FAQ - Frequently asked questions about the Tibetan Mastiff



How much does a Tibetan mastiff puppy cost?

How much does a Tibetan mastiff puppy cost?

It is normal to wonder the price for a pup of this breed, especially after some specimens have been sold at exorbitant prices in China, placing Tibetan mastiff at the top of international new section. In order to remove any doubt, we can say prices in Occident and in Italy are aligned to those of other similar breeds. The final price of our puppies depends on many factors. His bloodline is the first among everything. Nowadays, Chinese litters are very common and they are usually less expensive. Litters from native dogs are inevitably more expensive, because of all the difficulties and the supported cost to locate and import aboriginal specimens.  We breed for the love of Tibetan mastiff, so we try to meet any real dog lover halfway.


Which are the differences between “Chinese” and “native” bloodlines?

Which are the differences between “Chinese” and “native” bloodlines?

The so called “Chinese Tibetan mastiffs” or “Chinese mastiffs” are the product of a peculiar selection that some Chinese breeders have been realizing for 20 years. From generation to generation and by using in-breeding (closely related individuals mating), these specimens have been appearing more and more different from original Tibetan mastiffs. This is why many people doubt about the pureness of these dogs, and attribute their different physical appearance to the crossing with other breeds such as Chow-Chow, Newfoundland, Spanish Mastiff, Sharpei and others. A lot of people are asking to include these Chinese dogs within a new breed, the Chinese mastiff exactly. Until that time these specimens will continue to be classified as another strain or variety within the same breed. In our opinion this is a wrong classification.

Native Tibetan mastiff specimens were directly born in their original lands or they are their direct descendants, indeed. Pay attention to those Western breeders stating they have “native” dogs. It is essential to  clarify that when we speak of “native dogs”, we do not refer to dogs who were born in some Chinese kennel, which is cleverly located close to the Tibetan plateau. Our dogs lived and worked together with Tibetan nomads or in the monasteries, in deep remote areas, protected from every genetic manipulation. There are no doubts about their pureness and their typical characteristics. Their similarity with the illustrated Tibetan specimens of many years ago, further certify their quality.


Is the Tibetan mastiff a suitable dog for everybody?

Is the Tibetan mastiff a suitable dog for everybody?

No, he is not. He is a big-sized dog with a strong personality, he needs adequate spaces and a family which devotes its attention to him. Tibetan mastiff loves to live in contact with his people. You can wrongly read about a wary and independent dog, but his millennial history tells us about a dog which has always been used to live together with his nomad family or his monks community in monasteries. You must also take into account since his childhood, the pup of Tibetan mastiff develops a natural suspiciousness towards strangers, which can turn into a fierce aggressiveness in extreme situations. So, you must be prepare to handle a dog ready to do his job, that of a loyal family protector to the detriment of anybody which can be considered a threat.


Male or female puppy: which is better?

Male or female puppy: which is better?

There are no evident behavioral differences from males to females. You can notice slight differences from a specimen to another one, but they are not related to their sex. As it happens in every breed, there are more independent or friendly specimens. Concerning physical appearance, males are bigger and more striking, whereas females are smaller and their distinctive characteristics are more gentle. From the point of view of handling, if you have a female you only should pay attention once a year during their estrus.


How much does a Tibetan mastiff eat?

How much does a Tibetan mastiff eat?

Not so much, as we would think for such a big dog. We are speaking about a breed used to live at high-elevation and in a hostile environment. During millennia it adjusted its metabolism to such harsh living conditions. Respect to a dog of another breed of the same size and in our latitude, Tibetan mastiff food intake is much more lower. So, we advise against food high in proteins and/or calories, especially during summer.


Tibetan mastiff coat: which kind of care does it need?

Tibetan mastiff coat: which kind of care does it need?

As it is for other breeds, Tibetan mastiff has two layers of fur. The undercoat is dense and wooly, whereas the main fur is a larger and thicker. Normally at the beginning of spring the wolly undercoat sheds naturally in two weeks time or less. At that moment brushing the coat helps shedding and allows new fur to grow. It also facilitates perspiration and therefore skin health. Apart from shedding time, Tibetan mastiff looses a very little amount of fur, and it does not require special care. You just have to pay attention to some areas such as neck and ears. If you do not brush those areas for a long time, shedding hair tends to tangle and it creates matts.


Do they tolerate heat in the summertime?

Do they tolerate heat in the summertime?

According to our last answer, before summer begins, shedding allows the dog to tolerate summer heat. In any case, we want to remember this breed originated in the Tibetan plateau, where climate can be very hot and  high-elevation exposes human beings and animals to strong irradiation during the summertime. It is important the dog always has a shady place and fresh water in the summertime.


Can they sleep outdoor in winter?

Can they sleep outdoor in winter?

Certainly! In his original areas, Tibetan mastiff is used to live in extremely harsh climate condition, where degrees can deeply fall below 0°C (32°F) for a lot of months. So, he has no problems in living outdoor during the day and the night, even when it is very cold and there are snow and ice.


Can Tibetan mastiff live together with other dogs or animals?

Can Tibetan mastiff live together with other dogs or animals?

It depends. Tibetan mastiff is a dominant breed, so we would advise you not to try to make him live together with same sex specimens both of same breed and others strong temperament breed. Opposite sex dogs can live together, if they get used to live together from puppy age. The same can happen with other animals. There are some reported cases of Tibetan mastiffs males and females, who lived together with in a great number and in a domestic context. Normally, these dogs got used to live together since they were puppies, they belong to European or American bloodlines and they have many selected generations behind them. Based on our personal experience such a situation is nearly impossible with native bloodlines.


Can Tibetan mastiff be safe for children?

Can Tibetan mastiff be safe for children?

Analysing the history of the breed, one of its most fascinating characteristic is the constant presence of dogs in close contact with women and children in Tibetan nomads villages. Men are often far away in order to procure what is needed. For this reason, these dogs develop a natural bond with the youngest, and they consider them as those who need a greater protection. A lot of Tibetan mastiffs are inseparable companions of very young children too.


Do you have available puppies?

Do you have available puppies?

Contrary to the majority of dog breeds, Tibetan mastiff females only have one estrus once in year, normally during fall or winter season. So, puppies are normally available from October/November to late spring. Every year we plan a restricted number of litters, in order to look after them and to follow puppies growth, step by step and carefully.  If you desire to know our puppies availability, we suggest you to contact us filling the form in “Contacts” section in our website.

 


Are we allowed to visit your kennel? Where and how do your dogs live?

Are we allowed to visit your kennel? Where and how do your dogs live?

We are glad to share our passion for this breed with anybody who has an interest in it, which goes beyond a simple curiosity. Our kennel is next to our house, so you can visit us during working days too. We suggest you to make an appointment a few days in advance, by using “Contacts” section in our website.

Our specimens live in wide areas, in a natural and rural environment. We are conscious this is not Tibet, but we try to recreate the same condition they would live in their original land, as much as we can. This is particularly clear, when one of our brood bitch is ready to give birth to her puppies. It happens in the same place in which she is used to sleep and at ambient temperature. In our kennel you will not see puppies with colored little bows, warmed floors or baby bottles with artificial milk. Everything must happen in a natural environment, as much as it is possible. You can observe the same philosophy of our kennel in every aspect of dog’s life, so in feeding, in mating and generally in his everyday life.


What’s the meaning of Do-khyi?

What’s the meaning of Do-khyi?

Do-khyi is a Tibetan expression which literally means “chaining dog” or “dog to tie”. In Tibet the expression “Do-khyi” is not referred to any guard dog as somebody is used to write wrongly, but to a specific dog who is original from that area and who is used to protect villages and monasteries. The Tibetan mastiff in all his varieties. So, we must consider synonyms to all intents and purposes such words as do-khyi and Tibetan mastiff.


Which is the minimum age for puppy consignment?

Which is the minimum age for puppy consignment?

Of course, it is at three months. This allow us to leave puppies together with their mother and some times with their father too, for an adequately long-lasting period. During these months we also complete their worming and antiparasitic treatment. Then, we administer two vaccinations to puppies, and finally we consign them to their new family with all their documents and their certificate of good health.


Do you ship your puppies abroad?

Do you ship your puppies abroad?

Over the years, we have delivered our puppies to 20 different countries. Now, we are well-experienced in organizing and handling such a delicate shipping, also in those countries which have special rules and/or are far away from Italy. Obviously, except for special cases, we do not ship our Tibetan mastiffs to tropical climate countries, because it is not suitable for a long-hair dog. In those countries where importing a puppy under a certain age is not allowed, we raise the puppy until he reaches the requested age and only then we ship him to his new family.


Are your dogs

Are your dogs "lion type" ?

Nowadays, the lovers of the breed use the expressions “lion type” or “tiger type” to make a very general classification between specimens. They use these expression to distinguish dogs with large-hair and mane from those who have a shorter and homogeneous hair all over their body. In our blog you can find a lot of information about Tibetan mastiff different typologies, which can help you to understand why this classification is rather inexact. That said, as you can see in the photos of “Our dogs” section, almost all our native or Chinese dogs have long-hair and mane. However, we do not scorn shorter hair specimens, who often have a even more massive body and head.


Height and weight: which is the size of your dogs?

Height and weight: which is the size of your dogs?

Usually, who asks for this, shows a bigger interest towards the showy appearance of the dog rather than his qualities. The height and the weight are obviously interesting data. Nevertheless, you must take into account the gasping research of an even bigger size we witnessed over last years in Chinese bloodlines above all, produced specimens with severe skeletal pathologies, irregular proportions and short life expectancies. It is not coincidence that hip dysplasia is deeply widespread within this breed, and that it is a true plague in so many Chinese bloodlines.

 

In our kennel we have always been paying more attention to the health and to the typical characteristics of our specimens rather than their centimeters and pounds. Obviously, among our breeders there are big/very big sized specimens, and generally speaking all our dogs have a size much more bigger respect what it is reported in the official FCI standard:

“Males should be 66 cm (26 ins) minimum at the withers and bitches 61 cm (24 ins) minimum.”


Why should I buy a puppy from you?

Why should I buy a puppy from you?

This is one of the most reasonable questions, if we consider the increasing number of kennels, or so-called, throughout the world. We do not want to make comparisons, so we just list some features of our selection. 

  • Regarding physical characteristics, temperament and genotype we can affirm our specimens really correspond to the dogs who live and work in Tibet even now.
  • All our breeder dogs are free from hip and elbow dysplasia and from other hereditary pathologies.
  • Many of our specimens received important recognitions on National and International Dog Show throughout the world.
  • We consign our puppies with a certificate which guarantee their quality, and which protect the new owner in the unlikely event that he would have any problem.


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