Tibetan Mastiff Traits,
Characteristics, and Qualities

The Tibetan Mastiff is considered an ancient dog breed that once served as a loyal guard dog for Himalayan villages in the Tibetan Plateau. While no longer on active guard dog duty, the Tibetan Mastiff’s lovable personality and loyal nature make him an incredible family dog.

Here are the most notable Tibetan Mastiff traits, characteristics, and qualities…

  • Active
  • Loud 
  • Strong
  • Independent
  • Gentle
  • Loyal
  • Courageous
  • Aloof
  • Stubborn
  • Sensitive
  • Territorial
  • Good with children and families

So, now you have a little insight into the Tibetan Mastiff’s temperament, but the words above just don’t do the breed justice. Hold tight as we go into greater detail about what this breed is actually like in the home. Read More Below...

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Beautiful Tibetan Mastiff


Tibetan Mastiff Traits

When we talk about the traits of dog breeds, we’re mostly focusing on the genetic predispositions. Basically, traits are characteristics that have held on tight from generation to generation. So, here are traits you’ll definitely find in a Tibetan Mastiff.

Tibetan Mastiffs Are Active

While the Tibetan Mastiff definitely needs daily exercise to survive and thrive, he doesn’t need you there constantly hovering over him. There’s actually a pretty good chance that he just wants to go out into the yard on his own.

That’s because the breed craves mental stimulation much more than physical activity. The Tibetan Mastiff prefers scoping out the perimeter of the yard and chasing down prey in the backyard more than tossing a tennis ball around.

Helping Your Tibetan Mastiff to Stay Active

Unfortunately, this breed is also prone to developing obesity. That means you’ll have to keep a close eye on what you’re feeding him, but also making sure that he’s getting enough exercise the way he likes it.

The Tibetan Mastiff doesn’t do too well with long periods of physical activity. So, a few short walks a day, or one long 30-minute walk should meet your Mastiff’s exercise needs. 

It would also be a good idea to get a fenced-in yard to let him run around on his own.


Tibetan Mastiffs Are Loud

If you live in an apartment, townhouse, or otherwise quiet community, your entire neighborhood will know that you have a Tibetan Mastiff. That’s because this breed is known for being especially loud and barking a ton.

To understand why, it helps to take a glance at the history of this breed. Once used to protect tiny villages and alert the village people of predators, the Tibetan Mastiff would use his deep bark to scare away any type of threat. So, it’s really in your dog’s genes.


Pro-tip: Does your Tibetan Mastiff have issues with anxiety, destructive chewing, aggressiveness, jumping up, barking or fearfulness?

Brain Training For Dogs is an excellent online training course that
addresses these behavioral issues as well as dog training basics.

Keeping Your Tibetan Mastiff Quiet

Your Tibetan Mastiff’s instincts tell him to bark at predators, especially at night. But, that doesn’t mean that you have to spend every night awake as your dog barks at every passerby.

You may have heard that just ignoring your dog will get him to stop barking. Well, since this breed is also known as a guard dog, he likely won’t stop barking until the person or animal goes away. After all, he’s not barking just to get your attention.

You need to work on training your Tibetan Mastiff not to bark from the time he’s a puppy. The Humane Society of the United States suggests:

  • Rewarding him when he doesn’t bark at his triggers
  • Diverting his attention to something else
  • Showing him that barking means not being able to see what he’s barking at (like closing the blinds


Tibetan Mastiffs Are Strong

Don’t let the fluffy coat of this dog lead you to believe that he’s all fur. This breed is actually capable of weighing up to 150 pounds (68 kilograms) and measuring in at more than 26 inches (66 centimeters) tall at the shoulders, according to the American Kennel Club.  

To understand just how strong the Tibetan Mastiff really is, consider his role as the first line of defense in Tibetan villages. Though usually known for scaring predators off with his hearty bark, the Tibetan Mastiff is also incredibly agile.

With a decent sprint and enough motivation, the dog can easily pin a full-grown man down to the ground. Add in the impressive bite force of the Tibetan Mastiff, and you’ve really got yourself the perfect guard dog.

The ability to survive in even the harshest winter weather as a result of his thick coat makes the Tibetan Mastiff practically invincible all around.


Tibetan Mastiffs Are Independent

The Tibetan Mastiff is definitely not the breed for you if you’re seeking a dog that follows you everywhere you go. As much as the Tibetan Mastiff loves his family, he also loves going off on his own and doing his own thing.

This dog doesn’t need you to play tug-of-war with him most days, as he would rather run out in the yard and explore his territory. He sees himself as the guardian of your home and is always on the clock in his mind.

That’s a good trait to have if you’re looking for a dog that’s somewhat self-sufficient. But, that’s not to say that he doesn’t enjoy having you around. It just means that he’ll do what he wants to do without needing you to entertain him.

For that reason, your Tibetan Mastiff likely won’t be interested when you’re calling out for him. In his mind, you’re just getting in the way of his guarding duties and what he wants to do.

This YouTube Video Teaches Even More About
The Tibetan Mastiff Traits, Characteristics And Qualities...


Tibetan Mastiff Characteristics

When we talk about the characteristics of dog breeds, we’re talking about the features that make up their personalities. That means we’ll be focusing more on how your Tibetan Mastiff will act, both alone and when he’s with you. So, here’s what a Tibetan Mastiff is really like. 


Tibetan Mastiffs Are Gentle

The sheer size of this breed is enough to make a grown man take a step back. But as a Tibetan Mastiff owner, you’ll know that his outward appearance is just a facade. That’s because the Tibetan Mastiff is actually a gentle giant.

Yes, he can tackle an intruder and pin him to the ground, but he won’t do the same when it comes to your 4-year old toddler. This dog actually loves spending time with children and tries his best to avoid getting too rambunctious.

In the same realm, the Tibetan Mastiff is impressively patient with the habits of children. You just have to teach your children the right way to interact with a dog.

Here’s what you should remind your children of all ages:

  • Dogs need their space, so stay out of their way if they’re eating, sleeping, or even drinking water.
  • Dogs don’t like to have their ears and tails pulled.
  • Dogs get intimidated by anyone that gets too close to their face, meaning they might snap.

Even if you have the most well-behaved Tibetan Mastiff, it’s best that you keep a close watch on any interaction he has with your children. It’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to large breed dogs, right?


Tibetan Mastiffs Are Loyal

The natural sense of loyalty of the Tibetan Mastiff makes him a great watchdog, even without any serious training. If you’re looking for more of a guard dog that attacks predators, you’re going to have to do a lot more training.

The first thing that you should know is that the Tibetan Mastiff is highly suspicious of people he doesn’t know. Even if they’re your friend from work, he’ll likely approach with a deep bark to warn them to back off.

So, your Tibetan Mastiff won’t depend on you every second of the day. But, he definitely will do what it takes to keep both you and your family safe. That’s a sure sign that your dog loves you, even if he doesn’t show it too often.


Tibetan Mastiffs Are Courageous

When the Tibetan Mastiff realizes that his bark isn’t cutting it, he won’t hesitate to approach an intruder or a predator. He’s known for using his immense size and incredible agility to tackle foes and keep your home safe.

So, how exactly does the Tibetan Mastiff assert himself?

The first thing he’ll do is let off an intimidating bark. He wants the stranger to know that this is his house and that the stranger isn’t welcome here. If the stranger continues to approach, the Tibetan Mastiff will take further action unless you stop him. He might take off in a full sprint and attempt to pin the stranger down.

That means you need to keep an eye on your dog’s habits. The last thing you want is for your Tibetan Mastiff to pummel every stranger that he sees because you haven’t trained him not to attack everyone. 


Tibetan Mastiffs Are Aloof

There’s no doubt about it that this breed is in his own little world most hours of the day. He’ll let you go about your day as normal without interfering, so long as you let him sit by the window and keep watch of the backyard.

He’s even more distant if you start bringing strangers around. He’ll be really nervous about approaching a new person and letting them pet him. So, this isn’t the breed for you if you want a dog that you can immediately set loose at the dog park.

The best way to limit this aloofness is through proper socialization as a puppy. Socialization classes will help your Tibetan Mastiff puppy to trust new people and learn that other puppies can be a source of fun rather than competition.

Here are some tips for socializing a puppy:

  • Don’t force interactions if you sense that your Tibetan Mastiff is uncomfortable.
  • Start socializing with other dogs and people when he’s only a few months old.
  • Reward his good behavior, like playing nicely, with treats.
  • Always keep your Tibetan Mastiff secured on a leash and harness, so you have better control of him in social situations.

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Tibetan Mastiff Qualities

We know that not all Tibetan Mastiffs are the same in terms of temperament. A lot of it comes down to how they’re trained or raised by their owners. So, here are some qualities you might pick up on with your Tibetan Mastiff.


Tibetan Mastiffs Are Stubborn

Given the free spirit of your Tibetan Mastiff, you should also expect him to be quite independent as well. No matter how great you think you are at training a dog, this breed will usually try to push back a little bit.

There’s nothing that says that the Tibetan Mastiff is untrainable or even hard to train. Your Tibetan Mastiff is actually really smart and totally capable of picking up on new skills rather quickly (when he wants to).

It all comes down to how you’re training him, and when you start training him. You need to assert yourself as a leader from day one and stay consistent with any of the commands you’re trying to teach him. 

Don’t let the independence of this dog determine how your household is run. Maintain a firm tone and practice positive reinforcement, but never yell or hit your Tibetan Mastiff if he misbehaves. 

Just offer an immediate reward when his behavior is good and correct his behavior immediately if it’s not so great. If you leave too much time between the two, he won’t be able to connect the reward or command with what he did.


Tibetan Mastiffs Are Sensitive

The Tibetan Mastiff is self-sufficient and loves to spend time on his own, but he also has a good read on how everyone is feeling in the house. Your Tibetan Mastiff is absolutely capable of figuring out how you’re feeling based on your tone, body posture, and actions.

Actually, your Tibetan Mastiff will then base his mood off of yours. If you and your spouse get into verbal arguments quite frequently, don’t be surprised if your pooch seeks shelter to get away from the noise and the tension.

In all honesty, this dog just wants a peaceful home without too many changes. So, make it a point to keep your Tibetan Mastiff away from any verbal and physical altercations. There’s a pretty good chance that your behaviors and attitudes will rub off on your Tibetan Mastiff.


Tibetan Mastiffs Are Territorial

When you bring any former guard dog breed home, you should know that you’re getting a territorial dog that likes to protect. That’s exactly what you’re getting with a one of these dogs.

The Tibetan Mastiff is sometimes territorial to a fault. That means he might be so invested in chasing down prey or a predator that he’ll keep up the chase even long after he’s left your property. So, a good solid fence is necessary for any home with a Tibetan Mastiff.

If you have a large property, it might make you feel a little more comfortable knowing that your Tibetan Mastiff keeps the entire lot safe. At the same time, you know how difficult it is to call your Tibetan Mastiff in when it’s time to come back inside.

What we’re saying is that you should make sure he doesn’t have too much room to run around in the yard if you want him to come back in anytime soon.

Here are some tips for limiting your Tibetan Mastiff’s impulsive territorial instincts:

  • Fence your yard so that he’s limited in where he can go or roam.
  • Never let him outside of your house unless he’s in the fenced-in yard or on a leash.
  • Don’t bring other animals into the home without a proper introduction (i.e., both dogs on a leash). 
  • Avoid teaching your Tibetan Mastiff that any animal or stranger in the yard or on your property is a threat that he should attack.


Tibetan Mastiffs Are Good with Children & Families

This breed is undoubtedly protective, which we often see as a great quality in a dog breed. At the same time, the protective nature of the Tibetan Mastiff makes it nearly impossible to own any other pets in your home.

The Tibetan Mastiff is known to compete for dominance, especially when it comes to dogs of the same sex. However, there’s also a chance that your dog won’t appreciate a dog of the opposite sex either. They’re best as only dogs in most situations.

It might also be pretty difficult to house a Tibetan Mastiff and a cat together. Since the Tibetan Mastiff does have somewhat of a high prey drive, it’s likely that he’ll give chase to any cats of the house.

On a positive note, this breed absolutely adores children and still does crave some time with his family here and there. Just make sure that you’re training your Tibetan Mastiff on how to behave when it comes to the little ones.

Read more about how good Tibetan Mastiffs are as pets from this article of ours.

Conclusion...

The Tibetan Mastiff isn’t a great fit for every family, but you might just find the qualities of this breed to be a perfect fit for your home. Here’s what you need to remember:

  • They’re independent and don’t need constant human interaction.
  • They’re great with families and children, but not other animals.
  • They’re awesome guard dogs and love to scare away predators.
  • They’re a little stubborn and need a confident owner.

This dog fits nicely into a home with a large yard, no other pets, and a dominant owner willing to train them accordingly.


There’s So Much More To Learn About
Tibetan Mastiff Traits
From These Other Pages On Our Site…


  1. Mastiff Guide Home
  2. Tibetan Mastiff Info
  3. Tibetan Mastiff Traits Characteristics And Qualities