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Vital Stats:

The Tibetan Mastiff is an intelligent breed, however he can be willful and training can be complicated and extremely involved. Unsupervised, the Tibetan Mastiffs of old would be let out in the evenings to patrol the nomadic camps and to guard villages and monasteries. They are not inclined to try to please their masters, but only interested in performing their intended tasks and remain very much of that same mind-set today.

The duties of the Tibetan Mastiff in ancient times created a nocturnal breed. Often, the Tibetan Mastiff will sleep during the day to save energy in anticipation of a long evening of patrols. More modern conditions often do not allow for such consistent night barking and if living within range of neighbors, the Tibetan Mastiff owner should be aware of the possibility of nuisance and keep the dog indoors during the evenings.

It is very important that the Tibetan Mastiff be kept in a well-fenced yard. The dog will require time outside and for its own safety and that of others the yard should be securely fenced. This will not only keep the Tibetan Mastiff contained, as the breed is known to roam, but it will also help to establish territorial boundaries of ownership for the dog. Because of their possessiveness and guardian nature, the Tibetan Mastiff is quick to take ownership of people, places, and things.

To prevent this becoming a problem, the Tibetan Mastiff should learn early on what it is appropriate to protect and what is not its territory. This extreme guardian nature can be troublesome if not kept in proper check, however this sincere characteristic is meant for good. One way in which the usefulness of this trait is displayed, is the known relationship Tibetan Mastiffs have with children.

Breed Characteristics

They are shown to be very protective of children in particular and are extremely patient with them. Caution should be taken when including a Tibetan Mastiff into a house with very young children however, as his sheer size and primitive nature can be a safety concern.

The Tibetan Mastiff is a loyal companion and a good member of the family. Once ownership of the family is established, the Tibetan Mastiff is fiercely loyal and will protect what is his against any and all types of peril. The Tibetan Mastiff is often suspicious of strangers, however.

When accompanied by its master, the Tibetan Mastiff may not show signs of aggression towards strangers, but may be distant and reserved. Being such a large breed, the dog can be dominant with other animals and some aggression may be shown if the unfamiliar animal appears to be a threat. Proper socialization will help prevent unnecessary displays of dominance. It is important to keep in mind that the Tibetan Mastiff behaves the best with other pets he has grown-up with since puppyhood.

Being self-governed throughout their ancient breeding, the Tibetan Mastiff developed an independent nature which makes him a challenge to train.

Thousands of huge, aggressive dogs are roaming Tibet after their rich Chinese owners abandoned them

The Tibetan Mastiff is also slow to mature both physically and emotionally, so training the Tibetan Mastiff is a time-consuming task. The breed will require the utmost patience and sensitivity while it slowly adapts to life and learns his surroundings. Intensive training of the Tibetan Mastiff can take two years and should be done by the owner to correctly establish leadership within the family unit.

Therefore, the Tibetan Mastiff needs strongly established boundaries as to what is appropriate, acceptable behavior and what is not. A professional trainer of large breeds may be consulted to assist in the training of the young Tibetan Mastiff however actual training exercises should be performed by the owner. The breed will assume its dominance unless properly taught the pack order within the family unit. The training should begin when the Tibetan Mastiff is very young.

The dog should be socialized at every opportunity. He should be taken out into the world to meet other dogs, other types of pets, and new people; he should be exposed to as many different types of experiences and things as is possible. This will help the puppy to understand its place in the world, its place among others that it encounters, and will assist it to know what is truly its pack and territory, and what is not.

Being that the Tibetan Mastiff is so large, it is important to keep the dog on a leash when walking to ensure its safety and the safety of others. All training of the Tibetan Mastiff should be done with care. No harsh actions or words should be used with the breed to prevent the dog becoming difficult and improperly prepared for adulthood. The Tibetan Mastiff is capable of learning obedience training, but it is not its strong point and formal obedience training is not generally recommended for the breed.

When puppies, the Tibetan Mastiff will be full of energy, spunky, lively, and ready to play and learn; making this an ideal time for it to be taught to live in the world. This enthusiasm changes some as the dog ages. As adults, the Tibetan Mastiff is calmer and more independent in nature, true to his duties as guard dog and watchful of his pack. The Tibetan Mastiff is considered to be a good housemate; loving and protective of his family, easy to house-break, and an all around clean breed. The Tibetan Mastiff does have a tendency to chew and dig as is its nature, but especially when bored.

The Tibetan Mastiff is a breed used to having a job and can become bored easily. A yard where the dog can exercise and toys enough to chew will prevent any damage to property caused by the Tibetan Mastiff. Although not generally susceptible to sensitivity as a breed, the Tibetan Mastiff can be sensitive to change.


The Tibetan Mastiff, being a large breed that requires much attention will need both physical and emotional support throughout its early development and training. The Tibetan Mastiff was originally bred to be an outside dog and the breed will require time spent outside often. If this requirement is not satisfied, the Tibetan Mastiff may become depressed and destructive.

Apartment living is not recommended for the Tibetan Mastiff due to the size of the breed, however if an active lifestyle is ever present, the possibility for the Tibetan Mastiff to be a successful apartment dweller is there. Despite any difficulty that may arise in the Tibetan Mastiff breed, their personality is generally well received and highly valued by their families once properly developed.

When handled correctly and consistently supervised by a loving and dedicated owner, the Tibetan Mastiff can grow into a trustworthy and devoted companion and a successful member of the family. The climate there can be extremely cold and cruel.

Tibetan Mastiff Dog Breed Information and Pictures

To protect it from the frigid elements of nature, the Tibetan Mastiff sports a thick double-coat. Because of the thickness and length of the coat, the Tibetan Mastiff should be brushed weekly to keep his coat free of dead hairs, mats, and dirt. The double-coat is kept throughout the year, with an annual shedding usually in the Spring and Summer months; lasting roughly six to eight weeks. Stranger-friendly dogs will greet guests with a wagging tail and a nuzzle; others are shy, indifferent, or even aggressive. However, no matter what the breed, a dog who was exposed to lots of different types, ages, sizes, and shapes of people as a puppy will respond better to strangers as an adult.

If you're going to share your home with a dog, you'll need to deal with some level of dog hair on your clothes and in your house. However, shedding does vary greatly among the breeds: Some dogs shed year-round, some "blow" seasonally -- produce a snowstorm of loose hair -- some do both, and some shed hardly at all. If you're a neatnik you'll need to either pick a low-shedding breed, or relax your standards. Drool-prone dogs may drape ropes of slobber on your arm and leave big, wet spots on your clothes when they come over to say hello. If you've got a laid-back attitude toward slobber, fine; but if you're a neatnik, you may want to choose a dog who rates low in the drool department.

Some breeds are brush-and-go dogs; others require regular bathing, clipping, and other grooming just to stay clean and healthy.

Find a Puppy: Tibetan Mastiff

Consider whether you have the time and patience for a dog that needs a lot of grooming, or the money to pay someone else to do it. Due to poor breeding practices, some breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, such as hip dysplasia. This doesn't mean that every dog of that breed will develop those diseases; it just means that they're at an increased risk. If you're buying a puppy, it's a good idea to find out which genetic illnesses are common to the breed you're interested in, so you can ask the breeder about the physical health of your potential pup's parents and other relatives.

Some breeds have hearty appetites and tend to put on weight easily. As in humans, being overweight can cause health problems in dogs. If you pick a breed that's prone to packing on pounds, you'll need to limit treats, make sure he gets enough exercise, and measure out his daily kibble in regular meals rather than leaving food out all the time. Dogs come in all sizes, from the world's smallest pooch, the Chihuahua, to the towering Great Dane, how much space a dog takes up is a key factor in deciding if he is compatible with you and your living space. Large dog breeds might seem overpowering and intimidating but some of them are incredibly sweet!

Take a look and find the right large dog for you! Easy to train dogs are more adept at forming an association between a prompt such as the word "sit" , an action sitting , and a consequence getting a treat very quickly. Other dogs need more time, patience, and repetition during training. Many breeds are intelligent but approach training with a "What's in it for me?

Dogs who were bred for jobs that require decision making, intelligence, and concentration, such as herding livestock, need to exercise their brains, just as dogs who were bred to run all day need to exercise their bodies. If they don't get the mental stimulation they need, they'll make their own work -- usually with projects you won't like, such as digging and chewing.

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Obedience training and interactive dog toys are good ways to give a dog a brain workout, as are dog sports and careers, such as agility and search and rescue. Common in most breeds during puppyhood and in retriever breeds at all ages, mouthiness means a tendency to nip, chew, and play-bite a soft, fairly painless bite that doesn't puncture the skin. Mouthy dogs are more likely to use their mouths to hold or "herd" their human family members, and they need training to learn that it's fine to gnaw on chew toys, but not on people.

Mouthy breeds tend to really enjoy a game of fetch, as well as a good chew on a chew toy that's been stuffed with kibble and treats. Some breeds sound off more often than others.