Originating with the nomads of Tibet, Nepal, China and Central Asia as a guardian dog, the giant breed Tibetan Mastiff, as a pet, would be a huge commitment. This highly intelligent and independent-natured, muscular, long-coated, black-nosed, moderately-dewlapped dog comes in many colors, with the males having more prominent facial skin folds.
|Other Names||Do-Khyi, Tsang-khyi|
|Color||Red, brown, black and tan, grey, blue, white|
|Group (of Breed)||Working|
|Lifespan||10 to 14 years|
|Weight||140 to 180 pounds|
||Large; 25 to 28 inches|
|Shedding||Heavy (once a year)|
|Temperament||Independent, protective, aggressive, loyal, courageous|
|Good with Children||Yes|
|Litters||5 to 12 puppies at a time|
|Gestation Period||58 to 63 days|
|Health Concerns||Canine Hip Dysplasia (CHD), Osteochondrosis Dissecans (OCD), Autoimmune Hypothyroidism, Elbow Dysplasia, Canine Inherited Demyelinative Neuropathy (CIDN), Panosteitis|
|Competitive Registration||CKC, FCI, KCGB, NKC, NZKC, APRI, ACR, DRA, AKC, NAPR, ACA|
The primitive breed, thought to have been existing since 1100 BC, diverging from the wolf 58,000 years back that were later bred by local tribes as companion dog to guard cattle, property, crops and to protect the master from ferocious animals. They were even popular in England until the wars, and were kept as pets by the royals.
With a natural instinct to protect the owner and his property, this thoughtful, courageous, bold, calm, even-tempered dog does well with children and pets, and share an interactive relationship with its master, but is instinctively ferocious to wolves, leopards etc. They bark heavily with or without reason, if kept in an outdoor kennel, although they are quiet indoors, but can be destructive. This same-sex aggressive dog is slow-maturing but sensitive to change. They love cold climate.
The first two years might be exceedingly challenging as a Tibetan Mastiff is a little difficult to train because of its strong willed and stubborn nature, as well as slow maturation process. However, their intelligence and ability to learn quickly can be channelized well by a firm and patient trainer by using positive reinforcement techniques rather than harsh methods.
Socialization training should begin since its puppy hood by introducing it with various people or even animals so that it learns to mingle with them in a friendly way. However, careful supervision is needed to prevent any unpleasant occurrences.
Keeping the Tibetan Mastiff’s ferocity in mind, leash train it at the earliest.
Strangely, this mammoth dog eats very little, as compared to its body weight. This might be because they hail from Tibet, where food was not so easily found in the ancient times. It must be served 4 to 6 cups (or more) of healthy, dry dog food like premium kibble every day, that is 1-2% of the body weight of the dog for a raw or home-prepared diet. The food should be divided into two equal meals. This breed has a requirement for foods high in animal fat, and will not do well only on vegetable fats. But, the mastiff is prone to obesity. Hence, care should be taken that, there is a gap of at least an hour before serving food after exercise, since this might result in bloating. Foods that contain barley, white rice, beet pulp and horse meat is recommended. But avoid giving it ocean fish, citrus products, avocado or potatoes, and mostly, any supplemental vitamin C, which can contribute to kidney and liver damage.
In the west, the Tibetan mastiff is shown under a single standard; however, the Indian breeders have divided the dog into two varieties:
Being the most expensive dog in the world, the popularity and the record sell-prices of the Tibetan Mastiff (including the American bred) have been a matter of speculation and curiosity to all, no matter they are interested to buy one or not. The most expensive one, a Red Tibetan Mastiff named Big Splash, was bought by a Chinese coal baron back in 2011, priced at $1.5 million (10 million Yuan). Average prices vary from country to country or type to type, but adults have also been sold, no matter how big do even the adult Tibetan mastiffs get. An 18-month-old Tibetan mastiff was reportedly bought by a Chinese woman for 4 million Yuan.
Being ferocious and dangerous, the Tibetan Mastiff has been in the news for its violent spells of attack.