Tibetan Mastiff, as it is called, is a unique and magnificent breed of dog. It is an innate protective of the house and masters, and its presence is hard to forget once you get around any one of them.
In its lands of origin in distant Tibet, this staunch guardian is still used to guard livestock, houses, and temples. It is one of the oldest dog breeds in the world, and scientists believe that this particular dog is at the root of most large dogs or mastiff.
It’s really a race descended from legends, an apparition from another time and, not least, one of the most expensive dog breeds in the world.
Sentinel of Padmasabhava
Tibetan Mastiff is an ancient breed that has remained (at least for isolated specimens that live today in Tibet) generally unchanged over the centuries. This is particularly important to preserve the unique character of the race, geographic isolation contributed to the Tibetan plateau.
The first references to the roof of the world mastiff are via the famous traveler Marco Polo, who noted in his writings some “big dogs as donkeys, with strong voices like the lions.” Other ancient Chinese sources still recall giant dogs of Tibet sent as gifts to Chinese emperors.
However, the truth is that this breed has existed millennia as evidenced by bone remains found in different eras and ancient paintings of temples and old books of Tibetan and Chinese origin. It is possible that ancient Tibetan dog even existed during the Bronze Age.
More and more researchers consider it, along with Central Asian Shepherd as the dog of all breeds came molossoid, especially those with long fur, and Spanish Mastiff, Pyrenean Mastiff dog of Saint Bernard, Caucasian Shepherd, Leonberger and more. Tibet opened its doors to the outside world rather late, an additional argument for the selection and development of isolated and unchanged this little known breeds.
Westerners first came into contact with these dogs were instantly fascinated appearance and special character. In 1820, King George IV of England already had a Tibetan dog in his collection. In 1847, Lord Hardinge, Viceroy of India, but Queen Victoria was sending in a huge dog in Tibet, called Bhout.
Interest suddenly rose about this race in England, so these dogs appear more often in specialized canine contests and English were the ones who standardized in premiere the race.
In its homelands breed is loved and appreciated. Tibetans are very religious, and Vajrayana Buddhism is still very popular despite decades of atheistic propaganda Beijing imposed after the invasion and annexation of the country’s theocratic regime by tradition.
One local legend says that Padmasambhava, none other than the saint who brought Buddhism from India to Tibet, was guarded and defended throughout his life spent in Tibet by such a dog …
Tibetan mastiff Each has its own personality, but in general, these dogs are very protective and highly territorial behavior. They are calm and very loving with children. They are very intelligent, learns quickly, but get bored as fast and independent character.
They are often very noisy at night when attention to any noise or movement. Unlike other large dog breeds that have a relatively short life, Tibetan Mastiffs live on average 15 years.
Tibetan mastiff canine selection in a contest in Poland
There are not agitated dogs which require urgent movement or intense physical activity. On the contrary, they tend to conserve energy, but without becoming lazy dogs.
Being a selected race and a security planner, Tibetan mastiffs retain power for critical moments when they become incredibly explosive and aggressive. Even specimens selected in decades in the West need socialization from an early age, as well as a training base.
There is a big difference in behavior between specimens from Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan, and Mongolia and those from European and American kennels, where dogs were selected more on the basis of physical criteria.
Raised initially to guard flocks of sheep, goats from wolves, leopards and yack attacks, or to guard homes, Tibetan mastiffs in their homelands still ferocity and fortitude dogs have impressed the explorers and travelers of old.
Dogs of Tibet are extremely aggressive and fierce with anyone who approaches the herd or the house they have to guard. To increase their aggressiveness, Tibetans kept them chained at an early age, releasing only at night.
Tibet’s first modern explorers wrote about whole villages guarded by one dog, whose exaggerated aggressiveness kept away any uninvited visitor, be it furry or human.
Portrait of a Legendary Dog
Ancient texts tell of two major Tibetan Mastiff types, the so-called Do-khy or dog chain in a rough translation, and Tsang-khy dog guarding temples. The latter was larger, more massive and more than Do-khy facial cute dog nomads, mainly used to guard herds and villages.
However, when Westerners were standardized breed interbred and multiplied among them any Tibetan dog that was difficult to import, so dogs today’s Western kennels are again different from those in China today.
They are large dogs, males with an average height of 80 inches at the shoulders, and specimens exceeding 70 kg weight are not rare. These dogs are resistant and primitive by definition.
Unlike the vast majority of breeds of dogs, where females have two annual cycles of ovulation, Tibetan bitch dogs go into heat once a year like she-wolves and other wild canines.
Full color varies from black to various shades of red, beige and gray, the most common being the so-called “color rottweiler”, ie black background color “tan” on the muzzle, eyebrows, chest, abdomen, and within limbs.
Experts and those who have studied the breed argue that Tibetan Dog is not race recommended for those who have never had a dog. And that’s not necessarily because of his temperament can become unstable, but because it was special and particular needs of the breed.
Also sterilized males lead them significant changes in texture and functionality of fur.
The most expensive dog in the world
The “Lion of Tibet”, as it is called in China, returned to the attention of dog lovers with huge Chinese economic boom, a phenomenon in recent years has led to the emergence of a blanket of rich businessmen.
This case presents Big Splash, or Hong Dong in Chinese, a Tibetan dog who recently entered the Guinness Book of World Records title of the most expensive dog in the world. Hong Dong was bought by a Chinese millionaire with business in coal mines in northern China.
The dog has cost about $ 2 million, and Lu Liang, his breeder, says that the price is justified because Hong Dong is a perfect specimen of his race, while the selection and growth have not made any investment.
For another Tibetan Mastiff breeder females to be able to pair with Hong Dong, it will have to pay the sum of $ 20,000, being the cost of breeding.
Tibetans have always believed that the monks and nuns who were not virtuous enough to merit a human incarnation or entry into the mysterious world of Shambhala are reincarnated in the form of a mastiff.
Currently, it is estimated that they are registered in the UK about 300 Tibetan Mastiff and the price of a puppy ranges from 850-1000 pounds.
Somewhere far away, the Tibetan plateau, braving cold and dry wind, thousands of nomads or the temple dogs watching today, like their brave ancestors. They are tough, ruthless, wild, majestic and enigmatic. They’ll never know their true value.
As compared to dogs in Beijing’s high fashion circles, the shadow guards of Tibetan bells are truly priceless.