Tibetan Mastiff Breed Information and Buying advice

Tibetan Mastiff

Are You Looking to Buy or Adopt a Tibetan Mastiff?

Quick Tibetan Mastiff Facts

Average Size of Adult
Huge (5/5)
Puppy Puppy Puppy Puppy Puppy
Grooming Requirement
Medium (2/3)
Puppy Puppy Puppy
Medium (2/3)
Puppy Puppy Puppy
Average Life Span
12-14 years (5/8)
Exercise Requirements
High (3/3)
Puppy Puppy Puppy
Medium (2/3)
Puppy Puppy Puppy
Medium (2/3)
Puppy Puppy Puppy
Child friendly
Yes (1/2)
Medium (2/3)
Puppy Puppy Puppy
Breed Group
Working (7/8)
No (2/2)

Why Tibetan Mastiffs are great

What you won’t get from a Tibetan Mastiff is quick, agile and athletic paces with lighting fast changing of direction. However, what you will get is a devoted and loyal partner that will stand by you through anything, never feeling afraid and always ready to protect their owners. Although their behaviour is impressive, their appearance provides them with fame. Their lion-like mane surrounding their strong, large head can intimidate some, but to fanatics of the breed, the larger the mane the better. Some highlights:
  1. This breed is very intelligent and can respond to their human’s mood, understanding their family more than some other breeds.
  2. They are at their happiest when they feel as if they are a part of the family and a true companion, living inside with them and getting enough attention
  3. Although they can seem large and boisterous, they are very calm and collected inside their house with their family.

Things to consider when looking at Tibetan Mastiffs for Sale

Tibetan Mastiffs are not an easy pet, often being described as a challenging breed. They are intelligent and independent and therefore often stubborn, wanting to be seen as an equal instead of as a pet. This can be problematic in some households, with a power-play being seen between the boss of the house and their Tibetan Mastiff, however, with early and consistent training, the Tibetan Mastiff will learn which lines not to cross in their house. Some downsides to the Tibetan Mastiff:
  1. This breed can get bored rather easily, which leads to destructiveness including chewing, climbing and digging as well as lots and lots of barking.
  2. Early socialisation is especially important with this breed. Otherwise, they can grow up to be unnecessarily aggressive towards dogs or strangers. When this discrimination is learnt, they are confident and happy around strangers.
  3. These dogs do not do well in canine activities, including agility, obedience and dog shows. If you are looking for a quick, agile and athletic dog, the Tibetan Mastiff is not for you.

History of Tibetan Mastiffs

Originating in Tibet about what is believed to be 5,000 years ago, the Tibetan Mastiff is one of the oldest dog breeds around. However, there are two types. The first is The Do-Khyi, whose job was to travel with shepherds and act as flock guardians. The second is the Tsang-Khyi, who were given to lamaseries where they protected the monks and priests that lived there. It wasn’t until 1847 that the first Tibetan Mastiff was brough to the UK where t was given to Queen Elizabeth as a gift from India. In 1874, King Edward VII imported two more over to England where they partook in a number of different shows. Today, they remain to be a popular choice around the world, still acting as a guard dog and protector, working with their inherited traits.  


How big is the Tibetan Mastiff?

Standing at a huge 61 – 66cm, the Tibetan Mastiff is no toy.  

How heavy is a Tibetan Mastiff?

With their great size comes their heavyweight. Typically, Tibetan Mastiff can weigh anywhere between 45 – 72kg, depending on their gender, exercise levels, feed and metabolism.  

What Colour is the Tibetan Mastiff?

This breed, with its thick, coarse topcoat and heavy, soft and woolly undercoat can come in many colours. The most commonly seen examples include Black, Brown, Gold and Blue, coming with or without tan markings. Some can often have small white markings on their feet but nowhere else.  


Do Tibetan Mastiffs make good guard dogs?

Being bred for protecting their owners, Tibetan Mastiffs are a top choice of guard dog. They are quick to alert their owners of anything unusual taking place, and will also engage violently if there is any need. Although they are usually calm and quiet dogs, they do have the ability to be aggressive when they deem it as being necessary.  

Do Tibetan Mastiffs bark a lot?

Although the Tibetan Mastiff doesn’t tend to bark unnecessarily, they do like to express their feelings to their owners through their voice. This breed should not be left outside, even though it seems as though they will be fine, because otherwise, they will bark non-stop until they are let in. Apart from this, they remain to be a quiet and calm breed when in the house.  

Are Tibetan Mastiffs easy to train?

The Tibetan Mastiff’s intelligence helps to train a puppy quickly but can also cause them to pick up bad habits fast. As they are learning to obey the owner’s commands, they will also be trying out the boundaries to see what is acceptable and what is not.  

Are Tibetan Mastiffs playful?

This breed adores playing with both people and dogs but only tends to be happiest playing with dogs that are the same size as them. Most people don’t like their Tibetan Mastiff playing with smaller dogs or small children as they can become accidentally boisterous and possibly knock them over. Care should be taken when the Tibetan Mastiff is playing with younger children, although they will never be aggressive, only throw their weight around a bit.  

Are Tibetan Mastiffs good with other pets?

Tibetan Mastiffs have a very high prey drive and should not be trusted when being let off the lead around livestock or wild animals as they are insanely strong and stubborn, often going to get something they want and succeeding, ignoring their owner’s commands.  

Can I leave a Tibetan Mastiff Alone?

A positive of this breed is that they do not suffer from separation anxiety. Although they do not mind being left on their own, they should not be left for long periods of time, as this can cause them to become bored and therefore destructive, tending to chew on things to relieve this boredom. They also tend to bark at this point, craving human contact.  

Do Tibetan Mastiffs like water?

Tibetan Mastiffs are not known as being a water dog, not usually going in fully for a swim. However, they do not mind paddling in shallow water, which also helps them cool off in warmer climates. Apart from water, they really love the cold, happily playing in the snow for hours as their thick coat helps protect them from the climate.  


How long do Tibetan Mastiffs live?

Typically, an average Tibetan Mastiff lives until around 12 – 15 years.  

How much exercise does a Tibetan Mastiff need?

It is recommended that a Tibetan Mastiff gets about 20 – 30 minutes of physical exercise every day. However, even though these animals don’t need too much physical activity, they require slightly more mental stimulation than some other breeds.  

What are Tibetan Mastiffs Common health issues?

Tibetan Mastiffs pride themselves in having the title of one of the healthiest breeds in the world. However, like all dogs, they can sometimes get a few diseases, including:
  • Hip and Elbow Dysplasia
  • Panosteitis
  • Osteochondrosis Dissecans
  • Autoimmune Hypothyroidism


How much space do I need for a Tibetan Mastiff?

Being such a large breed, Tibetan Mastiffs require enough space for them to feel comfortable and allow them to express themselves. Therefore, this breed is not recommended for people living in apartments, as they are simply too large.  

How much grooming do Tibetan Mastiffs need?

Dogs of this breed may or may not shed seasonally, depending on what sort of climate they are in. If it is warmer where they are living, they are more likely to shed seasonally, whereas if it is cold they need to keep their coats to remain a healthy temperature. When they do shed, they shed a lot. They should be brushed weekly at least to remove any dead hair that they are shedding and to untangle any knots and remove any dirt built up in their thick fur.  

Average costs

How much does it cost to keep a Tibetan Mastiff?

As a rough guide in pricing: Cost to buy: roughly over £1,000 for a well-bred Tibetan Mastiff puppy Other costs (Vet, Food etc): £130 - £200 per month  

Specific Buying Guide

You can read our general buying guide here (/advice-on-buying-a-puppy/), with the most important thing being going to view your Tibetan Mastiff Puppy, seeing it with its mother, and checking the quality of the breeder. More specifically, here is some Tibetan Mastiff puppy buying advice:
  1. It must be remembered that although the puppies of this breed are small, cute and fluffy, they always grow into being a large, strong and impressive dog. If there won’t be enough room for the puppy to grow, then the potential buyers should really think about whether the Tibetan Mastiff is the best choice for their family.
  2. Due to their protective behaviour, Tibetan Mastiffs should not be let off the lead most of the time. A variation of walking routes is also advised as they may become territorial on one specific route, and then become aggressive towards any strangers that may be on their path.
  3. This breed is not recommended for a first-time owner. Although they are devoted and gorgeous companions, Tibetan Mastiffs need a confident and experienced owner that will be able to stop them from crossing any lines and boundaries. Often the Tibetan Mastiff will try to act as if they are the dominant figure in the house, but this must be abolished as soon as possible to allow a respectful relationship to thrive.
  4. Tibetan Mastiffs also grow faser than some other breeds when they are a puppy. However, even though they seem as if they are getting stronger each day, they are not physically mature until they are one than one year. Up until this point, their exercise level should remain low in order to limit any orthopaedic and joint damage.
  5. Lead training is also a very key part of this Mastiff’s growing up. Once they are a fully sized adult, they are extremely strong dogs. If they have not been taught proper lead manners, they will very quickly pull you over, leaving you with little to no control over what they are doing or where they are going.
  6. Recently, the Tibetan Mastiff was named the most expensive breed in the world, with one being sold for over $3 million. Therefore, there will be a lot of possible scams online. These should be caught by looking at the asking price, which will be lower than other adverts online. However, before any money has been sent to the breeder, the potential owner should go and see the puppy litter themselves to ensure that they are real and also to give them a chance to check the legality of the breeder. This is very important as the Tibetan Mastiff is very highly regarded around the world and therefore can have their bloodlines corrupted with people trying to make a profit through breeding them illegally.

Other reading, Adopting Tibetan Mastiff Puppies and Rescue Organisations

https://www.gentlegiantsrescue-tibetan-mastiffs.com/about-tibetan-mastiffs.htm https://tibetanmastiffrescue.co.uk/index.html https://www.dogsblog.com/mack-16/ https://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/services/public/findarescue/Default.aspx?breed=5143 https://www.tibetanmastiffinfo.com/tmfaqs/beforeyoubuy_2.shtml#:~:targetText=In%20other%20words%20they%20should,or%20panting%20from%20the%20heat.&targetText=Do%20Tibetan%20Mastiffs%20like%20to%20play%2Fswim%20in%20the%20water,is%20NOT%20a%20water%20dog.