Tibetan Mastiff Breed Information

Tibetan Mastiffs are a member of the ‘Working’ breed group. Working breed dogs were bred to become guard and search and rescue dogs. Breeds in this group are specialists in their work.

Tibetan Mastiffs are known to be quite independent and strong-willed. They are devoted and affectionate towards their owners, and because of this can be very protective. As with all breeds, early socialisation is very important to get them used to other pets, people and a variety of situations, meaning they’ll grow up into sociable, confident dogs – for more tips on how to socialise your Tibetan Mastiff, take a look at our dog behaviour page.

Their thick coats need brushing several times a week, and often daily when shedding. Tibetan Mastiffs are very vocal, particularly at night.

Breed-related health problems: 


Owners are, understandably, upset when their dog develops a health problem linked to its breed. Often they wish they’d known what problems the breed was prone to have. The potential health problems that Tibetan Mastiffs are prone to include:

  • Hip dysplasia – hip joint laxity as a result of poor development, which will eventually lead to arthritis. 
  • Gastric Dilatation Volvulus (GDV) – often known as ‘bloat’, this is a condition where the stomach twists, trapping the contents and gases. This is an emergency and requires urgent veterinary attention. It’s often seen in large, deep-chested breeds. 

For some conditions, there are screening programmes available through the British Veterinary Association (BVA) and the Kennel Club. The Canine Health Schemes allow breeders to screen for a range of inherited diseases, so it’s a good idea to check the parents of any puppy you’re looking to rehome have been screened under these schemes. We’d also recommend discussing the medical history of your potential puppy’s parents and grandparents, and think very carefully before taking on a dog with any of the health conditions listed above evident in the family line. 

You can find out more about the Canine Health Schemes on the BVA's website

Exercise requirements:


As adult dogs, Tibetan Mastiffs need around an hour of exercise daily, but shouldn’t be over-exercised as puppies when their bones and joints are still developing. Training will require patience, but can be achieved using reward-based techniques.

Estimated lifetime cost:


The likely lifetime costs for a Tibetan Mastiff are based on estimates calculated using current market prices and include:


The list above does not include veterinary costs if your pet becomes sick or injured, so these average lifetime costs could be even higher.

Insure your Tibetan Mastiff with PDSA: 


1 in 3 pets need vet treatment each year and vet bills can come to hundreds of pounds. PDSA Pet Insurance can give you peace of mind when your pet is poorly, especially for breeds like Tibetan Mastiffs that are prone to certain conditions. PDSA Pet Insurance offers:

  • 5 Star Pet Insurance* - from the vet experts
  • 4 levels of cover to suit you
  • Monthly payment at no extra cost

    *Defaqto 5 Star rating applies to our Plus and Premier policies only. Defaqto’s Star Ratings provide an independent assessment of the quality of financial products.


By insuring your Tibetan Mastiff with PDSA you’ll also be helping to provide vet care to some of the UK’s neediest pets.

For more information on taking care of your dog please visit our puppies and dogs section. 

Rehoming from a reputable source:


Where you get a dog from can have a big effect on how healthy and happy it is for the rest of its life. Find out where our PDSA vet experts recommend you get your dog from.
Energy levels
 
Overall grooming needs?
 
Compatibility with other pets
 
Easy to train?
 
How much exercise?
 
Suitability for children/families
 
Tendency to bark
 
Average lifespan 12-14 years
Coat length Medium
Possible health problems Hip dysplasia
Average purchase cost Around £800
Estimated cost over lifetime £27,100-£30,800
Average weight Male: 40kg-68kg. Female: 36kg-50kg
Size Large
Minimum garden size Large

Not sure the Tibetan Mastiff is the right pet for you?