Dog Health & More
This still primitive dog breed was developed centuries ago in Tibet. Originally used as guard dogs for livestock and property, Tibetan Mastiffs can still be found performing that role, but they also enjoy life as a family companion and show dog.
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With his noble appearance, long coat, appealing colors, and beautiful tail, the Tibetan Mastiff is sure to be a conversation starter and traffic stopper as you walk him down the street. But if that's all you're looking for in a dog, this is not the breed for you.
Before considering the drawbacks, here's what we love about this breed. The Tibetan Mastiff is loving, gentle, patient, and understanding. His centuries of working closely with humans have made him very sophisticated in the ways he understands people.
He's a hard worker, protective of his family, fearless, and loyal. His large size and substance makes him a wonderful guard dog, and centuries of breeding for that specific task has perfected him as a protector.
As attractive as that sounds, it's essential to weigh carefully the other qualities that can make him a challenging proposition.
This is an independent guardian breed who will not always look to you for guidance. He will enjoy your company and bond with you, but he won't always obey you, especially in a situation in which he believes he's right. The Tibetan Mastiff is stubborn and usually doesn't do well in obedience or agility competitions.
Tibetan Mastiffs are generally quiet dogs when their needs and living conditions are met, but if left outdoors at night they can be barkers. Of course there's an easy solution: bring your dog inside.
If you use a yard, make sure it's well-fenced; Tibetan Mastiffs have been known to climb fences to escape. And be sure not to leave these dogs outside for very long because they may start to dig and become territorial and aggressive.
Under certain conditions, Tibetan Mastiffs are tolerant with children in their own families, especially if raised with them. But they're generally not well suited to homes with young children. Tibetan Mastiffs can mistake the yelling, screaming, and playing of visiting children as a sign of aggression and often won't allow your child's friends to come visit.
This territorial drive can affect not only your children's social life but also your own. If you are a social person with many people coming and going, this breed is probably not for you, as the Tibetan Mastiff may try to limit the number of people allowed into the house.
Socialization is essential for this breed. It's important to take your Tibetan Mastiff puppy and adult dog to as many dog-friendly stores, parks, and events as possible. Let him meet new people, but understand if he's wary of specific people.
Tibetan Mastiffs have a strong instinct concerning people, and if they don't get over their initial dislike of a particular person, there's usually a reason. Tibetan Mastiffs cannot be walked off leash and should be taken on several different routes during their daily walks to prevent them from becoming territorial of their walking route.
The Tibetan Mastiff can be a wonderful breed for the proper owner and home, but he can't fit into just any lifestyle. If you're interested in this breed, do your homework and talk to breeders and other Tibetan Mastiff owners.
One thing is certain: if you do acquire a Tibetan Mastiff, your life is sure to be an interesting adventure with this beautiful, loyal companion.