Tibetan Mastiff is a primitive breed and is believed to be existing since 1100 BC. It is a large working dog from the Himalayas that was later bred by the local people to guard the cattle or as a companion dog. They were the traditional guardian of the Tibetan monasteries. These pets were also famous in England before the wars and were kept by the royal people. It is accepted by few Cynologists that Tibetan Mastiff is a forefather of all the mastiffs and mountain breeds. It got its first recognition by AKC in 2007.
Thought-out as a holy animal which blesses its owner with security and health.
Among the Mastiff dogs, Red Tibetan Mastiff is a most expensive dog in the world.
Tibetan Mastiff and Irish wolfhound were mixed to develop “Tibetan Wolfhound.”
American Tibetan Mastiff Association dog shows that it is one of the rare breeds.
There are reports which says less than 20 dogs of this breed are remaining in Tibet.
Genghis Khan and Lord Buddha owned this dog breed.
Female dog takes three to four years to reach full maturity while the male dog take four to five years.
In Western Countries, Tibetan Mastiff is recognized as a single variety, while Indian breeders divide the dog into two varieties.
Tiger Head Tibetan Mastiff, which is larger with short hair.
Lion Head Tibetan Mastiff, (smaller in size with a mane- like hair around its head). It has a resemblance to a lion’s face.
Temperament & Personality
They have a natural instinct to protect their owner and property. These dogs are very thoughtful, bold, even-tempered and courageous which goes well with other pets and children in the house. They maintain a very reciprocal relationship with their owner and are very ferocious to animals like leopards, wolves, etc. They have a barking tendency and often bark without any reason. Interestingly, its bark is unique and it is one of the gem characteristics of this breed. Leaving the dog alone for longer duration can allow them to develop destructive behavior. It is an aggressive same-sex dog which matures slowly, but it is sensitive to change. They like to stay in cold climate.
Tibetan Mastiff is highly energetic and requires a massive exercising schedule. Long walks or jogs and ample playtime in a large fenced yard to run and play around will be adequate. Exercising can also be in the form of territory patrolling or guarding livestock, etc. They are more active in the winter season and quite slow in the summer season. If puppies are over-exercised, they might weaken their bone and joints.
Tibetan Mastiff puppies have a double coat with heavy and wooly undercoat with coarse guard hair. Their coat does not require high maintenance and low grooming standards are adequate for the dog. Brushing their coat with a long pin brush or slicker will remove dirt and dead hairs while wide tooth comb for tail, breeches, and mane will remove all the tangles. During spring or summer, they shed heavily and will require regular brushing. Bathing becomes necessary when they are filthy. Additionally, nails will require trimming two to three times a week with a nail clipper. Its ears will retain moisture and wax, which will need cleaning every week to prevent painful ear infection. Teeth brushing every twice or thrice will avert tartar collection and tooth decay.
It is a healthy breed, but it might suffer from few health problems.
Canine Inherited Demyelinative Neuropathy (CIDN),
Canine Hip Dysplasia (CHD
Osteochondrosis Dissecans (OCD)
However, random veteran checkups and occasional tests will keep the dog healthy and fit.
The dog is hard to train due to its stubborn nature and slow maturation process. A patient and firm trainer is crucial as its learning ability and intelligence level are only controllable by a tough trainer.
They are very ferocious and require leash training in the beginning. Early socialization will help the dog to mingle with unknown people and pets. Positive training methods like praises and treats will help the dog to learn quickly.
Despite its gigantic size, it eats very little. Four to six cups of best quality dry dog food will be adequate. They require foods which are high in animal fat and do not like eating only vegetables. Tibetan Mastiff tends to gain weight and supervision is very crucial by the master.
Avoid exercising just after or before eating to prevent bloating. Dividing meals will result in proper digestion. Foods like beet pulp, barley, white rice, and horse meat are ideal for this dog while fish food, potatoes, citrus fruits, avocado, ocean fish or foods with vitamin C can cause liver and kidney damage.