Tibetan Mastiff 

Breed History

Tibetan Mastiff Puppy

Tibetan Mastiffs are big, strong, and powerful dogs that come from the Central Asia location. Hailing from the Himalayan Mountains these dogs are a part of many legends over the years, but we do know that their bones are dated around 1000 B.C.E.

Outside of finding these bones and references to huge dogs in the region it is difficult to find descriptions of these dogs. The 1800’s offer the most information and full descriptions of the dog. Other comments people make the connection between their size and the area where people say there were at.

Assyrians, Persians, Romans, and Greeks all show documentation over the years with great size dogs resembling the Tibetan Mastiff. It is the belief that these dogs were only a gift to special people and the dog was only in the mountains.

People in Tibet were in need of a dog that could protect them from a Snow Leopard. Snow Leopards are around 70 pounds and the Tibet Mastiff is bigger and stronger. They were protecting land, villages, palaces, and herds against outsiders.

Kings and Queens from England were showing a high interest in these dogs and began to import them in larger numbers in the 1840’s through 1870’s. Kennel Club in England shows that they are the first dog to register these dogs and the first to name them Tibetan Mastiffs.

United States began getting these dogs very late in the 20th century and after World War II, like a lot of dogs, they were facing extinction and survive the conditions due to people who love the breed.

Nowadays, they still aren’t very popular in the U.S ranking towards the bottom in registration but they’re very popular in other parts of the world, especially Tibet.


Tibetan Mastiffs show a very late introduction into the AKC dating in 2006. Very rare for an ancient breed like this to join the club so late in history.

Although the Kennel Club in the United Kingdom register them much earlier in history there was still a substantial time gap. Kennel Clubs will show them as the Working or Guardian group of dogs.

Here are the Kennel Clubs that show recognition to this breed.

They clearly have recognition all around the world with every popular Kennel Club. The International Kennel Club, FCI, also shows them as an official breed.


Male Height: 26-29 inches

Female Height: 24-27 inches

Male Weight: 100-150 pounds

Female Weight: 85-115 pounds

Males are way bigger than the girls in this dog breed. The weight portion is loose in the breed standards and the only specific words they use is substantial in size regarding the bones, body, and muscle frame.  

Litter Size

A normal litter size for a Tibetan Mastiff is 7 to 10 puppies. Mothers are been known to have up to 16 puppies at once. Double digit births are not uncommon for this breed.

Bigger breeds will have the ability to carry bigger litters of puppies and that is true across the board. Smaller dogs will have smaller litters most of the time.


  • Black
  • Brown
  • Blue
  • Markings:
  • Silver
  • Tan
  • Gold
  • Mahogany
  • Red Gold
  • White (chest and feet only)

Large white marking on any area of the dog’s body will not be a favorable color pattern for this breed.

Different Types

The oldest of all the Mastiffs is the Molossers and they are from a time called prehistory. Currently people did not document history. There is no information available about when these dogs came into existence.

There are so many different breeds that came from the Mastiff stock we won’t count them all. These are the dogs that are still closely resembling their ancestor the Molosser.


Dogue de Bordeaux


Neapolitan Mastiff

Tibetan Mastiff

Tibetan Mastiff Price

The price for a Tibetan Mastiff is $2,000-$5,000. The prices will vary depending on country, currency exchange, market demand, supply, scarcity, and many more factors.

Regardless of where you live you should expect to pay a fair amount of money for a high-quality puppy from this breed with papers.

Dogs without papers will cost much less and don’t guarantee the dog is full blood. Remember you get what you pay for and sometimes you will only get half of what you wanted.


Surprisingly, this dog doesn’t shed a lot. Great news for dog owners because this dog has a double coat. What they do is completely shed this coat once a year around the hottest days. Other than that, they don’t shed year-round. Here are the areas to focus on if you want to do it yourself with grooming.

  1. Brushing
  2. Combing
  3. Bathing
  4. Ears
  5. Nails
  6. Professional Help

You need to brush this dog multiple times per week. Loose and dead hair will fall off the coat during the time of the year when they really shed a lot. Brushing will speed up the process.

Combing should be done in a similar fashion and make sure brush and comb until the skin. Getting the entire coat, not just the outer coat, is the game plan.

Bathe the dog when dirty or when a certain amount of time passes. For example, you might want to wash them every week on Sunday or every two weeks to keep them smelling fresh.

Clean the ears often. Especially if you live in an environment where there is a lot of dirt and wind. Lowering the vet bill will be the result of careful grooming.

Trim nails naturally during the running and walking daily. If you choose to not run or walk the dog, we don’t recommend it, then you will need to cut them with nail clippers.

If you have any doubt about your ability to accomplish the brushing, combing, bathing, ear cleaning, or nail trimming you should consider taking them to a professional. Doesn’t cost much and all you must do is drive over there and pay a fee occasionally.

Life Span

Tibetan Mastiffs live for 11-15 years. Valuable information because you will get a sense of how much longer your dog will live. Full decade with a few more years is a long time to have a dog.

Health Issues

Generally, a healthy breed you won’t have many issues with this breed. Their Kennel Club has multiple test they feel like every owner of this dog should take with the vet with others being more frequent than others.

These are the test you should take for your dog’s health

Hips – Hip Dysplasia is a serious condition that can be painful and alter the way your dog can participate in exercise and other activities. You will notice the dog doesn’t want to do simple things like run or jump. The socket or bone has a dysfunction and it is not sitting properly. An x-ray will determine if the hips are good or bad.

Elbows – Elbow Dysplasia is another condition that can become painful to the dog and alter their exercise regimen. With this condition you will notice a growth on the elbow that lacks hair and is continuing to spread. Take them to the vet so they can determine the seriousness of the condition and what activities they can do.

Eyes – Eye exams should happen at least twice per year. You want to make sure the dog doesn’t have cherry eye, glaucoma, or cataracts. Some symptoms can be mild while others will lead to blindness in the future. Knowing that your dog is blind or partially blind is important.

Thyroid – once every year you need to find out if the Thyroid is working properly. Having a lot of Thyroid issues made the organization issue this test as a warning of how serious this condition affects the breed.

Breed Group

Mastiffs are members of the working group. All these dogs are known to have done something that assist humans in history. Whether is was pulling a sled, herding, guardians, or providing humanitarian assistance they all did something.

Here are the dogs that make up the working group.

Exercise Needs

Large and powerful dogs can be the gift or the curse. When exercising them it is easier to get the fat dog tired than the smaller dogs. Bad part is when you don’t exercise them, and they start becoming aggressive while being over 100 pounds.

We don’t give exact recommendations on exercise but what we do is tell you what every dog owner should do every morning and evening while giving guidance on what to do to change behavior.

Here is what every dog owner should aim for daily

Morning: Hour (Run, walk, or treadmill)

Evening: 30 minutes (Run, walk, or treadmill)

Exercise is the foundation you should use to stop bad dog behavior. As a rule of thumb when the dog is not behaving right you should increase the exercise. When the dog isn’t misbehaving and mostly resting inside of the house you should maintain the exercise.

At the point you will notice that they are getting enough.

For high energy dogs a run twice per day will get them under control quickly and shortly you will be able to walk them without pulling and less power. Understanding that the dog needs to run often when younger, moderately when older, and almost never as a senior is important.

The fundamentals of walking a dog will come in handy with a big and powerful dog like a Mastiff. Here are a few guides you should use to properly walk and exercise the dog.


This section will walk you through the basics of a training program. In no way is this an in-depth training but some of the areas you must address when training.

  1. Exercise program
  2. Commands
  3. Socialization
  4. Corrections

First part will always be exercise for multiple reasons. There is nothing you can do to help stop bad behavior that is more effective than exercise. Running a dog once or twice per day will change their entire behavior. And it doesn’t have to be long only 30 minutes a piece. Small commitment for those who claim to not have any time to exercise with huge benefits.

Commands should be used within real life context. Sitting or lying before they go to the bathroom, go on a walk, taking the leash off at a dog park, or anything should be a priority for additional repetition. Try to make it about more than treats and praise. We try to make this a way of life.

Socializing the dog is important to do after you get them enough exercise to socialize. Think about it in the wild dogs will walk and run all day long before they socialize with each other. Why would you socialize you dog any different?

Correct the dog using verbal first and then using a more physical approach later. Here are a few guides that can help you out on your journey.