Tibetan Mastiff.jpg
Breed Group Group 9: Large Guardian Pastoral/Mountain Dogs
Sub-group :
Origin Country Tibet
Weight Males: 100-160 pounds. Females: 75-120 pounds.
Height Males: 26-30 inches. Females: 24-28 inches.
Other Name(s) Do-Khyi
Breed Type Pure
click here for FULL BREED STANDARD
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Tibetan Mastiff

Breed Group Group 9: Large Guardian Pastoral/Mountain Dogs
Sub-group :
Origin Country Tibet
Weight Males: 100-160 pounds. Females: 75-120 pounds.
Height Males: 26-30 inches. Females: 24-28 inches.
Other Name(s) Do-Khyi
Breed Type Pure
click here for FULL BREED STANDARD

Origins

The Tibetan Mastiff is an ancient breed whose origins have been lost to antiquity. Due to isolation and prohibitions on trade and travel to Western cultures, Tibet remained isolated geographically and politically. This resulted in these dogs remaining true to their type for hundreds of years. In fact, for centuries, the Tibetan people relied on these dogs for the protection of their homes and communities. The dogs remained closely guarded by Tibet until the late 1800s when one was gifted to Queen Victoria. From there, the breed slowly garnered a following throughout the United Kingdom, with the first standard being drafted by breeders and fanciers throughout the UK. It was there that the breed was established and refined, with coat and size being emphasized and exaggerated. The first Tibetan Mastiffs made their way across the pond in the 1950s, but the breed didn’t gain traction in the United States until the ‘70s. The original dogs throughout the Himalayas remain unchanged, appearing sleeker, smaller, and with less abundant coats and size, and today they are still used for guarding flocks from predators.

Breed Characteristics

Head: Somewhat broad mesaticephalic skull type, large in size, yet in proportion to the overall size of the dog. The head appears broad and heavy, in general. It is without excess skin or wrinkle, although a line may run from the corner of the eye to the corner of the mouth in mature individuals. The skull is broad, and may be very slightly rounded, rounding to a very pronounced occiput. It is as broad (measured across the top in front of the ears) as it is long (from stop to occiput) and well padded with muscle. The forehead is broad and steep. It exhibits a moderately well developed median furrow running from the stop and disappearing toward the occiput. The zygomatic arches are broad and well-developed, yet not protrusive. The head is well padded with powerful (yet not bulky) muscle. The supraorbital arches are only slightly defined.
Eyes: Moderate in size, oval to almond in shape, and any shade of brown, with preference given to darker eyes. The eyes are set a trifle oblique. The eye rims are well fitted and well pigmented. The eyes are never bulging. There should be sufficient bone in the surrounding orbital sockets to protect the eyes. Any signs of entropion or ectropion are incorrect for this breed.
Ears: Medium in size, set between the plane of the skull and the corner of the eyes. They are triangular in shape. The ears are naturally drop and hang with the inner edges and tips close to the head. The ears are never long or overly large. The ears should never be cropped.
Muzzle: The muzzle is full, deep, and broad. The plane, or bridge of the muzzle, is straight and level. It tapers slightly from the broad base toward the nose. Upper and lower jaws are well developed, approximately equal in length, and have good bone substance, never appearing snipy or weak. The nose is parallel to the chin, never protruding forward, but giving the muzzle a somewhat blocky appearance
Nose: The nose is well pigmented and black (preferred), black faded to pink (snow-nose), or butterfly nose. Self-colored (in liver, flesh-tone, blue, or gray) according to the coat allowed in nonstandard color varieties. The nostrils are well opened.
Neck: The neck is moderate in length, yet sufficient to allow for good head carriage and movement. It is powerfully muscled with a good arch. The neck tapers just slightly from the deeper and broader body toward the head. The neck is clean-cut with a slight amount of loose skin at the throat area, lacking excess skin, throatiness, or pendulous dewlap.
Chest: Deep and broad, but never wider than deep. The brisket extends to the point of the elbows. The forechest is well developed without being excessively pronounced.
Body: Compact, solid, robust, and substantial, yet agile. The body is never racy, refined, or cloddy. Width at forequarters is approximately equal to the width at the hindquarters.
Feet: Oval to round and compact, with well-arched toes and tough pads. Dewclaws may be present above forefeet and rear feet.
Tail: Set high on the croup. It is thick at the base and tapering toward the tip. The tail is carried in accordance with the dog’s mood and energy level, usually just above the topline or held in a loose curve or curl over the back when alert, but never tucked. The tail is of a moderately long length, with the tip of the last vertebrae extending to the hock joints when held down. The tail may be straight, gently curved, or sabered.
Movement: Free, energetic, elastic, effortless, and efficient, the characteristics of healthy structure are evident: when moving away, the forelegs and rear pasterns should remain parallel to one another. When viewing movement from the front, the forelegs should remain parallel, with elbows and paws moving neither in nor out. From the rear, the back pads should be visible when the rear legs are extended. As speed increases, the forelimbs and hindlimbs will converge to the centerline of gravity. From the side, the topline should remain firm and level. Good reach of movement in the front allows the forepaw to extend out in a line with the nose. The width between the forefeet when extended should be approximately equal to the width between the hindfeet when extended, indicating balance, good reach, and good drive. Dogs that exhibit any sign of breathing or locomotive difficulty shall be disqualified from the show ring.
Temperament: The Tibetan Mastiff is an independent dog, bred to be a guardian of home and property in his native Tibet. The breed is large, powerful, and well-aware of its size and strength, resulting in a quiet confidence. The Tibetan Mastiff is extremely loyal and watchful, defending his family without hesitation. For this reason, the breed is known to naturally tend toward being territorial and aggressive towards any person or animal outside of the flock or family. Any unprovoked aggressive or fearful behavior toward people is incorrect for this breed.
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Breed Standard

BREED GROUP 9: Large Guardian Pastoral/Mountain Dogs

Proportions: Somewhat rectangular, with the length of the body, measured from the point of the forechest to the point of the rump, being slightly greater than the height at the withers. The ideal body-height-to-length ratio is between 10:9 and 5:4. Females are typically on the longer side of the ratios. The body is robust, athletic, and well put together, with sturdy substance and bone. Males should appear masculine, being more substantial in size and mass, while females should appear more feminine and slightly less substantial. Neither should lack overall type.

Head

General Appearance: Somewhat broad mesaticephalic skull type, large in size, yet in proportion to the overall size of the dog. The head appears broad and heavy, in general. It is without excess skin or wrinkle, although a line may run from the corner of the eye to the corner of the mouth in mature individuals. The skull is broad, and may be very slightly rounded, rounding to a very pronounced occiput. It is as broad (measured across the top in front of the ears) as it is long (from stop to occiput) and well padded with muscle. The forehead is broad and steep. It exhibits a moderately well developed median furrow running from the stop and disappearing toward the occiput. The zygomatic arches are broad and well-developed, yet not protrusive. The head is well padded with powerful (yet not bulky) muscle. The supraorbital arches are only slightly defined.
Expression: Serious, dignified, solemn, self-confident, and self-composed.
Stop: The stop is visible, abrupt, and well defined.
Skull: The ideal muzzle-to-skull ratio is 1:1 with the topskull being equal to the muzzle.
The ideal muzzle-to-skull axis may be slightly convergent to parallel.
Muzzle: The muzzle is full, deep, and broad. The plane, or bridge of the muzzle, is straight and level. It tapers slightly from the broad base toward the nose. Upper and lower jaws are well developed, approximately equal in length, and have good bone substance, never appearing snipy or weak. The nose is parallel to the chin, never protruding forward, but giving the muzzle a somewhat blocky appearance
Lips or Flews: Lips are well pigmented, fairly clean, and fit fairly well over the teeth and jaws. The lips should never extend beyond the lower plane of the bottom jawline.
Nose: The nose is well pigmented and black (preferred), black faded to pink (snow-nose), or butterfly nose. Self-colored (in liver, flesh-tone, blue, or gray) according to the coat allowed in nonstandard color varieties. The nostrils are well opened.
Cheeks: The cheeks are well developed and powerfully muscled. They never appear chiseled or coarse.
Dentition and Bite: Forty-two strong, clean, white teeth preferred. Bite may be level or scissor. Contact must be made between the top and bottom incisors. Missing or broken teeth as a result of routine work is not to be penalized.
Eyes: Moderate in size, oval to almond in shape, and any shade of brown, with preference given to darker eyes. The eyes are set a trifle oblique. The eye rims are well fitted and well pigmented. The eyes are never bulging. There should be sufficient bone in the surrounding orbital sockets to protect the eyes. Any signs of entropion or ectropion are incorrect for this breed.
Ears: Medium in size, set between the plane of the skull and the corner of the eyes. They are triangular in shape. The ears are naturally drop and hang with the inner edges and tips close to the head. The ears are never long or overly large. The ears should never be cropped.

Body and Tail

General Description: Compact, solid, robust, and substantial, yet agile. The body is never racy, refined, or cloddy. Width at forequarters is approximately equal to the width at the hindquarters.
Neck: The neck is moderate in length, yet sufficient to allow for good head carriage and movement. It is powerfully muscled with a good arch. The neck tapers just slightly from the deeper and broader body toward the head. The neck is clean-cut with a slight amount of loose skin at the throat area, lacking excess skin, throatiness, or pendulous dewlap.
Chest: Deep and broad, but never wider than deep. The brisket extends to the point of the elbows. The forechest is well developed without being excessively pronounced.
Topline: Straight and level, or just slightly sloped from prominent withers to croup. The back is of a good length, broad, strongly muscled, and straight, yet supple. The loin is broad, taut, flat and level, or slightly arched, yet supportive. The back is never elongated, swayed, or roached.
Croup: Broad, flat, and approximately level with the back.
Underline: Broad, flat, and approximately level with the back.
Ribs: Long, well-sprung, well-laid-back, and oval-shaped, never barrel-chested or slab-sided.
Tail: Set high on the croup. It is thick at the base and tapering toward the tip. The tail is carried in accordance with the dog’s mood and energy level, usually just above the topline or held in a loose curve or curl over the back when alert, but never tucked. The tail is of a moderately long length, with the tip of the last vertebrae extending to the hock joints when held down. The tail may be straight, gently curved, or sabered.

Forequarters and Hindquarters

Forequarters: Forequarters are always in balance with the hindquarters. Forequarters are moderately well angulated. Shoulder blades are long and approximately equal in length to the upper arm and forearm.
Elbows: Elbows are close to the body. The distance from the ground to the point of the elbows is approximately half or just over half (50-52%) the dog’s height at the withers.
Forelegs: Frontal View: Straight, of good muscle, of sturdy bone, and parallel to one another.
Side View: The forelimbs appear straight with strong pasterns.
Pasterns: Never weak or broken.
Hindquarters: Upper thigh and lower thigh are fairly long, equal in length, strong, of sturdy bone, and well-muscled.
Rear View: When viewed from the rear, the rear pasterns are parallel to one another.
Side View: Good angulation will allow the rear toes to align with the point of the rump or within one to two paw-lengths behind the point of the rump, with the rear pasterns remaining perpendicular to the ground and parallel to one another.
Stifle Joint: Fairly well-angulated with a good bend to well-let-down rear pasterns.
Angulations: Angulation of hindquarters is always in balance with angulation of forequarters.
Feet: Oval to round and compact, with well-arched toes and tough pads. Dewclaws may be present above forefeet and rear feet.

Coat

Skin: Well-fitted, yet supple. The skin should never obstruct the outline of the dog.
Coat Type: The Tibetan Mastiff’s coat quality is of the utmost importance and should be able to withstand harsh and extreme mountainous conditions, ranging from arid heat to cold. The coat should be harsh and dense with a protective outer coat that is straight, fine, and off-standing. It is especially thicker on the neck, chest, and shoulders, forming a thick mane in some specimens. The undercoat is soft, supportive of guard hairs, and dense. The coat density and length may vary according to the seasons, becoming thinner in the summer and denser in the winter. Males will also have a naturally more abundant coat than females. The tail may range from bushy to plumed.
The coat is short on the face, forehead, and front of the forelimbs and hindlimbs. The outer coat is abundantly thick and long, being longer on the neck, around the ears, and back of the forelimbs and hindlimbs, feet, and tail, forming well developed “mane,” fringe, furnishings, and tail plume. Undercoats are dense, soft, supportive, and protective.
Coat Color or Pattern: The Tibetan Mastiff is richly marked in black, blue, or sable, all with or without gold, tan, or red markings; fawn ranging from a cream to chestnut. Minimal white markings are permissible.

Movement

Free, energetic, elastic, effortless, and efficient, the characteristics of healthy structure are evident: when moving away, the forelegs and rear pasterns should remain parallel to one another. When viewing movement from the front, the forelegs should remain parallel, with elbows and paws moving neither in nor out. From the rear, the back pads should be visible when the rear legs are extended. As speed increases, the forelimbs and hindlimbs will converge to the centerline of gravity. From the side, the topline should remain firm and level. Good reach of movement in the front allows the forepaw to extend out in a line with the nose. The width between the forefeet when extended should be approximately equal to the width between the hindfeet when extended, indicating balance, good reach, and good drive. Dogs that exhibit any sign of breathing or locomotive difficulty shall be disqualified from the show ring.

Temperament

The Tibetan Mastiff is an independent dog, bred to be a guardian of home and property in his native Tibet. The breed is large, powerful, and well-aware of its size and strength, resulting in a quiet confidence. The Tibetan Mastiff is extremely loyal and watchful, defending his family without hesitation. For this reason, the breed is known to naturally tend toward being territorial and aggressive towards any person or animal outside of the flock or family. Any unprovoked aggressive or fearful behavior toward people is incorrect for this breed.

Faults

All dogs should be in proper healthy condition, free from disease or defect. Any departure from this description is considered a fault. Unless altered, all male dogs should have two fully descended testicles.