(aka: Do-Khyi, Tsang-khyi, Zang Ao)
Tibetan Mastiff Description
The Tibetan Mastiff is a large or giant sized dog. He has a very powerful and heavy build, and as the largest of the Oriental breeds can put off potential intruders by appearance and size alone. The Tibetan Mastiff has a serious yet calm expression. His double coat is thick and of medium length. The coloring of the Tibetan Mastiff can vary and includes black and tan, blue and tan, black, grizzle, sable, cream, and brown. These huge dogs weigh in at around 70-125 pounds for females and around 100-140 pounds for males. The height of the Tibetan Mastiff is around 25-26 inches for females, and 27-30 inches for males.
Fearless and protective, yet patient and gentle, the Tibetan Mastiff is a dog that makes a fine family pet for those with the confidence and experience to handle him. Best suited to more experienced dog owners, the Tibetan Mastiff is a loyal, devoted, and reliable creature. He definitely has a mind of his own, and is alert, confident, and self-reliant. He is also highly intelligent and very quick to learn. These dogs are fierce family protectors, whilst remaining patient and docile with their loved ones. The Tibetan Mastiff needs an owner that has the confidence and assertiveness to handle him properly, with consistent and positive training. Early training and socialization is recommended with the Tibetan Mastiff to promote stability in his temperament.
The Tibetan Mastiff is a large dog and does need a fair amount of exercise to keep fit and healthy, although he is not an overly active dog. He is and agile climber and jumper, and this means that he will need a safe, secure - and large - area in which to play and exercise when not on a leash. They can be keen on the sound of their own voices too, not to mention being dedicated diggers in some cases. The Tibetan Mastiff can be very cautious around strangers until he has determined who can be trusted and who cannot. They can be good with other pets, but again early socialization is important, particularly with outside pets. He is a little on the large side for very small children, but does get along well with gentle, older kids.
The Tibetan Mastiff is ideal for those with little time to dedicate to grooming, as he is a low maintenance dog. You can keep his coat in good condition by brushing on a weekly basis, although this will need to be increased during periods of heavier shedding. Some Tibetan Mastiffs may have thicker coats that tend to matt, which means that slightly more time will need to be put into effective grooming. The Tibetan Mastiff is a medium shedder, and may therefore prove unsuitable for those with allergies.
The Tibetan Mastiff originates from the Himalayan Mountains and Tibet, and they appear to have a very long history dating back thousands of years. Used as a village guardian and protector of flocks, the Tibetan Mastiff was introduced in England in the mid-1800s, when one was sent to Queen Victoria. One hundred years later two of these dogs were sent to President Eisenhower. The breed was registered with the AKC in 2005.
This breed learns very quickly and is extremely eager to please. They have a self-reliant and independent nature that may lead them to avoid doing things they've already learned. They benefit from early socializations and obedience. The Tibetan Terrier will not respond to harsh or heavy-handed training methods. They do best with positive reinforcement, consistency, patience, and respectful loving direction.
For a large/giant sized dog, the Tibetan Mastiff has a relatively long life expectancy of 10-14 years. There are a number of health issues to look out for with this breed, and this includes thyroid problems, HD, heart problems, eye disorders, allergies, autoimmune problems, and sensitivity to chemicals and drugs. The parents of the Tibetan Mastiff puppy should have OFA certificates.