Could the Tibetan Mastiff be the fluffy dog you've been looking for?

by PetCloud / Breed Search / 26 Jun 2020

Happy Tibetan Mastiff

If you're looking for a fiercely protective and fluffy companion, then the Tibetan Mastiff might just be the dog for you! These gentle giants are cuddly and will always stick by you. Here's everything you need to know about this breed. 

Breed Snapshot 

  • Size Large dog (45-73kg)
  • Coat Minimal shedding, except for once a year. They need regular bathing and brushing to stop their fur from matting. You can visit a groomer about every 6 weeks. 
  • Energy Mastiffs have bursts of energy and excitement. They need to be walked for at least an hour daily! 
  • Lifespan 12-15 years
  • Country of origin Tibet, Nepal, Himalayas
  • Breed type Tibetan Mastiffs fall under two categories: Do-khyi and the Tsang-khyi. Temperament: They can be aloof, stubborn and gentle.
  • Other names Dogs-Khyi
  • Great breed for: Families with children, Can live in apartments, but need frequent walks and space

What is a Tibetan Mastiff?

Tibetan Mastiffs are a large Tibetan dog breed. They belong to the Mastiff family and were originally bred to guard herds, flocks, tents, villages and monasteries. In many nomad camps, Tibetan Mastiffs were let loose at night so they could run and explore. They are known for being very loyal and have been associated with nomads for thousands of years.  The name Tibetan Mastiff is inaccurate because they're not true Mastiffs. This term was created by Europeans who first came to Tibet. They referred to most dogs as Mastiffs as it was used to describe many large dogs in the West.  


What do Mastiffs look like?

Under the Tibetan Mastiff umbrella, there are two different types distinguished by breeders. The Tsang-khyi is referred to as the monastery type and is taller, heavier and big-boned. They have more face wrinkles than the Do-khyi "nomad" type. Both types of Mastiffs can be produced in the same litter!  

Tibetan Mastiff's sport a thick and long double coat. You can find them in a variety of different colours including solid black, black and tan, different shades of red and bluish-gray. You can also distinguish Tibetan Mastiffs as Lion Head (they're smaller and have very long hair) or Tiger Head (they're larger and have shorter hair).  

On average, males are 66-76 centimeters tall while females are 61-71 centimeters. Male Tibetan Mastiffs weigh about 45-73kg and the females 34-54kg.  


What makes the Tibetan Mastiff special?

Tibetan Mastiffs have a rich history! They were first introduced by King George V. He had two large Mastiffs and by 1906 there were enough of them to present at the Crystal Palace show.  

Recent studies (2008) proved that the Tibetan Mastiff are descendants of the gray wolf from over 58,000 years ago! They're very primitive dogs and it still carries stamina and hardiness for surviving high altitudes and the harsh conditions of the Tibetan Plateau.  


How often do I need to groom my Tibetan Mastiff?

Because Mastiffs have long and fluffy fur, it's important to give them a thorough brushing on a weekly basis. They're not intense shedders, but brushing them will help prevent matting and knots. Frequent grooming also stimulates the oil glands which keeps their coats shiny!  

Don't forget to check and trim your Tibetan Mastiff's nails. It can hurt their paws when they're too long.  


How often should I walk my Tibetan Mastiff?

Despite their large size, Tibetan Mastiffs don't need excessive amounts of exercise. A 30-60 minute walk daily will suffice. It's best to avoid walking your Mastiff in overly hot temperatures and opt for morning or evening. It's also important to keep your dog mentally stimulated! Mastiffs can get bursts of energy and enjoy playing. You can use dog toys or play with them in your backyard. 


How do I train my Tibetan Mastiff?

It's important to start training your dog as soon as you first bring them home. Letting them know who's boss and your boundaries are the first steps. With gentle guidance, positive reinforcement with praise and treats and encouraging words, you'll have a trained pooch on your hands!  Pet Cloud offers dog training classes in blocks of six-week, one-hour sessions with registered trainers. One of their trainers will come to your home and use positive reinforcement techniques in line with RSPCA guidance to teach your puppy. 

Quickfire Tibetan Mastiff Questions 

How long will my Mastiff live?

The average lifespan is 12-15 years. 


Can my Tibetan Mastiff be left alone during the day?

Mastiffs are independent enough to stay at home during the day. If you need to go into the office or run some errands, no problem! Give your Mastiff a good walk beforehand and make sure they have plenty of food and water available.  


Are Tibetan Mastiffs "barkers"?

Mastiffs are not excessive barkers. If yours has a tendency to bark, you can train your pup to stop with the noise! They're intelligent and gentle dogs so it won't be hard to teach them to stop.  


What kind of health risks do Tibetan Mastiffs face?

The Mastiff breed has few health conditions compared to other dogs, but they can still have health risks. They've been known to get hypothyroidism, ectropion (where they eye turns inward), skin problems including allergies and malocclusion (overbite, underbite and dry mouth).  


Where can I get a Tibetan Mastiff?

Now that you've decided to go with this fluffy doggo, you have two options: adoption or go through a breeder. Check out the RSPCA's adoption guide for more information!   If you're wanting to buy your Mastiff from a breeder, make sure to do your research to ensure they aren't supporting puppy mills. The RSPCA also has a handy guide for finding the right breeder.


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