Tibetan Mastiff Appearance
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A noble breed with an impressive stature, the Tibetan Mastiff is a hardy dog with a magnificently lush coat. Their thick double-coats are indicative of their origins from the harsh mountainous climates of Tibet. The top coat consists of long, coarse hair to help protect them from the elements and a heavier, wooly undercoat regulates body temperature. The long hair around their head and neck often resembles a lion’s mane when left untrimmed. The Tibetan Mastiff’s coat can be a wide variety of colors such as solid black, shades of red, blue, as well as black and tan combinations. They carry broad, muscular bodies with an athletic appearance and stand on slightly rounded, cat-like feet. Their long, fluffy tail is usually carried high over their backs with a slight curl. With strong facial features and heavy brows, the Tibetan Mastiff has very expressive eyes and an intelligent, watchful gaze. They have pendulant ears and a wide mouth. At full size, they stand between 24-30 inches tall and can weigh 80-160 lbs., relative to their height. With proper love and care, Tibetan Mastiffs typically live to be between 10-14 years of age.
Tibetan Mastiff Grooming
With a great coat comes great responsibility! While these pups have beautifully lush coats, they require regular maintenance to keep them looking great and feeling healthy. Grooming can be a great bonding experience for both pooch and master; begin grooming early and always reward good behavior to ensure grooming is regarded as a positive event. The thick double-coat typically won’t hold any unpleasant doggy odors unless they’ve gotten into some filthy fun. An occasional bath will help them freshen up and remove any lingering messes they may have made. Tibetan Mastiff’s will continually shed throughout the year and this shedding will greatly increase twice a year when transitioning between seasons. It is very important to maintain regular grooming year round and even more so during those heavier shedding times to help remove excess fur and prevent painful matting and tangling. Their adorably floppy ears are unfortunately a great breeding ground for bacteria and should also be cared for regularly to avoid infection. Simply wiping the underside of their ears with a damp cloth will help rid them of any grime lurking inside. Trimming their long, thick nails is also recommended if they are not naturally filed down during daily activity.
Tibetan Mastiff Temperament
They are loyal family guardians who quickly develop protective bonds to their family. A strong sense of independence coupled with keen intelligence often results in stubborn behavior from the Tibetan Mastiff. Proper obedience training will help curb defiant attitudes later on when presented with a task or command they don’t care to obey. They are inherently wary and distrustful of strangers and need to be socialized early on in puppyhood in order to reduce their aggression but still maintain a healthy amount of stranger danger. Even with healthy socialization, Tibetan Mastiffs are not the best pet for a socialite as they usually won’t welcome people into their home. Highly protective of their loved ones and territory, they often view strangers as threats. They will often get along with children that they’ve been raised with, but adult supervision is recommended especially when playing with children they don’t know. The rambunctious running, yelling, and excited play of children can be interpreted as acts of aggression by the Tibetan Mastiff. A moderately active pooch, they require daily exercise such as taking a walk, playing out in the yard, or trips to a dog park or beach. When properly exercised, they will often be relaxed and stay calm when indoors. They require plenty of room to stretch out and will not be happy with apartment life. When placed with the right family, the Tibetan Mastiff will make a great and loving companion.
Tibetan Mastiff Training
It’s imperative that an owner of this breed is able to be assertive and maintain their position as leader of the pack. The Tibetan Mastiff will often challenge others and try to assert themselves over their owner in an attempt to become top dog. If the owner of a Tibetan Mastiff doesn’t maintain consistent and effective training methods, the dog will simply ignore commands and will behave however they please. This can result in destructive, unsafe behaviors which may ultimately lead to dangerous situations. Begin training early and start with basic obedience lessons in order to help establish acceptable behavior. Keeping the pup on their leash is important to prevent them from running away and getting into trouble when out and about. When meeting new pups and people, staying on a leash is usually best to avoid altercations and wild chasing.
Tibetan Mastiff History
Like many breeds of today, there isn’t much concrete evidence of the Tibetan Mastiff before the late 19th century. Mastiff is a term used to categorize dog breeds who are large strong and have drooping ears and pendulous lips. A recent mitogenome study revealed that mastiff breeds actually originated in Tibet over 5,000 years ago and today’s Tibetan Mastiffs are the descendants of those early breeds. Different tasks split the breed into slightly different branches; those who traveled nomadic shepherds and lived as family guardians were slightly smaller while larger mastiffs were typically utilized as guardians for Tibetan Buddhist monks.