Tibetan Mastiff - An Affectionate Guard Dog

Tibetan Mastiff is a behemoth that is affectionate to family members and ferocious to strangers. Since inception the dog has been as guard dog and today it is bred for companionship purpose too.

The dog’s hulk like appearance will surely stop the traffic as you walk with it.  Many get intimated by its giant size without knowing inside mammoth personality lays a loving and gentle heart. The dog is a perfect combination of strength and endurance. Dalai Lama owned 8 Tibetan Mastiff to guard the gates.


Female mastiffs have only one heat cycle unlike other domestic canine breeds. This breed tends to be stubborn and only firm hand can manage this breed. Sometime they will not listen to you especially at those times when they think they are right. You are supposed to start its training as soon as you bring it home. A well trained mastiff will make your life interesting and adventurous.

Tibetan Mastiff

Tibetan Mastiff Origin

It is a century old breed of Tibet. These dogs used to live in monastery in order to guard and serve monks. These dogs have been used for guarding properties and lives since inception.


Though there is no valid documentation about its origin but experts believe that the dog originated from the isolated dogs that used to live in Himalayas and nearby areas. Its thick coat and long fur made it suitable to live in harsh climatic conditions.

Tibetan Mastiff Characteristics & Information

  1. The dog belongs to Tibet and is a guard dog
  2. Its huge size makes it unsuitable for apartment living
  3. They are calm indoors only if you provide it exercise in morning and evening
  4. The dog thrives human oriented environment
  5. They have naturally protective instincts and should never be allowed to walk off leash
  6. They understand human nature well and want a happy environment at home. It has been observed that the breed gets upset when there is fight between spouses or you yell at children
  7. The dog is not meant for activities that involves agility and obedience
  8. The dog generally doesn’t have barking tendency but if you left it outside they will think they are on the guard duty and will bark frequently
  9. It sheds lightly, twice a week brushing is enough to keep its coat clean
  10. Socialization lesson is imperative for the dog else they will show inappropriate aggression
  11. The breeds requires confident and strong trainer and are not at all suitable for novice owners
  12. They are good with family children but they will consider neighbors kids as threat. Young children should always be under supervision as  the dog can knock them down by simple wag of its tail
  13. Life expectancy of the breed is 12 to 15 years
  14. The dog is 66–76 cm tall
  15. It is one of the costliest breed of the world ranges between $ 900- $1200.
  16. It is not a hypoallergenic breed.

Tibetan Mastiff


Tibetan Mastiffs have a massively built up body with heavy bones. Their head is huge and wide with wedged shaped muzzle which is blunt. Their nose is big and dark in color. They tend to have moderate dewlap. The dog’s tail is bushy and gets curled over its back. Their eyes are black and thoughtful. Overall expression on its face is as if the dog is engrossed in deep thoughts.

  • Size and Weight

Male should be above 26 inches tall and female should be above 24 inches tall. They should be around anywhere from 100 to 170 pounds.

  • Coat and Color

The dog has a thick, double coat. Its coat should be straight and stand out its body. Topcoat should be frizzy and coarse to touch and undercoat should be wooly and soft to touch. The dog has a mane around its neck. Its tail should be highly feathered. Male breed tends to have heavier and thicker coat than female counterparts. The dog comes in brown, black, blue and gold color with tan markings.

Tibetan Mastiff Temperament

  1. Personality - The dog is known for its guarding ability. One dog is enough to guard the whole colony. They are alert and attentive and make excellent watchdogs too. Whenever any guest approaches the Tibetan Mastiff’s house, the dog will not take his eyes off the guest even though the master is inside home. This dog is not emotionally needy; it requires love and affection from family to some extent only. The dog doesn’t like fawning and over pampering. If you are an experienced dog owner and wants an imposing dog, Tibetan mastiff is a fabulous choice.
  2. Behavior - They are highly protective of their family. The dog has a mind of its own and doesn’t like to be told what to do or not. This also means that it will not always obey you. They are not suitable for family with small children because they tend to get bossy and dominant around them. If other dog is raised with this breed, it will consider it as a part of pack and will protect it. With stranger animals they react aggressively.
  3. Activities Requirement - Small puppies are playful and energetic but as they reach maturity they would love to lay down under shade. It is important to motivate your dog to walk few times a day to keep it in shape. The dog needs outside environment. Being inside for longer duration can bore them.
  4. Trainability - Start its training as early as possible else it would get difficult to teach a strong headed adult dog. Early socialization is needed to make your dog understand difference between welcomed guest and intruders. Establish leadership over the dog without physically correcting them.


Since their eyes are prone to get affected so feed it natural vegetables like carrots, beetroots, and other ground vegetables. Boil the green leafy vegetables and chicken. Mix both the ingredients well and give the dog to eat Make sure to remove the bones from meat before boiling because that can make the bones hard and indigestible.  Curd is also good for dogs.


The dog can live up to 12 to 15 years.

Health Issues

It is not a hypoallergenic breed. The dog is more likely to get affected by eye diseases like PRA, cherry eye, cataract etc. Other health concerns include ectropion, distichiasis, and thyroid and auto immune problems.


They shed lightly and blow their coat once or twice annually depending upon the place and its weather. They should be brushed twice a week to keep its coat debris and mats free. Bath the dog after every 4 to 6 weeks. Brush its teeth weekly to avoid dental problems and bad breath. Trim its nails and clean its ears as needed.

Tibetan Mastiff


The dog is suitable to live in farm or house accompanied with yards. They thrive in cold climates.

Tibetan Mastiff Pet Names

  1. Buffy
  2. Lucy
  3. Mickey
  4. Jerry
  5. Goofy

Things To Consider Before Buying


  1. It is the most reliable guard dog
  2. It sheds lightly and has easy-care coat
  3. The dog remains calm inside home.


  1. The dog can be threat to young children and small animals
  2. It tends to be bossy and stubborn minded. Training the dog is not easy
  3. Not suitable for apartment living because of its giant size.