Tibetan Mastiff (Working Group)
The Tibetan Mastiff has long been held in high regards as a protector and courageous watchdog. An independent and strong-willed, this dog is very territorial and aggressive towards strange people and unfamiliar dogs. They are highly devoted to its family and must be socialized from an early age around people and other animals so as on to grow up to be overly suspicious and anxious. Tibetan Mastiffs are wonderful around children, but may have a tendency to guard against other children visiting the house.
A Brief History Of The Tibetan Mastiff
The Tibetan Mastiff dates as far back as the Ancient times. As its name suggests, the area of origin for the dog is Tibet. The original function of the breed was to be a highly devoted guardian. Today the dog is still relied upon to act as a trusted guardian and family pet.
Unfortunately, the Tibetan Mastiff dog goes so far back in time that its exact origins have been lost. There is, however, archaeological evidence that shows the massive dog to have been alive in China sometime around 1100 B.C. One theory suggests that the dogs traveled with Attila the Hun and the legendary Genghis Khan, which helped start the base of the breed in Central Asia.
Tibetan Mastiff dogs were used to guard the villages, campsites and monasteries of the nomadic people. During the day, certain dogs (known as village sentries) were kept chained to rooftops and gates, then allowed to roam freely at night to protect the village.
The breed was kept so isolated during this period that they were unknown outside of Tibet until the year 1874. Researchers have found documentation that one of the dogs was sent to Queen Victoria as a gift from the Viceroy of India.
Shortly after, the Prince of Whales had imported two of the dogs and had them enter a dog show. This helped the popularity of the Tibetan Mastiff boost to higher numbers. In 1931, a breed standard was created by the Tibetan Breeds Association of England.
The dog’s numbers declined severely when the Chinese attacked Tibet during the 1950s. The only way for the breed to survive was to escape to neighboring countries and local mountains. Fortunately, enough did survive and during the 1970s several breeding programs for the Tibetan Mastiff were started in the United States. And in 2005, the breed was officially recognized by the AKC.
Upkeep Requirements For The Tibetan Mastiff
In addition to being devoted family protectors, these dogs make wonderful house pets. They are quiet and calm when indoors, and very active when outside. In terms of daily exercise needs for the Tibetan Mastiff, a few brisk walks on the leash or vigorous playtime in the yard will be plenty.
Confinement in a closed-in space, even if the yard is large, is not enough to keep his dog happy. They should be allowed to roam free on open areas of land. Without this living arrangement Tibetan Mastiffs become easily bored and destructive through digging. They do not tolerate heat well and should live in colder climates. Grooming requirements consist of two to three weekly brushings due to the dog’s heavy coat.
The average life span of a Tibetan Mastiff is between eleven and fourteen years. There are no major Health Concerns that run common in the breed. Minor health issues include canine inherited demyelinative neuropathy, seizures, and entropion. Veterinarians suggest that Tibetan Mastiffs get tested for potential hip and thyroid problems.