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Tibetan Mastiff

Country/Date of Origin: Tibet/900s

The Tibetan Mastiff is believed to be the originator of most of the European mastiff breeds. It has remained unchanged for centuries. A fierce guard dog, it was used by nomadic Tibetan people. Marco Polo reported seeing this dog during his travels but it remained relatively unknown outside of Tibet until the 1970s. At this time they were imported to the United States, Germany and Switzerland.

FCI Group: 2 (Working)

Other Names Body Type Personality Coat Health Concerns

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AKC Group: Miscellaneous

Breed Club:

Rescue Club:

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Body Type:

  • Typical mastiff type dog but not as heavy in body
  • Height: 24-28 inches (at shoulder)
  • Weight: 140-180 pounds
  • The tail is carried over the back in a loose curl and is not altered
  • The hanging ears are carried close to the head and are not altered


  • Responsive to training
  • Usually gentle even with children
  • Loyal to its family
  • Excellent guard dog


  • Medium long with a very thick undercoat
  • Has a mane around the neck
  • Accepted colors are black, brown and bluish gray, with or without tan markings
  • Grooming is moderate but brushing is a must

Health Concerns:

  • Prone to hip dysplasia
  • Not long lived
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Tasty Tidbits:
  • Obedience training recommended Puppies are difficult to find especially since the females do not come into season as often as other breeds
  • It is common in Tibet for this dog to wear a red yak's-hair collar as a status symbol

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