About the breed

Tibetan Mastiff  -  Do-Khyi  -  Tibetan Mastiff


Country of Origin: Tibet

Position: Standard no. 230, FCI sk. II. - Pinschers and schnauzers, Molossian and Swiss Mountain Dogs


The Tibetan Mastiff is a huge, very quiet and powerful dog. It has an impressive and noble appearance. It is reclusive and does not like the fuss. It often finds an elevated place from which it monitors the nearby.

Tibetan mastiff is still on the lookout and if necessary it can be an excellent guard. Best suited for monitoring large parcels. Tibetan mastiffs do not openly show their feelings, but they really love their family and they hate isolation. This breed is nor suitable for classical training, but it definitely needs consistent training! A yearlong stay outside suits them the most. Their coat requires no intensive care, occasional combing only (during molting more frequently). Matures slowly, reaching maturity in females up to 2-3 years and males at least 4 years. Certainly, this breed should not be kept in a pen-ful.


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The ancestors of the Tibetan mastiff once toiled in harsh climate conditions, in dangerous inhospitable highs of Tibetan Himalayas.These early ancestors of all mastiff dogs went down in history of human
society under the general designation Tibetan Mastiff.
By its appearance Tibetan Mastiff bears a resemblance to black Tibetan wolf. They are characterized by bulky physique, rich coat, broad heads with big hanging ears. At first glance they raise admiration and respect. They have been used as caravanserai packhorses, they used to guard livestock, dwellings and have also been used for hunting hike, yaks and other large animals.



The oldest written record of the Tibetan mastiff comes from the year 1121 before
BC. In Chinese books Shu-King states that the tribe Liu,residing in the mountains west from China, gave a Tibetan Mastiff named gift Ngae as a gift to Chinese emperor Wouwangov. It was a dog trained for chasing and killing people - refugees.


The Tibetan Mastiff had already been mentioned by Aristotle, Alexander the Great (who has brought it to Europe) and also the great explorer Marco Polo. This breed has been preserved
in its original form without crossing with other breeds of dogs.
Even today, after a huge genocide carried out by the Chinese in Tibet this breed has been preserved the most in south western part. In other parts this dog has been wiped out because it was a part of Tibetan culture, which the Chinese wanted to suppress. Luckily they were in fact not fully successful. Mainly due to breeders in England, Holland, France, Germany and the USA this breed have survived unchanged till today. This dog is also bred in Nepal, Bhutan, northern India and Taiwan. Last DNA analysis of individual breeds of dogs (which were carried out in Cambridge) provide interesting findings - the closest relatives of Tibetan Mastiff breed are pugs and Tibetan Spaniels - Dogs growing size up to 30 cm at the withers ..




Tibetan Mastiff has always been used as a guard dog by Tibetan nomads and in Tibetan monasteries, too. However, out of 6000 dogs only about 80 have left in a good condition. Nowadays they are slowly returning again to the monasteries. Tibetan mastiff usually had to make independent decisions especially when their owner left for trade the dogs stayed home to guard the flock and family. When moving from pasture Tibetan mastiffs were also used to carry lighter loads. Its bark is unmistakable, impressive and intimidating.They never attack anybody, but if they prevent their territory or the family, they do not hesitate to put their own life on the line.Tibetan Mastiff is quite ingrown, it shows feelings to its family and its owner only but after a long separation its joy knows no bounds.A number of significant zoologists in history (A.E.Brehm, M. Siber, J.B. Walsh, W. Youatt atd) noted that the Tibetan mastiff formed the basis of most molossoid breeds.

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