There are many dogs in the United States and throughout
the world that are called Tibetan Mastiffs. These dogs present
a wide variety of colors, sizes, coats and styles. In choosing
a Tibetan Mastiff one should settle on a style of dog which
appeals to them. If the dog is to be shown in the conformation
ring, it should meet the Breed Standard as closely as possible.
If the dog is chosen to be a family dog (pet), it may be
very big or very small, with many other variations. When
it comes to the character and guardian instincts and temperament
of the Tibetan Mastiff, there is a shorter list of variables.
Most owners would agree that a true Tibetan Mastiff is characterized
by intelligence, self-confidence, self-awareness, curiosity
and courage. A puppy or adult who shrinks and cowers or snaps
and bites without provocation will not make a good companion
Tibetan Mastiffs are complicated to own but they have characteristics
that make them unique and they are especially appreciated
by their families. The decision to place a Tibetan Mastiff
in a prospective home is always a serious one. Breeders wrestle
with choices about proper placements - especially those of
us with a 100% return policy. A Himalaya bred puppy always
has a home - with me. It is obviously my objective to locate
quality, permanent homes with commitment and patience. A
good Tibetan Mastiff owner knows that it takes 2-3 years
for a TM to mature emotionally and longer from them to mature
physically. Patience is paramount.
Tibetan Mastiffs are known for their stability and intelligence,
making them delightful pets when properly socialized. What
is socialization? It begins with the interaction between
the Dam and her owner and the puppies. From the beginning,
pups must be taught that they can trust their masters. This
is accomplished through consistant, positive re-enforcement.
Puppies don't understand words, but they are very sensitive
to smells and tastes and sounds. A puppy that is shouted
at or handled roughly may withdraw and become distant and
unfriendly even with its owners. One of the greatest lessons
in socialization I learned was by observing noted Dutch breeder
Wim Reusen and his family with their dogs. Never was a voice
or a hand raised - just a chiding "Nay" to correct
unacceptable behavior. Dogs and puppies were touched gently,
with respect and affection. Tibetan Mastiffs respond to a
soft touch dramatically. Once your Tibetan Mastiff is relaxed
and confident in his relationship with you, you can begin
small trips outside of his normal territory, making certain
that you allow him time to adjust to the sights, sounds and
smells of new places. Some puppy kindergarten classes can
be very useful in getting your dog more comfortable with
other people and animals. It is important to keep these outings
fun for your dog. In time, he will be a relaxed but watchful
companion. I find that introducing young puppies to a variety
of people of various ages helps to reduce anxiety and to
reinforce the puppy's feelings of self confidence.
No breed is right for everyone and the Tibetan Mastiff
is no exception. The breed is quite independent and can be
stubborn and hard headed. Barking is often a complaint from
people who have not learned this characteristic before purchasing
a puppy. The TM may also be destructively mischievous if
he becomes bored. The breed enjoys the company of other animals
and their human family. The dogs are almost cat-like in their
cleanliness and stealth. An unusal breed, a beautiful and
impressive breed - but definitely not for everyone.
Please take a minute to bookmark www.tibetanmastiffinfo.com as
a reference for everything from diet to behavior. The website
is a wonderful resource and I applaud the hard work and dedication
that has gone into it and continues to go into it.
There are so many stories that have been written about the
Tibetan Mastiff by people all over the world - past and present!
Most stories carry at least a kernel of truth. There has
been and continues to be a good bit of debate about whether
the Tibetan Mastiff is even a mastiff. Many legends, fables
and historical accounts tell us the Do-khyi or Tibetan Mastiff
is a huge, hulking, formidable beast. Some stories would
have us believe that these dogs are properly 160-200 pounds.
Others tell of a mythic Tsang-khyi that is somehow bigger
and better than the Do-khyi. I think most of these tales
are amusing versions of “my dog is better than your dog”.
Even Marco Polo had his stories about the size of the Tibetan
Mastiff - but then poor Marco also reported that he had seen
a unicorn when he first saw a rhinoceros. So sometimes stories
are just stories. Please don’t miss the important issues
when you consider making a Tibetan Mastiff part of your family.
Regardless of gender, size or color and whether your intention
is to own, show or breed; there is a point on which all owners
will agree. This is an ancient and primitive breed. They
are not appropriate for inexperienced owners who are not
familiar with strong, dominant, protective dog breeds. Only
persons who are ready for the special challenges and the
amazing journey of owning a Tibetan Mastiff should seriously
consider the breed. Another important concern is that the
entire family must be ready for this dog. Tibetan Mastiffs
have to be integrated into a household and therefore each
and every person has to form a relationship with the dog.
Most commonly the dogs do not work out when only one person
is really interested in the breed. These amazing dogs form
remarkable relationships with their families and so the permanence
of the home is critical. Please do not consider this breed
if you can even envision a situation where you would want
to re-home your Tibetan Mastiff.
At Himalaya Tibetan Mastiffs our priorities are soundness,
beauty and temperament first. We invite interested people
to visit our dogs and decide for themselves if the nature,
health and type of the dogs that we breed is right for them.
We invite your questions by using our e-mail
contact form. You may call us at 757-421-2161, an e-fax
can be sent to us at 757-390-3899, write us at 500 Ambrose
Street, Chesapeake, VA 23322 or contact us by cellular phone
at 757-403-2540 if we may be of further service or answer
More breed information, FAQ and articles
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