Popularity of this breed grows every year, and growing population of Tibetan Mastiffs seen in countryside, at DogShows and even in the cities proves that there is something fascinating in them. But what people really know about this breed? There is enormous amount of information in the web, most of which is placed with commercial or advertisement purpose. Its really hard to get an idea, how real Tibetan Mastiff should look like, thanks to edited photos and Photoshop. Due to the fact that Tibetan Mastiffs were imported to Western countries recently and there is alot of rumours around it, amount of haphazardly breed dogs increased but their quality decreased proportionally.
This dogs are all about status. Pure breed dog could be acquired at really high expenses or given as a gift. In both cases, new owner either a very good and respected person, or very powerful and successful. In both cases Tibetan Mastiff is treated like a treasure and this is exactly the reason why this very powerful and massive breed avoided any types of fighting and biting tournaments. This is the reason, why this dogs never attack people until the situation is out of control. This is the reason, why this dogs can’t be trained by yelling or beating.
There are two major types of Tibetan Mastiff – Do-Khyi [ d o : k i ] and Tsang-Khyi [ t s a n : k i ]
Do-Khyi is more light and nimble type, and Tsang-Khyi more heavy and powerful, although both types are usually produced in the same litter. Presently many kennels strive to achieve genetically locked traits of Tsang-Khyi, although for active persons, women and children Do-Khyi type is preferable. It’s not a bad thing to have both types of dogs in breeding program, as it allows to save good movement, proportions and avoid too friable constitution in result, while same working qualities and temperament are preserved.
Do-Khyi approximate measurements: Bitches – 35-45kg and 61-67sm, Dogs – 45-60kg, 66-74sm.
Tsang-Khyi approximate measurements: Bitches – 45-60kg and 67-78sm, Dogs – 60-80kg, 75-85sm.
Certainly, all other characteristics such as large head, good bone structure, good movement, activeness, temperament and working qualities, correspondent to FCI standard, must be present. No one really wants to have such a big dog with unpredictable character and unknown health state, therefore, obviously, the only way to get pure breed puppy is to take it from the well-known and prestigious kennel, recognised by FCI or CKU ( China Kennel Union – FCI only partner in China ).
The proper owner of this dog is self-sufficient, generous and kind person. From the moment of first day of Tibetan Mastiff at a new home, one is usually amazed, how independent and self-confident a puppy of this breed can be. No way this dog will bother you with his sentiments or show his life belongs to his master. But with hidden small signs, day by day, he will occupy the heart that he is ready to defence with his life. He will understand your glance, shot at him when he made his things not in the right place, he will bring back a tasty bone, that you gave him few minutes ago, and place it on your chest when you don’t expect it least of all, he will perform a command in a situation that is out of control, although when you train him he never does it properly, he will make your life full of moments that are between the two of you, and most likely will change your life forever. There is a common belief, that Tibetan Mastiffs chose their owners by themselves, following the sacred path, only they know. There is a common belief, that Buddha have had such a dog…
It is definitely not an easy task to establish a close link with this dog: not all people can control themselves, be consistent, responsible. In some degree, Tibetan Mastiff can also help to calm down, because he has much more patience, obstinacy, and self-sufficiency than most of us. The only way to come to certain point with this breed it’s negotiating. In one moment, everything that has been achieved previously, can be ruined by single shout. Trust, moreover can be destroyed forever by one blow.
With all his dignity and honour, Tibetan Mastiff possesses subtility and intelligence, which make him standing on the same stage with his owner. They are very sociable and like to communicate with kids, other dogs and animals. If owner or his family doesn’t have enough time for their dog, it’s better to have another animals at home, or even a dog of the same breed. Thats why usually fans of the breed say: “Tibetan Mastiffs are never too much”. This dogs live in harmony with each other, even if there are two bitches or dogs, even from the same litter, although it is highly recommended to take them at the same age so that they can establish hierarchy among themselves while they are young. People with good experience and understanding of dog’s psychology can also create a pack from several dogs of different age, and in case if guarding of a large territory is needed, there are no better choice than this breed.
Ability to guard the territory, entrusted to the dog, lies in the genes of this breed. Even barking 5-months old puppy can frighten off, and when an adult dog barks, hardly someone will have a desire to check the source of barking behind your fence. Some people say, that sound Tibetan Mastiff bark is like someone strikes a brass gong. Despite this fact, they don’t bark without a reason, and sometimes owners don’t hear their dogs barking for several days. It makes them even more valuable guards.
The fact, that this native breed descended from the wolves, controls its behavioural patterns and habits to a considerable degree, as well as influences the size and appearance. Many of their traits were not ruined by civilisation and was preserved through thousands of years. We can see many instinctive reactions and features in their behaviour, that can be also found in wolves’:
– physical endurance, so that they can be resistant to many suppressing factors of environment, including severe climate;
– ability to remain active and mobile, when food resources are limited;
– intelligence and high degree of educability;
– ability to live in a pack;
– crossing great distances without loosing vitality;
– a scent, ear, and sight are developed to a great extend;
– bitches have one season per year;
– significant shedding of hair in spring and growing a new coat in autumn;
– able to hunt small animals, dig up mice’s burrows as well as catch adult mice. They can catch wild ducks, rabbits, mice and other wild animals, especially when eat natural food. This abilities are considerably decreasing when dog is being fed with only dry pet-food, and it does not show that dry-food ration is well balanced or sufficient, the dog who doesn’t know the taste of meat don’t really think that this is a food, and often hunting instincts are dormant. This dogs eat fruits, berries, grasses, fish, the power of their jaws is sufficient to crash the cow’s leg bone.
– they have strongly pronounced territorial behaviour;
– highly marked sexual dimorphism, male bigger that female by approximately 20%;
– thick fur mane around the neck;
All this facts make this breed unique and of great interest of all people, who want live in harmony with nature and understand it, instead of changing it in their own interests. Size of true Tibetan Mastiffs impresses many people, as this dog is rather huge and massive, than simply big. Especially this is true more in case of male, than female dogs. But why we see such large specimen of the breed so rarely outside the Tibet and China’s regions, bordering Tibet?
One of the reason is that climate can influences the next generations, which has been born in another region with different climate. Due to the fact that Tibetan Mastiffs known more than 3 to 5 thousands of years in Tibet, the Bergman’s Rule can be applied to this breed. This dog is more suitable in regions with cold severe climate and express best of its qualities there.
Breeds which are most similar to Tibetan Mastiffs by temperament are Saint-Bernards, and Newfoundlands.
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