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Tibetan Mastiff Dog Breed: The Big Guard Dog [Ultimate Guide]  


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05/12/2017 2:47 am  

Tibetan Mastiff Dog Breed: The Big Guard Dog [Ultimate Guide]

  • Tibetan Mastiff: The big guard dog

Hello hello friends, I am back today, with an article about the beautiful breed that is the Tibetan Mastiff. This breed has a special place in my heart, since I am, and will always be, a “massive dogs” lover, and well, calling the Tibetan Mastiff massive is a euphemism.

This magnificent breed (which, by my humble opinion, looks like a cool Pokemon) is truly a beauty, with its muscular body, long coat, beautiful color, and noble presence. But it is not just that, this dog also a loyal companion to its owner, patient, loving, and makes for a gentle presence in the house, even though its hugeness might scare your at first.

Being a large dog breed, the Tibetan Mastiff is also strong, fearless, and especially loyal to its masters. So, if you adopt one, be sure that you’re adopting a companion for life.

Tibetan Mastiff is one of the most fluffy dog breeds

The Tibetan Mastiff puppy is one of the fluffiest dogs around.

If you’re here, it means you’re thinking about adopting a Tibetan Mastiff, and well, you’re in the right place. In this article, you will find all the information you need about this large dog breed, from origin, to temperament, to tips about how to raise this beautiful animal.

The Origins of the Tibetan Mastiff

The Tibetan Mastiff is one of the largest dog breeds in the world. It’s also the most expensive one. As its name indicates, it was developed in Tibet, centuries ago, and was used mainly as a guard dog (for both property and livestock).

Surprisingly enough, there are no formal records of the Tibetan Mastiff’s history, beside some oral stories and legends. This breed is known as being the oldest and most ferocious in the world, which makes it of great interest for all dog enthusiasts.

The Tibetan Mastiff remained largely primitive and unchanged throughout history, which makes it even more fascinating. You see, most dog breeds changed in the course of the centuries, but not this one; it stayed the same (with some slight changes here and there, thanks to evolution),despite it being the oldest breed known to man.

This dog was bred for one single purpose: guarding, not only a house or livestock, but also its owner. And this is why the Tibetan Mastiff is one of the most loyal dogs there is.

Tibetan Mastiff is one of the largest dog breeds

The Tibetan Mastiff is a large dog that inspires respect.

Photo credit: melanie_ko / CC BY

Tibetan Mastiff Characteristics

General Appearance

The Tibetan Mastiff is a massive dog with a large head, a bone structure that’s extremely heavy, and thick, long coat of multiple colors. Some people might look at this breed and see a bear, and they’re not wrong, since the head of this dog is often described as bear-like.

The Tibetan Mastiff’s teeth are usually strong, and its nose pitch black. The dog’s coat is thick and forms a lion-like mane around its neck, with short hair on its head.

Tibetan Mastiffs come in different colors, which are: brown, black, gold, or even blue. Some dogs might also have markings over their eyes, near the muzzle, on the forelegs, rear legs, and throat. Rare kinds of this breed also have white markings on their chest and feet.

Tibetan Mastiff Built, Weight, and Size

The Tibetan Mastiff thrives in a cold environment.

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The Built of a Tibetan Mastiff

When it comes to weight and size, the Tibetan Mastiff is of course on the large size. Indeed, and adult male from this large breed can stand taller than 66 cm on the shoulder, and a female should be taller than 60 cm. There is no weight standard for the Tibetan Mastiff, but it should at the very least weigh from 45 to 77 kg (told you it was massive, so don’t let it sit on you, unless you want to die choked by a big ball of fluff).

As we know, large breeds don’t tend to live long, since they are subject to more diseases than their smaller counterparts. But still, Tibetan Mastiffs live pretty long, between 12 to 15 years.

The built of a Tibetan Mastiff

The Tibetan Mastiff is one of the most beautiful breeds of dogs.

Photo credit: Jennifer Natali / CC BY-NC-SA

The Tibetan Mastiff’s Coat

This large breed has a thick double coat, which is perfect for the harsh and cold environment this dog evolves in. The hair on his coat is always straight, and if it’s even just slightly wavy, you might want to take a trip to the vet.

If you have a male Tibetan Mastiff, you will notice that his fur is thicker and heavier than this of his female counterpart.

As I already said earlier, this breed comes in different colors: Brown, blue, gold and black. This dog can even sport some white marks on many parts of its huge body.

The Tibetan Mastiff isn’t hypoallergenic, so you should avoid it if you have or suspect you have allergies.

The Tibetan Mastiff’s coat

The Tibetan Mastiff looks scary, but is actually a loving dog.

Photo credit: mastino0100 / CC BY-NC-ND

How to Groom a Tibetan Mastiff

You should brush your dog’s coat two to three times a week to avoid dead and loose hair piling up on its fur. Tibetan Mastiffs are very light shedders, and depending on the climate of where you live, they might not shed for some months of the year.

When it comes to bathing, they only need it once every three to five weeks.

What about the teeth, you might ask? Well, they should be brushed once a week. When it comes to nail, the best thing to do is trimming them once per month.

If you’re not sure how, ask your veterinarian, they will show you the right way to do it.

How to groom a Tibetan Mastiff

No wonder this is the most expensive dog in the world, look at how beautiful and dignified it is!

Photo credit: mastino0100 / CC BY-NC-ND

The Temperament of the Tibetan Mastiff

Being bred as a guard dog, the Tibetan Mastiff is loyal and protective, but can be a little strong headed and independent too, you can’t get one without the other. They are reliable dogs who are very alert, but have lost their aggressiveness, which makes them the perfect companions for children who have been taught to respect the dog’s space.

Since the Tibetan Mastiff is pretty territorial, it is possible that he can be suspicious of a stranger when they first meet them, which is why a secure fence yard is more than encouraged for your house.

As I wrote before, the Tibetan Mastiff is strongly independent and stubborn, that doesn’t like showing any obedience to humans or other dogs, unless they’re thoroughly trained to do so.

The temperament of the Tibetan Mastiff

The Tibetan Mastiff is a very calm dog.

Photo credit: mastino0100 / CC BY-NC-ND

For thousands of years, this primitive breed has learnt to guard, work, patrol, and dominate, and you should be aware that these aspects do not change with training.

This breed of dogs also requires an interactive relationship with its owner, and a lot of socialization. This dog needs to be introduced to many people, different places and situations during puppyhood, in order to grow up well-adjusted to human beings, confident, and reliable.

One important thing to know is that the Tibetan Mastiff likes his routine. Familiar environment is the best for this breed to thrive, so try and avoid things such as loud voices, turbulent lifestyles, frequent arguments, and other things that might result in undermining the confidence of your dog.

For more info about Tibetan Mastiff, watch this video:

Tibetan Mastiff and Aggressiveness

One thing people are afraid of before first adopting a Tibetan Mastiff is this dog’s aggressiveness. Being a fairly large breed, people are afraid a dog like this might be dangerous to be around, but fear not, unless you’re a same sex dog as a Tibetan Mastiff living around you (which I doubt you are), he will not be aggressive towards you.

However, if your Tibetan Mastiff is around a same-sex dog the same age as him, there might be some friction, since they will both want to vie for dominance.

What About Training?

Training your dog since puppyhood is an important thing to do, not only to ensure a good life for him but also for everyone around him.

Your Tibetan Mastiff should be trained to respect you, his owner, since he’s a puppy. He also should be well socialized so he won’t be aggressive towards other people, children, or dogs.

Want to know more about how to train your dog? Check out this guide.

And watch this video (basic obedience training of a female Tibetan Mastiff puppy):

What to Feed Your Tibetan Mastiff

Tibetan Mastiff nutrition

Puppy Tibetan Mastiffs need to be well fed.

Photo credit: brentolson / CC BY-NC

Your dog’s diet should be healthy and nutritious, from puppyhood onward. Try giving your dog natural food instead of packed one, such as vegetable soups or meat. Being such a big dog, the Tibetan Mastiff demands a lot of nutrients to keep its body healthy. Here’s an example of a Tibetan Mastiff’s diet.

For a Puppy Tibetan Mastiff (age from 3 to 6 months)

  • Soft food, especially milk till 6 weeks old, is important for your puppy’s health.
  • Between 8 to 12 weeks, feed your Tibetan Mastiff twice a day.
  • Your puppy can eat food such as: eggs, boiled vegetables, bread, milk etc... Remember not to give your puppy more than 1/3 cups per meal per day.

For a Mature Tibetan Mastiff (age from 6 to 12 months)

  • Even if your puppy starts gaining maturity, continue feeding it 2 times a day.
  • Now that your puppy is not a puppy anymore, you will need to add food rich in protein in its diet. It can be lean meat, eggs, liver, red meat bones, boiled green vegetables etc…
  • Also, don’t forget to give chewing bones to your Tibetan Mastiff dog as it can act as a snack. It also helps in establishing wide jaws for your dog.

For an Adult Tibetan Mastiff (age from 1 to 8 years)

  • When your dog has completed the life span of one year, it is no longer considered a mature Tibetan Mastiff, but a full adult one. Your dog still needs to be fed twice a day (as I wrote before, this massive dog needs a lot of energy).
  • Keep including food such as lean meat, eggs, fruits, and boiled vegetables in your Tibetan Mastiff’s diet.

For a Senior Tibetan Mastiff (age 8 and above)

  • Keep feeding your Tibetan Mastiff dog twice a day.
  • You need to keep feeding your dog aliments such as boiled chicken, vegetables, eggs, fruits etc…

As you can see, a Tibetan Mastiff needs to keep a regular diet in order to stay healthy and avoid diseases. Of course, you should always take advice from your veterinarian to know which kind of food suits your dog the most. After all, each dog is unique.

Check out our article about what human food you CAN feed your dog and what you CANNOT!

Some Tibetan Mastiff Mixes

Like every other breed of dogs, the Tibetan Mastiff has been mixed with other dogs, which has resulted in some pretty astonishing and beautiful animals.

Tibetan Mastiff mixes

Whatever breed the Tibetan Mastiff is paired with, the result is sure to be massive and beautiful.

Photo credit: Jennifer Natali / CC BY-NC-SA

Mastiff Labrador

Or Mastador (damn, that’s a cool name), this mix between the Tibetan Mastiff and the Labrador is pretty huge. This dog is a great family dog, obtaining the best traits from both its parent breeds.

Tibetan Mastiff Labrador mix

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Mastiff Husky

Tibetan Mastiff Siberian Husky mix

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A combination between a Tibetan Mastiff and Siberian husky; this dog breaths and lives nobility. Large, beautiful, and calm, it’s the perfect family dog for those who have a big house.

Mastiff German Shepherd

Another great combination (I think all combinations with a Mastiff end up creating amazing dogs).

As the other mixes, they are great family dogs who need the outdoors to thrive.

German Shepherd Tibetan Mastiff mix

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Tibetan Mastiff Great Dane mix

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The Daniff (pretty cool name) is the mix of a Tibetan Mastiff and a Great Dane, which makes for a fairly big dog who’s also great with people and can be a pretty good guard dog.

The Price of a Tibetan Mastiff

Tibetan Mastiffs are known for being the most expensive dogs in the world; especially since pure race ones are scarce. Those dogs, who are said to have lion’s blood, cost up to 1500$ as puppies, which is astonishing, right?


As every other breed of dogs, the Tibetan Mastiff has his own pros and cons, and you need to know then if you ever want to adopt this dog, because after all, you’re adopting a life.

Tibetan Mastiff puppy

A puppy Tibetan mastiff is all you need in life.

Photo credit: ccho / CC BY-NC-ND

Tibetan Mastiff: Pros & Cons


  • Has a beautiful coat that comes in a variety of colors.
  • Calm and dignified.
  • Quiet indoors.
  • The Tibetan Mastiff is an outdoor dog, so if you’re into connecting with nature, this is the perfect dog for you, my friend!
  • Huge, and thus imposing, but without being aggressive.
  • If well trained, the Tibetan Mastiff is an excellent family pet and gets along with children like no other. He will also always protect them and see that no harm is done to them.


  • Being large, the Tibetan Mastiff takes a lot of space.
  • Requires constant training, socialization, and supervision.
  • Can be aggressive towards other same-sex dogs.
  • Very strong headed.
  • Barks a lot.

In the end:

Tibetan Mastiff pros and cons

Treat your Tibetan Mastiff well and he will do the same.

Photo credit: brentolson / CC BY-NC