Are Tibetan Mastiffs Dangerous? How to Make Them a Safe Breed

Often, many of us get intimidated by the sheer size and menacing look the Tibetan Mastiff possesses. And, with several reports of Tibetan Mastiff attacks in various parts of the world, a perception that the breed is dangerous gets formed in the minds of most people. 

Contrary to popular belief, Tibetan Mastiff dogs are one of the most loyal pets you can ever have. Of course, considering his protective nature, he would need someone who could train him well and prohibit him from displaying concerning behaviors. If the Tibetan Mastiff parent indulged him in vital training, he’ll grow up to be a prudent dog, distanced from potential unfortunate events.

Is getting a Tibetan Mastiff a wise choice? We’ll walk you through its interesting temperament and more!

Understanding Where They Come From

The Tibetan Mastiff originally comes from Tibet and has been existing for several centuries already. Due to his massive build and through the DNA evidence discovered, it was found out that he comes from the line of other Mastiff-type dogs who were around 5,000 years ago.

Although the record about this breed is not complete and thorough until 1847, what we know of is that this dog has largely functioned as a guardian both for the Tibetan Buddhist monks and livestock. This is a strong and capable dog, naturally protective, and never to be underestimated in his duty as a protector.

With his special qualities and attractive appearance, his popularity spread mainly in Europe and America. Currently, this is a very in-demand breed in China as the Tibetan Mastiff is now associated with luxury and high social status.

Understanding who he was by discovering his history will help us have a glimpse of who he can potentially become, especially that you’re considering going for this behemoth. 

Are Tibetan Mastiffs an Aggressive Breed?

It is just natural to think that this large Tibetan Mastiff dog might have a high potential to show aggression. However, the more you get to know him, the better you’d realize that most misconceptions thrown at him are far from true unless his parents are notoriously bad-tempered and the trait got passed on to him (genetic temperament). 

This dog has superior intelligence and a high level of independence. He also scores excellent in self-awareness. Valuing the safety of his family and territory will definitely not make him hesitant if an intruder tries to break inside your home. When there’s nothing for him to worry about or that he senses no threats at all, this dog won’t think of harming anybody without any reason. 

It is worth acknowledging that unfortunately, some states in the US have banned the Tibetan Mastiff breed due to incident reports of Mastiff attacks, despite these occasionally happening.

Know When a Tibetan Mastiff Can Become Hostile

Aside from getting to deal with intruders and trespassers, there are various more instances when the Tibetan Mastiff could become a threat. Being aware of what these are would help you determine what steps to take in the future. Here’s when a Tibetan Mastiff can become potentially dangerous:

  • He’s experiencing pain and discomfort
  • He’s suffering from behavioral changes or hypothyroidism
  • He has detected a female dog in heat nearby.

Aside from identifying what could place your Tibetan Mastiff at an aggression mode, beware as well of what the signs and symptoms are. When these are promptly addressed, you can prevent his aggression from escalating. Here are what you should commonly look out for:

  • He growls when eating.
  • Shows tense body language and stops eating when you approach.
  • He growls when forced to get off the couch or bed.
  • He dislikes being touched by children.
  • Shows belligerence when given shots or medicine.
  • Gets upset when reprimanded.
  • Acts unkindly toward strangers.
  • Chases after cars, passersby, or small animals.

Ensure Your Tibetan Mastiff Doesn’t Grow Up to Be Dangerous

To ensure that your Tibetan Mastiff doesn’t develop bad behaviors nor end up becoming the talk of the town newspaper, do what experienced owners do which is to provide him valuable dog training and socialization.

Common to dogs, you must establish yourself as the alpha. Be firm, authoritative, and reasonable while training him to become a better dog. Due to his high sense of independence, he will show stubbornness from time to time, but this can be easily handled by the right owner.

While honing your Mastiff to become an approachable buddy, consistently show him your leadership and teach him how to submit to your rules. Also, get him to be comfortable with being around other dogs or people. Once he’s used to being socialized, his extreme protective instinct will mellow. 

Things to Ponder When Owning a Tibetan Mastiff

Before you drive off to your nearest adoption center, you must learn what this dog’s demands are first. Since a new fur-buddy means another responsibility, weigh things out first if you can cope with his needs and other requirements which often include the following:

  • Exercise. Let your 150-pound Tibetan Mastiff romp and sweat off. A minimum of one heat each day will keep him refreshed, motivated, and happy. If he’s mostly preoccupied, boredom won’t penetrate on his schedule and that would mean lesser chances of him developing bad behaviors.
  • Check-up. Bring him regularly to your vet to see if he’s suffering from diseases or infections. If his conditions are diagnosed and treated early, he won’t exhibit aggression triggered by pain.
  • Training, training, training! This is truly a key component to raising a happy dog. Be committed to doing this regularly for your Tibetan Mastiff.

Take note that when certain things he’d demand are not met, these can become an onset of developing undesirable traits. For some who eventually found this overwhelming due to poor judgment of his maintenance, they have resorted to abandoning their Tibetan Mastiffs.

Countries Where the Tibetan Mastiff Is Banned or Restricted

Despite being such a popular and in-demand dog breed, it seems that Tibetan Mastiff, no matter how superb he is in many areas, especially in safeguarding his home and family, is banned in various countries all over the world and this includes the following:

  1. Belarus
  2. Ukraine
  3. Germany
  4. Malaysia
  5. France 
  6. Maldives
  7. Some parts of the United States

Should I Get a Tibetan Mastiff?

Researching further about the breed before committing yourself to get one is highly advised. Do know that getting a Tibetan Mastiff is going to give you a different experience compared to getting a smaller dog breed. If you are confident that you can handle this massive canine, then this dog might be right for you. 

For first-time owners, the Tibetan Mastiff is not truly recommended. If you are inexperienced and unprepared to deal with a hard-headed and willful dog, you might end up raising a liability that neighbors around you will not appreciate. The type of ownership you grant a puppy will most often reflect in his later years. It could be that he ends up becoming a hostile dog or the most affectionate buddy your family will love.