Breed: Tibetan Mastiff
Country of Origin: Tibet
Color: Black, Black & Tan, Brown & Tan, Brown, Red Gold, Blue Gray
Life Expectancy: 12-15 years
Height: Male: 66-76 cm, Female: 61-71 cm
Weight: Male: 45-73 kg, Female: 34-54 kg
Litter Size: 3-12 puppies
The Tibetan Mastiff is descended from the famous Tibetan dogs that were the source of the majority of Molossers and Mastiffs throughout the world.
The ancient Tibetan Mastiff may have been in existence as early as 1100 BC. These mastiffs developed into the Tibetan Mastiff we know today during the time period when they were isolated in the Himalayan mountains in Tibet for centuries.
The dogs were used to guard property. Usually confined during the day and let loose at night, sometimes a single dog would guard an entire village. The dogs were often tied up as puppies to enhance aggressive tendencies.
They were often left behind to guard the families and tents when the men left to move the flocks to higher pasture. It was not until Queen Victoria of England was given one of these dogs in the mid-1800s that they came out of isolation. It was not long before more dogs were imported to England.
The British wrote up a standard and began to breed them. Marco Polo described the Tibetan Mastiff as "tall as a donkey with a voice as powerful as that of a lion. The Tibetan Mastiff is a massive, giant dog with sturdy bone structure. The body is slightly longer than tall.
The somewhat wrinkled head is broad, heavy and strong. The broad muzzle is square when viewed from all sides. The large nose is black. The teeth meet in a scissors or level bite. The upper lip usually covers the lower lip. The slightly slanting eyes are almond shaped, deep-set and medium in size. Eye color comes in shades of brown.
The pendant ears are V-shaped, hanging forward close to the head. The neck is muscular and arched with a moderate dewlap. The dewlap is more prominent in males than in females. The topline is level. The feathered tail is curled over the back. The front legs are straight with feathering.
The feet are cat-like and may have feathering between the toes. Dewclaws are sometimes removed. The double coat is immense and thick with a heavy mane around the neck and shorter hair on the head.
The coat color comes in black, brown and blue-gray, all with or without tan markings and various shades of gold. It can also have white markings.
Temperament: Strong Willed, Tenacious, Stubborn, Aloof, Intelligent, Protective
Health Problems: Prone to hip dysplasia, thyroid problems, skin conditions and ear infections. Also a genetic problem called Canine Inherited Demyelinative Neuropathy (CIDN), which is fatal. The disorder will be evident in puppies between 7 and 10 weeks of age and the pup will pass away by 4 months of age.
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