This a rare and very primitive dog breed from the Himalayas, They are often large, intelligent and hardy dog known for its courage and territorial instincts, that have gradually developed over the centuries.
The primary objective for developing this dog breed was to be used as watch dogs in villages, homes, nomadic camps and to guard live stocks from wolves, leopard, thieves and other predators. There exist two variations of this particular breed, namely the larger mastiff and the smaller mastiff.
The ancestors of this breed had existed since the Bronze Age, and some traces of bones was unearth in China. However, the European Mastiff breeds came up from these animals. But the pure Tibetan Mastiff remained confined to the Tibetan Himalayan valleys and was not seen until the 1840’s when the viceroy of India introduced it to Queen Victoria. By 1874, the Prince of Wales developed an interest in this dog and they spread to other parts of Europe. However, there was a drop in the popularity of this breed, but it was later on recognized by the Kernel Clubs in India, Australia, Canada, and Great Britain and even in the US.
Furthermore, this dog has very unique characteristics that however distinguish it from the other dogs. These dogs are easily trained and are well clean, without the usual dog smell and are highly hypoallergenic. Their fur is thick, long and double coated with a fine woolly texture that is thicker in males than in females. The fur shed once or twice yearly, and this period of shedding usually last for about a week or more. The fur colors range from brown, blue, black, tan, grey and black with series of markings.
The minimum height of the male is 25 inches and the females not less than 25 inches. As for their appearance, they are very muscular and tough-looking. An adult usually has wrinkles on their broad face, with very powerful jaws and wide eyes. Health wise, this dog can actually withstand different climatic conditions and terrible terrain, which other dogs might find it difficult. Tibetan Mastiff usually suffers from many diseases among which are entropion, hypothyroidism, and Demyelinative Neuropathy which affects the nerve, causing temporal paralysis of the limbs. But the controlled and highly selected breed has eliminated this problem.
This dog is certainly not a breed for everyone. Besides that, the large dog breed requires lot of space and exercise. Its personality is very strong, independent and capable of making its own judgment. As far as socialization of the puppy is concern, try to take this dog for a walk, so that the dog can be accustomed to new places, people, and other animals. Even though they are a big learner, they can be very difficult at times. Furthermore, this dog can be very territorial and has very good instinct. They too are very aggressive towards visitors. Even though this dog can be very good with children, it has to be carried out under adult supervision.
The females take about 3-4 years to become mature, and 5-6 years for the males. During the growing period, they can be very destructive; its strong and powerful jaws can possibly chew almost everything. Regular barking and persistent digging are some of its habits. This dog is very sensitive, and often gets upset just at the mere site of other dogs. With its great abilities of digging and climbing over fences, confinement is quite difficult.
No other animal can be as gentle, kind and above all be a great companion like the Tibetan Mastiff, but like other dogs require lots of patience, time and tolerance to groom them into becoming a nice-loving pet.