Tibetan Mastiffs are a member of the ‘Working’ breed group. Working breed dogs were bred to become guard and search and rescue dogs. Breeds in this group are specialists in their work.
Tibetan Mastiffs are known to be quite independent and strong-willed. They are devoted and affectionate towards their owners, and because of this can be very protective. As with all breeds, early socialisation is very important to get them used to other pets, people and a variety of situations, meaning they’ll grow up into sociable, confident dogs – for more tips on how to socialise your Tibetan Mastiff, take a look at our dog behaviour page.
Their thick coats need brushing several times a week, and often daily when shedding. Tibetan Mastiffs are very vocal, particularly at night.
Breed-related health problems:
Owners are, understandably, upset when their dog develops a health problem linked to its breed. Often they wish they’d known what problems the breed was prone to have. The potential health problems that Tibetan Mastiffs are prone to include:
- Hip dysplasia – hip joint laxity as a result of poor development, which will eventually lead to arthritis.
- Gastric Dilatation Volvulus (GDV) – often known as ‘bloat’, this is a condition where the stomach twists, trapping the contents and gases. This is an emergency and requires urgent veterinary attention. It’s often seen in large, deep-chested breeds.
For some conditions, there are screening programmes available through the British Veterinary Association (BVA) and the Kennel Club. The Canine Health Schemes allow breeders to screen for a range of inherited diseases, so it’s a good idea to check the parents of any puppy you’re looking to rehome have been screened under these schemes. We’d also recommend discussing the medical history of your potential puppy’s parents and grandparents, and think very carefully before taking on a dog with any of the health conditions listed above evident in the family line.
You can find out more about the Canine Health Schemes on the BVA's website.
As adult dogs, Tibetan Mastiffs need around an hour of exercise daily, but shouldn’t be over-exercised as puppies when their bones and joints are still developing. Training will require patience but can be achieved using reward-based techniques.
Like most giant breeds diet should be formulated for a large to giant breed with moderate to high exercise requirements. You should consult your veterinarian or professional nutritionist for advice on what to feed your Tibetan Mastiffs and the correct portion sizes. Their dietary needs will change as they grow from puppyhood to adulthood and senior age. Stay on top of these nutritional requirements, suggested food diet consists of fruit, vegetables, raw chickens whole raw eggs as the shell's are high in natural calcium (never feed cooked!) and a high end kibble, also a joint aid supplement is recommended, not forgetting 10% bones.