Tibetan Mastiff

  • Overview

    This substantial dog is a protective but gentle companion who expects to bond very closely to his owners. His serious, inviting expression indicates his personality — he is an amiable, playful companion who takes his responsibility to his family very seriously.

    Tibetan Mastiffs are protective dogs who bond fiercely to their owners. They enjoy relaxing indoors, but outdoors, they are active and energetic watchdogs who will stop at nothing to defend their territory and their family.

  • Personality

    Tibetan Mastiffs are incredibly sensitive to human moods and understanding of their human owner's feelings. They will often react to their owner's emotions and can seem to sense whether or not their owners feel comfortable. If the owner is agitated, or if the Mastiff can sense that his owner does not like someone, the Mastiff will follow suit. This dog can bark. Their bark is unique and intimidating because they were bred to be protective nighttime guard dogs. They take their job as the protector of the family very seriously. Tibetan Mastiffs are extremely territorial and they do not welcome strangers who they sense will harm their owners. They are especially agitated at night and during the evening, so if you plan to have a rotating door of guests visiting at night, Tibetan Mastiffs will not comfortably adjust to life in your household.

    Tibetan Mastiffs are not the most obedient dogs, mostly because they have keen instincts on which they rely to protect their families, and they believe that they're the boss. Early socialization and very firm, dominant obedience training are the only ways to ensure that you do not lose control of your large, powerful dog. These athletic dogs can weigh up to 180 pounds, and they appreciate frequent activity outdoors to burn off energy and stay fit. Without frequent exercise, Tibetan Mastiffs will attempt to amuse themselves and can become destructive.

  • Coat Care

    The Tibetan Mastiff has a long, thick, coarsely textured over coat and a soft, wooly under coat. The coat is hard, straight and protective. It is never wavy or silky. During the summer, the Mastiff sheds his under coat to keep cool. The coat is especially thick and long around the neck and shoulders, but the male's coat is much heavier than the female's. Tibetan Mastiff's coats are usually found in black, tan, gold and deep brown. Some dogs have white or tan markings on their legs and underbellies.

Brushing

Depending on the climate, the Tibetan Mastiff will seasonally shed his dense under coat to stay cool. If they do shed, Mastiffs will require extra brushing to keep their coat from looking sloppy. Their long coat should be brushed several times a week with a wire slicker brush to prevent matting. Around the longer hair in the Tibetan Mastiff's mane, legs and tail, his coat will have a great tendency to mat.

Bathing

With preparation, perseverance and a positive attitude, bathing can become a fun and fulfilling part of the regular grooming cycle, while helping your dog avoid many diseases and infections.

The general rule of thumb for dog bathing is every three months but some double-coated dogs can be done so with less frequency (the Alaskan Malamute, in particular, has no odor and can go with annual baths). The coat should end up fresh smelling, shiny, with no loose or shedding hair. First give the dog a good brushing to remove dead hair and mats. Place a rubber mat in the tub to provide secure footing and fill the tub with three to four inches of lukewarm water. Use a spray hose, pitcher or unbreakable cup to wet the dog, taking caution to avoid getting water in the eyes, ears and nose. Massage in pet shampoo, saving the head for last. Immediately rinse thoroughly, starting with the head to prevent soap from dripping into the eyes. Towel dry. Remember to wipe wrinkled breeds with a soft cloth and make sure they are totally dry after bathing. High-velocity dryers work great to remove excessive loose hair with shedding.

Hair Clipping

Clipping or trimming your dog’s coat is far easier than you would ever imagine. With the right clipper, trimmer and scissors, it is simple to give your dog a haircut and save expensive trips to the groomer.

Dogs with double coats generally require regular trimming. It lessens the chances of matting, tangles and the infestation of fleas and other pests, thus reducing the risk of skin infections. There is no set timetable. Judgment should be made on an individual basis, depending on functionality and owner preference. There are a wide array of trimmers available that will make each snip a snap. It’s a good idea to take your dog for a short walk to calm him down before you groom him.  Thoroughly brush the coat to remove tangles and mats. Use trimmers to trim excess fur off the dog's body, choosing the appropriate clip attachment to achieve desired length. Start with the shoulders and progress towards the tail. Trim around the tail, paws, sanitary areas and chest, if needed. Groom the head and face last, being watchful for sudden movement. Trim with the flow of the fur, away from the eyes and nose.

Nails

Many dog owners are apprehensive about trimming their dog’s nails because they are nervous about cutting into the quick. But with the right conditioning and careful cutting, nail clipping can be a simple, stress-free activity for you and your dog.

Provide your dog with plenty of positive reinforcement and even treats to help associate nail clipping with a positive experience.  As you start to clip, gently press on your dog’s paws to help him become accustomed to the feeling of having his nails clipped. Then, work gradually, shaving down just a thin portion of the nail at first to make sure you don’t reach the quick. Clip one nail, reward your dog with a treat, and stop to give him some positive reinforcement before moving on. Gradually increase the number of nails you clip in one sitting to help your dog get used to the process. Never trim extremely long nails down to a short nail in one sitting, because this is an excellent way to accidently quick the dog’s nail. Instead, work gradually, shaving small portions of your dog’s nails off each time.

You can tell if you’re getting close to the quick by the texture of your dog’s nail. The nail is hard closer to the surface and becomes softer as you get closer to the quick. If your dog’s nail starts to feel softer, that’s a good indication that you’re getting close to the quick.

Eyes / Ears

Not all breeds and coat styles require routine trimming in and around the eyes and ears but all should undergo regular inspection and cleaning around these sensitive areas. Doing so will help prevent the development of infections that could seriously damage these amazing organs.

It is always important to routinely clean your dog's eyes and ears, and examine for potential infections. Corgis, Alaskan Malamutes, Akitas and Collies have sensitive ears that  need to be checked weekly for infection and cleaned with a cotton ball. Gently wipe a cotton ball moistened with mineral oil, olive oil or witch hazel in your dog's ear, being careful to avoid the ear canal. Never use a Q-Tip, which could cause damage to the inner ear if your dog suddenly shakes or jerks his head. Bushy hair growth within the ear can be thinned with tweezers or blunt scissors. Use a small trimmer to trim excess hair around the eyes, ears and face. If your dog is prone to developing tear stains around the eyes, clean around their eyes with a cotton ball or soft cloth and use a small trimmer to trim excess hair around their eyes.

Teeth

Many owners do not realize how important it is to brush your pet’s teeth on a regular basis. Some dogs are prone to dental problems and sensitive teeth, especially small dogs with tiny teeth and dogs with special diets. These problems can be easily combatted with frequent brushing.

Cavities are rare with dogs but gum disease caused by tartar buildup is not, which is why they require regular brushing with toothpaste and a toothbrush formulated specifically for dogs. While daily brushing is ideal, doing so on a weekly basis will be a big help in avoiding the need to bring your dog to a veterinarian for a cleaning, which usually has to be done under sedation.