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Tibetan Mastiff: what is its character and what do Tibetans suffer from?

Tibetan mastiff

Tibetan Mastiff - the original name is Do-khyi, which means "tethered ".

Majestic dogs from Tibet.

They are considered to be one of the oldest dog breeds in the world.

They used to be fearful in people.

They are family dogs these days and some of them have become a symbol of luxury.

In the following article you will learn a little more about this amazing breed.

  • History of the breed
  • Tibetan Mastiff breed description
  • Tibetan mastiff in nature
  • Mastiff care
  • Tibetan Mastiff feeding
  • Disease tibetan mastiff
    • Congenital dislocation of the elbow
    • Stomach torsion
    • Entropium
    • Hip dysplasia
  • Is it worth choosing a Tibetan Mastiff??

History of the breed

The Tibetan Mastiff originally lived in the Himalayas.

There he was a shepherd and guard dog.

He often guarded the monasteries of Tibetan monks.

He is considered a magical dog, constantly vigilant (setting on fire above the eyes was considered to be the second eyes that they could see even when the dog was asleep).

These dogs have always aroused great emotions:

Aristotle called it a magic dog, and even thought it was a cross between a dog and a tiger. Marco Polo described him as a lion-looking dog with a loud voice.

In the nineteenth century, attempts were made to bring this breed to Europe.

Unfortunately, it was not easy, because these dogs naturally lived at altitudes of 4000 m above sea level.p.m. and it was very difficult for them to acclimatize to European conditions.

The first Mastiff brought to Europe was a gift to Queen Victoria from Lord Harding.

Tibetan mastiffs were bred for the first time in 1898 at the Berlin Zoo, and the first breeding was established in England.

After the Second World War, this race almost became extinct in Europe. Fortunately, after the war ended, there were people who tried to recreate it.

In China, Tibetan mastiffs are not bred exactly for their intended use.

Red is the most desirable color for them, because red is the embodiment of happiness. There, the dog belongs to the same property as e.g. a luxury car, and the red Tibetan Mastiff is to ensure the success and health of its owner.

Mastiffs in China are a symbol of social status.

Sold for exorbitant amounts.

Kept in super pens, they even have private guardians who are responsible for a given dog.

Often the owner is unable to approach his dog, fearing that he, not knowing him, may attack.

This is what the Tibetan Mastiff stayed the most expensive dog in the world - the red Hong Dong, because that was his name, was sold for almost 2 million dollars to a Chinese businessman.

The Tibetan Mastiff belongs to the 2nd FCI group (Pinscher, Molossian Schnauzer and Swiss Cattle Dogs), section 2.2, mountain-type molosses.

Tibetan Mastiff breed description

Tibetan Mastiff breed description

The male mastiff is much larger than the female, its height at the withers may be within the limits 66-76 cm, and the average weight can be as high as 70 kg- 80 kg, the height of the bitch is 61-71 cm with an average weight 35-55 kg.

  • Mastiff is a large and heavy dog, but very well proportioned, with strong bones.
  • The head is massive, wide, distinct occipital tumor and stop,
  • Large nose with wide, open nostrils,
  • The muzzle is blunt, slightly square, quite deep, lips slightly drooping,
  • Scissor bite, i.e. upper incisors closely overlapping the lower incisors, pincer bite also acceptable,
  • Eyes wide apart, slightly slanting, mostly brown,
  • Triangular, hanging, forward-facing ears,
  • Neck well muscled with slight dewlap,
  • Strong torso, straight back, wide and deep chest, wide croup,
  • Tail - Set high, carried high, slightly curled, but not twisted,
  • Forelegs straight, with good angulation, hind legs strongly muscled, parallel, may have dewclaws.

The robe of Tibetan mastiffs is impressive, perhaps that is why it was associated with a lion.

  • medium length hair, very profuse
  • rough, straight, slightly spiky topcoat,
  • very dense, woolly undercoat, perfectly protecting against cold,
  • on the neck, the hair forms a ruff (i.e. a wide collar of hair, resembling a lion's mane), it is much more impressive in males than in females,
  • on the thighs, the hair forms pants,
  • on the tail, the hair is profuse and forms a feather,
  • tan above the eyes, muzzle, lower limbs and underside of the tail, may be without a fire,
  • Mastiff hair is odorless,

The following ointments are allowed (according to the FCI standard):

  • black,
  • sky blue,
  • gold,
  • swarthy,
  • Red.

All with or without fire.

A white asterisk on the chest is allowed.

In China, red is the most desirable ointment, practically absent in Europe. Rustic tibetans they look different from European ones.

Tibetan Mastiffs are long-maturing dogs, bitches reach full maturity at almost the age of 3 years, males aged 4 years, which puts them at the forefront of long-maturing dogs.

The Chinese Mastiff is a mixture of several breeds - most often Samoyed, Newfoundland and Chow Chow.

Tibetan mastiff in nature

Tibetan mastiff in nature

Tibetan mastiff in Tibet he was a shepherd and guard dog, hence the main features of his character.

These mastiffs that still live in Tibet can be very wild, hot-tempered and aggressive.

European Mastiffs are significantly different from their Himalayan counterparts, but some characteristics still remain in common.

They can be very distrustful of a stranger who should think three times before entering the yard guarded by a mastiff.

The Mastiff is a born protector. Some individuals can be ruthless in this matter, but it is not necessarily the case.

Extremely strong and durable, because the Himalayan conditions did not spoil him.

Sam chooses his area to patrol, and devotes himself entirely to his work.

He is an independent dog, he often decides when to cuddle.

He is extremely gentle to children, he can easily be called a shaggy nanny.

He can greet guests with enthusiasm with his guardian, while when he is alone with a stranger, the defender's instinct may come to the fore.

His family is a priority for him and he will protect it with all his might.

One thing is for sure:

Although often stubborn and unruly, mastiffs can be really loyal and devoted friends.

They require a little more patience than other dogs, but the effort put into raising a Tibetan will definitely pay off.

Mastiff care

The care is not very demanding.

Mastiffs practically do not require a bath. It is enough to brush them regularly.

These dogs shed once a year - in late spring.

The hair falls out very profusely and then brushing is required every day.

During the hair replacement period, it is worth giving hair supplements, for example: supplements with biotin and omega 3 and omega 6 acids.

The eye area should be looked after, as often this breed has conjunctivitis.

Good ear hygiene is also important because, as with most dogs with dropped ears, there is an increased tendency to get ear infections.

Hair grows between the toes, so you should regularly check that there are no tangles that make it difficult to walk.

If the dog has dewclaws in the hind limbs, it should be checked that the claw does not grow into the bulb.

This is often unnoticed by owners who forget to trim these claws.

Tibetan Mastiff feeding

Tibetan Mastiffs are not picky about their food, but due to the fact that they are giant breed dogs, they should be provided with wholesome food, especially during the growth period.

Puppies grow relatively quickly, so the composition of the puppy food should always be of high quality.

Portions should be divided into 2-3 meals a day, provide rest after a meal to minimize the risk of gastric twist.

In older dogs, it is worth supplementing with chondroprotective preparations.

Disease tibetan mastiff

Disease tibetan mastiff

Tibetan Mastiffs include exceptionally healthy dogs.

The conditions described below are relatively rare and there is no typical racial predisposition to diseases.

Congenital dislocation of the elbow

A very rare disease that can occur in Tibetans.

A genetic disease consisting in underdevelopment of the ligament (eł) in the elbow, which causes its dislocation.

It can be of two types:

  1. Lateral dislocation of the proximal epiphysis of the ulna with twisting - this deformation mainly affects small and medium-sized breeds, and the changes are visible right after birth, or in 4-6 weeks.
  2. Posterior - lateral dislocation of the radial head. This unit affects mastiffs. It usually appears later, because v 4-5 months of age. It is manifested by deformation of the forelimbs in the elbow joint, with their unnatural, varus position.

There is no pain when palpating the joints.

The diagnosis is confirmed by X-ray examination.

Surgical treatment is the treatment of choice in severe lesions.

Stomach torsion

So the syndrome of acute gastric enlargement and torsion.

It is a very dangerous condition that usually affects large and giant dogs.

It is a build-up of gas in the stomach (sharp dilatation) with or without twisting.

It is a life-threatening emergency.

It manifests itself initially:

  • anxiety,
  • gagging,
  • dying,
  • enlargement of the outline of the abdomen.

The dog's condition deteriorates minute by minute.

You should see your veterinarian immediately.

Treatment is difficult and it is often impossible to save the animal despite treatment.

If left untreated, gastric twisting is always fatal.


Entropium, i.e. the vignette of the lower eyelid.

This condition can cause chronic conjunctivitis, corneal ulceration and, consequently, serious eye disease.

This defect is corrected surgically.

Hip dysplasia

Defective shape of the hip joints.

It is a genetic disease (but it may be that healthy parents give birth to a puppy with dysplasia in a litter), the development of dysplasia is also influenced by:

  • nutrition,
  • lifestyle,
  • physical activity,
  • speed of growth.

Symptoms depend on the degree of dysplasia, from slight changes in gait to typical reluctance to move, to the so-called. rabbit walk.

Importantly, the degree of dysplasia affects the age at which clinical symptoms appear, in advanced cases already in puppies, in milder cases, much later even at 5-6 years.

Treatment may be conservative - that is, a change in lifestyle and nutrition, and surgical, and here also, depending on the degree and age of the dog, an appropriate method is selected.

Among other diseases that can occur in Tibetans are:

  • conjunctivitis,
  • ear inflammation,
  • Hypothyroidism,

Is it worth choosing a Tibetan Mastiff??

Is it worth choosing a Tibetan Mastiff??

A Tibetan Mastiff is definitely not suitable for living in a block of flats.

He feels best in a single-family house, where he will be able to guard the yard.

Should not be kept in a playpen. It is a free soul.

Ideally, he should be able to enter the house constantly.

Contrary to appearances, he is a social dog and although he is not overly effusive, he prefers to spend time with his family.

The Tibetan Mastiff can be unruly. Especially, if we made mistakes, or when the dog was purchased strictly for guarding.

He is quite a loud dog, he barks a lot, he can dig under fences and run away from the property. The property where the Tibetans are to live should therefore have a solid fence.

He usually gets along with other dogs - and this is where the shepherd dog's trait comes in, he responds well to children and can live with them.

He is a family dog, loves everyone equally and is not a single master dog.

This dog needs a very patient and consistent caregiver.

Raising and training a Tibetan Mastiff is not the easiest thing to do. It is worth going with him for a special training, where a specialist will help in arranging the dog, although it often causes problems for specialists.

Raising a Tibetan also takes much longer than that of other dogs. This is mainly due to his great intelligence and the fact that he is extremely stubborn, then in the end primitive race.

The costs of buying a dog and its maintenance are relatively high, so it is not a dog for everyone, and we should decide to buy this breed consciously, considering all the pros and cons.

Sources used >>

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