A TM owner describing their experience with their first TM:
"Our boy has the very raw protective temperament. And though I was mentally prepared with researching thoroughly, the reality of living with such an intelligent, strong and protective animal is a huge responsibility. These guys are not like any dog I've ever met. They will not suffer the idea of being a "pet". They are not entirely tame or entirely wild. You can't train the protective out of them. They need to be an appreciated, equal member of the family. Then you will be rewarded with the most loyal, intelligent, funny and brave companion you will ever know "
THIS IS NOT A REAL TM!!
I just wanted to share this photo shopped Chow mix with everyone. If you research Tibetan Mastiffs, you will see that up until about 10 years ago, NO TM's looked like this. These are not TM's these are Chinese Mastiffs, basically a TM crossed with Chow or whatever large hairy dog they think will make them look nice. These blind and chunky dogs are not the dogs of war used by Attila the Hun. Certain breeders will try to mislead you into thinking they offer true TM's, but if it is a recent import form China then its most likely a mix breed. The AKC will not acknowledge Asian imports for this reason..
To each their own on what they want out of a dog, but much like the Napoleon Mastiff they are taking a defective gene (squish nose) and creating a unhealthy and immobile line of dogs with shorter and shorter life spans.
I have loved and researched this breed since I was 12 yrs old and I am saddened by what is happening to the breed.
So please do not be fooled into buying $5,000 crossbreds, that you are buying a true TM. Look at photo's of TM's 20 years ago and you will see they look nothing like this mutt.
A very informative video on current TM's bred in China, over the last 20 years the breed has greatly changed. To each their own on what they find beautiful but I aim to breed the original standard for personal protection work. My very sick TM, Drakyi Keyuri's breeder is in this documentary judging these dogs (no shock to me since he promotes whatever makes him the most $$)
Rick is not even a judge for America even tho he promotes himself as one..
** Fun Fact : Tibetan Mastiffs are actually not even Mastiffs!... That the name Tibetan 'mastiff' is a misnomer. This dog is not a true mastiff, and first got that name when someone observed that it looked like a mastiff; a better name for the dog would be 'Tibetan mountain dog' or, to include the same dogs on the periphery of Tibet: 'Himalayan mountain dog'.* *
One of the first things I asked potential puppy buyers was "Do you value your possessions such as but not limited to; your couch, walls, chairs, windowsills etc, more than a dog?" if so the TM is not for you!
They are highly destructive, especially in adolescence.
The Tibetan Mastiff is courageous, fearless, even-tempered, calm and thoughtful. Very loyal to their own family. Tends to bark at night if left outside, but will be quiet indoors.
They are an outstanding flock guardian and is ferocious against wolves, leopards or anything that tries to approach their flock.
They are easy to housebreak, but matures later in life than the average breed.
The Tibetan Mastiff needs a firm, confident, consistent pack leader to avoid them from becoming, willful and stubborn, over protective and territorial. They have a strong desire to please their owners. It comes naturally to this breed to guard its family and their property. They have to be raised to adulthood in a careful well-balanced manner. A stable, well-adjusted, and trained dog is for the most part generally good with non-canine pets.
It is possible for them to get along with other dogs if the owners are able to communicate with them that fighting is an unwanted behavior.
Tibetan Mastiffs will not listen if they sense that they are stronger minded than their owner. Owners need to possess a natural air of authority to their demeanor. The objective in training this dog is to achieve a pack leader status. It is a natural instinct for a dog to have an order in their pack. When we humans live with dogs, we become their pack. The entire pack cooperates under a single leader. Lines are clearly defined and rules are set. Because a dog communicates his displeasure with growling and eventually biting, all other humans MUST be higher up in the order than the dog. The humans must be the ones making the decisions, not the dogs. That is the only way your relationship with your dog can be a complete success. When owners make it absolutely clear they are alpha over the dog in a calm, but very firm manner, and the dog is well exercised, trained and socialized they can be very good family companions.
Requires an experienced owner... NOT for the novice owner or a gift for a child. Owner must own their home.
Tibetan Mastiffs are an ancient breed and very slow to mature, taking anywhere from 3 to 7 years to reach their full adult size. Females typically mature faster. The guardian instinct usually kicks in somewhere between 6 months to 2 yrs of age.
TM's are one of the longest lived Large breed types, averaging 15+ years. Most large breeds live 6 to 10yrs on average. Another reason to believe Mastiff is an incorrect choice of name for this breed.
Because of the lower metabolism which accounts for their longevity TM's are known to be sporadic eaters..sometimes going a day or two without food. I personally feed dry food once a day as a supplement to raw foods, such as egg, yogurt, and meat.
TM's are close to Hypoallergenic only blowing their coat one to two times a year..and when this happens I suggest a good brush out to prevent it being all over your home.
I bathe mine 1-2 times a year, I used to do it every 3 months but it was not good for their coat or skin. This is a breed that does better with fewer baths.
Most TM's prefer to be outdoors which can result in every leaf, stick and fodder getting stuck in their coat and then deposited indoors. I find that to be the most annoying care aspect of the TM :) .
It is vital you socialize your dog, they may never like others but they need to respect you. No one should EVER encourage or teach their dog to bite unless you are a trained professional training dogs for work. If your dog is biting people that is an owner problem, not a dog problem!!
Guard and Aggressive are two completely different things. A guard dog will behave and be friendly or ignore guests/people who approach you. They will only bite to protect an owner or home under direct threat.
An Aggressive dog will bite people at the drop of a hat unprovoked.
My TM's are the only breed I have ever encountered that constantly test their boundaries. They would love for me to leave them to their own ways but a TM left to their own ways ends up being a danger to many.
My TM's do not differentiate intruders by age and altho I am able to introduce and supervise children around my TM's I would never reccomend one left unsupervised.
I have 5 children and they have all been taught to respect our dogs, and my TM's are wonderful with my kids...but again I have taught my kids well.
TM's are very sensitive to their surroundings and a turbulent home will make any dog unhappy but even more so for the TM.
Strangers cannot approach my home without my o.k.
I have noticed they only react badly to strangers who I allow in our home if they act suspicious or scared. If a person acts like they have nothing to hide they are the friendliest dogs while they have my leave to be in their presence.
I cannot stress enough that a TM will not be happy in city living. They also have strong roaming urges, combined with their intelligence, equals a incident waiting to happen.
They are very cunning escape artists and most people do not realize when you take your dog for a walk that expands what your dog thinks is "his territory" and he will defend that territory. No amount of recall training will work when your TM wants to "patrol" his turf, so it is imperative some form of confinement is in place for your TM.
I would NOT recommend the underground fence as this seems to be a mere nuisance to a determined TM. You have to shave their neck and put the prongs directly on skin to even phase a TM and even then that doesn't seem to work when they REALLY want through.
Breeding: (Disclaimer: I am unsure at this time if the Do-khyi standard of TM are the same in their heat patterns, or it could be random like the wolf hybrid. I have been told of TM's who cycle like a dog every 6 months but I know of only one. Not to mention every dog is not the same.)
The bitch typically cycles once a year, but has been known to come back in to heat a 2nd time in succession.
I did not breed long (3 litters over 8 years) but I have studied another breed much like the TM in heat cycle and observed my own TM's for 8 years.
A Tibetan Mastiff is very much like the wolf when it comes to breeding and here are some of the similarities I have seen.
The male will court the female up to a month before she even comes into estrus, guarding her from other males. Even neutered males he is best friends with the other 75% of the year. If there are multiple males the bitch will refuse any non Alpha males. I know a few breeders miss out on breeding because the bitch was determined to mate with another male.
The female Tibetan mastiff heat Cycle can last up to a month or longer unlike dogs who only last 2 weeks at the max but typically a few days.
I am very interested to learn if the male TM is fertile year round or only seasonal like the wolf. I have noticed some female TM's will only allow the Alpha male to mate with her. I know of failed breedings because the bitch desired a different male.
Breeding pairs and their young form close and loving bonds. This does not mean they do not fight for dominance but keeping the non breeding TM's fixed helps to keep the pecking order in balance. As does of course a confident human owner. Uri and Tenzin were EXCELLENT parents, Tenzin loved his babies. They both remembered their son Dante who was returned to us at 6mo. Tenzin would lovingly clean his son's face every morning.
Tibetan Mastiffs will become more defiant during the breeding season. Typically fall to winter, every dog varies in length and intensity. They seem to hold grudges too, nothing that a treat can't fix from a loved human.. but other animals will not greet your baby with a cookie, so watch other pets closely especially same sex animals. Tenzin constantly fights with my altered dobe and beats up my altered pug, both males, during breeding season. They all seem to love my cats still with no problems, but a pet Rooster who lived in my back yard did not fare so well. The rooster grew up with my dogs, ate with the puppies, but one day the rooster started beating up a puppy. Her mother (Uri) came to the rescue and this is when I intervened saving the Roosters life. I scolded the dog (not physically) and the Rooster ;) , everything was fine for 2 days. I went shopping and came home an hr later to find a yard full of feathers. Mama dog staring at me with a mouth full of feathers, knowing I would be unhappy. She waited until I was off the property to exact her revenge.
You should not breed your female until she is 2yrs of age, to allow her body to fully develop.
Be prepared for the Female TM in Heat, she will be HIGHLY destructive if kept indoors. Even more so for males if you have a breeding pair that are not ready to mate. Females will ACTIVELY seek male dogs to breed with, you must have proper containment or you will take a lot of collateral damage or a TM on the run.
I am looking into whether or not male TM's are unfertile in the summer like male wolves who are only fertile in breeding season. I have a theory they are not because my father brought his dog over this summer while she was in heat, forgetting we had Tenzin. I was worried but Tenzin could of cared less about her, same with my brother's unaltered female. He never showed any interest and both females enticed him, (all interactions were closely monitored as I do not want accidents). I am thinking about testing Tenzin this summer.
TM's take longer to mature.
Here is a link on Wolf Dog Breeding behavior and I would encourage anyone considering breeding Tibetan Mastiff's to read it. It explain heat cycles etc.. Of course not all pertains being these are in fact wolf hybrids and not TM's but still very informative. Wolf Hybrid Breeding Behaviors .
I have TONS of animals and my TM guards them, but they will not let a random animal on my property no matter what type. For example, I have 8 cats and they love them all but when a stray cat approaches my yard they will not allow it on my property. If I introduce a new animal to them and claim it as mine, they instantly assumes the role of guarding that animal. They will and have killed predators on my land from coyotes, to skunks and possums.
1st TM's ever brought to the U.S. bought by Pres. Eisenhower