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Tibetan Mastiff

A legend from the mountains

Pinscher and Schnauzer - Molossoid Breeds - Swiss Mountain and Cattle Dogs

Original Name : Do-Khyi

Type : Molossoid

Male size : At least 26 inches at the withers

Female size : At least 24 inches at the withers

Degree of grooming :

Countries of origin : China


Tibetan Mastiffs are powerful, well built, generally heavy with good bones. These sober-looking dogs combine imposing strength with a resilience that enables them to work in any climate. They mature slowly. Females take two to three years to fully develop physically, while males take at least four years. Independent and commanding of respect, Tibetan Mastiffs are very loyal to their family and protective of their territory.


Broad, heavy and strong. In adults, there may be a wrinkle extending from above the eyes to the corner of the mouth.



Strong, straight, muscular back, broad, rather flat croup, rather high, moderately broad chest.



Intense black or blue, both with or without tan markings; gold, intense fawn to deep red, sable. All colors must be as pure as possible.



Medium size, triangular, drooping, set between skull and eye.



Medium length, set high in line with the topline, carried high.



Quality is more important than quantity. The coat is harsh, thick with a topcoat of not excessive length.


Tibetan Mastiffs are ancient working dogs of the nomad herders of the Himalayas that became the traditional guard dog of Tibetan monasteries. The breed has been bathed in myth and legend since westerners first saw it back in Antiquity. Everyone from Aristotle (384-322 BC) to Marco-Polo (1271) lauded the breed’s strength and its impressive mental and physical attributes. Even its bark was highly praised as a unique breed characteristic. Many eminent European dog fanciers took an intensive interest in Tibetan Mastiffs, fascinated by its origins and its role in Tibetan culture. Some of them even felt it was the forebear of all large mountain and mastiff breeds.

Did you know ?

Some of the earliest Tibetan Mastiffs in Europe were actually exhibited in Berlin zoo, where a litter was born in 1878. Britain’s Queen Victoria was sent what might have been the very first Tibetan Mastiff by Lord Harding (then Viceroy of India) in 1847.


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