Tibetan Mastiff


Basic Information

Breed Group
Black,Black and Tan,Blue,Brown,Gray,Red
25 - 35 Pounds
14 - 16 Inches


Tibetan Mastiffs are impressive looking dogs that boast an extremely dense double-coat and large bushy tail that dogs carry curled over their backs. They are powerful, well-built and although they may seem slow and heavy, Tibetan Mastiffs can show a good turn of speed when they need to. They are definitely not a good choice for first time owners because although stunning these dogs needs to be well handled and trained by someone who is familiar with the breed or similar type of dog.

For centuries these imposing dogs guarded homes and temples in remote parts of their native Tibet and were highly prized for doing so. More recently, a Tibetan Mastiff was sold for a record price, making the dog the most expensive in the world.

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Although the actual origins of the Tibetan Mastiff have been lost in the midst of time, what is known is that their ancestors existed in Tibet for centuries and that they are probably descendants of the Pyrenean Mountain Dog, Newfoundlands and other large dogs of this type. With this said, the dogs we see today are very much the same as the dogs seen in ancient times. They are called "Dok-Khyi" in their native Tibet which translated means "Tied Dog", a reference to the fact Tibetan Mastiffs were often seen tied at the entrances of the temples, tents and houses they guarded.

With this said, Alexander the Great was known to have a number of Tibetan Mastiffs which travelled with him on his expeditions which is when they started to appear in other regions of the world. The dogs we see today outside of Tibet have been around for over a 100 years with the Prince of Wales owning one in the 1880's.

It was early in the 19th century that explorers came across these dogs during their expeditions into the far reaches of Tibet. A few dogs were sent back to the UK and were placed in zoos as objects of curiosity. Lord Hardinge, Viceroy to India sent a Tibetan Mastiff as a gift to Queen Victoria, but there are no records of the dog being used for breeding purposes.

It was not until the 1930's that a breed standard was set and the Tibetan Mastiff was officially recognised as a unique breed in its own right by The Kennel Club here in the UK. Today these impressive dogs are still quite rare with not many of them being bred or puppies registered with The Kennel Club. As such anyone hoping to share their home with a Tibetan Mastiff might have to go on a waiting list if a breeder can be found that is.

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