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Tibetan Mastiff

Majestic mountain guardian

Cross the furry lion-like appearance of a Chow Chow (minus the blue mouth and tongue) and the size of an overgrown Rottweiler and you’ll have an idea how a Tibetan Mastiff looks like. Colors range from Rottweiler-like patterns, to solid black, red, cream, blue (muddy black) and solid white (rare).
Tibetan Mastiff

Tibetan Mastiffs are generally famous for their lion-like mane. In their native Tibet (and other places in the Himalayas like Bhutan, Nepal and Northern India), the Tibetan Mastiff (locally known as Do-khyi “”) are used to guard sheep and other livestock, buildings, and even whole villages). They are therefore intelligent, watchful, and stubborn.

The Tibetan Mastiff is not considered a true mastiff. Some say it can be more accurately called “Himalayan mountain dog.” Prized in Tibet for its ferocity, it can tackle wolves or leopards. This trait can be seen in the 2011 animated movie “The Tibetan Dog”.

Tibetan mastiffs have been owned by famous people—ranging from the Buddha and Genghis Khan (unverified), to King George IV and US president Eisenhower (dogs pictured below).
Rarely found outside Tibet, the Tibetan Mastiff has become a highly prized status symbol for China's growing number of rich people. Consequently, The Tibetan Mastiff has become one of the world’s most expensive dog breeds. In 2011, an 11-month red Tibetan Mastiff named Hong Dong (I know what you’re thinking [*snicker*] but it just means “Big Splash” in Chinese)  was sold for 10 million yuan (about $1.5 million).

Red is considered lucky by the Chinese so this could be one of the reasons why Big Splash made, well, a big splash.

Tibetan Mastiffs are not for everybody. If you’re lucky to acquire one, make sure to give them the food, climate, space, attention and training they need. And don’t forget to show them who’s boss.

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