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Tibetan Mastiff Breed Information

Information and History:

TM Cigarette CardThe Tibetan Mastiff is an ancient breed of dog from Central Asia. It is one of the world’s oldest pure bred dogs originating from the Tibetan plateau and surrounding Himalayan region and dates back to almost three thousand years. For many centuries these dogs guarded Tibetan monasteries, flocks and villages. Their loud barking made them the ideal watchdog.

There is much mystique surrounding the Tibetan Mastiff. The legendary creature of cold, harsh environs with its powerful appearance and noble character holds great prominence in Tibetan culture and history. The TM was a family member, a protector of livestock and a frightening ‘gatekeeper’ of the village.

The Tibetan Mastiff, belonging to the Molosser group of dog was introduced to the western world in the 19th century and western breeding began in the 1970s. TMs are now owned and loved across the world. The person who respects the breeds' independence and sense of self will suit the TM character and from there mutual respect and admiration will grow and a very strong bond will endure.


The Tibetan Mastiff is a powerfully built dog of unrivaled presence. The manner in which he holds himself – with dignity, the way he stands – steady, firm and strong and his ‘in control’, calm manner all add to the vision of this dog.

TM Cigarette CardRarely will you see a dog with more magnetism and utter confidence. Other breeds may be larger in size, yet seem smaller in stature. A true TM will have onlookers mesmerized.

The coat which is shed once a year, generally in late spring or early summer, comes in a variety of colours; black, black and tan, various shades of gold and gold sable and varied tones of grey. Markings of grey or tan often appear above the eyes, the chest, lower parts and fore and hind legs and the underside of the tail. The tail with its plume-like feathery appearance is an impressive feature of the Tibetan Mastiff as is the thick rough around the neck and shoulders.

The general appearance of the TM is powerful, heavy, well built, with good bone, impressive; of solemn but kindly appearance.


The minimum height at shoulder for Males is 26 inches 66 cms and females: 24 inches 61 cms. There is no upper limit.

There is no limit of weight.
Given their size, the life span of the Tibetan Mastiff is an excellent 10 - 12 years.


Tibetan Woman & TMTo some people, meeting a TM for the first time can be quite an intimidating experience possibly because of their majestic appearance and air of aloofness. However on further acquaintance they will discover a delightful dog that is sweet natured, affectionate, playful, mischievous, curious and very gentle to both people and other animals.

TMs are very serious about guarding and will bark loudly should someone walk by while they are on duty at the front gate. They may also bark at strangers and sometimes even visitors until they are shown, through the actions of their owner, (with whom they have a solid bond) that there is no threat with which to contend.


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