Tibetan Mastiff

Find out everything about the behavior, character, activity and exercise needs, training, and care of the Tibetan Mastiff dog breed in the profile.

The Tibetan Mastiff looks back on ancient history and has always been the livestock guardian dog of the nomadic herdsmen in the Himalayas. He also served Tibetan monks as a guard dog. This race already existed in ancient times, it was already mentioned by Aristotle. The Tibetan Mastiff also appears in Marco Polo’s writings (he traveled to Asia in 1271). Some cynologists believe that the origin of all-mountain dogs lies in the breed. In 1847 Queen Victoria received a Tibetan Mastiff from India.

General Appearance

The Tibetan Mastiff has a powerful, heavy appearance with a strong physique. The strong head must be broad and heavy. The medium-sized eyes are brown in color. The ears are also medium-sized, triangular, and drooping. The well-feathered tail is of medium length, set high and curled loosely. The coat is harsh and thick, with a dense undercoat, and is of the following colors: jet black with or without tan markings, blue with or without tan markings, and all shades of gold.

Behavior and temperament

The Tibetan Mastiff is extremely loyal to its pack and its territory – but not easy to get as a livestock guardian dog. He acts very independently and then likes to ignore orders, he is considered to be very independent. This breed does not submit easily. But that does not mean that he is aggressive – he is considered to be very good-natured towards his people. He commands respect from strangers easily and has a strong protective instinct.

Need for employment and physical activity

Like any dog, the Tibetan Mastiff needs enough exercise, but should also have a meaningful task and, as a livestock guardian dog, would like to have something to “guard”. Here, however, the protective instinct must be steered in the right direction; This breed should not be kept in the city, as there are too many external stimuli that the Tibetan Mastiff thinks he has to watch out for. He is only suitable for dog sports to a limited extent, as he is not necessarily the classic recipient of orders and prefers to act independently.


First of all: This breed is by no means a dog for beginners. On the contrary, you should have some dog experience to get along with this livestock guardian dog. A Tibetan Mastiff has a thick skin in the truest sense of the word and likes to simply “ignore” commands if he thinks that there is something to protect at the moment. He prefers to act independently instead of subordinating himself, which is not always easy when it comes to upbringing. Consistency is all the more important, starting with puppy legs. In addition, a Tibetan Mastiff needs to be well socialized, also in a consistent but loving manner. Then he will be loyal to his pack, but only to this one, and will be a good-natured housemate. However, he does not lose his protective instinct towards strangers, which is why caution is called for here.


The fine, but nevertheless hard and medium-length top coat must be brushed regularly so that it does not feel. The thick hair on the neck and shoulders, which looks like a mane, requires very special care. Despite brushing, the hair never gets a silky appearance.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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