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Tibetan Mastiff

TibetanMastiff

A Gentle Giant

Devoted, protective, loving

Tibetan Mastiffs are self-reliant, courageous, and independent giant dogs. These strong dogs are gentle with children, but can be protective and territorial toward outsiders. The best home for Tibetan Mastiffs would have plenty of living space, so they fair best as pets for outdoorsy and active people living in homes with fenced yards, preferably who are experienced dog owners. For exercise, these giants need a long walk every day to keep them feeling their best.

Understanding their unique needs will help keep them healthy and create a strong bond between the two of you. Explore this page to learn more about the breed’s history, health concerns, characteristics, and care needs.

Breed Details

Height:24-30 in. Weight:80-150 lb Lifespan:11-14 years

Size
5

1=small 5=large

Grooming requirements
3

1 = little grooming - 5 = much grooming

Energy level
2

1 = low energy - 5 = high energy

Ease of training
2

1 = difficult - 5 = easy

Affection toward owners
4

1 = independent - 5 = very affectionate

Friendliness toward strangers
2

1 = shy - 5 = very friendly

Routine Care: Tibetan Mastiffs are large dogs with lots of energy, so keep their mind and body active, or they'll get bored. They should always be leash walked and need a spacious yard with a sturdy fence. They are also highly sensitive to human emotions, so don't fight or discipline the kids in front of them because they may become distressed. 

Grooming: They need a thorough brushing at least weekly most of the year. Once a year they blow their coat and lose crazy amounts of hair; daily brushing is recommended during this time.

Dental: Tibetan Mastiffs generally have good teeth, and you can keep them perfect by brushing them at least twice a week!

Ear Care: Clean their ears weekly, even as a puppy. Don’t worry — your veterinarian can show you how!


Tibetan Mastiffs are courageous, fearless and independent. With their size and temperament, they're willing and able to protect their family. Females may be significantly smaller than males.

Positive Traits:

• Confident and self-reliant

• Protective and an excellent guard dog

• Large, strong, and athletic

• Even temper and gentle disposition

• Always on the go, with a keen eye for adventure

• Loving and loyal to their owners

Negative Traits:

• Can be rambunctious and rowdy, especially as a younger dog

• Aggressive toward other animals

• May need supervision around children

• Sensitive, matures slowly

• Suspicious of strangers

• Takes up a lot of room due to their massive size



Whether you are considering adding a new Tibetan Mastiff to your family or you already have one as a companion, it is important for you to know about the genetically linked diseases known to occur more often in this breed. Of course not every Tibetan Mastiff will have these problems, but research shows your pal is more at risk than other breeds. 

By exploring the health concerns specific to the Tibetan Mastiff, you will become a knowledgeable and confident pet parent. Be sure to speak with your veterinarian about breed risks every time you visit and educate yourself on the most important signs to watch for at home. They are counting on you to be their health expert. 

Some health issues a Tibetan Mastiff could encounter:


The Tibetan Mastiff is an ancient breed that originated in the Himalayan Mountains of Tibet as early as 1100 BC. They were popular in their home land until the mid-1800s, when they were first exported to England. Tibetan Mastiffs have been used as guardians for centuries. The nomadic people of Tibet would allow the Tibetan Mastiff to roam freely at night to protect the entire village, so it is in their nature for them to sleep during the day and be highly active and vocal at night. Tibetan Mastiffs are extremely protective of their home and family. They require an experienced owner who can provide early and ongoing socialization and consistent training to prevent aggressiveness.

Consult with a veterinarian if your Tibetan Mastiff shows signs of the following:

• General reluctance to run or play

• Cloudiness to eye lens

• Dilated pupils in daylight, or increased "eye shine" at night

• Bruises easily or bleeds a lot from a small wound

• Any abnormal shaking, trembling, or excessive involuntary tremors

• Excessive licking or chewing, pawing at face and/or ears, head shaking, face rubbing

• Dry, scaly, sometimes itchy hairless patches on face or paws

• Dull coat, hair loss, sluggish, weight gain

• Weakness or wobbly gait during first weeks of life

• Anxiety, destructive behaviors, vocalization, hiding, panting, drooling

  • Care

    Routine Care: Tibetan Mastiffs are large dogs with lots of energy, so keep their mind and body active, or they'll get bored. They should always be leash walked and need a spacious yard with a sturdy fence. They are also highly sensitive to human emotions, so don't fight or discipline the kids in front of them because they may become distressed. 

    Grooming: They need a thorough brushing at least weekly most of the year. Once a year they blow their coat and lose crazy amounts of hair; daily brushing is recommended during this time.

    Dental: Tibetan Mastiffs generally have good teeth, and you can keep them perfect by brushing them at least twice a week!

    Ear Care: Clean their ears weekly, even as a puppy. Don’t worry — your veterinarian can show you how!


  • Characteristics

    Tibetan Mastiffs are courageous, fearless and independent. With their size and temperament, they're willing and able to protect their family. Females may be significantly smaller than males.

    Positive Traits:

    • Confident and self-reliant

    • Protective and an excellent guard dog

    • Large, strong, and athletic

    • Even temper and gentle disposition

    • Always on the go, with a keen eye for adventure

    • Loving and loyal to their owners

    Negative Traits:

    • Can be rambunctious and rowdy, especially as a younger dog

    • Aggressive toward other animals

    • May need supervision around children

    • Sensitive, matures slowly

    • Suspicious of strangers

    • Takes up a lot of room due to their massive size



  • Health Concerns

    Whether you are considering adding a new Tibetan Mastiff to your family or you already have one as a companion, it is important for you to know about the genetically linked diseases known to occur more often in this breed. Of course not every Tibetan Mastiff will have these problems, but research shows your pal is more at risk than other breeds. 

    By exploring the health concerns specific to the Tibetan Mastiff, you will become a knowledgeable and confident pet parent. Be sure to speak with your veterinarian about breed risks every time you visit and educate yourself on the most important signs to watch for at home. They are counting on you to be their health expert. 

    Some health issues a Tibetan Mastiff could encounter:


  • History

    The Tibetan Mastiff is an ancient breed that originated in the Himalayan Mountains of Tibet as early as 1100 BC. They were popular in their home land until the mid-1800s, when they were first exported to England. Tibetan Mastiffs have been used as guardians for centuries. The nomadic people of Tibet would allow the Tibetan Mastiff to roam freely at night to protect the entire village, so it is in their nature for them to sleep during the day and be highly active and vocal at night. Tibetan Mastiffs are extremely protective of their home and family. They require an experienced owner who can provide early and ongoing socialization and consistent training to prevent aggressiveness.

  • Watch Out For

    Consult with a veterinarian if your Tibetan Mastiff shows signs of the following:

    • General reluctance to run or play

    • Cloudiness to eye lens

    • Dilated pupils in daylight, or increased "eye shine" at night

    • Bruises easily or bleeds a lot from a small wound

    • Any abnormal shaking, trembling, or excessive involuntary tremors

    • Excessive licking or chewing, pawing at face and/or ears, head shaking, face rubbing

    • Dry, scaly, sometimes itchy hairless patches on face or paws

    • Dull coat, hair loss, sluggish, weight gain

    • Weakness or wobbly gait during first weeks of life

    • Anxiety, destructive behaviors, vocalization, hiding, panting, drooling

Tibetan Mastiff Discussions

Share your thoughts and experiences, ask questions, or just show your love for the Tibetan Mastiff breed here!

Select Another Breed

To view the sources for the information listed on this page, see our Dog Breed Guide Reference page.

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