Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.
Your Pet, Our Passion.

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. 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.

The need-to-know
  • Dogs suitable for experienced owners
  • Extra training required
  • Generally healthy breed
  • Enjoys active walks
  • Enjoys more than two hours of walking a day
  • Giant dog
  • Some drool
  • Requires grooming daily
  • Quiet dog
  • Barks, alerts and may be physically protective/suspicious of visitors
  • Might not like other dogs
  • May need additional training to live with other pets
  • May need additional supervision to live with children
  • Needs a large garden
  • Best suited to countryside
  • Can be left occasionally with training
Generally healthy breed

Tibetan Mastiffs are generally a very robust breed but can suffer from: 
- Hip dysplasia
- Elbow dysplasia 
- Gastric dilatation volvulus 
- Ear infection

Priority Kennel Club health schemes and testing:
- Hip dysplasia screening scheme  
 

Key Facts

Lifespan: 12–15 years
Weight: 36–72kg
Height: Adult male dogs stand at a minimum of 66cm and females at a minimum of 61cm
Colours: Black, golden, brown, blue
Size: Giant
Kennel Club group: Working

Ratings

Family-friendly: 5/5
Exercise needs: 2/5
Easy to train: 1/5
Tolerates being alone: 1/5
Likes other pets: 5/5
Energy level: 4/5
Grooming needs: 3/5
Shedding: 2/5
Dark Tibetan Mastiff in the forest

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. This is a dog for an expert only.

Brown and black tibetan mastiffs in the park

History and Origins

Thought to date back 3,000 years, the Tibetan Mastiff is one of the world’s oldest breeds and was used as a guard dog in his native country, protecting properties (including monasteries) as well as entire villages and livestock. They are often chained up to act as early warning systems and as very effective deterrents to would-be intruders.

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.

did you know?

Did You Know?

  • The Dalai Lama had eight Tibetan Mastiffs guarding his summer residence at Norblinka - two dogs at each entrance.
  • The earliest record of these dogs in England was in 1828 when one was presented to London Zoo - and then the Viceroy of India sent one to Queen Victoria in 1847.
  • In 1970, the breed found another role when Nepalese drug smugglers used them to ship illegal drugs into the US in the bottom of their dog crates. Strangely customs officials weren’t particularly keen to search them!