Tibetan Mastiff, also known as the Do-Khyi, is an ancient breed who served as both a herding dog and a guardian dog for the nomads of Tibet and a watchdog at the Tibetan monasteries. There are many varieties of this breed (from the sheep-herding varieties to the heavier-boned Mastiff ones), as working performance and physical soundness were historically much more important than physical characteristics.
The large Mastiff variety of this breed (the better-known variety) stands from 24 to 30 inches tall and weighs 80 to 160 pounds. The head is broad and heavy, with a broad muzzle, medium-sized eyes, and pendant ears. The body is strong, with a deep chest and a medium-length tail that is carried high and curled over the back. The undercoat is wooly, while the outer coat is thick and dense. The coat may black, blue, or brown, with or without tan markings. This Tibetan Mastiff dog breed’s coat requires twice weekly brushing for most of the year. However, the coat does shed, and when it does, daily brushing will help keep the hair in the house under control.
The Tibetan Mastiff is not an overly active dog breed and will do well with daily walks and a chance to play in the yard. Tibetan Mastiff puppies are more active than adults and, without exercise, can be destructive. Socialization is very important, as this breed is quite watchful and protective. These dogs should meet a variety of people and other dogs, both in a puppy class and out on walks. Training can be challenging, as these dogs can be quite independent and sometimes stubborn. However, if the training is firm and structured, yet fun and upbeat, this breed can be trained.
Tibetan Mastiffs need experienced dog owners. They are protective, and the owners must have control. They can be good with children but may not understand rough play. They are good with other family dogs but will not tolerate strange dogs. Health concerns include hip and elbow dysplasia, eye problems, and thyroid disease.
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The Tibetan Mastiff needs an experienced trainer to train. This breed is harder to train when compared to the other breeds. They are head strong and are a little slow in learning when compared to other breeds. So be ready to be extra patient with this breed when it comes to training.
The first and the foremost thing that you have to remember about the Tibetan Mastiff is that it needs to be socialized with all other pets and children to ensure compatibility in the other longer run. This will be the first step towards training your giant Mastiff. These dogs have a strong sense of guarding their own flock. So they need to be socialized early with other pets and children as they will not take kindly to people outside their own flock.
You need patience when it comes to training the Tibetan Mastiff. You might have to repeat a command multiple times, it has to be kept in mind that they are a little slow in growth, contrary to other dogs they take at least three to five years to mature completely. Once fully trained the Tibetan Mastiff will not only protect you but will be your faithful accomplice. The positive reinforcement method will be the best form of training for this pet. In earlier times the Tibetan Mastiff and the Lhasa Apso worked in a team in the highlands of Tibet. The Lhasa as an excellent watchdog would sound an alarm whenever there was an intruder in its grounds and the Mastiff would go off to investigate.
The Tibetan Mastiff is a fearless and courageous dog. They are mammoth in size but have an even temperament. This breed is fiercely loyal to the family and this makes them the perfect guard dogs. They can exert tremendous power and at times are not afraid to exert it when there is a need. These Mastiffs might not show their affection but be rest assured that they will go to any lengths to protect their owners.
There were bred to be the guardians of the flock especially against invaders such as the wolves, leopards and other animals. They retain this streak till date. They are fun with children and love to spend time with them but you have to remember that their size can become a hindrance with very small children as they can topple them with a wag or there can be times when the dog will not know as to how to deal with children.
Tibetan Mastiffs can be vary of strangers so you have to remember to socialize them early. This large breed dog is not for everyone it is recommended only for experienced owners. An inexperienced owner might not know how to deal with him or her. They might take their aloofness as stubbornness and do not know how to deal with them.
The most important thing that you will have to remember about your Tibetan Mastiff is that it needs to be kept in a fenced yard. This is what many term as a guardian dog breed and it is not advisable to leave him leash free outside. These dogs have a strong trait to roam around the house and are fiercely protective about their home and family and will not take kindly to strangers.
Tibetan Mastiffs are definitely not for the first time owners, it will take an experienced owner to ensure that this escape artist does not turn to destructive behavior, which is mostly caused by boredom and anxiety. The other thing to keep in mind is that apartment is not an option for this breed. This breed suffers from nocturnal barking, this can be a cause for complain from your neighbors. The Tibetan Mastiff is not a breed that will thrive in hot and humid conditions; they were bred in the mountains. They do best in cold climates and if you are bent on keeping them in a warmer environment then be ready to rake up those high electricity bills with continuous air conditioning running.