Tibetan Mastiff

GENERAL APPEARANCE : Powerful, heavy, well built, with good bone substance. Impressive; of solemn and serious appearance. It combines majestic strength, sturdiness and endurance; able to work in all weather conditions. They mature slowly, only reaching maturity in 2-3 years in females and at least 4 years in males.

Personality:  protector and  independent.

Energy Level : Moderately active.  

Good with children:  Yes.


Good with other dogs:  With supervision.


Grooming:  Seasonal.


Life Expectancy : 12-15  years old.

Bark level:  Bark when necessary.


The Tibetan Mastiff (Do khyi) is an ancient working breed of nomadic herders in the Himalayas and a traditional guardian of Tibetan monasteries. It has been surrounded by great mystery since its first discovery in antiquity. From mentions by Aristotle (348-322 BC) to the famous writings of Marco Polo, who went to Asia in 1271, all historical archives emphasize the natural strength and grandeur of the Tibetan Mastiff – both psychologically and mentally. Even their bark has been described as a unique quality and a grandiose treasured trait of the breed. The leading European cynologists of the past, such as Martin and Youatt, Megnin, Beckmann, Siber as well as Strebel and Bylandt, intensively investigated the Tibetan Mastiff, as well as being fascinated by its origin and function for Tibetan culture. Some even considered the breed to be the oldest ancestor of all large mountain breeds and mastiff breeds. One of the first Tibetan Mastiffs known to arrive in the Westlands was a male sent to Queen Victoria by Lord Hardinge (the Viceroy of India) in 1847. In the late 1880s, Edward VII (the Prince of Wales) sent two dogs back to England. One of the first recorded litters of Tibetan Mastiffs was born in 1898 at the Berlin Zoo.

Country of Origin: Tibet.

BEHAVIOR AND TEMPERAMENT:  Independent. protector. Respects commands. The most loyal to his family and territory



Skull: Broad, very slightly rounded, with occiput strongly pronounced.


Stop: Well defined.




Nose: Wide, as dark as possible, depending on coat color, with well-opened nostrils.


Muzzle: Fairly broad, well defined and full. Square muzzle tip.


Lips: Well developed and covering the lower jaw (jaw).

Jaws and Teeth: Jaws strong with perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, ie the upper incisors close overlapping the lower incisors and are set at right angles to the jaws. Pincer bite is acceptable. Tightly fitted dentition.


Eyes: Of medium size, any shade of brown and in accordance with the covering coat, darker ones are preferable. Set well apart, oval and slightly inclined. Eyelids firmly attached to the eyeball. Expression of dignity.


Ears: Of medium size, triangular, hanging, set between the level of the skull and the eyes, falling forward and hanging close to the head; carried forward when on alert. The fur of the ears is covered with short, soft fur.


NECK: Strong, well muscled, arched. Not much dewlap. Covered by an exuberant mane, not too exaggerated in females.


  • TRUNK: Strong.


Back: Straight, muscular.


Croup: Broad and quite flat.  


Chest: Quite deep, of moderate width, with ribs quite elastic, producing a heart-shaped rib cage. The forechest reaching below the elbows.

TAIL: Of medium size. Set high in the line of the back, carried high, curled loosely over the back, when the dog is alert or in motion; well fringed.




PREVIOUS:  Straight, well angulated, entirely covered with dense hair.


Shoulders: Well defined, muscular.


Elbows: Neither turned in nor out.


Forearms: Straight. Strong bone.


Pasterns: Strong, slightly sloping.

HINDQUARTERS:  Powerful, muscular, with good angulation. Viewed from behind, the legs are parallel.


Thighs: Fairly long; strong, with very rigid muscles, but not bulging.


Knees: Well angulated.


Hocks: Strong, well let down. Optional “Ergos”.


Feet: Quite large, strong, rounded and compact, with good hair coverage between well-arched toes.


  • GAIT/MOVEMENT: Powerful but always light and springy: with good reach and direction. When speed increases there is a tendency towards a single track. When walking, appear to be very cautious. Can work on a wide variety of terrains with strength and flexibility.


  • COAT  


For: Quality is more important than quantity. Coat hard, thick, the topcoat not too long, with a dense undercoat and quite woolly in cold climates that become more sparse in the warmer months. Males noticeably have more hair than females. Hair fine but hard, straight and open. Never silky, curly or wavy. The neck and shoulders are abundantly covered, giving the appearance of a mane. Tail with thick coat and well feathered; hindquarters well feathered on the upper back.


Color: Intense black, with or without brown marks (“tan”); blue, white or unmarked brown (“tan”); golden, from an intense fawn to a dark red, “sable”. All colors should be as pure as possible. Brown (“tan”) ranges from darker tones to a lighter color. A white “star” on the chest is allowed. Minimal white markings on paws are acceptable. Brown (“tan”) markings appear over the eyes, on the undersides of the legs and on the underside of the tail. Brown (“tan”) markings on the muzzle; “glasses” marks around the eyes are tolerated.


SIZE:  Height at the withers: Males: minimum 66 cm. Females: minimum 61 cm.

  • FAULTS  

Any deviation from this standard should be considered a fault and penalized in exact proportion to its severity and its effects on the health and well-being of the dog.  



• Aggressiveness or excessive shyness.

• Any dog that shows any sign of physical or behavioral anomaly must be disqualified.

• Atypical dogs.