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Description of Tibetan Mastiff

´╗┐The Breed History

These massive quintessential guardians originated in Tibet, and were traditional guards of home and monastery. Though used for livestock defense, they are territory guardians first and foremost. Some consider these dogs to have been the original Mastiff-type dog which was exported to develop other versions of the mastiff in Europe and the various mountain dogs. The first Mastiff is thought to have arrived in England around 1847, with a pair arriving around1874. The year 1931 marked the first recognition of the breed in the UK kennel club. In the early 1970s, breeding stock was introduced to the US. Because of the nomadic life style of the Tibetans, regional variations in type occurred, so variation in conformation and size is a hallmark of the native stock. The AKC accepted the breed as its 155th in 2006. DNA analysis suggests that the breed is more ancient than other domestic dog breeds, diverging from the grey wolf lineage approximately 58,000 years ago.

Breeding for Function

The Himalayas are a harsh mountainous region, with extremes of temperature and terrain. These hardy strong dogs were bred exclusively for guardian function and to withstand the rigors of their environment.

Physical Characteristics

Height at Withers: males 26-30in." (66-76cm), females 24-28 in. (61-71 cm)

Weight: males 100-165 lbs. (45-72.5 kg) females 75-120 lbs. (34-54.5 kg)

Coat: Haircoat is thick, double, with wooly undercoat and stiff outer hairs that are not curly. Feathering is present on the tail and breeches. Colors accepted include black, black and tan, chocolate brown, gray or dilutes. White markings OK in specified locations. Longevity: Lifespan is long for a giant breed (10+ years).

Points of Conformation: Only slightly longer than tall this is an extremely agile dog, powerful and impressive for its' size and substance. The massive broad skull has a prominent massive occipital protuberance, typical of a heavily boned animal. The muzzle is broad and square, and the well muscled neck is embellished by a mane. The head is held high. The stop is prominent. A curved tail is carried high over the dorsum, and is not longer than the hock when measured. Moderate flews are acceptable, and the facial skin may be somewhat wrinkled in the mature animal. Wide set almond shaped eyes are pigmented brown, and not prominent. Ears are triangular, covered with short hair, with thick leather, and hanging to the head when resting, but high set and carried high when active. A scissor or level bite is acceptable. Some dewlap may be present. Straight level back, and thorax deep and broad but not barrel. The abdomen is tucked up. The dog has low set hocks, and tight large strong compact feet. A TM may single track during motion. Single dewclaws are present on the forefeet, single or double may be present on the hind feet. Rear dewclaw removal is optional.

Thanks for description - Animal life club

Photo Gallery of Tibetan Mastiff