By Linda Cole
The Tibetan Mastiff is a perfect example of why getting the right dog for your lifestyle is so important. According to the American Tibetan Mastiff Association, “If you want an obedient dog, a dog that you can walk off leash, a dog that will come when called, the TM is not the dog for you. If you lead an active social life with many people coming in and out of your house, the TM is not the dog for you. If you have small children or many children come to visit, the TM may not be the dog for you. If you prize your wood furniture (or your plaster walls) and you will be upset if they were chewed on (or eaten in their entirety), the TM is not for you.”
It’s not that the Tibetan Mastiff is a bad dog that can’t be controlled. He’s an intelligent, strong willed and independent dog who believes he knows more than his owner. However, he is loyal and extremely protective of his family and property. People the dog doesn’t know will most likely not be allowed to enter your home. He’s adaptable, likes to think on his own and make his own decisions, and is quite capable of having good judgment.
The Tibetan Mastiff was bred as a guard dog and will protect family and home with a fierce determination. This rare dog breed is descended from the ancient Tibetan Mastiff that is thought to go back as far as 1100 BC in China. Little is known about the history of the early dogs. They lived and worked in the high Himalayan Mountains as guard dogs and were isolated for centuries. During the day, the dogs were kept confined and released at night to patrol the entire town. Some villages only had one dog on guard duty at night.
The dogs were also effective fighters and protectors, and were used in armies of the Assyrians, Persians, Greeks and Romans. They even went into Europe with Attila the Hun and Genghis Khan. However, the breed continued to exist only in the Himalayans and central plains of Asia until 1847 when one was given to England’s Queen Victoria. Today, this giant rare dog breed is even hard to find in their homeland. They are still used to guard livestock and protect their owner from mainly wolves and snow leopards.