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Tibetan Mastiff

Tibetan Mastiff Dog Breed Information

In a Sentence:

A large, powerful and protective dog breed originating from Tibet.

Scientific Name:

Canis lupus familiaris.


Tibetan Mastiffs are considered a Very Large Dog breed.
Weight:45-72 kg.
Height:66-76 cm (26-30 inches) for males-61-71 cm (24-28 inches) for females.
Length:61-76 cm (24-30 inches).


The average lifespan of a Tibetan Mastiff is around 10-15 years.


What type of dog is a Tibetan Mastiff, how do they behave and what temperament do they have? See below for a detailed overview of their traits and personality.

Personality & Temperament

Tibetan Mastiffs are known for their protective nature and loyalty to their owners. They are independent, intelligent and have a strong sense of territory. Here are some key personality and temperament traits of Tibetan Mastiffs:

  1. Protective: Tibetan Mastiffs are renowned for their protective nature. They are fiercely loyal to their owners and will do whatever it takes to protect them from harm.
  2. Independent: Tibetan Mastiffs are independent dogs and can be stubborn at times. They have a strong will and need a firm hand when it comes to training.
  3. Intelligent: Tibetan Mastiffs are intelligent dogs and are quick learners. They have good problem-solving abilities and can be trained to perform a variety of tasks.
  4. Territorial: Tibetan Mastiffs have a strong sense of territory and will protect their home and family from intruders. They are excellent guard dogs.
  5. Calm: Despite their protective nature, Tibetan Mastiffs are generally calm and relaxed dogs. They are not overly active and prefer to spend their time lounging around the house.
  6. Reserved: Tibetan Mastiffs can be reserved around strangers and may take some time to warm up to new people. They are not overly social dogs and prefer the company of their family.

Overall, Tibetan Mastiffs are loyal, protective and intelligent dogs that make excellent guard dogs and family pets. They require firm training and socialization to ensure they behave appropriately around strangers and other animals.


Tibetan Mastiffs are considered to be intelligent dogs. They are independent thinkers and have a strong will, which can make them challenging to train. However, with proper training and socialization, they can be well-behaved and obedient. They also have strong protective instincts, which make them excellent guard dogs. Overall, Tibetan Mastiffs are intelligent dogs that require a patient and consistent approach to training.


Training Tibetan Mastiffs can be challenging due to their independent nature and strong will. They are intelligent dogs, but they can be stubborn and may require a firm and consistent approach to training. Early socialization and obedience training are essential to ensure that they become well-behaved and well-adjusted dogs. It is recommended to work with a professional trainer who has experience with large and strong-willed breeds like the Tibetan Mastiff. With patience, consistency and positive reinforcement, Tibetan Mastiffs can be trained to be obedient and well-mannered companions.


Tibetan Mastiffs are quite lazy and can sleep for up to 14 hours a day. However, the amount of sleep they need can vary depending on their age, activity level and overall health. Puppies and older dogs may require more sleep, while younger, more active dogs may need less. It’s important to provide your Tibetan Mastiff with a comfortable and quiet place to sleep, as they can be sensitive to noise and disruptions during their rest time.


Tibetan Mastiffs are a vocal breed and can bark quite a bit, especially when they feel their territory is being threatened or when they sense danger. However, with proper training and socialization, their barking can be controlled. It’s important to note that excessive barking can be a sign of an underlying issue, such as anxiety or boredom, so it’s important to address the root cause if your Tibetan Mastiff is barking excessively.


Tibetan Mastiffs are heavy droolers, especially during hot weather or after drinking water. They have loose jowls and a thick, heavy coat that can trap saliva and moisture, leading to excessive drooling. However, the amount of drooling can vary from dog to dog and some Tibetan Mastiffs may drool more than others. Regular grooming and cleaning of the dog’s mouth and face can help manage excessive drooling.


Tibetan Mastiffs are not excessive lickers. Like any dog, they may lick their owners or themselves occasionally, but it is not a common behavior for this breed. If you notice your Tibetan Mastiff licking excessively, it may be a sign of an underlying health issue or anxiety and you should consult with a veterinarian.


Tibetan Mastiffs are not known for their jumping ability. They are large and heavy dogs and their size and weight can make it difficult for them to jump high. However, with proper training and conditioning, some Tibetan Mastiffs may be able to jump up to 3-4 feet. It is important to note that jumping can be hard on a dog’s joints, so it is best to consult with a veterinarian before engaging in any high-impact activities with your Tibetan Mastiff.


Tibetan Mastiffs are heavy diggers but their digging behavior can vary from dog to dog. Some Tibetan Mastiffs may dig only occasionally, while others may dig more frequently. However, with proper training and exercise, you can help reduce the amount of digging behavior in your Tibetan Mastiff. Providing your dog with plenty of exercise, toys and mental stimulation can help keep them occupied and less likely to dig. Additionally, providing a designated digging area or sandbox can also help redirect their digging behavior.

Good Fit for You?

Is a Tibetan Mastiff the right dog for you? Keep reading to find out how compatible you are with a Tibetan Mastiff.


Tibetan Mastiffs are a large and active breed that require a moderate amount of exercise. They need at least 30-60 minutes of daily exercise, which can include walks, runs or playtime in a fenced yard. It’s important to note that Tibetan Mastiffs are not a breed that can be left alone in a yard all day, as they need human interaction and mental stimulation to stay happy and healthy. Additionally, they are not a breed that should be over-exercised, especially when they are young and their bones and joints are still developing.


Tibetan Mastiffs are large dogs and require a lot of space to move around and exercise. Ideally, they should have access to a large, securely fenced yard where they can run and play. A minimum of 500 to 1000 square feet of outdoor space is recommended for a Tibetan Mastiff. However, it’s important to note that they are adaptable dogs and can live in smaller spaces as long as they get enough exercise and mental stimulation. If you live in an apartment or a smaller house, you will need to make sure that you provide your Tibetan Mastiff with regular walks, playtime and training to keep them happy and healthy.


No, Tibetan Mastiffs are not a good dog to get if you live in an apartment. Tibetan Mastiffs are large dogs that require a lot of space to move around and exercise. They are also independent and protective, which can make them difficult to train and manage in a small living space. Additionally, Tibetan Mastiffs are heavy shedders, which can be problematic in an apartment setting. If you live in an apartment, it is best to consider a smaller breed of dog that is better suited to living in a confined space.

Left Alone

Tibetan Mastiffs are independent and can tolerate being left alone for short periods of time. However, they are social animals and require regular interaction and attention from their owners. Leaving them alone for extended periods of time can lead to separation anxiety and destructive behavior. It is important to provide them with enough exercise, mental stimulation and socialization to keep them happy and healthy.

Kid/Family Friendly

Tibetan Mastiffs can be good with kids and families, but it depends on their individual temperament and socialization. They are protective of their family and can be wary of strangers, so early socialization and training are important. Additionally, due to their large size and strength, they should always be supervised around young children. Overall, if properly trained and socialized, Tibetan Mastiffs can make loyal and loving companions for families.

Perfect Fit

Tibetan Mastiffs are large and powerful dogs that require a lot of space and exercise. They are also independent and strong-willed, so they need an experienced and confident owner who can provide proper training and socialization. Therefore, a Tibetan Mastiff would be a perfect fit for a household that has:

  1. A large, secure yard or property where the dog can run and play.
  2. A family that has experience with large, independent dogs and can provide consistent training and socialization.
  3. A family that is active and can provide daily exercise and mental stimulation for the dog.
  4. A family that has the time and resources to provide proper grooming and veterinary care for the dog.
  5. A family that is committed to providing a lifelong home for the dog and can handle the financial responsibility of owning a large breed.

Pros and Cons:

While they can make wonderful companions, there are also some downsides to owning one. Here are five pros and cons of owning a Tibetan Mastiff:

1. Loyal and protective1. Can be aggressive towards strangers
2. Low exercise needs2. High grooming needs
3. Good with children3. Can be stubborn and difficult to train
4. Rare and unique breed4. Expensive to purchase and maintain
5. Calm and independent5. Prone to health issues such as hip dysplasia and bloat

Overall, owning a Tibetan Mastiff can be a rewarding experience for those who are willing to put in the time and effort to properly care for them. However, it is important to carefully consider the potential challenges before making the decision to bring one into your home.


The cost of a Tibetan Mastiff in Australia can vary depending on the breeder, pedigree and location. On average, a Tibetan Mastiff puppy can cost anywhere from $3,000 to $10,000 AUD. However, some breeders may charge even more for a show-quality or rare-colored puppy. It is important to do thorough research and only purchase from a reputable breeder to ensure the health and well-being of the puppy.

Breed History:

Tibetan Mastiffs were originally bred as guard dogs for nomadic tribes in Tibet. They were used to protect livestock, homes and families from predators such as wolves, leopards and bears. Their large size, strength and protective instincts made them well-suited for this role. In addition, they were also used as companions and watchdogs by Tibetan monks and aristocrats. Today, Tibetan Mastiffs are still used as guard dogs and companions, but they are also popular as show dogs and pets.

Current Usage

Tibetan Mastiffs are primarily used as guard dogs and watchdogs in their native Tibet, where they protect livestock and property from predators and intruders. They are also used as companions and pets, particularly in China where they have become a status symbol and are often kept by wealthy individuals.

In other parts of the world, Tibetan Mastiffs are primarily kept as pets and companions, although some individuals may still be used for their traditional working roles. They are also sometimes used in dog shows and other competitions, where they are judged on their appearance and temperament.

Guard Dogs

Yes, Tibetan Mastiffs are known for their protective and territorial nature, making them excellent guard dogs. They are loyal and devoted to their family and will fiercely protect them from any perceived threat. However, it is important to note that their strong protective instincts need to be properly trained and managed to prevent any aggressive behavior towards strangers or other animals. Additionally, Tibetan Mastiffs require a lot of socialization and training from a young age to ensure they are well-behaved and obedient.

Where Are They Found?

Tibetan Mastiffs are most popular in their native country of Tibet, as well as in China. They are also popular in other countries such as the United States, Russia, India and Nepal.


Tibetan Mastiffs are best suited to cold and harsh climates, such as those found in the Tibetan Plateau. They have a thick, double coat that provides insulation and protection from the cold and they are adapted to living at high altitudes. However, they can also adapt to warmer climates with proper care and management. It is important to provide them with shade, plenty of water and a cool place to rest during hot weather.


It is difficult to estimate the exact number of Tibetan Mastiffs in the world as there is no centralized registry or database for this breed. However, it is believed that there are several thousand Tibetan Mastiffs worldwide. The breed is relatively rare and is primarily found in its native region of Tibet, as well as in China, the United States and Europe.

Physical Appearance:

Tibetan Mastiffs are large and powerful dogs with a muscular build and a thick, heavy coat. They have a broad head with a strong jaw and their ears are small and set high on their head. Their eyes are medium-sized and almond-shaped and they have a calm and steady gaze. Tibetan Mastiffs have a broad chest and a deep, wide ribcage and their legs are strong and sturdy. Their tail is long and bushy and it curls over their back. They come in a variety of colors, including black, brown, gray and gold. Overall, Tibetan Mastiffs have a majestic and imposing appearance, with a regal bearing and a dignified presence.



Tibetan Mastiffs can come in a variety of colors, including black, brown, blue-gray, gold and red. Some may also have white markings on their chest, feet or tail. The color of their coat can also vary in shades and patterns.

Hair/Fur Length:

Tibetan Mastiffs have long hair that can grow up to 4-5 inches in length. They have a thick double coat that provides insulation and protection from the harsh weather conditions in their native Tibet. The outer coat is coarse and straight, while the undercoat is soft and dense. The hair around their neck and shoulders is particularly long and thick, giving them a lion-like appearance. Regular grooming is necessary to keep their coat healthy and free from mats and tangles.


Yes, Tibetan Mastiffs do shed. They have a thick double coat that sheds heavily twice a year, typically in the spring and fall. During shedding season, they will require more frequent brushing and grooming to remove loose fur and prevent matting. Regular grooming can also help reduce shedding and keep their coat healthy and shiny.


The Tibetan Mastiff has a thick, long coat that requires regular grooming to keep it healthy and free of mats and tangles. They shed heavily twice a year, so during these times, they will require more frequent brushing and grooming.

It is not necessary to cut the Tibetan Mastiff’s hair, as their coat serves as insulation and protection from the elements. However, some owners may choose to trim the hair around the paws and ears for hygiene purposes. It is important to note that shaving a Tibetan Mastiff’s coat can be detrimental to their health, as it can affect their ability to regulate their body temperature.


No, Tibetan Mastiffs are not hypoallergenic. They have a thick, double coat that sheds heavily twice a year, which can trigger allergies in some people. Additionally, they produce dander, which is a common allergen. If you have allergies, it is recommended to spend time with a Tibetan Mastiff before bringing one into your home to see if you have a reaction.


Tibetan Mastiffs can run at a speed of approximately 24-30 kph (15-18 mph).


As an AI language model, I cannot provide personal opinions, but I can give you some information on Tibetan Mastiffs’ health issues based on research:

  • Tibetan Mastiffs are generally healthy dogs, but they can be prone to some health issues, including:
  • Hip Dysplasia: A genetic condition where the hip joint doesn’t develop correctly, leading to arthritis and pain.
  • Elbow Dysplasia: A genetic condition where the elbow joint doesn’t develop correctly, leading to arthritis and pain.
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA): A genetic condition that causes the retina to degenerate, leading to blindness.
  • Hypothyroidism: A condition where the thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough hormones, leading to weight gain, lethargy and skin problems.
  • Bloat: A condition where the stomach fills with gas and twists, which can be life-threatening if not treated promptly.
  • Ear Infections: Tibetan Mastiffs have floppy ears that can trap moisture and bacteria, leading to ear infections.


Tibetan Mastiffs typically have 42 teeth, which is the same as most other dog breeds.


Tibetan Mastiffs have a keen sense of sight, which is an important trait for their role as guard dogs in their native Tibet. Their eyesight is particularly well-suited for detecting movement and identifying potential threats from a distance. However, like all dogs, their eyesight can deteriorate with age or due to certain health conditions.


Tibetan Mastiffs usually have six to eight nipples. The exact number can vary within this range, but six to eight is the general count for this breed.


Litter Size:

The typical litter size for Tibetan Mastiffs is between 5 to 12 puppies. However, litter size can vary depending on factors such as the age and health of the mother, genetics and environmental factors.

Gestation Period:

The gestation period for Tibetan Mastiffs is typically around 63 days, although it can range from 58 to 68 days.


Tibetan Mastiffs typically go into heat twice a year, with each heat cycle lasting for about 3 weeks. However, the frequency and duration of heat cycles can vary depending on the individual dog.

Male vs Female:

There are several differences between male and female Tibetan Mastiffs, including:

  1. Size: Male Tibetan Mastiffs are generally larger and heavier than females. Males can weigh up to 160 pounds, while females typically weigh between 70 and 120 pounds.
  2. Temperament: Male Tibetan Mastiffs can be more dominant and territorial than females. They may also be more protective of their family and property.
  3. Energy level: Female Tibetan Mastiffs tend to be more active and playful than males. They may also be more willing to engage in activities like fetch or hiking.
  4. Coat: Male Tibetan Mastiffs often have a thicker and more luxurious coat than females. This is especially true during the winter months when their coat grows thicker to protect them from the cold.
  5. Health: Female Tibetan Mastiffs are generally healthier and have a longer lifespan than males. This is because males are more prone to certain health issues like hip dysplasia and heart problems.

Tips and Advice:

Tibetan Mastiffs are large and powerful dogs that require proper care and attention to maintain their health and well-being. Here are some tips and advice for caring for a Tibetan Mastiff:

  • Provide a balanced and nutritious diet that is appropriate for their size and activity level.
  • Regular exercise is important for their physical and mental health. They need daily walks and playtime in a secure and spacious area.
  • Grooming is essential to keep their thick and dense coat in good condition. Brushing their coat at least once a week will help prevent matting and tangling.
  • Regular veterinary check-ups are necessary to monitor their health and prevent any potential health issues.
  • Socialization is crucial for Tibetan Mastiffs. Early socialization with people and other animals will help them develop into well-adjusted and friendly pets.
  • Training is important to establish boundaries and rules for your Tibetan Mastiff. Positive reinforcement training methods work best for this breed.
  • Provide a comfortable and secure living space for your Tibetan Mastiff. They need a large and secure yard or living space with plenty of room to move around.
  • Be aware of their protective nature and train them to be well-behaved around strangers and other animals.
  • Lastly, give your Tibetan Mastiff plenty of love and attention. They are loyal and affectionate dogs that thrive on human companionship.


Tibetan Mastiffs are large dogs and can eat a significant amount of food. However, their food intake will depend on their age, activity level and overall health. As puppies, they will require more frequent meals and smaller portions, while adult dogs will require larger portions.

In terms of being food-oriented, Tibetan Mastiffs are not usually overly food-motivated. They are independent dogs and may not be as eager to please their owners as some other breeds. However, they still enjoy treats and rewards like any other dog and it’s important to use positive reinforcement techniques when training them.


Tibetan Mastiffs are large and powerful dogs that have been bred for centuries to guard livestock and property in Tibet and surrounding areas. Here are three interesting facts about this majestic breed:

  1. They have a thick, luxurious coat that can protect them from extreme temperatures and predators. Their fur can be black, brown or gold and they shed heavily twice a year.
  2. Tibetan Mastiffs are renowned for their loyalty and protective instincts. They are often used as guard dogs and can be wary of strangers, but they are also affectionate and devoted to their families.
  3. These dogs have a long history in Tibetan culture and are considered a symbol of wealth and status. In recent years, they have become popular as pets in other parts of the world, but they still retain their strong working instincts and need plenty of exercise and training.


Tibetan Mastiffs are majestic and independent dogs with a strong and protective nature. When selecting names for Tibetan Mastiffs, it is often suitable to consider names that reflect their regal appearance, their Tibetan heritage or their courageous and noble personality. Here are 15 names that would be a good fit for a Tibetan Mastiff:

  • Koda: A name that signifies “friend” or “companion,” reflecting the Tibetan Mastiff’s loyal and protective nature.
  • Everest: Inspired by the highest peak in the Himalayas, this name represents the breed’s majestic and lofty presence.
  • Arya: This name embodies strength and nobility, reflecting the Tibetan Mastiff’s brave and independent character.
  • Bodhi: Signifying enlightenment and wisdom, this name matches the Tibetan Mastiff’s intelligent and discerning nature.
  • Goliath: A name that represents strength and power, fitting for the Tibetan Mastiff’s impressive size and stature.
  • Karma: This name conveys the Tibetan Mastiff’s karmic role as a protector, symbolizing their watchful and guardian-like qualities.
  • Shanti: Signifying peace and tranquility, this name matches the Tibetan Mastiff’s calm and composed demeanor.
  • Lhasa: Inspired by the breed’s origin in Lhasa, Tibet, this name pays homage to their Tibetan heritage.
  • Rajah: A name that signifies king or prince, reflecting the Tibetan Mastiff’s regal and majestic presence.
  • Nima: This name means “sun” in Tibetan, representing the Tibetan Mastiff’s radiant and warm-hearted nature.
  • Simba: Inspired by the Swahili word for “lion,” this name embodies the Tibetan Mastiff’s courageous and noble spirit.
  • Kyi: A Tibetan name meaning “fearless,” matching the Tibetan Mastiff’s brave and confident disposition.
  • Mei Ling: This name signifies “beautiful” or “delicate” in Mandarin, reflecting the Tibetan Mastiff’s graceful and elegant nature.
  • Tenzin: Inspired by the Tibetan name meaning “holder of teachings,” this name represents the Tibetan Mastiff’s wise and thoughtful demeanor.
  • Odin: A name that embodies strength and wisdom, fitting for the Tibetan Mastiff’s powerful and intelligent character.

These names capture the essence of Tibetan Mastiffs, highlighting their strength, loyalty and regal nature. They provide a fitting identity for these majestic and independent companions.


Over the years, some Tibetan Mastiffs have become famous for their appearances in movies, their incredible feats or for being owned by famous people. Here are some of the most famous Tibetan Mastiffs of all time:

  1. Yangtze River Number Two – This Tibetan Mastiff was sold for a record-breaking $1.5 million in 2014, making him the most expensive dog in the world at the time.
  2. Genghis Khan – This Tibetan Mastiff was owned by the famous actor and martial artist Jackie Chan.
  3. Koufax – This Tibetan Mastiff appeared in the movie “The Last Samurai” alongside Tom Cruise.
  4. Hong Dong – This Tibetan Mastiff was once considered the world’s most expensive dog, selling for $1.9 million in 2011.
  5. Himalaya – This Tibetan Mastiff was the star of the movie “Himalaya” and won numerous awards for his performance.
  6. Do-Khyi – This Tibetan Mastiff was owned by the Dalai Lama and was famous for his fierce loyalty and protective nature.
  7. Big Splash – This Tibetan Mastiff was the winner of the World Dog Show in 2012 and is considered one of the most impressive Tibetan Mastiffs in the world.


Tibetan Mastiff is a large breed of dog that originated in Tibet. It is known for its protective nature and is often used as a guard dog. The Tibetan Mastiff is a powerful and muscular dog with a thick coat that comes in a variety of colors. It is a loyal and devoted companion that has courage and independence.

The Tibetan Mastiff has a strong personality and can be stubborn at times. It is a confident and self-assured dog that requires a firm and consistent owner. It is also a highly intelligent dog that requires mental stimulation and training.

The Tibetan Mastiff has a long history in Tibet, where it was used to protect flocks of sheep and goats from predators. It was also used as a guard dog for monasteries and palaces. Today, the Tibetan Mastiff is a popular breed in many parts of the world, including the United States.

As a pet, the Tibetan Mastiff can make a great companion for the right owner. It is a loyal and protective dog that will bond closely with its family. However, it requires a lot of space and exercise, so it may not be suitable for apartment living. It also requires regular grooming to maintain its thick coat. Overall, the Tibetan Mastiff is a unique and impressive breed that can make a great pet for the right owner.