Tibetan Mastiff History
This is an ancient breed. It has been considered that an early Tibetan dog
is the ancestor to all Molossuses breeds, though we don’t have exact proofs
confirming this hypothesis. It is known for sure, that powerful and heavy dogs existed
in Assyriya, VII century B.C. and were used as hunters, guardians and fighting dogs.
On the stone bas-reliefs and clay debris one can find images of similar dogs taking part
in hunting and battle stages.
After Herodotus’ description of these dogs, it was called “an Indian dog” in Babylon.
However, many historical evidences claim that they’ve descended from Tibet. Greeks and
Romans describe fighting dogs of Tibet in different sources as a tremendously powerful
and severe animal. Aristotle, a teacher of Alexander the Great, describes Tibetan Mastiff
in his letters as an Indian dog.
By the way, Aristotle made an original supposition of Tibetan Mastiff’s descent. According
to the description of these dogs he suggested powerful dogs from Tibet had descended from
interbreeding of dogs and lions. What a lovely hybrid! You can find the more precise Tibetan
Mastiff’s description in “Indica”, the oldest well-known Greek document about travels to India.
Dogs are described there as heavy, muscular and with powerful bones. Enormous means were spent on
keeping them. These dogs were used for hunting lions and for guarding.
A genuine description of Tibetan Mastiff was done by a western traveler Marco Polo in
Tibetan Mastiffs in Russia
This breed firstly appeared in Russia only in 1998. “Baby Ayrin” Kennel has bought
bitches GADAVARI BOGEMIA BAL-JUL and GONXHA BOGEMIA SIRAGUE. Some time later they got
a three years old adult male dog FERUS LUCIS APSO. These dogs bred later. Their puppies
and now even grandchildren (grandpuppies) continue to present this wonderful Tibetan Mastiff
A national “Tibetan Mastiff” club was formed in our country in 2000. We got the first
offsprings in 2001 and 2002. We had the first national show in May, 2002. Puppies of
Russian breeding were presented at the exhibition.
FCI-Standard № 230
Do-Khyi (Tibetan Mastiff)
Date of publication of the original valid standard: 02.04.2004.
Utilization: a companion, a watch and guard dog.
Noble and impressive: a large, well muscled, powerful, heavy and well built dog.
It produces a vivid impression. It combines majestic strength, robustness and endurance;
fits to work in various climate conditions. Slow to mature. Bitches reach its best at two
or three years and at four years males.
The muzzle length is equal to the skull length, but can be a little bit shorter.
Body is slightly longer than height at withers
Behaviour and Temperament.
Independent, strong willed. Obedient in training. Highly protective of its charges
and its property.
Head: Broad, heavy and strong.
Skull: Broad and large, with strongly defined occiput.
Nose bridge is well-marked.
Nose: Broad, well pigmented, with open nostrils. As dark as possible depending on
the coat colour.
Muzzle: Broad well filled and square when viewed from all sides.
Jaws/Teeth: Strong, complete scissor bite.
Bite: Level bite acceptable. Essential that dentition fits tightly.
Eyes: Very expressive, medium size, deep-set, well apart, almond-shaped and slightly
slanting. Eyelids are tightly fitted to eyeballs. Express their dignity.
Ears: Medium size, V-shaped, pendant, set-on high, dropping forward and hanging close
to head. The ear leather is thick, covered with soft short hair, and when measured,
should reach the inner corner of the eye.
Neck: The neck is well muscled, moderately arched, and may have moderate dewlap.
The neck, especially in dogs, is shrouded by a thick upstanding mane.
Body: strong and muscled.
Back: The back is muscular with firmly muscled loin.
Croup: Broad and rather flat.
Chest: The chest is rather deep, of moderate breadth, with reasonable spring of rib.
Brisket reaching to just below elbows.
Tail: Medium to long, well feathered. Set high on line with top of back. When alert or
in motion, curled over back or to one side.
Forequarters: Straight, well covered with short, coarse hair.
Feet: Fairly large, strong, compact, may have feathering between toes.
Shoulders: Well laid back, muscular, strongly boned with moderate angulation
to match the rear angulation.
Hindquarters: Powerful, muscular, with all parts being moderately angulated. Seen from behind,
the hind legs and stifle are parallel. Thighs are rather long, powerful, muscular, but not bulged.
Feet: Strong and short. Dewclaws are optional.
Gait: The gait of a Tibetan Mastiff is powerful, steady and balanced, yet at the same time,
light-footed. Increasing the speed tries to make a single track. Walking Tibetan Mastiff
Coat: The quality of the coat is of greater importance than quantity. Double-coated, with fairly
long, thick coarse guard hair, with heavy soft undercoat in cold weather which becomes rather
sparse in warmer months. In general, dogs carry noticeably more coat than bitches. Hair is
fine but hard, straight and stand-off; never silky, curly or wavy. Neck and shoulders heavily
coated, especially in dogs, giving mane-like appearance. Tail and britches densely coated and
Colour: Black, brown, and blue/grey, all with or without tan markings, and various shades
of gold. Tan ranges from a very rich shade through a lighter color. White markings on breast
and feet acceptable.
Size: Dogs - minimum of 66cm (26 inches) at the withers. Bitches - minimum of 61 cm
(24 inches) at the withers.
Faults: Any deviations of considered points to be severely faulted.
- Lacking of physical conditions
- Light or heavily wrinkled head
- Hanging flews
- Strongly marked dewlap.
- Large and/or low-set ears.
- Light eyes.
- Weak pigmentation, especially of a nose.
- Tubby ribs.
- Heavy constrained movements.
- more than 2cm below the minimum heights to be severely faulted.
Materials are taken from the “Tibetan Mastiff” book by Podlesnoy I.V. , www.tibetmastif.ru.