Tibetan Mastiff Pros And Cons
Learn More About This Breed
With These 10 Good And Bad Traits

by Ken Alden

Tibetan Mastiffs have been around for thousands of years and have been first domesticated in Tibet before gaining the world-renown it has today. Standing tall with a massive and a flowing mane, this dog breed is a tenacious watchdog constantly protecting his family and territory by exercising relentless caution. However, if you were to adopt a Tibetan Mastiff, there are certain things you need to know about them before you bring them home with you.

Tibetan Mastiff Pros And Cons Are...


  • They’re excellent guard dogs
  • They’re a bit hard to train but much easier to housebreak
  • They’re great family dogs


  • They have common health problems known to large breeds
  • When they sense a threat they’re highly aggressive
  • They’re incredibly territorial in nature, they’ll act without any provocation

This ancient breed from Central Asia was first introduced to the Western world in 1847 when a Tibetan Mastiff was taken to England. It took another 100 years for the breed to find its way to the United States. Keep on reading to find out more about the pros and cons of what sets this breed apart. Read More Below...

Pro-tip: Ever try lifting a Tibetan Mastiff? Their weight can hurt not only your back but their joints when they hop down from cars, sofas or even your bed. To protect your back and theirs check out the best Mastiff ramps on Amazon.com now.

Tibetan Mastiff Pros and Cons

Tibetan Mastiff Pros...

Tibetan Mastiffs Are Good Guard Dogs

The Tibetan Mastiff is an ancient dog domesticated for thousands of years for many reasons. One of the greatest upsides of having this dog breed around is gaining their unconditional protection. They may not be the best play buddies like a Golden Retriever, but they do come with other attributes that make them a highly desirable dog breed. 

The Tibetan Mastiff is an excellent guard dog. They are by far more protective than many other watchdogs and have been employed to watch over livestock due to this trait. The place where they originally come from, in the Tibetan plateau, sees a lot of livestock predators, such as the mountain lions, and the Tibetan Mastiffs were first used there to guard the livestock against these predators. 

In mainland China, the Tibetan Mastiffs are even seen as a status symbol.

Tibetan Mastiffs Are Good With Senior Citizens

The Tibetan mastiff is also a loyal and faithful family dog, along with being a great guard dog. They are usually recommended for elderly people because of their protective instincts. Due to their watchfulness, the senior citizens are guaranteed the best protection in the company of this dog breed. 

The Tibetan Mastiff will guard and protect his family and save them from any threat if need be. Their intimidating demeanor is an effective deterrent for potential intruders. These factors make them the best match for senior citizens.

Being of a quiet disposition themselves, these Tibetan Mastiffs are likely to get along well with senior citizens who also tend to be quieter. It is a perfect match for the dogs, and they tend to do their part well in this equation by being a little more subdued yet, unrelentingly protective of the senior citizens.

Pro-tip: Tibetan Mastiff anxiety, aggression, destructive chewing, jumping up, fearfulness, and other behaviors can be controlled with the right training program.

Here’s a great course that addresses these issues along with many other dog training basics: Check it out now!

Tibetan Mastiffs Are Easy to Housebreak

Even though it is said that they are tough to train, it has been found in many other instances that Tibetan Mastiffs are easy to potty train. They are an intelligent breed and mostly tend to be independent. Due to this nature, training them becomes a relatively easier job.

The Tibetan Mastiff requires an experienced and assertive owner who needs to dedicate some days in the initial period for training. Since the Tibetan Mastiffs are not easily trusting, it is important for you first to make them trust you so that they listen to you when you train them. 

Be assertive in your commands and gestures and watch the training become a success in no time. 

Tibetan Mastiffs Are Large and Imposing

Tibetan Mastiffs have always been large and imposing. It makes them intimidating to outsiders. This large dog breed was earlier confined only to the Tibetan plateau but has now been dispersed all around the world. 

Their unconditional loyalty, coupled with their fearsome and intimidating demeanor, makes them the best guardian angels in the family. Despite their size, Tibetan Mastiffs make for great family dogs.

Tibetan Mastiffs Have Strong Temperament

In Tibet, this dog breed is split into two distinct types – the Drog-Khyi, which is the nomadic version, and the Tsang-Khyi, the monastery version. The latter has more facial wrinkling. tibetan mastiff pros and cons

The heavier puppies were categorized as Tsang-Khyi and placed in more stationary jobs of guarding the monasteries and temples, while the more agile and well-muscled pups were used for guarding the herds. Both types have very similar temperaments, which makes the breed very good family pets.

Tibetan Mastiff Cons...

Tibetan Mastiffs Have Health Problems

Even though there are many advantages of having a Tibetan Mastiff in the house, there are a few things you need to be aware of before you bring home this gentle giant. 

The Tibetan Mastiff is prone to certain genetic conditions such as hip dysplasia and eye diseases. That is why responsible breeders first test the adult dogs before breeding them in order to avoid passing on any inherited diseases to the next generation of Mastiffs.

They Are Highly Aggressive

Tibetan Mastiffs are highly protective of their adopted family and show animal aggression whenever they sense a threat. Some Tibetan Mastiffs do not allow another dog of the same sex near their own family or in the same territory. 

While this may be great when they are doing their watchdog role, the animal aggression at the drop of a hat may become annoying after a while.

Pro-tip: Tibetan Mastiff's (and their owners) love dog crates…and for good reasons. Crates keep dogs from mischief while you're away, are perfect for house training, for traveling by car, and provide the dog a place to de-stress. Check out the best Mastiff crates on Amazon.com now.

Tibetan Mastiffs Are Loud

It is a very vocal breed and tends to express themselves by barking and howling loudly. Sometimes, it is their way to communicate, but it is definitely not the best choice if you are looking for a quiet breed. 

Tibetan Mastiffs are known to bark loudly when they sense a threat, and also at times when they are bored. Keeping them in closed spaces often makes them jittery and anxious and the only way they know how to express themselves is by barking loudly.

They Are Incredibly Territorial in Nature

As is the case with most dogs, even Tibetan Mastiffs are incredibly territorial in nature. They are extremely protective guard dogs and tend to perceive threats and act without any provocation even when there is no reason for concern, such as when a guest comes home. This may be a little tiring overtime for the dog owners.

Because of their territorial nature, they are natural-born watchdogs. Add to this trait, their imposing physical presence and demeanor only help them in being feared by intruders as well as genuine visitors alike.

Tibetan Mastiffs Shed Heavily During Spring Time

Tibetan Mastiffs are mostly shed during the spring, but the shedding is very heavy. It is a 2-4 week period when they shed their winter coat. You will notice that the quantity is exceptionally high during this time, as they have thick double coats from the winter that they are ridding themselves of.

tibetan mastiff pros and cons learn more

Here's our full article on Tibetan Mastiff shedding which would be wise to read before bringing home one of these dogs.

Tibetan Mastiff Pros And Cons...Conclusion

While this imposed friend in the fur may not frolic with you in the yard, they will take their job of being guardians of your home extremely seriously. As livestock guardians as well as guardians of their own family, they show a trait of fierce possessiveness and have incredible threat perception.

In other words, these strong-willed, self-reliant dogs will assume control of any situation proactively unless led to believe otherwise by an assertive leader.

Learn Even More...

Here's a few additional articles we have on this site which we feel would be of benefit to those that might be considering this breed as a pet...

How To Buy Or Adopt A Tibetan Mastiff: There's more to the acquisition of this dog than meets the eye. We discuss finding a good breeder as well as Mastiff proofing your home AND more!

Where Are Tibetan Mastiffs Banned And Why? Just because you want one doesn't mean they're legal where you live.

Tibetan Mastiff Exercise Needs: This article goes in depth as to not only their needs but also offers tips to make it fun!

Are Tibetan Mastiffs Good With Kids Or Babies? Don't bring one home only to be caught by surprise.

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About Author

About the Author...

Ken Alden, a dedicated Mastiff owner for over eight years, is acclaimed for his expertise in care, grooming, and training. Read more About Me and my dog Shadow.

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