Tibetan Mastiff's are very independent dogs. They require exercise and activity in a contained environment. This will require fencing at least 6ft high. Even though this may seem restrictive and impinge on their freedom, it shows your love as a caretaker. This protective feeling is then reflected by your Tibetan Mastiff as a caretaker and protector of your family. Their protective nature is very strong so care will be needed to introduce friends of the family. It may take a while but your friends will slowly become part of the pack.
As all members in your family you want your Tibetan Mastiff healthy and safe with the rest of the pack. Here are a few guidelines that should be followed. Remember Tibetan Mastiffs are an old breed and may exhibit traits common with wild animals.
History of Tibetan Mastiffs
The history of the Tibetan Mastiff is shrouded in mystery and legend. As it was a companion guardian for nomadic tribes there was very little uniformity in the appearance of the breed. However, one thing that remained the same is that they were guardians of their caretakers as well as their livestock and clan. They were usually left behind to protect the women and children while the flocks were being moved to a different pasture.
Early documentation and modern accounts of Tibetan Mastiffs
They were companion guardians of the peoples from the Himalayan Mountains and the plains of Central Asia. The earliest documentation of the Tibetan Mastiff is around 1100 BC in China showing remains of very large dogs. There are also remains of large dogs dating further back to the stone age. This large dog remained in the Himalayan area where they developed into what is known today as the Tibetan Mastiff.
In the late 1200's Marco Polo documented seeing dogs as big as donkeys on his extensive trips to China. These dogs were large and fierce with long black shinny hair. Eventually some had made their way to Europe and were documented in England's first kennel club and stud book in 1873 as Tibetan Mastiffs.
In the 1950's two (2) Tibetan Mastiffs were sent to President Eisenhower, which were then sent out to the Midwest. Nothing was heard from them after that. In 1969 several more Tibetan Mastiffs were imported from India and Nepal. In 1974 the American Tibetan Mastiff Association was formed. The first national Specialty was held in California's Rare Breed Association in October of 1979. In 2008 the Tibetan Mastiff qualified to be shown at AKC's Westminster Kennel Club, giving them full recognition.
The Tibetan Mastiff's role in modern society
In modern times the Tibetan Mastiff has become a beloved guardian and family friend. They will protect their pack fearlessly. They can be a challenge to care for due to their long history of protecting vast areas of land. With a guardian mentality they prefer routine and are sensitive to things that are out of the ordinary. This can also lead to extended barking at night and being a nuisance to neighbors.
Temperament of Tibetan Mastiffs
The Tibetan Mastiff is a guardian not a killer. Being a guardian means they need to have socialization and a pack to be with. This will require attention from their caretakers. It is best they have a companion animal, preferably another dog. With out attention destructive behavior and anxiety WILL happen. Tibetan Mastiffs are primitive dogs with a long history of wandering. This will require fencing.
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