Tibetan Mastiff Information

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(Do-Khyi) The Tibetan Mastiff is a large, powerful dog. Its ears hang down in a “V” shape along the side of its massive head.  The breed’s medium-sized, dark eyes suggest its affectionate and loyal nature.  With its long, square-shaped muzzle and wide neck covered in extra loose skin, the Tibetan Mastiff has the look of a cuddly teddy bear despite the powerfulness of the rest of its body.  For example, its broad chest and muscular legs with very large feet – a body designed making them ideal for guarding flocks and chasing away predators.  The Tibetan Mastiff’s coat is medium to long in length and is fluffy, especially around the head and tail. The coat can come in many colors, such as gold, gray, black and tan, black, or brown. The dog’s unique tail curls on to their back and forms a puffy ball.

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Gold colored dogs range from almost white to deep red. Black-and-tan coats may be affected by modifiers which the black portions may appear blue. Brown is not a known color in Tibetian Mastiffs. Tails that curl so tightly as to form a puffy ball are considered a fault.

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Character

The Tibetan Mastiff is a calm family oriented breed. They want to protect their family and home, so they can be wary of strangers but will do fine with good socialization. The breed is intelligent and easy to train. Their owner needs to not be too harsh because that makes the Tibetan Mastiff disobedient. To live with another animal, they should be raised with them from puppyhood.  Although devoted to their families, they can try to be dominant with their owners. They are usually calm in the house and are not big on playing games.

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Size

25-28 inches
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Weight

140-170 pounds
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General Health

Tibetan Mastiffs have genetic inclinations for CHD (canine hip dysplasia), CIDN (canine inherited demyelinative neuropathy), and hypothyroidism.  This breed is also prone to ear infections.  The Tibetan Mastiff has a life expectancy of about 15 years.

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History

The Tibetan Mastiff, like most Mastiffs, is believed to have originated from the Mollosian dogs of Tibet who traveled with Alexander the Great to Europe.  As his dogs interacted with local breeds, the entire Mastiff group was born.  The Tibetan version obviously came from Tibet and was relatively unknown while the country was closed to Westerners.  In the 1800s, a Tibetan Mastiff was presented as a gift to Queen Victoria.Afterward, many were imported to England where the breed standard formed. They are now rare in Tibet but popular in England and the United Sates.


The Tibetan Mastiff is not a real mastiff, just as the Tibetan Terrier is not a terrier and the Tibetan Spaniel is not a spaniel. Those names were settled on the Tibetan dogs by early British explorers and have been causing confusion ever since. This breed is rare in the USA but is fairly common in Tibet. With in the past few years, breeders have been gathering this breed from the countryside and taking them to Lhasa and further east into China for commercial breeding.

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Maintenance

The Tibetan Mastiff needs to be brushed often because their coat is so thick. They need special grooming during a four week period every spring or summer when they should be brushed every day. The dogs need exercise, so they should be walked once a day. However, they are prone to joint and bone problems which mean they should not do extremely vigorous exercise. If they are left outside often, they need a very secure fence because they will try to escape. Tibetan Mastiffs allowed to sleep outside can cause problems because they have been known to bark all night long.  However, in the house they are usually quiet.


Not all dogs need intense brushing. For most dogs the spring/summer molt can last considerably longer than four weeks. Walking once a day will not provide adequate exercise unless it's a very long walk. In Tibet, this breed barks all night. Their Western relatives can be convinced not to do so with proper training.

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Ideal Environment

The Tibetan Mastiff is a sweet dog that is definitely not for all families. They love their owners and are great with children. However, they are very reserved with strangers, so they need a family with lots of time to socialize them with many people and animals. They are not good in apartments, because they need a yard with a tall fence that is hard to dig out of or they will escape. They need to be able to sleep in the house at night, or they will bark. Additionally, they need to be walked every day but the exercise cannot be too intense because their bones and joints are sensitive. Tibetan Mastiffs also need special care as puppies so they are not overworked.

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Dog Training!

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Tibetan Mastiff Q&A

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Could anyone recommend a bone and joint pill for Tibetan Mastiffs?

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