Tibetan Mastiff

Breed History / Description

This is the largest of the Tibetan breeds, and is regarded by some as one of the world's most ancient breeds, and as the ancestor of all the mastiff breeds. Bred in the Himalayan region to protect homestead and livestock, the Tibetan Mastiffs were often tethered at the entrance of the property to deter intruders. Early British explorers in the Himalayas spoke of the giant breed, with its great substance and its dense protective coat. In 1828 King George IV presented a Tibetan Mastiff to the London Zoo. 

The Chinese invasion of Tibet in 1950 brought the compulsory slaughtering of dogs and only a few Tibetan Mastiffs living in remote areas escaped. It was this stock which formed the foundation of the modern breed.


A loyal companion and guardian. Slow to mature. 


Independently minded, aloof and protective. Calm and patient. May be wary of strangers.

Club, K., 2018. The Kennel Club's Breed Standards. 5th ed. London SW1V 2SA: Ebury Press.

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