Ancestors of the Tibetan Mastiff have been known to exist in Tibet for many centuries. The history of what these dogs were crossed with to produce the Tibetan Mastiff has unfortunately been lost. They began to appear in other countries when Alexander the Great took them with him on his travels around the world. The Tibetan Mastiff we know today has been known to exist outside Tibet for over a century. In the 1880’s the Prince of Wales owned at least one of these dogs, and the breed standard was created in the 1930’s. 



Powerful with good bone, the Tibetan Mastiff is a strong, well-built dog with a fairly long, thick (double coat with undercoat) coat and a bushy tail which curls over the back. Light on their feet at speed but can appear slow and deliberate when walking. 

Size Giant
Colour They can be black, black and tan, brown, shades of gold or grey and grey with gold markings. Some may have white on the chest and toes. They can have tan markings on the muzzle, above the eyes, lower part of the legs and on the tip of the tail.
Coat Length Short Medium
Weight/Height Range Ideally dogs should measure minimum 66 cms at the withers, and bitches minimum 61cms. The weight of the Tibetan Mastiff is between 55 – 80 kgs.
Ailments The Tibetan Mastiff is in general a healthy breed. As long as they have the correct diet to allow their proper growth there should not be too many bone and joint problems. They can suffer from thyroid deficiencies and Hip Dysplacia.
Breed Classification The Tibetan Mastiff is a member of the working group. They were originally used for guarding villages and monasteries and their livestock,. Today they are guard dogs, companions and seen in the show ring.

Feeding & Ownership

As puppies the Tibetan Mastiff should have a nutritious diet to ensure the proper formation of the bones and joints. Supplements should not be added to the diet unless absolutely necessary as they can do more harm than good.

Food Cost $5 to $10
Other Expenses Puppies are expensive as thisis a rare breeed with very few littrs being bred annually. However once purchased, other than feeding costs expense should be minimal.



It is natural for this dog to want to guard and protect its family and territory. Some can be aggressive and stubborn so early socialisation is necessary. Most of them will be very gentle, patient and loving with people and children they know but will be very distrustful of strangers. A very calm, thoughtful and dignified breed, the TM can also be stubborn, dominant and self-confident.The TM can be a nocturnal barker, with a loud booming voice as all good guard dogs should have!


Intelligence These dogs require consistent and firm training. They can be stubborn and a bit dominant so they do need to know their place in the family. Strong words and harsh handling will only cause them to ignore their handlers. They need to be brought up carefully with proper socialisation in order to become well adjusted family pets.
Energy Medium
Suitability for Children High
Tendency to Bark High
Overall Exercise Requirement The young dog should have all exercise monitored while it is still growing to ensure that no damage occurs to the bones and joints. They do enjoy exercise and enjoy a ramble in the countryside and through the woods. Provided they ARE walked and  socialised, they are VERY content to lay around snoozing all day, but one eye is always open on guard. They are not too keen on playing games with balls and other toys.
Suitability as a Guard Dog High
Ease of Transportation Medium
Level of Aggression Medium
Other Animal Compatibility Medium



When not moulting, these dogs are SO EASY to maintain- 10-15 mins a couple of times a week. Once a year anytime between April -July, they have a summer moult, which can last up to 6-8weeks, They blow all their undercoat out, which comes out in clumps of wool. They really need to be heavily groomed/raked out, then winter coat starts to grow in by August, September. Compared to short haired breeds (Mastiff, Bullmastiff etc) they do not constantly shed hairs all the time.

Grooming Requirements More than once a week
Amount of Hair Shed Moderate

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