TM breed


The Tibetan Mastiff,the companion and guardian of man is the subject of many touching legends.One of them goes like this : Long,long ago,one severe winter the land of the Tibetans was frozen over and plaques prevailed everywhere.The people and the livestock they relied on suffered hunger,cold and illness.All of a sudden,a large number of living Buddhas wearing cloaks,holding sacred bells and riding on giant beasts (which were later found to be Tibetan Mastiffs) descended from Heaven.With the arrival of the living Buddhas and the Tibetan Mastiffs,the ice melted,the plaques were dispelled,the land resumed its vitality and people were saved.Ever since then,the Tibetan people have held Tibetan Mastiffs in high esteem and believe they are envoys from Heaven,divine dogs with a mission to protect the herdsmen.


­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­In the region where TM originally came from were Tibetan Mastiffs priced not only for their exteriour appearance,but also for their personalities and capabilities. Diverse requirements of employment,isolation of regions – it everything, quite logically gave groundwork for origination more varieties of those tibetan dogs.


China divided TM breed into types :

Tiger-like dogs (massive,mastiffy heavy dogs,shorter coat)

Lion-like dogs (longer coat,impressive mane. The lion-like ones look larger when their long hair sticks up,but in fact the tiger-like ones are stronger and more valiant)

Snow TMs - rare white coloring

On September 2009 visited our kennel group of Tibetan´s Lamas.They quite spontaneously decided for visit “their” dogs as they recognized amongst some of them their pure Quinhai´s and Yushu´s dogs.This visit was soooo interesting to me as brought to me many new views on breed from side of native Tibetans,which are very very different to our western opinions.

For all of us who are having a little bit romantized view on breed,like cute fluffy friendly bears with piti piti pa movement, opinions of monks would brought small desiluzion no doubt.I am writing BREED,but it is first big difference between our (western) view and how feel it Tibetans.They don´t understand why we (western people) are useing only one name for so many different breeds (types) according of them.They never did call in Tibet those dogs Tibetan Mastiffs and already in no wise Dokhyis!Their “breeds”(speak about TMs) are named according of regions and its typical types.Our visitors were born on south Quinhai region and so “their” breed were Quinhai´s dogs.(they spoke about other breeds according of regions and its dog´s types which are known to them,like are Yushu´s dogs,Lhasa´s dogs ...) In Fawara´s type they recognized poor type of Quinhai´s dogs.They even said,that “their” Quinhai´s dogs maybe had more pendulous and massive lips than is seen on Fawara!!! Very mastiffy in face!They told stories how those dogs often injured (being self-injured) own lips by own teeth during attacks to wild animals or other dogs( proof of mastiffy types of those Quinhai´s dogs).

Pure types of Quinhai´s dogs according of tibetan monks :

.quinhai types

Other from our dogs,chosen for to be pure type according of monks was female Blackie.They marked her to be pure type of Yushu´s dog.

Yushu dog

My sincere wishing for all rewriting of Standards (not only FCI Standard) would be to find goodwill for listen to Tibetan side too before making ill-considered steps regarding  trends (latest and present) for creation “in the  fashion” look of Tibetan Mastiffs.!!!   


  Modern history of Tibetan Mastiff breeding is dated from the 1970s in Europe/America (we do not mention some previous isolated attempts to breed TM becouse,unfortunately.these attempts were foiled by the World War II,and there is no continuity with modern breeding).The entire modern breedings was founded solely on a few imports of lighter variety (today known on West like Do Khyi) from Nepal,India,Bhutan and southwest Himalayan regions.Owning to enthusiasm of a good number of European Do Khyi breeders,nowadays,we can see really beautiful DoKhyi examples in show rings,accurately enchased (deeply cultivated)by longtime work of these breeders.For all these last years,DoKhyi is staying the only one (that is why logically the only correct according of along about that time´s situations) representative of the breed for European breeders.For all these years western breeders have kept at disposition only a few of old drawings (described/shown as the Tibetan Mastiff 100-200 years ago),historical mentions about TMs from old travel books or some of very old saved written descriptions of these Tibetan dogs.But these historical mentions and drawings have shown/described diverse type of TM compared to nowaday DoKhyi types.Unfortunately for reasoning of it ,we often did can read even statements,where was deny existence of these legendary dogs.To strengthen this opinion - hermetic reservedness of Asian countries (Tibetan Mastiff´s countrie of origin)in communication with rest of the world in the past played important role.
Mrs.Sue Elworthy (Everest North Tibetan Mastiffs kennel) has brought from her Tibet trip (August 2007) since the most comprehensive photo collection of Tibetan dogs from their country of origin,I never saw before.
She has brought with her photos also GREAT NEWS for all admirers of this giant variety: they STILL EXIST and are beloved and kept by Tibetans!

Many of the dogs shown in Sue's wonderful photo collection DO reflect the historical line drawings (with and without artistic license).

Many breeders can now see the light on their programs from these photos and comparisions.













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