Tibetan Mastiff Types and Conformation in Tibet
By Mayor Luo Go

Lhasa, Tibet,

(published by Modern Molloser magazine)
The Tibetan Mastiff is an original breed having substance and bone, four strong and sturdy limbs with
powerful muscles, substance with no excess of body mass under the skin. All these traits are geared to
the extreme high and frigid climates. They have strong reproductive capacity and immune systems, and
are late to mature. They grow a profuse coat of weather-resistant hair, with heavy undercoat for
For thousands of years, the TM has thrived in the harsh natural environment of Tibet with minimal
resources. People have not interfered with their breeding systematically, so there are not obvious outside
influences or extreme variations. Therefore, this kind of dog has been preserved as an ancient and
original breed. In spite of this, they can vary in type. To some degree, the difference of physical structure
and type are a result of environment because of the terrain, ecology and management in rearing puppies,
influenced by available resources and the social economy. The following explains the three different types
of Tibetan Mastiffs in Tsingzang Plateau, according to their type, structure and function, etc.

The Valley Tibetan Mastiff in Tibet, known as the “Tsang Khyi”
In Tibet, the Valley Tibetan Mastiff or Tsang Khyi, is mainly found and produced in mountainous regions of
the south, in Tibet’s Autonomous Districts of Cuomai, Jiazha Sanru, Cuona and Longzi, etc., all counties
with high mountainous valley pastures. In the mid nineteenth century, in the book entitled THE
the “enormous black mastiff” living in southern Himalaya mountain regions of Tibet. Here he no doubt
refers to the large TMs known to be found in that same region. Commonly, our Tibetan people call it the
Tsang Khyi, referring to the very large size and particularly fine and preferred type of the variety. This kind
of TM is prized for guarding and overseeing property, and for its beautiful, preferred type. Frequently, we
tie them to the gate or both sides of tent to serve as a sentry or “do-khyi” when intruders approach. The
size of the most outstanding adult male is over 75cm/29.5 inches, adult females averaging 70 cm/27.5
inches. They have a very big head and the pronounced occiput, thick and longer drooping ears, deeply
set triangular eyes that show red haw when angry, with the upper lip hanging and pendulous, open flew at
the back corners of the mouth, the obvious full mane to the withers and a broad straight back, gently
rising to a tapering and narrowing rump, with a slight tuck up in the abdomen. The colors for this variety
are black and tan (“Jiama”) and solid black (“Dongma”), allowing some white markings. The gold, partiflower
and dilute grey, others, etc., are colors that indicate blending with other types of TMs or crossbreeding
with other Himalayan dogs.

The prevalent features of the Valley or Tsang Khyi Tibetan Mastiff
1. Special ability for property protection
Because of the Valley TM's larger and sturdy physique and longer time of domestication, Tsang
Khyi's head and upper lip becomes more and more pronounced and pendulous with age, a phenomenon
more evident with time, making it increasingly less able and suited to confront predators. Therefore, the
Valley Tsang Khyi should not go with the flock and shepherd. For thousands of years, the Valley Tsang
Khyi TMs have not belonged to the flock guardian variety. Their value is in domestic watchfulness, and to
be enjoyed by the family. This type of TM is faithful to his master and the master's domesticated animals.
They not only recognize and accept people, but will accept strangers interacting with their master’s family.
However, they will not tolerate the any unknown animals near their master’s animal or home, particularly
at night. They stay alert and watchful throughout the night, patrolling their home property. Once they
encounter an intruder or new situation, the master can identify if the newcomer is a beast or a strangeraccording to the sound of the bark, and also detect the direction and distance so as to be prepared to
take the most effective measures. Once the territory is breached, all of a sudden the Tsang Khyi will rush
toward the stranger and sniff to identify. At that moment, if the stranger keeps still, they will be safe.
Otherwise the Tsang Khyi will bite down and hold onto the stranger, with as much discretionary force as
needed until the master comes.
2. A high value for enjoying the visual appearance and behavior
The peculiar voice of the Tsang Khyi type is sonorous, rugged and very deep. At any time, the Tsang Khyi
uses different sounds to alert the master to the exact information and different distances between the TM
and the stranger. The Tibetan experts hold the view that the Tsang Khyi’s bark has a strong rumble that
other mastiff types don't have. Based on the study, the inheritance of special sound is very consistent and
dominant in the Tsang Khyi. Although there can be degradation of the bark with the crossing of types of
TM, the offspring of the pure Tsang Khyi will be evident to the ear with their sonorous deep and pleasing
sound. Indeed, it is very important and most valuable to preserve this distinct type and sound.
It's is vital for us to value and preserve the pure Tsang Khyi Valley type of TM and to respect and protect
their age-old traditions. Also, careful selection and using genetic data must be employed to make the
best breedings come to fruition by constantly searching for the right combination of this type. With the
changing world the TM must live in, and its changing role with mankind, this topic is a sparking point for
necessary discussion.
An important reminder again, unique and crucial to the type, the sounds the Tsang Khyi makes changes
when the distance between the dog and stranger changes from far to near. The sounds of the Tsang Khyi
change and progress with intensity while seated and when standing, then while walking and while
running. When a stranger passes by the Tsang Khyi, a tethered Tsang Khyi will lunge and strain at the
end of the chain, the neck compressed and choking, the eyes showing blood red, the gnashing of teeth,
and in the moment we only hear the ragged, hoarse voice and panting breath. All of this an indication of
the ferocity. While the whole process is heart-pounding, ultimately the result is that we can enjoy feeling
secure, relaxed and carefree. It is exhilarating to watch.

The Plateau Tibetan Mastiff or “Dro-khyi”

(commonly misspoken as do-khyi,

the common term for any tied guard dog of any breed or street dog
in Himalayan regions).

The Plateau Tibetan Mastiff, or as some people say the Pastoral Dro-khyi TM can be found in the Gannan
Tibetan Autonomous State, Tsinghai Province and Cichuan Zang district. The TMs of Hequ are some of
the most typical representatives of the outstanding variety known as Plateau Dro-khyi TMs. According to
the study of Mr.Cui and Mr. Yang from the Agricultural College of Gansu, this kind of TM is found primarily
in the Hequ area. The Tibetan people call them Dro-khyi meaning “TM living on the prairie or grassland.”
The main features are the following:
1. Large size, sturdy strong body and bone with coordinated and balanced moment. An excellent adult
male is a minimum of 73cm/28.75”, and should be much taller. The adult female is well over 65cm/25.5”.
It has a large head and a prominent peak to the skull. Its ears are smaller than that of Valley Tsang
Khyi. The upper lip is hanging, pendulous, dragging. In the neck and face a minimum of two prominent
wrinkles. The back is broad and level, rising to an evident point of the shoulders. A moderate tuck up. The
tail is spiral and up over the back.
2.The colors are mainly black and tan, black, and golden. Other colors such as grey or white are found,
but more often in cross-bred dogs.

3. The coat should be of high volume and length in places, strong quality, cold weather resistant.
4. On the prairie, the character of TM is formidable and always alert. He is very loyal to his master and
does his work. He will display very strong protectiveness and can be violent against intruders, daring to
fight against wild animals. He has a keen ability to watch the flock. He can be on duty the entire night,
walking around the house and property, protecting and maintaining the security of humans and livestock.
5. The Dro-khyi or Plateau TM is has a thinner and higher pitched bark than the Valley or Tsang Khyi TM.
While penetrating, it is not as resounding or pleasing to the ear. It is a sturdy dog, with thicker wrinkles onneck and face than those found on the Valley or Tsang Khyi TM. This indicates that there exists
complementary traits to be blended between the two Tsang Khyi types in a breeding program, a strategy
for the selection of future generations of breeding.
There is no great functional difference between the Plateau/Prairie/Drokhyi TM and the Valley/Tsang Khyi
TM except the sound of the Dro-khyi's voice, which is not as sonorous. The types are both best suited for
guarding and watching, to be enjoyed and bred, and preferred over other types and local shepherd dogs.
The Zhongyuan TM Research Center has made great contributions to the restoration and preservation of
the Tibetan Mastiff. Many ideal Plateau/Prairie/Dro-khyi TMs appear in this center. However, it is still
urgent to establish and develop a high profile genetic base of the finest Tibetan Mastiff bloodlines.
Above all, the Tibetan Mastiff, as primarily known to Westerners refers to the general description of both
the Tsang Khyi Valley TM and the Dro-khyi Plateau TM. Both are large and fine types of Tibetan Mastiff
with hanging, pendulous lips.

The Lion Tibetan Mastiff
It 's difficult and scarce in Tibet now to find the lesser known and pure, long coated Lion TM, although it
has wide distribution in some places. It mainly originates from Shangnan, A'li, Changdu, Tibet and is
found with Diqing Shepherds in Yunan, China etc. (It is also more common in some Western kennels).
This type is very alert, can be aggressive and is conscious of guarding for shepherds, and is usually a tied
guard/do-khyi at the gate or at both sides of the nomad tent. The outstanding adult male Lion TM has a
maximum to 70cm/27.5” at the withers, females a maximum to 65cm/25.5”. They have a rounder head, a
big and short muzzle with tighter lips, a broad back and longer body. The point of the shoulder withers is
not evident due to the excessive long hair (like the Chow Chow). The hair covers the entire body. The
color is mainly grey, grey and tan, black and tan, and black. The Lion type in white and yellow colors are
usually crossbred Lion dogs with the Dro-khyi type or other Himalayan dogs.

(Translation in 2008 by Chen Li, Zhongyuan Tibetan Mastiff Research Center, Gong Yi City, Henan Province, China)
The author, Mr. Luo Go, a lifetime resident and former Mayor of Lhasa, Tibet, is the most longstanding
Tibetan Mastiff authority in the world today. At 70+ years of age, he has lived his entire life with Tibetan
Mastiffs in his home. His unique and learned perspective, a result of many decades of experience as an
owner and breeder, are of the breed in its native land; before, during and after the Chinese occupation of
Tibet that began in the 1950’s.



The Historical Tibetan Mastiff

western standards wrongly pigeonhole this multi-faceted breed

By Richard W. Eichorn

In the trinity of controversy in Tibetan Mastiffs – size, color and variations within type – let’s focus on the latter.As we tackle this most difficult subject,we must accept the fact that the Tibetan Mastiff is the perfect amalgamation of mastiff and mountain dog.
It is fully mastiff and fully mountain dog at the same time, compromising neither, while at times embracing both extremes.
It is a mastiff that functions like a mountain dog,or a mountain dog of mastiff size and type.It is a dog of impressive and immense mastiff size (history records 34 to 36 inches, and heavy bone) and type (heavy wrinkling,dewlap,haw, jowls, with a broad, deep, short, padded muzzle)that has evolved and adapted to survive in the most extreme climate and terrain known to mankind at the “Roof of the World.”

The result is the balanced, powerful, purposeful and efficient movement of mountain breeds on a dog of mastiff proportions with the
longest lion-like coat known to Molosserdom.
We must also acceptunderstand and never discount the impact of the culture clash on a breed developed for consistent function and purpose in Far Eastern native lands that must strive for conformational consistency to accommodate the narrowly focused breed standards in the West.
Truth be told, if we were staying true to Tibetan values and preserving the “true” breed,
we would respect established Tibetan varieties and never try to consolidate them under one “Tibetan Mastiff” banner.Instead, we would espouse native breed distinctions and have separate stud books, breeding programs and designations for the separate breeds/varieties.At the very least, we would have separate Open classes for like-to-like judging. But such is not the case – yet – often resulting in confusing, inconsistent and often mediocre placements and breeding decisions.
If you are breeding or judging in China or Tibet, those native values and types are respected and are bred and judged separately according to type, color and coat varieties known as the Tiger/mastiff, Lion/ mountain, Snow/white and even Bearded/Kyi Apso (think Bearded Collie) varieties. Not so in the West, where AKC and FCI standardsdemand one ideal, requiring all the varieties of mastiff and mountaindog sizes and types, smoother and rougher coats in the broadest spectrum of colors, to all compete for that one Best of Breed ribbon.As breeders and judges, it is our responsibility to remain true to the legacy of the breed from the country of origin first, and keep the Tibetan perspective in mind regardless of where we are and which present-day version of a standard is in play. We all know that standards can and
do change, subject to fleeting politics, agendas, winning trends and the reigns of popular dogs, and those standards can have varying degrees of authenticity and accuracy. Fortunately, there is a wealth of historic documentation available to guide us.
Now, how to unscramble the egg, or to at least comprehend the recipe for the ultimate omelette? Not always easy,given the blending of lines, types
and varieties that helped to rescue, resurrect and keep the breed from extinction during the 1950s Chinese invasion and subsequent occupation of Tibet. But no need to reinvent the wheel, either. Let’s step beyond the controversy and varied opinions of present day,and look to the constant, to the blueprint, to our best teacher: history.
Well known in the Tibetan Mastiff world, the noted author and historian Robert B. Ekvall recorded his observations of the breed in his 1963 journal, the Role of the Dog in Tibetan Nomadic Society. His keen insight gives us a rare window into a land and culture that was at the time shrouded in mystery. He is detailed and specific in his designation as to what constitutes a breed,variety or strain of a purebred dog, and what does not. He writes:
There are two varieties or breeds; the true Tibetan mastiff - which is somewhat rare - and another equally ferocious and almost equally large mongrel. The latter undoubtedly has, among other strains, more or less mastiff blood. The mastiffs, known variously as Sang Khyi (Sang dog) or
TSang Khyi (dogs of Tsang), constitute what Tibetans call a “bone line” and considerable efforts are made to keep the breed pure. Their possession is somewhat of a status symbol; it is very difficult to find one for sale; and if found the price is usually that of a good horse. They have the typical heavy muzzle, high domed head, hanging lips, the red of the eyelid showing and massive forequarters of the mastiff breed. The rather long tail is somewhat lightly feathered and carried in a loose curl.
In color they are usually black,always so if considered pure bred - with tan trim on the face, neck end legs, usually some white on the throat and chest, and a tan spot over each eye; from which they get the name Mig bZHi Can (four eyed one[s]). As to size, the one I had weighed 160 pounds.Their most distinctive characteristic
is an incredibly heavy baying bark - much more like the sound of a fog horn than the outcry of any animal.The mongrel watchdogs, which are far the more numerous, are little, if any smaller than the mastiffs and quite as ferocious. But in their bark they do not have quite the foghorn quality or tone which distinguishes the true mastiff. In coloration they exhibit greater diversity; ranging from pure black to grey wolf color and even an occasional white one.
Their pelage is somewhat longer than that of the mastiffs, they have somewhat wide and flatter heads with more pointed muzzles, and the heavily feathered tall is carried in a tight curl over the back.Their proper function in life, however, is as watchdogs, and as such they are savage and alert. Their mission in life, as defined by the Tibetans, is to “guard wealth against beasts of prey and thieves” and to the fulfillment of this mission they bring vigilance and ferocity.”
From Ekvall’s detailed account as a Tibetan Mastiff owner himself,“there are two varieties or breeds.” The same holds true today. One prized, pure and rare, seldom for sale, highly priced, a status symbol known as the Sang Khyi/Tsang Khyi, with a heavy muzzle, domed head, hanging lips, red haw, massive chest, a long and lightly feathered loose tail, in black/tan with white on the chest and neck, of substance/160 pounds, with the breed-defining heavy, deep baying “copper gong” bark.
This is consistent with breed expert and former Lhasa Mayor Luo Go’s description in the Winter 2009/10 issue of Modern Molosser of the fabled Tsang Khyi, still prized, preserved and protected in Tibet, today.
Ekvall’s second variety or breed classification is described as a “mongrel” equal in size and temperament to the Tsang Khyi,more numerous/common with
varying degrees of the mastiff/ Tsang Khyi blood. These dogs don’t have the characteristic deep, foghorn-like bark, and they come in a greater diversity of color, including black, blue/gray, even white with longer hair, wider/flatter heads, more refined/pointed muzzles, and with a higher-set curled tail. This is also in line with the mayor’s detailing of other varieties, some of which are being produced in breeding programs today.The writings of other noted historians record the same duality within the breed. Chinese annals of the Han Dynasty (142-87 B.C.) depict Tibetan dogs as being “as large as donkeys” (also noted by Marco Polo in the 13th Century), and found in the “red color.”
In 1842, naturalist Bryan Houghton Hodgson, when speaking about the breed noted, “There are several varieties,” and documents the colors as “Black, black and tan or red with more or less of white. Some have a fifth toe behind [rear dewclaw],which was worthy of mention in Animals and Plants Under Domestication by Charles Darwin in 1868, and documented in the Hodgson illustration “Tibetan Mastiffs, 5-clawed and 4-clawed variety,” published in Dogs of the last hundred years at the
British Museum (Natural History). Hodgson goes on to document two varieties: “The variety from Lhassa is the most beautiful variety, and is almost always black with tan legs and a fifth or false toe front and rear,” and “The Mustang variety is much smaller, bright red in color, with small eyes: this variety does not have the rear fifth toes.”
In 1845, Mr. W.C. Martin, in Knight’s Weekly Volume, The History of the Dog, wrote, “The Thibet Mastiff exceeds the English Mastiff in size, and has a still more lowering expression of countenance, from the skin of the eyebrows forming deep wrinkles, running to the side of the face, and from the thick pendulous deeply sagging lips. These huge dogs are the watchdogs of the tableland of the Himalaya about Thibet. The body is covered with rugged hair, of black colour, passing into yellow or tawny red shadings about the limbs, over the eyes, and on the muzzle: and the tail is well-furred, and arched over the back.”
The German scientist and canine breed expert professor Dr. Leopold Fitzinger described the Tibet Mastiff in 1891 as “Canis molossus tibetanus.This breed is also a pure variety of the Molossus, whose unique characteristics are the result of selective adaptations to his geographical environment, and to climatic influences thereof.“Even the largest specimens of the common European Mastiff varieties do not attain the size of the Tibet Mastiff,” he writes.“... The head is larger, the back of the head is more pronounced ... the muzzle is broader and more blunt ... the lips are longer and therefore more deeply sagging. The skin of the cheek region is looser, the ears are longer and more rounded,and the eyes are somewhat smaller. Aristotle considered the Tibet Mastiff to be a bastard produced by crossbreeding a domesticated dog with a tiger.”
Max Siber, author of Der Tibethund (1897), records the numerous findings of various authors, explorers and historians. “The color of the Tibet Mastiff ranges from black to a light golden brown or red, but the vast majority of them are black in color with rust-colored markings” (Count Bela Szechenyi in 1879); “Four feet in length from the tip of the nose to the onset of the tail, and had a height at the withers measuring two feet and ten inches [34 inches],” (Gill, 1880); “The lips are deeply
sagging ... the mask has deep wrinkles ... deep-set bloodshot eyes ...pure black ... brown and dark wolf-gray individuals; the latter usually have black masks and black-tipped guard hair ... the giant, indeed the Goliath among the dog breeds,beside which even English Mastiffs, St. Bernards and Newfoundlands would appear small” (J. A. Petersen, 1895).“But there is considerable variation with regard to coat color ... black ... black with rust-red ... rust-brown, light brown or golden red markings ... others brown with yellow markings [chocolate and tan],” wrote Siber himself. “ ... In addition, some are fawn-colored or deep red ... Others are dark-colored with a black saddle ...The Tibet Mastiff’s head is disproportionate ... The lips of the Tibet Mastiff sag. The eyes are deeply set,with bloodshot conjunctivae ... [rear] Dewclaws ... all Tibet Mastiffs have them.”
In 1900, the Rev. H.W. Bush shared his observations and conclusions about the Tsang Khyi/mastiff variety. He writes,“There are plenty of inferior specimens, but the huge big dog with the massive head, rounded skull, pendulous flews,small dark eyes showing much haw, plenty of wrinkle, almost invariably black with tan points, is only as a rule to be found in the larger monasteries, or outside the premises of the richer Tibetans.”
This was not the slighter, more refined nomadic mountaindog promoted and by some as the ideal today, and which Rev. Bush referred to as “inferior specimens,” but a prized dog of mastiff type and size kept exclusively in monasteries or by the wealthy.
This was likewise chronicled by canine illustrator and author Richard Strebel in 1905. “The Tibetans recognize two varieties – the rough and the smooth, though they value the rough most,” he wrote. “The two strains, for they are not distinct breeds, resemble each other in every respect except coat. ... The two different types, the lighter animal and the much more massive one with heavier bone and wrinkled face.....Only the lighter type of dog was able to keep up the chase with the horses.The heavy type would have been quite incapable of reaching the speed of the horse but was used to hunt lion and bear.”“The fact is that the lighter type of animal is the natural original type,”he concluded, “and the larger, heavier type, the purposefully bred one.”
In 1986, breed aficionado and parent-club co-founder Donald Messerschmidt told of his talk with a Tibetan family while he was stationed in Nepal, and then describes the differences between the Dokhyi/mountain flock guardian and the Tsang Khyi/mastiff temple guardian quite well:
KHYI (“dog”), of Tibetan Mastiff (aka Bhotia as we know it), is the wellknown livestock flock-protection dog kept by the Drog-pa nomadic herders of western Tibet and shepherds of the Himalayan regions. This dog is renowned as a fighter, controlling wolves and other predators. It makes its rounds of the yak or sheep herds during the night, and has a good, deep bark. It has a sharp scenting ability known as zi nobo in Tibetan, and is a good tracker. It is also accustomed to cold and windy weather. Its hair is not exceedingly long; it has a good solid head and body, with a bushy tail over the back. In short, all that we consider prime [flock guardian] Tibetan Mastiffs to be. The best colors, my friends say, are a black and tawny dog with two ‘eye spots’ or an all-black dog with a white star on its chest.
Messerschmidt goes on to contrast the mastiff variety: (T)SANG KHYI,(“best dog”), are sometimes referred to as Do-khyi (“tied dog”). Compared with the ordinary KHYI above (Tibetan Mastiff), the (T)SANG KHYI in its prime is a rare dog. The (T)SANG KHYI is primarily a guard dog, typically tied at the gate of monasteries and farm compounds. It has, according to a Tibetan saying, “Big head, big ears, big mouth (jowls) and big bark,”but my friends were quick to point out that it is not a good running dog and has a generally narrow and poorly structured rear end. The (T)SANG KHYI is known for its ferocity as a barker, especially at night.
The numerous historians referenced such as Siber, Petersen, Martin,Bush, Strebel and Ekvall, the contemporary Messerschmidt and others are all consistent in documenting and describing the Tsang Khyi/mastiff/Valley-Plateau variety/breed with terms such as “massive one ... heavier bone ... bone line,” “huge big dog” size, “massive, BIG domed heads,” “big ears,” extreme mastiff wrinkled/jowled “big mouth/jowled” type, with details of structure for stationary, nocturnal sentinel-like
guarding, “not built for movement ... not a good running dog,” preferred coat varieties, and the fact that the special, mastiff-like variety was rare,“expensive and purposefully bred,” unlike the other variety they called“inferior specimens, mongrels,” and the “lighter...natural original type”” This is one colossal dog of extreme mastiff type.
How does this history apply or translate to the legacy of the “Tibetan Mastiff” today? It keeps the “breed”at the center of controversy, with diverse and even conflicting standards throughout the world, with polarized factions embracing and defending the various types/breeds. The Tsang Khyi/Valley/Plateau/mastiff fanciers of the “purposefully bred”variety/breed found in monasteries and owned by the wealthy are in sharp opposition to and even offended by the notion of sharing a stud book and
ring time with the Do-khyi/Lion/mountain-flock dog fanciers and their nomadic “natural original type.” Yet, the two varieties/breeds must exist under a single breed designation, for now.
A great example of the Tsang Khyi/mastiff variety makes for a poor example of the mountain variety/breed, and vice versa, and when forced to compete in the same ring, judges either show their allegiance to one type/variety or another, or uncourageously compromise with the best homogenized blend of the two. To give an example, imagine a judge having to award a single BOB ribbon to the best Saint Bernard competing against the best Alaskan Malamute, with a standard that was somehow inclusive of both breeds. Or the judge having to find the single BOB in a ring full of flock guardian Kuvasz, Great Pyrs, Tatras and Maremmas all shown under one standard. Perhaps trying to agree on what is middle ground for an athletic Cane Corso and stationary Neapolitan Mastiff, or the ongoing controversy with the American Akita still competing and breeding with the imported,refined smaller Japanese type. Welcome to wide,wonderful world of “Tibetan Mastiffs”!
One thing is certain, that the Tibetan people recognized and bred at least two separate breeds/varieties that should be preserved and respected,separately. And if there is one of those varieties that should set the precedent, history makes that very clear.
The bottom line is that no one will ever agree asc to what constitutes the true breed if it must share its name, studbook and ring time with extreme Himalayan variations and sub-varieties with “more or less mastiff blood.” For those of us who love and embrace purebred dogs and their many breeds distinctions, the careful, deliberate and purposeful breeding to preserve original type, soundness,temperament and health are what dog breeding is all about. It is our responsibility and duty as judges to find and award such specific, breeddefining merit, according to the standard, with a global perspective that honors the original breed according to Tibetan standards.As for temperament, keep in mind that a proper Tibetan Mastiff would rather be at home guarding than ever allowing a stranger to walk up and examine it in a show ring. Be mindful of the balance needed between size, bone, mass and soundness; remember that a good dog comes in any color; be moved by the powerful and purposeful gait; and place a premium on mastiff type and the reserved,steadfast, regal demeanor of the dog who appears to be holding court, and you are merely an admiring subjects.