|Country of origin:
|AKC FSS, UKC,
|10 to 12 years
|Variety of colours
The mother of all mastiffs, this Tibetan dog was rescued from oblivion by British breeders in the late 1800s. Although its numbers remain small, it has been popular on European and North American dogshow circuits ever since. It is very likely that dogs similar to these, once used by Tibetan nomads to protect their homes and their flocks, provided the root stock for all of Asia’s and Europe’s giant livestock-guarding breeds. Over a century of selective breeding for show and companionship has resulted in a more easy-going temperament. Although this dog can be a little aloof, it makes a good family pet in either temperate or cold climates.
The Bearded Tibetan Mastiff, the Tibetan Kyi Apso, from the remote, high-plateau region of Mount Kailish, is a smaller, regional variation, half the size of the Tibetan Mastiff and with a wiry coat. Once used by Tibetan nomads to guard their sheep and camps, it retains its traditional abilities while making a self-reliant, engaging family dog. First seen in the West in 1994, it is still very rare outside Tibet.