NPPE Breed Library Info Page

Tibetan Mastiff

tibetan mastiff

A giant dog, slightly longer than he is tall, the Tibetan Mastiff dog is a powerful, muscular breed that is athletic and agile, with a dignified composure. Adult male dogs stand at a minimum of 66cm and females at a minimum of 61cm. The weight range is 36-72k-plus, depending on the dog's sex, height and build. The dense coat is quite long and there is a 'mane' around the neck and shoulders, which is more obvious in male dogs. The coat comes in a range of colours and markings - for full details, see the breed standard.

tibetan mastiff
  • Category size: Giant
  • Grooming requirements: More than once a week
tibetan mastiff
  • Shedding: Heavy
  • Allergies: No
  • Noise: Vocal
  • Dog Group Kennel Club: Working
tibetan mastiff
  • Alone: 1 to 3 hours
  • Other pets: Medium
  • Stability as a guard: High

Origin

An ancient breed, thought to date back 3,000 years, the Tibetan Mastiff dog breed was used as a guard dog in his native country, protecting properties (including monasteries) as well as livestock. Marco Polo reported that the Tibetan Mastiff was as “tall as a donkey with a voice as powerful as that of a lion.” The breed is relatively new to the rest of the dog-loving world, only coming to the attention of breeders in the West a century ago.

Personality

A guard dog through and through, the Tibetan Mastiff is not a breed to take on lightly. He is wary of strangers and naturally protective of his family and property. Experienced handling, socialisation and training are needed, as with all guarding breeds. In the right home, he is a calm, affectionate, loyal companion.

Health

Tibetan Mastiffs are generally a very robust breed. As with many breeds eye disorders and hip dysplasia (a condition that can lead to mobility problems) can sometimes occur. Eye testing and hip scoring of dogs prior to breeding is therefore recommended.

Exercise

An hour's daily exercise is required for a Tibetan Mastiff, though he will happily accept more if you can offer it. A Tibetan mastiff puppy should not be overexercised, as it is important to avoid putting strain on the muscles and joints of such a large, growing breed.

Nutrition

Giant-breed dogs, as well as having giant appetites, benefit from a different balance of minerals and vitamins, supporting different joint and cartilage needs. The Tibetan Mastiff is prone to bloating and stomach problems; try feeding smaller, more frequent meals to help minimise the risk.

Grooming

The Tibetan Mastiff's double coat consists of a dense, woolly undercoat, which sheds in warmer weather, and a thick topcoat that is straight and hard-textured. The tail and back legs are well feathered. A brush through a couple of times a week is advised with daily grooming when the coat sheds.

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What to Consider next

Adoption

It is incredibly fulfilling to adopt a dog from an animal shelter or rescue organization. It often means offering them a second chance in life. There are many dogs waiting for a loving family, a forever home. Reputable centers will be very careful about matching the right people with the right dogs. Staff learns all they can about the dogs they take in, and will spend time getting to know you, your family and your lifestyle, before they match you with any of their dogs. They’ll also be happy to give you advice and answer any questions you might have before and after the adoption.

Finding a good breeder

If your heart is set on a pedigree puppy, then your best bet is to find a reputable breeder. Contact The Kennel Club or a breed-club secretary who may have a list of litters available, or should be able to put you in contact with breeders in your area. Try to choose a breeder who is part of the Kennel Club’s assured breeder scheme.Visit dog shows to meet breeders in person and inquire about availability of pups of your chosen breed.

Welcoming your dog home

Whether you’re bringing home a tiny puppy or rehoming an adult dog, this is a hugely exciting time for everyone. While you’re waiting for the big day you might need to distract yourself, so luckily there are a few things you need to sort out before you welcome your new arrival. Click here for more information