Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Tibetan Mastiff

Description: The Tibetan Mastiff is a big dog that is large boned and sturdy. This breed stands at 25-28 inches and the weight is 140-170 pounds. The head is broad, heavy, and has good strength. The muzzle is broad and square in shape. The teeth meet in a scissor or level bite. The nose is black and large. This dog has slightly slanting eyes, which are almond shaped, deep set and all shades of brown. This dog has pendent V shaped ears that hang close to the head. The Tibetan Mastiff has a muscular neck that is slightly arched; the neck has a lot of mane. The front legs are straight and the feet are cat like, and sometimes they have feathering between the toes. The double coat is vast and very thick. The coat comes in brown, black, blue- grey and can have tan markings and a range of shades of gold. They can also have white markings. Their life expectancy is 15 plus years.

History: Like all other Mastiff's and Molossuses, throughout the world, the Tibetan Mastiff is descended from the famous Tibetan dogs. It is believed that the ancient Tibetan Mastiff was around as early as 1100BC. This went on to develop into the dog we call the Tibetan Mastiff today. This breed, for centuries, was cut off from the rest of the world in the Himalayan Mountains, of Tibet. The dog was used for guarding the villages and in some cases only one dog was guarding a whole village. This dog was locked up in the day and at night would patrol the village keeping it safe, as the men would need to work away for days at a time. It was Queen Victoria of England that had the dog first in the mid 1800's and this set the dog status, and the gates opened to the west bring the dog from its isolation. The English wrote the standards, and breeding began in the west. The dog was imported from Nepal, India, Afghanistan and Ladakh to the USA this was in 1970's. The Tibetan Mastiff sadly has become rare in its native country, Tibet. This dog has gained in popularity in the US. The Tibetan Mastiff was first recognized by the ACK in 2006.

Temperament: The Tibetan Mastiff has all the elements they are courageous, fearless, thoughtful, and loyal to their family and is even tempered. This breed reaches full maturity later in life than a lot of breeds but this just adds to the dog's charm. This dog will need a firm and consistent leader and this prevents over protectiveness and wilfulness. Without a great leader, they can become territorial. This dog will love to please you and the family. They are good with children. It is best to socialize the Tibetan Mastiff well as they instinctively guard the family so introducing new things and people from an early age will help them accept new experiences. To help this breed to be stable and reach their full potential, they need good consistent training and good pack leadership form the owner and this will reduce, or eliminate, any problems. Combine daily physical exercise with mental challenges. This dog needs good heel work to reinforce the leadership status, which is that you are the Alpha. This dog will not listen if they think they are stronger minded, and see you as meek. This does not mean hitting and shouting at the dog but a natural leadership style with a calm but firm manner. This is not a breed for the first time dog owner. This dog, in the right hands, makes a wonderful family pet.

Health issues: As with a lot of large breed dogs the Tibetan Mastiff is prone to hip dysplasia. There are also ear infections, a genetic problem called CIDN Canine Inherited Demyelinative Neuropathy sadly this is fatal but is picked up in puppies as young as 7 weeks, the puppy only lives to around four months. Not a true health issue is the fact the Tibetan Mastiff joints and muscle while young need to not be overworked this is important while young and throughout the growing stage. As with any dog it is very important that you make sure they are up to date on all vaccinations, de-wormings and heart worm preventatives. It is also suggested by the majority of licensed veterinarians that you take your puppy or dog in for a check up at least twice each year.

Grooming: The Tibetan mastiff will require grooming and this for the owner is a good brushing regularly. This dog is a heavy shedder for about one month as the weather starts to warm up and then more brushing is needed and this should be daily with the shedding.

Living conditions: The Tibetan Mastiff can live in an apartment providing; there is room as this is a big dog and that the dog has plenty of daily exercise.
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