1874, the Prince of Wales, who later became King Edward VII, imported two more Tibetan Mastiffs to England, and they were shown in 1875 at the Alexandra Palace Show. From time to time, Tibetan Mastiffs continued to be imported into England and Europe, and the first Tibetan Mastiff breed club was formed in 1931. World War II put an end to breeding, and it wasn't until 1976 that English breeders started importing dogs again.
The breed has had a similar history in the United States. In the late 1950s, two Tibetan Mastiffs were handed over to the President of the United States, but the dogs were taken to the farm and disappeared from the public eye. It wasn't until 1970 that several more Tibetan Mastiffs were imported into the United States and they became the founding dogs of the United States line.
The Tibetan Mastiff Club of America was founded in 1974, as was the American Tibetan Mastiff Association. The first show to feature Tibetan Mastiffs was the first national specialty competition in October 1979.
The breed was only recently recognized by the Kennel Club as a member of the Working Group in January 2007. It is difficult to find a purebred Tibetan Mastiff in Tibet today, but occasionally one can find traveling with caravans and traders and guarding livestock and houses.
A male Tibetan Mastiff has a shoulder height of at least 66 centimeters and weighs 45 to 72 kilograms or more; females are at least 60 centimeters tall at the shoulders and weigh from 34 to 56 kilograms or more.
The word "defiant" is often applied to this independent, stubborn breed. He is intelligent and has a strong sense of self-esteem, expecting to be treated as an equal and not as a pet.
He wants to please his people, but he also has plans of his own and often needs to be reminded of what he is being asked to do. The Tibetan Mastiff is a loyal family guardian who takes his job seriously and is indifferent or reserved towards strangers.
Early socialization that continues throughout his life will help prevent his territorial aggression. Enrolling in a kindergarten puppy class is a great start.
Regularly inviting visitors and visiting lively parks, dog-friendly shops and leisurely walks to meet neighbors will also help him hone his social skills.
Tibetan Mastiffs are generally healthy, but like all breeds, they can have certain diseases. Not all TMs will develop any or all of these diseases, but it is important to be aware of them if you are considering this breed.
- Canine hip dysplasia (CAD). It is a hereditary disorder in which the femur does not fit snugly against the hip joint, eventually leading to lameness or arthritis. X-ray screening for hip dysplasia is performed by the Animal Orthopedic Foundation or the University of Pennsylvania Hip Improvement Program (PennHIP). Dogs with hip dysplasia should not be bred. Hip dysplasia is hereditary, but it can be exacerbated by environmental factors, such as rapid growth from a high-calorie diet or injury from jumping or falling on slippery floors.
- Elbow dysplasia: This is an inherited condition common in large breed dogs. It is thought to be caused by the different growth rates of the three bones that make up the dog's elbow, which causes joint weakness. This can lead to painful lameness. Depending on the severity of the problem, your veterinarian may recommend surgery, weight management, or pain relief medications.
- Panosteitis: Panostitis can be best described as growing pains in dogs. It is an inflammation of the long bones that affects young large breed dogs and causes lameness, which is often spread from leg to leg. The condition usually lasts one to six months and eventually goes away with maturity. Any discomfort can be managed with pain relievers.
- Osteochondrosis dissecans (OCD): This is an orthopedic condition caused by abnormal growth of cartilage in the joints, usually occurs in the shoulder but can also affect the elbow. It causes painful joint stiffness and can be detected in dogs as early as five to seven months of age. Surgery may be required. Because it is a hereditary condition, dogs with OCD should not be bred.
- Inherited Canine Demyelinate Neuropathy (CIDN): This is an inherited condition that is found in Tibetan Mastiff puppies by the time they are six weeks old. The condition affects the nervous system and causes weakness in the hind legs, which eventually progresses to complete paralysis. There is no cure, but selective breeding has significantly reduced the incidence of CIDN.
- Autoimmune hypothyroidism: This common endocrine disorder that usually affects middle-aged and older dogs is caused by a deficiency of thyroid hormone. Signs include weight gain, flaky skin, and lack of energy. Once diagnosed, hypothyroidism is easily treated with daily medication, which must be continued throughout the dog's life.
If you are buying a puppy, find a good breeder who will show you the health permits for both of your puppy's parents. Health certificates prove that the dog has been tested and cleared for a specific medical condition. In Tibetan Mastiffs, you should expect to receive a certificate from the Animal Orthopedic Foundation regarding the thighs, elbows and thyroid gland.
Because some health problems do not appear until the dog reaches full maturity, health permits are not issued to dogs under two years of age. Look for a breeder who doesn't breed their dogs until they are two or three years old.
The Tibetan Mastiff is a companion dog that must live indoors with access to a large, securely fenced yard where he can exercise. A small yard or dog walking is not enough for him.
Its heavy coat makes it unsuitable for living in hot, humid climates, although it can tolerate dry heat. In hot weather, he should always have access to shade and fresh water when outside.
The exercise requirements of the Tibetan Mastiff can be met with 20-30 minutes of play in the yard or a half-hour walk. He will enjoy playing with another dog, preferably one that is close to his size.
Tibetan Mastiff puppies grow faster than small breeds, but physically they do not mature until over a year old. To prevent orthopedic damage, limit exercise to free play in the yard and avoid long walks until your puppy is one year old.
Start training the day you bring your Tibetan Mastiff puppy home. They are smart and quick to learn, but their independent and stubborn nature means that rigorous and formal obedience training does not work best.
Be patient, firm and consistent to develop the strongest bond with your Tibetan Mastiff. Always look for behavior that you can reward instead of punishing him for violations.
Regular exercise and social interaction will help you live happily together. A bored or lonely Tibetan Mastiff is more destructive and noisy than you might imagine.
Home teaching is easy for the Tibetan Mastiff. Crate training helps with this process and prevents your puppy from chewing on things he shouldn't or otherwise getting into trouble when you are not around to watch. The crate also gives him a safe haven where he can retreat when he feels overwhelmed or tired. The box should never be used as a punishment.
Leash training is also important, especially since your Tibetan Mastiff will eventually weigh up to 72 kilograms or more and be able to pull you wherever he wants. Tibetan Mastiffs should never be walked off a leash, and good leash behavior is important for both your muscle health and your happiness.
Socialization is a must for this breed. Tibetan Mastiffs can not only overly dominate other dogs, but also overly defend their home and family. Puppy socialization lessons are a great start, but socialization doesn't have to end there.
Visit the many dog-friendly shops, parks and activities. Invite different people to your home several times so that your Tibetan Mastiff knows that others can enter your territory and its territory.
With proper training, consistency, and socialization, your Tibetan Mastiff can be an excellent family member to guard, protect and love you unconditionally.
Recommended daily intake: 4 to 6 or more cups of high quality dog food per day, divided into two meals. To avoid bloating, also known as bloating, refrain from food and water for at least an hour after vigorous exercise.
How much your adult dog eats depends on its size, age, build, metabolism, and activity level. Dogs are as individual as humans, and not all of them need the same amount of food. It goes without saying that a very active dog will need more than a house dog.
The quality of the dog food you buy also matters - the better the dog food, the further it will feed your dog and the less you will need to pour into the dog's bowl.
Keep your Tibetan Mastiff in good shape by measuring his food and feeding him twice a day, rather than leaving the food all the time. If you are not sure if he is overweight, check his eyesight and practice.
Look down at it first. You should be able to see your waist. Then place your hands on his back, thumbs along the spine, fingers spread down. You should be able to feel, but not see, his ribs without having to press hard. If you can't, he needs less food and more exercise.
For more information on feeding the Tibetan Mastiff, see our recommendations for buying the right food, feeding your puppy and adult dog.
Coat color and care
The Tibetan Mastiff has a double coat with a long, thick coarse topcoat and a heavy, soft woolly undercoat. In warmer months, the undercoat is thinner. Hair is coarse and straight, never frizzy, wavy or silky.
A thick mane covers the neck and shoulders, while the tail and pants (upper thighs) have a thick coat and plumage. Males usually have more hair than females, including a thicker mane on the neck and shoulders.
The coat is black, brown, gold and blue, with yellowish brown markings above and around the eyes, on the side of the muzzle, on the neck and on the lower part of the forelegs, on the inside of the back, or without them. legs, buttocks and lower part of the tail.
Some Tibetan Mastiffs have small white markings on their chest and feet, but nowhere else on their body. The undercoat may be of lighter shades of the dominant color or gray or tan in black and tan dogs. Tibetan Mastiffs with a sable or brindle color are recognized as a mistake in the show ring, but their color does not affect their ability to be a companion or guardian.
The Tibetan Mastiff sheds little and may or may not shed seasonally, depending on the climate in which it lives. Comb it once to three times a week with a metal brush to remove dead or loose hair.
Be sure to check for tangles or tangles on the mane, pants and tail, where the coat is the heaviest. Swim if necessary. This breed has a faint smell, so it usually doesn't need to bathe more than once a month.
Other grooming needs include oral hygiene and nail care. Brush your Tibetan Mastiff's teeth at least two or three times a week to remove plaque and associated bacteria. Better every day.
Trim your nails once or twice a month, or as needed. If you hear nails banging on the floor, they are too long. The short nails keep the feet in good condition, do not snag on the carpet or tear. If you need to trim your legs, it is best to do so while trimming your nails.
Check your ears weekly to make sure they are free of debris, redness, or inflammation. If necessary, clean your ears with a cotton pad and a cleanser recommended by your dog's breeder or veterinarian. Wipe the outer edge of your ear canal and do not insert the cotton swab deeper than the first knuckle of your finger.
Start training your Tibetan Mastiff to be cleaned and inspected while still a puppy. Often take his paws - dogs are touchy about their paws - and look inside his mouth and ears.
Make self-care a positive experience filled with praise and rewards, and you'll lay the foundation for light veterinary checkups and other procedures as he grows up.
Children and other pets
The Tibetan Mastiff is suitable for families with older children, but it may be too large to safely spend a lot of time with the little ones. He would never want to harm them, but he could easily knock them down or step on them.
Make it a rule to forbid children to run and shout in the presence of a Tibetan Mastiff. The noise and activity can turn him on, and he is simply too big to be allowed to drive children or play roughly with them.
He may also feel the need to protect “his” children from other children, especially if they are struggling or otherwise appear to be fighting. Always follow the game so he knows you are in charge.
Always teach children to approach and touch dogs, and always monitor any interactions between dogs and young children to prevent biting from either side of the ears or tails.
Teach your child never to approach the dog while he is sleeping or eating, and not to try to pick up the dog's food. No dog should be left unattended with a child.
Tibetan Mastiffs get along well with other dogs and cats when raised with them. As adults, they may need a longer adaptation period before they welcome the arrival of another dog.
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