Tibetan Mastiff Dog Breed

By: Chewy EditorialPublished:


Tibetan Mastiff Dog Breed

About the Tibetan Mastiff Dog Breed

Impressively large, the Tibetan Mastiff was originally bred to guard villages. Although the origins of the Tibetan Mastiff remain a mystery, it is thought to be one of the most influential and ancient dog breeds.

See photos of the Tibetan Mastiff.

Tibetan Mastiff Physical Characteristics

The Tibetan Mastiff is a large and strong dog breed. Its head is massive with folded ears and droopy lips. Its tail, meanwhile, is long and bushy.


The Tibetan Mastiff is most commonly seen in black, brown, gold, black and tan, shades of gray and blue.


The Tibetan Mastiff has a heavy and thick overcoat and a thick wooly undercoat. Often this longer coat covering the head and neck is described as mane-like.

Tibetan Mastiff Personality and Temperament

Activity Level



The Tibetan Mastiff is loyal and loving to its human family. It offers good protection from strangers and if socialized at an early age, can behave well with kids and other animals.

Things to Consider

The Tibetan Mastiff can act aggressive toward strangers, especially if it does not undergo proper dog obedience training.

Tibetan Mastiff Care

Ideal Living Conditions

The Tibetan Mastiff fares the best in the country.

Special Requirements

The Tibetan Mastiff requires special grooming attention.

Tibetan Mastiff Health

The following conditions are commonly seen in Tibetan Mastiffs:

Tibetan Mastiff History and Background

The origins of the Tibetan Mastiff have been lost, even though it is thought to be one of the most influential and ancient breeds. According to archaeological records, remains of massive dogs dating back to 1100 B.C. were found in China. These dogs may have moved with Genghis Khan and Attila the Hun, thereby providing original stock for the Tibetan Mastiff in Central Asia.

Nomadic peoples distributed the dogs, but were mostly kept in isolated pockets due to the high mountains that separated the valley and plateaus. Most were used as hardy guard dogs for the local monasteries and villages. At night, the dogs were allowed to roam the village, but during the day they were kept inside or chained to gates.

The dog breed was first introduced outside its native home in 1847, when the Viceroy of India gifted Siring, a large Tibetan dog, to Queen Victoria. In 1874, the breed gained a good deal of exposure when the Prince of Wales imported two specimens and displayed them in a dog show. However, it wasn’t until 1931 that the Tibetan Breeds Association in England formulated a standard for the breed.

After China’s invasion of Tibet in the 1950s, only a few of the dogs remained. The dogs survived by escaping to bordering nations or remaining in isolated mountain villages.

In the 1970s, stock from India and Nepal was brought to develop breeding programs in the United States. As the imports arrived from a variety of genetic bases, the breed has different styles and sizes today. Some function as livestock protectors, while most are kept as family guardians and companions.

In 2005, the American Kennel Club placed the Tibetan Mastiff into its Miscellaneous class.

By: Chewy Editorial


By: Chewy EditorialPublished:

New Dog