The Tibetan Mastiff Can Be a Big Ol' Teddy Bear of a Dog - But Be Careful

  • 26/11/2010

The Tibetan Mastiff is a good dog for families with children -- IF they are socialized early and spend time with the children. They are loving but not needy or passive.

They are extremely territorial and protective of what they feel is theirs, so they make excellent guard and watchdogs. However, they are suspicious of strangers and can become aggressive if not controlled. They also seem to hate all other dogs and will fight them with no warning at all.

They seem to do best when they have wide open spaces to run and be alone. For this reason and the fact that they don't do well with strangers or other dogs, the ASPCA recommends this dog for experienced dog owners only and cautions that it is not suitable for city or apartment life.

Appearance of the Tibetan Mastiff

Well, it's from the Mastiff family, so you know it is big. They can stand as much as 24 to 28 inches tall and weigh in a a whopping 140 to 200 pounds.

Their outercoat of hard, straight and quite long. It is also quite thick and is heavier around the neck and shoulder area, giving them a mane-like look. The tail is bushy and curls up over the back like a Spitz.

The undercoat is heavy and woolly during the winter months and more sparse in warmer weather.

Their coloring is rich black and tan or brown with various shades of gold and gray highlights. A white patch usually appears on the chest and on the feet. On the darker coated dogs, a gold or tan patch usually appears above each eye, on the lower legs and on the tip of the bushy tail,

Grooming and Exercise Needs

The Tibetan Mastiff should be brushed well daily and bathed often. Like most large dogs and Mastiff in particular, these dogs are generally low energy. A brisk, long walk each day should be enough exercise to keep them fit and healthy.

A healthy Tibetan Mastiff can expect to live 10 - 12 years.


The origins of the Mastiff line are unknown. But there is evidence that the Tibetan Mastiff has been around for more than 1000 years and was -- and still is -- used to guard livestock in the Himalayan mountains.

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