This Tibetan Dog breed comes from the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau in China. It is thought to be one of the world’s oldest treasured breeds. According to some experts, the T Mastiff is the ancestor of several huge Mastiff breeds seen in Europe.
We need to understand that the TM dog is the great blend of Mastiff and mountain dog as we approach this most difficult subject. It is both a Mastiff as well as a mountain dog in one, forsaking neither while embodying both extremes at times.
The History of The Giant Tibetan Mastiff Breed
The T Mastiff is a giant dog breed native to Tibet, or at least we can definitely call it “big” or “huge”. It was utilized by indigenous Tibetan tribes to safeguard sheep from leopards, wolves, huge mustelids, bears, and tigers in nomadic cultures of China, Tibet, Mongolia, India, and Nepal.
According to one author from 1872, Tibetan dogs are double the size of those found in India, with big heads and shaggy bodies. They are formidable animals that have been known to kill tigers. They are chained throughout the day and set loose at nighttime to guard their master’s home.
King George V brought a couple of T Mastiffs in the early twentieth century, and plenty of the breed was found in England in 1906 to be presented at the Crystal Palace Show. During the war years, however, the breed fell out of favor and nearly died out.
TMs started to gain popularity around the world around 1980. Although the breed is still rare, as more active breeders emerged and produced sufficient numbers of dogs, several registries and show organizations, like FCI & AKC, began to recognize it. The T Mastiff participated in the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show for the first time in 2008.
The Present Studies
Although 12 dog breeds investigated looked to have separated from the gray wolf around 42,000 years ago, the Tibetan Mastiff lineage separated 58,000 years ago, according to a mitogenome study published in 2008.
In 2011, the same authors published a follow-up study that found a genetic link between the TM & the Rottweiler, Bernese Mountain Dog, Great Pyrenees, and Saint Bernard, indicating that these large dog breeds are likely partially originated from the T Mastiff.
The Leonberger was added to the list of probable relatives in 2014, according to a study. A study published in 2016 investigated how the TM was capable of adapting to the Tibetan Plateau’s severe highland environments far faster than other mammals such as the snow leopard, Tibetan antelope, yak, and wild boar.
The capability of this breed to resist hypoxia in higher elevations due to lower hemoglobin levels than low-altitude dogs was attributed to ancient interbreeding with Tibetan wolves, according to the study.
Tibetan Mastiff Care and Intelligence
While T Mastiffs are highly clever and has the capability of learning basic obedience lessons rapidly, they can sometimes be stubborn and not always obey what you ask. Training should begin at a young age, and instructions should be consistently maintained all throughout dog’s life.
Since the TM is a large dog that is naturally wary of strangers, every pet parent must be able to physically confine their dog when needed, whether in public or inside the house. As for the Tibetan Mastiff, early and intensive socialization is required.
A Tibetan dog that has been inadequately socialized has the chance to become a liability. Expose your TM puppy to as many people, animals, places, and things as possible, while keeping encounters friendly and moving at the pace of the dog.
Even after extensive socialization, some of them have difficulty accepting strangers or foreign animals, particularly those who enter their territory. When they are not in their own home, many of them, particularly those who have had enough socialization, are significantly more relaxed and accepting of outsiders.
A safe fence is required at home to prevent your dog from roaming. The breed’s natural guarding instincts are intensified at night, and most can bark aggressively and noisily. To avoid irritating your neighbors, keep your T Mastiff indoors at night.
What To Watch Out For?
- Giving the right exercise balance. TM puppies require just enough exercise to stay healthy and fit, but not too much that their developing joints, bones, and ligaments are overworked and harmed. Adult Tibetan Mastiffs require more activity to stay in shape, however, they should not be exercised in hot or humid conditions to avoid overheating.
- Aggression towards other animals. These dogs were raised to protect their herd and territory from unknown creatures. Even within their own family, some T Mastiffs will not allow another dog of the same sex, and others will not permit the opposite sex. Many of them have excellent instincts to follow down and capture escaping cats and other animals.
- Providing sufficient socialization. These dogs have strong protective qualities and are always on the lookout for strangers. They must be exposed to a large number of nice people in order to learn to detect “good guy” actions and distinguish them from those who act unnaturally. They may be skeptical or afraid of everyone if they are not properly socialized.
- The fiery personality. They aren’t like Golden Retrievers. They have their own thoughts and personalities and are not easy to grow and teach. Many of them are stubborn and domineering as they want to be rulers. They will also test your ability to control them. You must demonstrate to them that you mean what you say by being consistent.