Tibetan Mastiff's anyone??

If you are wondering what is the right dog for you, this is the place to be. In this introductory forum we talk about topics such as breed vs. mix, size, age, grooming, breeders, shelters, rescues as well as requirements for exercise, space and care. No question is too silly here. This particular forum is for getting and giving helpful, nice advice. It is definitely not a forum for criticizing someone else's opinion, knowledge or advice. This forum is all about tail wagging and learning.

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Granite- Gables Lets- Show'em

Lets Show'em- what WE are MADE- OF
Barked: Mon Mar 28, '11 6:23pm PST 
Hey guys just wondering what your take is on this breed. I’m looking into handling this breed in the show ring in the future. What do you think of this new AKC breed?? would you own one? what are your likes and dislikes about them from what you know? where would you get yours from? China or the USA?

so let's hear it guys!! The Tibetan Mastiff....

Barked: Mon Mar 28, '11 10:28pm PST 
Well, they seem like kind of the ancient bridge between the Eastern Spitz type (exemplified in the Chow, Akita, etc) and the Western Molosser type (Exemplified in the mastiff and LGD breeds). So if you admire the traits of those groups (independent, stubborn, territorial, protective, and typically not very playful or fond of other dogs) it might be a wonderful breed for you.

I would be careful about temperament... there are breeders (mostly in China, but some in the West too) that are breeding for a very aggressive, unapproachable dog. Not what you want in a show dog or companion, I think. At their best they should be dignified and independent, not wildly aggressive.

Qui me amat,- amet et canem- meum
Barked: Mon Mar 28, '11 10:49pm PST 
What do you think of this new AKC breed??
I think they are gorgeous. I looked seriously into them for a while, and I now doubt that I will ever own one, but I really admire them. They can be really territorial and intense, but if properly socialized should be OK. The intensity of the territorial behavior will of course vary from dog to dog regardless of training. I really love this breed, but haven't met more than two or three I don't think.

would you own one?
There are a lot of ifs here:
IF I owned a farm or hobby farm (I really want to have a hobby farm later in life)
IF I had already owned some other dogs that are higher up on my list of dogs that I hope to own
IF I decided on a new breed rather than a breed I already knew I worked well with (always a bit of a risk, if you know you get on GREAT with other breeds, that a new breed just doesn't work for you like the other did)
IF I had plenty of experience training more challenging breeds. The Tibetan Mastiff isn't a dog that I think should be bought willy nilly by someone who is just drawn to the appearance. I think a real understanding of the breed and its difficulties must be possessed, and a willingness to spend a lot of time and energy socializing extensively and training to a high degree.
IF I had a reasonable fund set aside for grooming, food and medical bills. Such a huge dog does not come cheap!

So.... I don't think I will ever own one, but it isn't a dog I am opposed to owning by any means and at one point, I really wanted to. I think I am content admiring this breed from afar now though, there are other dogs I think I would get first. It's totally possible if I met more that I could decide that I loved them and wanted one though!

what are your likes and dislikes about them from what you know?
I like the appearance and protective nature and that they can be really laid back in the house. I also really like the loyalty. It is a very loyal dog. I personally like a distrust of strangers, but would not want a dog that took FOREVER to come around to new people or that would become aggressive with someone who was welcomed on the property, but a lot of that has to do with training.
I also dislike the protective nature if it is taken to far, like I said before.

where would you get yours from? China or the USA?
Probably USA, but I would need to do a lot more research before saying for sure


Whippy- The- Whipador
Barked: Tue Mar 29, '11 5:19am PST 
Am not in the USA so can't answer your questions but i LOVE the breed. Have done for years now and it's definitely on my wish list for the future.

Please, be nice - ... or else!
Barked: Tue Mar 29, '11 5:48am PST 
The T.M. is a truly magnificent breed. Aside from a lot of reading, my personal experience is limited to speaking with breeders, and seeing their dogs at local rare shows where, admittedly, due to their explosively protective nature, one couldn’t get anywhere near the actual dogs. Fortunately, we have none in our neighbourhood.

This is yet another “primitive” breed, bred to work and guard. Although I’m sure there are some very “nice”, soft T.M.’s around, this is definitely not an ideal candidate for a pet, as we think of here in North American. I always worry about people “falling in love” with a particular breed with little or no first-hand knowledge, especially such a powerful breed. It's easy to see the aesthetic appeal, but the true nature of the breed should, IMO, be honoured and respected.

With its growing popularity, especially in the show ring, undoubtedly the breed’s temperament will be softened (or ruined, depending upon your point of view) over time. However, it can be successfully argued that the “aggressive, unapproachable dog” which Maggie mentioned is (or, at least should be) the norm … that is what the T.M. is supposed to be.

Having seen some “interesting” incidents in the show ring with BRT’s, I would strongly suggest that you be careful in selecting the particular dogs you show. Even the most expert handling may not be enough to safely control a Tibetan Mastiff which is genetically predisposed to being true to its roots. JMO.

blue dog

Member Since
Barked: Tue Mar 29, '11 5:49am PST 
Tibetans are a very primitive breed and they only go into heat once per year, from what I understand. The coat doesn't require as much maintenance as what you may think, but when they blow coat its a force to be reckoned with.

Although they don't need the kind of exercise that an active lab does, they do seem to need alot of room to roam, and aren't suited for apartments.

They have very high prey drive and are typically aloof. I think someone mentioned akitas, and that is probably a good comparison in temperament from what I've read.

The males are really territorial and they usually don't like strange people or animals coming into their territory.

I think they're more intense then the Caucasian Ovcharkas, but probably somewhat similar.

Definitely not an easy breed to own. I'm not sure what they're like to train, because I don't have that experience. They weren't bred to work with humans like herding dogs or gun dogs, so I can't imagine that they're all that biddable. Certainly nothing like your sheltie. I bet that they're a breed you have to work with as opposed to breeds who are ok with being dominated.
Bam-Bam, CGC

Lil' Rubble
Barked: Tue Mar 29, '11 6:33am PST 
Yeah.... More intense than anything I'd really want to deal with, but I admire those who are open to it.
Someone mentioned that they are breeding very aggressive, unapproachable dogs... Hate to break it to you, but THAT is what the breed is supposed to be like. In the US we're so into breeding temperament and making everything softer, but truth be told, if we ask ourselves what half of those breeds are supposed to be like temperamentally, what we've created doesn't fit that standard at all. Shoot, the Fila (a molosser type) even has somewhere in it's current [non-akc] standard that it's acceptable for it to attempt to bite the judge, at least it did several years ago.

I think that on one hand it could be difficult to show a breed like this. I know that in the molossers in particular judges look at temperament. I know for a fact that Reyna did not win her class onetime because she was scared and trembling (her breeder was showing her), and that does not fit the Mastiff temperament (not saying that is right, as I feel like you can't get a feel for a dogs true temperament in one pass around the ring.) So, how do they judge the temperament of a dog who is meant to be truly territorial, anti-social, and even potentially aggressive? Makes ya think...

Barked: Tue Mar 29, '11 9:48am PST 
Well, from what I've read, the orginal Tibetan dogs have a typical guardian temperament- unapproachable when they're on duty guarding something, but when their master is with them and okays somebody, that person should be able to approach the dog. The breeders I think are going over the top are making a dog who is completely bat**** insane, beyond the real guardian temperament. Probably because one of the names for the TM in China translates to "Giant Ferocious Dog of Tibet" and some breeders want to REALLY make good on that.

Even the Western dogs can still have strong territorial instinct though, they're certainly not pussycats. The TM has a good Wikipedia page, for anyone who hasn't read it yet. (Yeah, Wiki is a little sketchy on dog breeds sometimes, a lot of vanity posting, it seems, but the TM page looks good and is quite detailed.)

Whippy- The- Whipador
Barked: Tue Mar 29, '11 9:54am PST 
Selective breeding has somewhat softened the TM's temperament though. Of course, that would have to be the case when you're breeding to place the dog in family homes etc.

Edited by author Tue Mar 29, '11 9:57am PST


st. francis of- asses
Barked: Tue Mar 29, '11 9:57am PST 
The TM is a gorgeous dog. I don't really know much about them but saw quite a few when we lived in china. If you do look for a breeder I would suggest in the U.S. unless they are trying to "soften" them here.
The TM has become the breed of choice for the affluent in china. They are being sold there for over a 100,000 dollars eek I believe one stud went for 600,00. In china they are still bred to the standard, they are fierce, loyal, protective dogs, not for a timid owner. I too, will admire them from a distance laugh out loud Way too much dog for me to ever consider.
If you do decide to go with a dog from China, let me know and I will contact some of my friends there to see if they can get a referral to a good breeder.

ETA - Oops, went up in price LOL

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/03/16/tibetan-mastiff-most -expensive-dog-big-splash_n_836405.html

Edited by author Tue Mar 29, '11 10:01am PST

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