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Tibetan Mastiff

 

They might look imposing, but Tibetan Mastiffs are huge balls of love. Originally bred to protect villagers in the Himalayas, today this breed is still a respected guard dog, as well as a cherished canine companion. But the Tibetan Mastiff is probably never going to win any obedience contests — this pup has a mind of her own!

Originally from Tibet, this large-sized and medium-energy breed can grow to between 75-160 pounds and lives an average of 12-15 years. The breed is recognized by the American Kennel Club and classified as a member of the Working group.

 

AKC RecognizedY
Breed's Original PastimeGuardian
OriginTibet
Breed GroupWorking
Average Lifespan 12-15 years
SizeExtra Large
Bark FactorModerate
AKC RankingN/A
FamilyMastiff
Date of originAncient times
Original function Guardian
Today's functionGuardian
Average size of maleHeight: 26 Weight: 90 - 150
Average size of femaleHeight: 26 Weight: 90 - 150

 

Other nameDo-Khyi
Energy level Low energy
Exercise needs Low
Playfullness Moderately playful
Affection level Very affectionate
Friendliness toward other dogs Friendly
Friendliness toward other pets Friendly
Friendliness toward strangersShy
Ease of training Moderately Easy to train
Watchdog ability High
Protection ability Very protective
Grooming needs Moderate maintenance
Cold tolerance High tolerance
Heat tolerance Low tolerance

BEHAVIOR & TRAINING

WHAT IS A TIBETAN MASTIFF'S PERSONALITY LIKE?

The Tibetan Mastiff is a calm, mellow housedog who loves her family best of all things in the world. They're tolerant and gentle toward children, though some are inclined to be overly protective of “their” kids. (If you scold your little one in front of this harmony-loving dog, don't be surprised if she steps in between you in an attempt to discourage the discord. Also, as with any dog, make sure all play with little ones is supervised.)

Their territoriality makes them suspicious of new folks, so early, frequent socialization is important. Tibetan Mastiffs are protective of their family, both the two-legged and four-legged members.

WHAT IS TIBETAN MASTIFF BEHAVIOR LIKE?

Though reserved and laid-back, the Tibetan Mastiff is a moderately active dog once she's outside. That activity might include digging in your flower beds, so you'll want to keep an eye on her in the backyard and make sure her energy has a regular outlet. Plan for daily games or decent-length walks every day.

Some are prone to nocturnal barking — possibly a leftover behavior from their centuries as village guardians.

HOW EASY IS IT TO TRAIN A TIBETAN MASTIFF?

Tibetan Mastiffs are both intelligent and deeply invested in getting their own way. Training this dog is a bit of a challenge. They do like routine, though, and can be motivated to repeat good behaviors with treats, play, and praise. You will get absolutely nowhere trying to bully this dog into obeying you.

Socialize your pup early and often to discourage timidity or suspicion of new people and situations. This breed can be territorial and is not known for reliable recall, so reserve off-leash play for safe, well-fenced areas. And we mean well-fenced. Underground electronics don't often have much stopping power against this motivated 120-pound dog.

While Tibetan Mastiffs sometimes appear in American show rings, they're often a bit too independent-minded for organized dog sports like agility or obedience.

CARE & HEALTH

HOW MUCH DO TIBETAN MASTIFFS SHED AND WHAT ARE THEIR GROOMING NEEDS?

While Tibetan Mastiffs don't shed much for most of the year, they do blow coat annually. This means that for about a month every year, your home, clothes, and belongings will be covered with hairy little reminders of your beloved furry friend. Plan to brush their dense coats about once a week.

WHAT HEALTH PROBLEMS DO TIBETAN MASTIFFS HAVE?

As a breed, Tibetan Mastiffs are generally healthy. Some are vulnerable to thyroid disorders, seizures, and elbow or hip dysplasia.

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