These large dogs bear some similarity to the St Bernard, although they were developed far away in Tibet. In their homeland, Tibetan Mastiffs were used to guard and hered flocks. They may be the closest surviving relative of the original ancestral form of the many mastiff breeds, which is thought to have been developed in this area.
Coat Type/Colour: Shaggy; Black and Tan/Golden
Height: 24 – 27 Inch (61 – 68.5 cm)
Weight: 220 lb Max (97.9 kg)
Nature: Hardy, Obedient; OK with Children
Unlike some of the smaller Tibetan dogs, however, this mastiff has never been well known outside its homeland, although it did have a brief period of popularity in Britain during the last century. King George IV (1762 – 1830) kept two of these dogs, and the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII) exhibited the breed in 1875. The black and tan or golden forms are best known in the West, but pure black dogs, some showing white markings, have been recorded in Tibet.
There are now signs that Tibetan Mastiffs are becoming more popular. They are hardy and essentially obedient dogs, which can generally be trusted with children in spite of their large size. The American Tibetan Mastiff Association is working hard to encourage the development of this breed along correct lines, ensuring both genetic and temperamental soundness. Interestingly, bitches only come into season once a year rather than twice as most other dog breeds do.