Tibetan Mastiff

75-120 lbs
Do-Khyi, Do-Kyi

Intelligent and reserved, the Tibetan Mastiff originated from Tibet and is considered to be one of the most ancient breeds worldwide. There are Stone Age cave drawings in the Himalayas that prove that this giant dog’s ancestors have been around for thousands of years. Their original purpose was to guard and protect, and still very much provide exceptional protection against intruders. The breed is impressive in size and is described as a watchful but aloof guardian. With their kind expression, the Tibetan Mastiff also makes a great companion to those they feel loyal to. This large breed’s strong connection to their guarding instincts will often make them wary with strangers, although constant training will help to curb these behaviors.  The thick, water-repellent coat makes for a moderately simple grooming routine. Daily brushing is considered ideal to help with the upkeep of dead hairs. This canine has a moderate energy level and it is important to provide efficient mental and physical stimulation to allow for the personality of this giant breed to shine through. An owner requires patience when it comes to training but the eager, loveable mannerisms of this canine will make the obedience classes enjoyable for both dog and handler.

purpose Purpose
Guard Dog, Herder
history Date of Origin
Ancient Times
ancestry Ancestry
Tibetan Wolves, Mastiff

Tibetan Mastiff Health

Sketch of Tibetan Mastiff
Average Size
Male Tibetan Mastiff size stats
Height: 26-28 inches Weight: 100-160 lbs
Female Tibetan Mastiff size stats
Height: 24-26 inches Weight: 75-120 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Hip Dysplasia
Minor Concerns
  • Epilepsy
  • Hyperthyroidism
Occasional Diagnoses
  • Entropion
  • Ectropion
Occasional Tests
  • Blood Test
  • Thyroid Tests
  • X-Rays
  • CT Scan
  • Eye Examination
  • Full Physical Examination

Tibetan Mastiff Breed History

The Tibetan Mastiff has a long documented history worldwide. For instance, there are early written accounts from China in 1100 BC. Their ancestors are thought to have traveled with the Assyrians, Persians, Greeks, and Romans. They have long been considered the guardian dog of Tibet. The genetic heritage of this great breed is foggy and much is unknown as to how this mastiff originated. There are rumors of this massive dog ranging back to the BC era, but much documentation did not become known until the 1700s. In 1847, Lord Hardinge of India sent a Tibetan Mastiff to England. In 1873, the Kennel Club was formed with the first Stud Book containing pedigrees of 4,027 dogs. The Tibetan Mastiff was officially declared as such for the first time. They are considered to have been developed from basic stock from which modern working breeds such as mastiffs and mountain dogs were developed. Unfortunately, there is not a lot of information available regarding the breed. In 1874, an additional two dogs were imported into England by the Prince of Wales and exhibited at the Alexandra Palace Show. After the show and through 1928, there were a few more imports into Europe. In 1928, Hon. Colonel and Mrs. Bailey took charge of four dogs of the breed and in 1931, Mrs. Bailey founded the Tibetan Breeds Association. At this point, the dog had its first official standard for the breed. In the late 1950s, President Eisenhower inherited two of the dogs from Tibet, which were then taken to a farm in the Midwest. Additional imports of these mighty canines occurred in the United States. The American Tibetan Mastiff Association was founded in 1974. In 2007, the breed became officially recognized by the American Kennel Club. 

Tibetan Mastiff Breed Appearance

The Tibetan Mastiff has a thick coat with a heavy mane; the coat contains coarse guard hair with a wooly undercoat and thick density. It is non-water-repellent and may take a while to completely dry once wet. The hardy coat comes in a variety of color combinations such as black, black and tan, blue-gray, blue-gray and tan, brown, brown and tan, red-gold, red-gold-sable, cream, and cream-sable with white markings. The breed is a large, athletic breed that gives off a solemn but alert appearance, standing well on their pasterns and containing tight cat feet. The body of this giant is slightly longer than it is tall in height. With a broad and impressive head, the eyes of this serious canine are deep-set and almond-shaped and are brown in color. The muzzle is broad and squared and this strong pup carries the constant expression of a watchful dog. Their tail is well-feathered, densely coated, and is carried over the back in a curl.

Appearance of Tibetan Mastiff
Eye Color Possibilities
brown Tibetan Mastiff eyes
Nose Color Possibilities
black Tibetan Mastiff nose
Coat Color Possibilities
black Tibetan Mastiff coat
brown Tibetan Mastiff coat
blue Tibetan Mastiff coat
red Tibetan Mastiff coat
Coat Length
Short Medium Long
Coat Density
coat density
Sparse Normal Dense
Coat Texture
coat texture
Tibetan Mastiff straight coat texture
Straight Wiry Wavy Curly Corded

Tibetan Mastiff Breed Maintenance

The Tibetan Mastiff is a massive breed that requires moderate grooming. The double coat is maintained year round and sheds once a year around the spring or summer. During the shedding season, they must be brushed daily for at least 30 minutes to remove all of the dead hair. Brushing regularly will reduce the amount of mats on the thick coat. Bathing your dog can be limited to every few months if necessary. This breed is not hypoallergenic and is not recommended for owners with allergies. The large ears should be wiped and cleaned weekly to avoid debris buildup. They do not have a significant odor but a smell may develop near the mouth due to drool; therefore, it is important to wipe the drool regularly to prevent accumulation of bacteria. This amicable dog has moderate energy levels and requires regular exercise. They are an independent and intelligent breed and love to remain active. Apartment living is not an appropriate fit for this dog due to their massive build and tendency to dig and climb. This gentle giant would fare best in a large home with an expansive area available for running around outside. They enjoy walks, but will not make a suitable jogging partner. 

Brushes for Tibetan Mastiff
Pin Brush
Pin Brush
Nail Clipper
Nail Clipper
Brushing Frequency
fur daily fur weekly fur monthly
Tibetan Mastiff requires weekly brushing
Daily Weekly Monthly

Tibetan Mastiff Temperament

This imposing dog is described as a sensitive breed that is attuned to their emotions and the emotions of others. If there is conflict present, your dog may be able to sense your emotions and become guarded and protective. The Tibetan Mastiff is highly territorial of their family and home and will protect them. Considered a strong-willed and courageous breed with a lot of intelligence to offer, this enormous canine is often described as being fierce and aloof. They do well with families, but extra precaution must be taken regarding small children to prevent innocent but rough play. Older children are recommended as companions due to their nature in wanting to guard. They are wary of strangers and other animals. Early socialization can help curb this behavior but it may not entirely disappear. Due to their protective nature, it is important to be able to train your giant dog with consistency and firmness. Training will involve patience and a kind, but consistent hand.

Activity Level
low activity medium activity high activity
Low Medium High
Rec. Walk Mileage Per Week
8 miles
walk mileage
Minutes of Activity Per Day
60 minutes
activity minutes

Tibetan Mastiff Food Consumption

Cups Per Day
4 cups
cup per day cost cup per day cost cup per day cost cup per day cost
Daily Cost
$2.75 - $3.00
food bowls daily cost
Monthly Cost
$80.00 - $90.00
food bag monthly cost

Tibetan Mastiff Height & Weight

6 Months
Sketch of Tibetan Mastiff at six months
Male Tibetan Mastiff size stats at six months
Height: 23.0 inches Weight: 65.0 lbs
Female Tibetan Mastiff size stats at six months
Height: 21.0 inches Weight: 62.5 lbs
12 Months
Sketch of Tibetan Mastiff at 12 months
Male Tibetan Mastiff size stats at 12 months
Height: 26.0 inches Weight: 110.0 lbs
Female Tibetan Mastiff size stats at 12 months
Height: 25.0 inches Weight: 82.5 lbs
18 Months
Sketch of Tibetan Mastiff at 18 months
Male Tibetan Mastiff size stats at 18 months
Height: 28.0 inches Weight: 130.0 lbs
Female Tibetan Mastiff size stats at 18 months
Height: 26.0 inches Weight: 97.5 lbs

Top Tibetan Mastiff Breeders

Check out who made our list for the most reputable Tibetan Mastiff breeders of 2024.
Top Tibetan Mastiff breeder Comancheria Tibetan Mastiff Kennels
Comancheria Tibetan Mastiff Kennels
Mentone, Alabama
Top Tibetan Mastiff breeder Dawa Tibetan Mastiffs
Dawa Tibetan Mastiffs
Yamhill, Oregon
Top Tibetan Mastiff breeder Valor Tibetan Mastiffs
Valor Tibetan Mastiffs
Bennett, Colorado
Top Tibetan Mastiff breeder Endless Mountain's Tibetan Mastiffs
Endless Mountain's Tibetan Mastiffs
New Milford, Pennsylvania

Tibetan Mastiff Owner Experiences

18 Months
4 People
House & Yard
Very protective but still able to make friends. Early training and socializing is super important for this breed but if done correctly you will find yourself with an amazingly smart and loyal dog. I would not recommend for someone who will not have rample time to train regularly to the first year and people who have neighbors that dont like barking dogs cause the Tibetan Mastiff will bark alot
4 years, 5 months ago
24 Months
2 People
She is very cute i love to play with her
3 years, 11 months ago
Baloo - ATHOS from Campos de Jordão, São Paulo, Brazil
8 Months
3 People
House & Yard
He never barks, but eventually will howl. He’s absolutely loyal to my son, when the boy goes in from a door he will wait there until he comes out. He mostly play with him, and will never be uncaring of any behavior, but I can’t do the same thing without him showing plainly displeasure. He’s gentle and loves to be around us, he never begs for food when we are eating! He’s respectful and solicit to anything I might ask but the other day I had him closed to garden maintenance and I could see how firm and staring onto the man present he was, his look has a weight that no one can ignore. Amazing dog!
2 years, 11 months ago
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How much should Tibetan Mastiff's weight weigh in a month?

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