No one really knows how the Tibetan Mastiff came to be. The breed is so old, and Tibet has always been so isolated, that we might never find out. One thing is clear, though. They're huge. The females grow to be at least 24 inches and 70-120 pounds while the males stand at 26 inches and 90-150 pounds.
To show you just how big they are, people are posting cute and funny pics of their Tibetan Mastiffs. And these densely-coated giants look so mellow and calm as well, Bored Panda just can't resist. Here's a list we compiled in honor of these majestic creatures!
Tibetan Mastiffs are a large Tibetan dog breed belonging to the mastiff family. Originating with the nomadic cultures of Tibet, China, Mongolia, India and Nepal, they are used by local tribes of Tibetans to protect sheep from wolves, leopards, bears, large mustelids, and tigers.
Some breeders differentiate between two "types" of Tibetan Mastiff, the Do-khyi and the Tsang-khyi. The Tsang-khyi (which, to a Tibetan, means only "dog from Tsang") is also referred to as the "monastery" type, described as generally taller, heavier, and more heavily boned, with more facial wrinkling and haw than the Do-khyi or "nomad" type. Both types are often produced in the same litter with the larger, heavier pups being placed in more stationary jobs versus more active jobs for the Tibetan Mastiffs that are better structured and well-muscled.
Males can reach heights up to 83 cm (33 in). The original Tibetan Mastiff breed from its native range usually weighed 55–90 kg (121–198 lb). The enormous dogs being produced in some Western and Chinese kennels, which sometimes weigh in excess of 115 kg (254 lb) would have cost too much to keep fed to have been useful to nomads; and their questionable structure would have made them less useful as livestock or property guardians.
As a socialized, more domestic dog, it can thrive in a spacious, fenced yard with a canine companion, but it is generally not an appropriate dog for apartment living. The Western-bred dogs are generally more easy-going, although somewhat aloof with strangers coming to the home. Through hundreds of years of selective breeding for a protective flock and family guardian, the breed has been prized for being a nocturnal sentry, keeping would-be predators and intruders at bay, barking at sounds throughout the night. Leaving a Tibetan Mastiff outside all night with neighbors nearby is not recommended. They often sleep during the day, making them more active, alert and aware at night.
Like all flock guardian breeds, they are intelligent and stubborn to a fault, so obedience training is recommended (although it is only mildly successful with some individuals) since this is a strong-willed, powerful breed. Unless they are to be used exclusively as livestock guardians, socialization obedience training is also critical with this breed because of their reserved nature with strangers and guardian instincts. They can be excellent family dogs depending on the family. Owners must understand canine psychology and be willing and able to assume the primary leadership position. Lack of consistent, rational discipline can result in the creation of dangerous, unpredictable dogs. The protectiveness of Tibetan Mastiffs requires alertness and planning by the owner in order to avoid mishaps when the dog is simply performing as a guardian. The breed is not recommended for novice dog owners.