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Tibetan Mastiff: history, philosophy and temperament

Tibetan Mastiff is a sturdy built, heavy and powerful dog with a strong muscles. It has a heavy coat and thick hair around its neck which growths from the occipital prominence to withers. It is a rare and very ancient dog breed. Owing to the fact that Tibet, the dogs` primary country, was in geographical isolation, the breed purity was preserved.

You have decided to buy a puppy in Kiev a long time ago. However, “I`ll buy a puppy in Kyiv” is only your desire, but who will exactly settle down in your house of these friendly four-footed fellows? Do not be surprised if your child will ask you to buy a puppy of Tibetan Mastiff. This unique creature will soon become a reliable guard of your house, but for now, it is your good fellow who needs to be taken care of. Before choosing and buying a puppy of Tibetan Mastiff, you should first consider, whether such dog is appropriate for you and your family. These strong, brave and smart dogs will stand ready for anything for their master. However, one should breed a puppy right from its early days.

History of Tibetan Mastiff breed

Tibet… The country of high uplands and gorgeous valleys is located on the downhill of Himalayan Mountains in the Central Asia. The country of snows, being in the voluntary isolation from the whole world, is embosomed in mountains and trackless deserts.

Mastiff breed moved from its primary distribution area in Tibet to Mongolia, Mesopotamia, and finally to Middle Asia. In XIII century Chinese merchants always kept the enduring dogs to protect their property while passing Tibet in their way to Gobi desert and North China. It is from those merchants that local habitants could buy a puppy of Tibetan Mastiff. Those dogs were brought in to the Ancient Greece from Mesopotamia, where they came to be known as Epirus dogs or Molossus. It is from Greece that this breed was spread throughout the Mediterranean. These gorgeous guardian dogs accompanied the Roman legions in military campaigns. As the heavily boned, sturdy built dogs with strong muscles, they could withstand all difficulties of the mountain area crossing.

The heaviest breed type, the Tsang-khyi, could be frequently met at the friaries where the dogs served as the permanent guardian dogs: the owners donated them to monks in order to receive the Grace of God.

Other dogs were sold to reach people for guardianship of yards, as only very few people could afford themselves to feed such large animal. However, smaller, more widespread, shepherd-like dogs stayed in villages, on cattle ranges, travelled with caravans and nomad brides; they most probably served as livestock guardian dogs.

Arthur Wardle, the author, is the famous animal artist. The ideal breed characteristics and proportions are reflected here.

Tsang-khyi – the valley Tibet Mastiff in Tibet

As a rule, the valley Tibet Mastiff or Tsang-khyi is met and being bred in mountain area in the South, in Comai County of the Tibetan autonomous prefecture, in Tsziachzha Sanru, in Cona and Lhünzê counties with their cattle ranges located in the highland valleys.

In the middle of XIX century, Charles Darwin in his book “The Variations of Animals and Plants under Domestication” mentions of a “huge black mastiff”, living at the South regions of Himalayan Mountains of Tibet. Here he obviously means the big Tibetan Mastiffs who were known to range in that region.

The outstanding male adult size exceeds 75 cm, and the average size of female adults reaches 70 cm. One can easily recognize full-length hair reaching withers, a broad straight back, gradually rising to the tapering and narrowing croup, and a slightly-toned abdomen. This species are characterized with the following colours: black and tan («csama») and solid black («dunma»), with some white markings possible. Golden, multicoloured, a diluted grey colour and others is the indicative of a mixture with other types of Tibetan mastiffs.

They are valued for vigilant guardianship of home and bringing joy to a family. This type of Tibetan Mastiff is devoted to his master and to home pets of his owner. They not only recognize and accept people, but also allow strangers to come in who communicate with the master's family. However, they will not tolerate any strange animals near the animal or the house of their master, especially at night. They remain alert and vigilant throughout the night and guard their home ownership.

Dok-Khyi or Highland Tibet Mastiff in Tibet

Highland Tibet Mastiff or as some people call it shepherd Tibetan Mastiff Dok-Khyi can be found in Gānnán Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Qinghai province and area of Sychuan-Tszan. Tibet Mastiffs of the Hequ County are the most typical representatives of the outstanding species known as highland Tibet Mastiffs or Dok-Khyi. According to the investigation conducted by Mr. Tsui, Mr. Yan and agricultural college Gansu, this species of Tibet Mastiff is usually spread in the area of Hequ County. Tibetans call it Dok-Khyi, which means Tibetan Mastiff who lives in a step or at a cattle range.

The height of an excellent male adult is not less than 73 cm and is usually more. The height of adult females significantly exceeds 65 cm. Main colours are as follows: black and tan, black and golden. There are also other colours such as gray or white. The coat may be in places large, long, of good quality, and resistant to cold weather.

The dok-khyi, or highland Tibetan Mastiff, has more weaker and high bark than the valley Tibetan Mastiff (Tsang-khyi). It is not so sonorous and pleasant for the ear. This sturdy dog has more thick wrinkles on its neck and muzzle than the valley Tibetan mastiffs (Tsang-khyi) do. One can say that these two types have complementary features which can be mixed in a breeding program, breeding strategies for breeding future generations. There are no significant functional differences between the highland (steppe) Tibetan Mastiff (Dok-Khyi) and valley Tibetan mastiffs (Tsang-khyi), except for the sound of the voice of Dok-Khyi, which is not as sonorous as in Tsang-khyi.

Lion Tibet Mastiff

One can seldom find not so commonly known and longhaired purebred Tibetan Mastiff of lion type in Tibet, although this type is widely distributed in some places. It can mostly be found in Shannan, A Li, Chengdu, Tibet, and in groups of herdsmen of Daqing County in Yunnan province, China. (Also, it is more common in some Western nurseries.) This type is very alert by nature; it can be aggressive and helps shepherds to guard cattle. Usually it is tied for guardianship («Dok-khyi») at the gate or on both sides of the Yurt.

The height of a great male adult of Tibetan Mastiff of lion type at withers exceeds at the most 70 cm, females – 65 cm. They have more round head, large and short snout with a more tight lips, broad back and long body. The protrusion of the withers is imperceptible due to the excessive long hair (like in Chow-Chow). Wool covers the whole body. Main colours are as follows: gray, gray-and tan, black and tan and black. Lion type with white and yellow colours is usually the result of crossing lion-type dog with Dok-khyi.

Philosophy of a breed

It is presumed that the colour of Tibet Mastiff has particular meaning. Thus, white ocelli on the breast is the indicator of brave heart, and fair ocelli under eyes symbolize one more pair of eyes, which can understand the man`s soul and recognize his wishes. It never fails to amaze one at the blistering reaction of the dog: the animal can catch an enemy in one bound, but one command will be enough for him to stop at once.

If you have decided to buy a puppy of Tibetan Mastiff, you can be sure that you`ve found a reliable fellow. These dogs are smart enough to be trained and be controlled over. The animal is very sensitive to mood of its master: it is not tiresome, but is always near. However, one should build his relations with Tibetan Mastiff solely on mutual respect basis.

To buy a puppy in Kiev – dog`s character and peculiarities of breeding

Where to buy puppy in Kiev (or any other major city)? Do not rush to buy in the first random point of sale. First, because purebred dogs of the breed can be found not so often. You can buy a puppy of

Tibetanan Mastiff after you get acquainted with his character.
The Tibetan Mastiff has an amazing charisma, but his character can as well attributed to the character a guard dog. These animals do not trust strangers, and may show aggression in respect to them. However, in the presence of the owner they are quite friendly to the guests.

The dog flawlessly performs the duties of a watchdog on its territory. As history shows, the Tibetan Mastiff was a faithful guardian of the friaries of Tibet.

It is particularly friendly and kind with friends. It easily adapts to the step child when it is on a leash. And if your son or daughter asked you to buy a puppy of Tibetan Mastiff, you can be sure that no better dog for you children can be found.

Sometimes it can be very stubborn in defending its own independence. Therefore, the hardness in combination with patience and determination with sincerity will help you in breeding your pet.

Will I buy a puppy in Kiev? Is it only a wish? Although it will definitely be the right decision – if your family will buy a Tibetan Mastiff.