The Tibetan Mastiff is a rare and ancient dog that originated from Tibet and the neighboring regions that practice a nomadic culture. The history of the Tibetan Mastiff can be traced back to the bronze or stone age, and it is believed that it is the ascendant of most of the Mastiff breeds known today.
The Tibetan Mastiff is a large breed of dog, a heavier form of Mastiff and a moderately sized mountain type. It has a sturdy bone structure with a large and wide head that makes it look larger than dogs of similar height. The Tibetan Mastiff has a double coat in colors that range from solid black to black and tan, to different shades of gold and sometimes dilutes of gray and brown. The Tibetan Mastiff that has a white patch or star on the chest shows a brave heart. This breed of dog has a smoother brow than other Mastiffs, and its mouth is drier as well. It has a double coat that sheds once a year.
Being a social dog, the Tibetan Mastiff loves canine company in a spacious and fenced yard. Because of its size and need for space, it is not suitable for apartment living. It is easy going but aloof with strangers. The Tibetan Mastiff is prized as a guard dog because it is attentive and courageous. In the past, Tibetan Mastiffs were mostly used as sheep guards to keep predators at bay, and also nocturnal sentries to ward off intruders with all-night barking. In some cases, one Tibetan Mastiff was used to guard a whole village.
The Tibetan Mastiff is easy to maintain when it is not molting. Its molting period is 10-15 minutes, a few times a week. However, it usually has a summer molt once a year, between the months of April and July, lasting for up to 6-8 weeks. This is done to blow its undercoat out, which will come out in clumps of wool. During this time, the Tibetan Mastiff has to be heavily raked or groomed. The winter coat then starts growing in August and September.
As puppies, Tibetan Mastiffs need a nutritious diet to ensure that their bones and joints are properly formed. You should add supplements to their diet only when necessary; otherwise, it will do more harm than good. Moreover, protein levels should not exceed 20-22% of their normal diet.
When compared to the other breeds of Mastiffs, the Tibetan Mastiff has a lower incidence of genetic health problems. However, it may suffer from entropion or ectropion, hypothyroidism, skin problems like allergies, malocclusion, missing teeth, progressive retinal atrophy and cardiac problems. It also has small ear canals that are more prone to infection. Like other giant breeds, the Tibetan Mastiff also suffers from elbow or hip dysplasia. However, this is not considered a major problem.