Tibetan Mastiffs are – you guessed it – massive! They average about 25 inches tall at the shoulder, and on hind legs stand almost as tall as humans. A healthy weight range for Tibetan Mastiffs lies between 85-140 pounds, and their luxurious thick fur only adds to their size. This breed looks more like a bear than a dog; and frankly, acts more like a bear than a dog too.
The Bear Dog
Like bears, the Tibetan Mastiff’s demeanor is often described as aloof. He cherishes his personal space and is highly protective of his den. He’s a guard dog, first and foremost, and will often go off on his own to patrol. He has his own schedule and doesn’t appreciate being told what to do. As a result, these dogs need firm trainers.
With enough practice, and patience, Tibetan Mastiffs will work with their owners to come to a compromise. When your Mastiff finally becomes your companion, he’ll be your defender for life.
Ancient War Dogs
Tibetan Mastiffs have a long, storied history. Their ancestors accompanied the Persians during the reign of their empire. They conquered continents with the Romans and the Huns, and historians suspect Tibetan Mastiff forerunners were celebrated as war dogs until they settled in Tibetan valleys.
After staying isolated for years, they became more domesticated. That’s not to say they were lap dogs! On the contrary, these dogs stayed in homes during the day and roamed free at night for the village’s protection. Over time, they became trusted and revered by villagers throughout Tibet and the Himalayas.
Double Layer Coats
Tibetan Mastiffs have relatively high maintenance coats. They are thick, with double layers, for surviving frigid climates. Some Tibetan Mastiffs have even thicker hair near their neck that looks like a lion’s mane!
They should be brushed a few times a week to control shedding and washed when needed. Additionally, their seasonal shedding, sometimes called “molting”, is so immense that you may need to take them to a groomer.
Tibetan Mastiffs are fierce companions that guard and protect with everything they have. Don’t let their independent nature fool you – they are the most content when alongside their families.