Breed Family: Mountain Dog
Country of Origin: Tibet
Size: Large, height 61-71cm, weight 64-78kg
Also Known as: Do-Khyi
Lifespan: 10-15 years
Care Requirements: Medium
Exercise Requirements: Medium
General information and Appearance
The Tibetan Mastiff is a large, intimidating dog descended from ancient breeds in the Himalayas. Originally used as a guard dog, this breed is independent and powerful. They are quiet, but incredibly protective.
This breed is large, well muscled, thick and heavy. The thick hair adds to its vast appearance. Sturdy and strong, the dog has a thick chest and arched neck. The dog has cat-like feet, and stands constantly alert. The head can be a little wrinkled and the muzzle is broad and square. This breed has dark, almond-shaped eyes and generally has an alert, yet calm appearance. The overall impression of this dog is noble and intelligent.
These dogs have a double-coat for warmth and fullness. The undercoat is soft and woolly. The undercoat will shed in the warmer months to reduce insulation. The hairs of the outer coat are fine but numerous. The hairs stand straight on head in many places and many dogs of this breed have a spiky mane about their necks. Coat colours include black, brown and grey. Sometimes, these dogs have tan, white or golden markings.
While this confident breed is not exuberant, hyperactive or energetic, it is usually alert and aware of its surroundings. This dog generally gives off a calm and dignified air when hanging around the house.
Tibetan Mastiffs are large and powerful, but have only an average amount of energy. A daily, long walk will meet most of their exercise requirements. Generally, this calm dog spends most of its time laying about the house and relaxing. If it senses a threat, however, the dog is extremely agile and powerful. For this reason, care must be taken when introducing strangers as this breed has one of the strongest protective instincts of any dog.
This breed is a wonderful family addition, as long as it is trained properly. Particular care must be taken when training this noble dog. It is essential for this dog to have a pack leader. The training should be firm and consistent but very harsh. A Tibetan Mastiff that feels it is mistreated will become mean and stubborn. The dog needs to understand it is not the alpha. This training will prevent them from being overly aggressive, particularly with strangers. Once these dogs are trained gently, they will be eager to please their owners and will be very well behaved, calm and docile.
Tibetan dogs are generally very well bred and suffer from few genetic health problems. Problems sometimes seen in this breed are hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism, skin irritations, entropion, epilepsy, ear infections and CIDN. In the case of CIDN, this illness presents when the puppy is 7 to 10 months and usually death occurs by 4 months. As a result, talking with a breeder first can prevent the heartache of a lost puppy. Breeders in Australia take their bloodlines very seriously and do all they can to prevent the spread of genetic illness in their dogs. In breeder research, inquiring about these health concerns is always a good idea.
Grooming and Care
This dog has a very thick and full coat that requires regular brushing. During warm weather transitions, this coat will shed heavily, during which extra hair removal by brushing may be necessary. These dogs can actually be good for allergy sufferers as they are not constant shedders. In addition, the hairs usually shed odour, giving this dog a more pleasant aroma than other similarly sized dogs.
Suitability as Pet In Australia
Tibetan Mastiffs are excellent family pets. They are dignified and can sometimes be aloof, but they are also protective and loving. They are relatively easy to take care of, as they are independent and enjoy relaxing most of the day.
These dogs can also serve as flock guardians because they will not be afraid of potential threats to the flock. They would enjoy life in a large space with land to protect. This dog is a bit large for life in and apartment or flat, but they can do well in a house with a yard.
This breed can be trained to be less aggressive around strangers, but generally even well trained dogs will act aloof with new people. If left outside, they will bark all night at potential intruders, but generally they stay quiet indoors. Even the best-trained dogs of this breed will still be wilful and independent. Giving too much leeway can be a mistake with this dog. As such, they are not recommended for inexperienced dog owners.
Tibetan Mastiff – Do-Khyi Organisations in Australia
Association of All Mastiff Breeds of Victoria
Tibetan Mastiff – Do-Khyi Organisations in the UK
Welcome – The Tibetan Mastiff Club of Great Britain
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