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Be Honest and Ask Yourself:

*Can I make a commitment to have a dog for the term of his life?

The average lifespan of a Tibetan Mastiff is 12 – 14. Although dogs bring so much to your life, there will be sacrifices.

*What happens if things change? Moving houses and destinations, holidays, change of employment… can I deal with these changes AND have a dog?

This means appropriate housing for you and your loved one. This includes a high and quality fence. All this can be a problem if renting. Can you afford to place your dog/s in a quality kennel or do you have someone you know will be able to mind them and exercise them for you while you’re on a pet-free holiday, not only this year but next year and the year after?

*Would I have the time and perseverance to own a TM?

Yes if you are prepared to treat your dog as a family member, provide him or her with a variety of stimuli, thereby meeting people and other animals with which to socialize and allow them to become accustomed to traffic and other things that are unfamiliar to them.

*Have I the patience to train and house-break a dog?

TMs tend to be clean in their habits and after a few ‘accidents’ realize what is required of them. In regard to training puppies should be socialized at an early age followed by obedience training. It is a fine method of forming a bond between you and your puppy.

*Can I afford a TM?

This breed is a more expensive one to buy than most, but there are other considerations.

Is veterinary care expensive for a large dog?

It can be, firstly you need to find a veterinarian with experience in treating large breed dogs then there are the annual health checks and vaccinations for diseases such as canine parvo virus and canine distemper and hepatitis, etc. Also, because the dog is large, it costs more for everything from worming tablets to anesthetics for operations. You will even use more shampoo! In addition If you show your dog you might want to buy a hydrobath and blower – these all cost money!

*Do they need a high quality diet?

A high quality diet formulated for large dogs is recommended. Make sure it is soy free with no calcium supplements unless prescribed by your veterinarian. Feed dog only amount that is advised so as to avoid dog from becoming overweight as this can create other problems.

*What do I need in regard to space and housing?

TMs require a securely fenced yard (this can mean high fences)! They are happy to be inside with the family much of the time though many TMs like time to themselves and space to meditate. They are not overly active indoors though mine often play tug of war inside! They love a walk each day and when you can a romp in the park or at a dog-friendly beach!

*Will I be able to cope with the territorial nature of my adult TM?

Properly introduced your dog will enjoy some attention from your guests then probably ignore them! With new animals who may visit your home, after a thorough inspection he no doubt will accept, in fact love them as well and welcome them to the family!

*Can I cope with a TM chewing my furniture…and anything else that takes his fancy?

TMs really enjoy chewing, even beyond puppyhood. Provide your dog with alternatives such as safe toys and a nice big, uncooked bone. They also enjoy chewing on tree branches, green willow branches especially are good for them as the wood is not too hard, it even has medicinal qualities!

Soft toys are a good alternative as this breed does feel the need to occasionally be “Dogs of Destruction!!” Give them things you don’t mind them ripping to shreds and everything else is safe!

*Will my children help care for and be kind to a puppy?

Your children will adore a TM puppy, actually the feeling will be mutual. For any breed, children must be taught the correct way to treat this at first small creature and the onus is on you to ensure this is done. TMs in fact have an affinity for children. They automatically become calmer and more gentle around young children and the elderly – though puppies need time to learn this! My male dog becomes a Baby Guardian while they are sleeping and checks on them by sniffing toes!

*Should the breeder need to be kept informed of the progress and achievements of my dog?

Breeders will always have a soft spot for their puppies and will welcome having contact regarding the dogs welfare. It is also good to alert your breeder of any behavioural or health problems your dog may be experiencing (this is the only way he or she can make reasoned judgments and conclusions as to the value of her breeding stock). Often your breeder will become more than a source of information, they may become your friend.

*Am I strong and determined enough to daily show my dog/s that I am the pack leader or do I just want a lapdog?

No dog, of any breed should be the boss within any relationship. A dog must feel comfortable in his / her place and should not have the added pressure of feeling they are responsible for everything. A dog who feels confident in you as pack leader will be a happier member of the family, free to enjoy life knowing that someone else is looking after them and that they need not worry about food sources, shelter, protection and other elements. This is your duty.

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