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Tibetan Mastiff

The Canine Chronicles Directory

Tibetan Mastiff

Tibetan Mastiff's have a long, thick double outer coat with a heavy, wooly undercoat. The neck and shoulders should have a heavier coat, the legs feathered and the tail dense. The coat is generally black, brown, black and tan, gray, shades of gold, and gray with gold markings. Limited white on the chest and toes are allowed, as well as tan markings on the muzzle, upper eye, lower legs and tip of the tail. The broad head is wedge shaped with a wide, blunt muzzle. Older males tend to have a moderate dewlap. The oval, wide-set eyes are medium in size and are generally a shade of brown. The triangular shaped ears are also medium in size and hang down close to the head. The large nose is black and the teeth meet in a scissor-like or level bite. The jaw is strong and the upper lip covers the lower lip. The arched neck is strong and muscular. The topline is level and the chest deep. The back is strong and the body is slightly longer than the height at the withers. The forelegs are straight and the hindlegs should appear parallel from the back. The feet are large and round. The rear dewclaws should be removed although front dewclaw removal is optional. The plumed tail should be set high and curl over the back.

Temperament This breed is protective and territorial. Tibetan Mastiff's are patient, gentle, loyal and affectionate towards their families and other people they know. However, they can be distrustful and aloof around strangers. This breed should be monitored when introduced to other animals unless raised with them. If companion dogs are added to the household, they should be a spayed or neutered, non-dominate breed of the opposite sex. Tibetan Mastiff's have loud voices and can be a nocturnal barker.
Height, Weight Height: 25-28" ; Weight: 140-170 lbs.
Health Problems Prone to hip dysplasia, thyroid problems, skin conditions, ear infections and Canine Inherited Demyelinative Neuropathy (CIDN). CIDN symptoms usually appear at 7-10 weeks and are normally fatal.
Living Conditions The Tibetan Mastiff is not recommended for apartment life. It does best with a large yard. They like to climb, dig and escape from their pens. A six-foot fence with wiring below the surface is best for this breed. These nocturnal barkers should be brought in at night.
Exercise This breed requires daily walks but do not over-exercise. They should not be taken jogging as this is too stressful on their joints. They do not like to fetch.
Life Expectancy 15 or more years
Grooming This breed is easy to groom. Brush regularly. The thick coat sheds once per year, but they are good for allergy sufferers.
Origin The Tibetan Mastiff is an ancient breed descending from the Mollossus Mastiff who existed during the stone or bronze age. The Tibetan Mastiffs accompanied Alexander the Great on his various military campaigns throughout Europe and Asia. Eventually westerners were denied access to Tibet and the breed remained relatively isolated again for centuries. In Tibet, this breed would be tied up as early as 2 months old to increase their aggressive tendencies. In many villages, one Tibetan Mastiff was used to guard the entire village. They would also use them to protect the livestock from predators. In the mid 1800s Queen Victoria of England received a Tibetan Mastiff as a gift and soon after, more dogs were imported by families throughout Britain. Although the breed standardization began at this time, it was not completed until the 1930s. During the 1970s, foundation stock was exported from India, Ladakh, Afghanistan and Nepal to the United States. In their native land of Tibet, Tibetan Mastiffs are rare and scarcely exported. The English and U.S. bred dogs are easier to train and control than those directly from Tibet. The American Tibetan Mastiff Association was formed in 1974. They are recognized by the AKC and the UKC.
Group AKC Working, UKC Guardian Dog