Tibetan Mastiff vs Tiger: Domestic Against the Wild

The Tibetan Mastiff dog is renowned to be a fearsome canine whose duty to protect is at its peak at all times. His sheer size can intimidate any intruders, hence why most dog lovers opt to bring home a puppy of this breed.

Our fascination toward magnificent large dogs such as the Tibetan Mastiff often makes us formulate questions that are not commonly answered which includes if a Tibetan Mastiff can fight against a tiger. To answer it, yes he could fight a tiger, but winning it is hard to achieve. 

There are many factors that come into play, and for you to be able to identify the chances of this dog winning, dive deeper into this article.


Tibetan Mastiff

The first thing you would usually notice from the Tibetan Mastiff is the thick and fluffy mane that surrounds his neck. He stands tall with a dignified look overall. His ears droop gracefully and his brown eyes exhibit a gentle expression. The muzzle is square and his whole image gives off an impression of an alert dog.

He is 24 to 26 inches in minimum height and has to be 70 to 150 pounds in weight. Females are generally smaller, yet they still are considered large dogs. Well-built and balanced, his body can thrive in harsh and cold climates. He has four heavy paws and a bushy, feathery tail, curving on his back. 

The Tibetan Mastiff is usually seen in various coat colors such as black, brown, cream, red, and certain combinations including black & tan, brown & tan, and red gold.


Photo from: leoncat_f2 (IG)

Tigers have natural menacing looks enough to make you flee the moment you spot them. A tiger is known for his orange coat with white gradients prominent on his face, under his neck and body as well as on his feet and tail. He has neat black stripes all over. 

One remarkable thing about him is his distinct white circular spot behind both his ears. These function as “fake eyes” to make himself appear more intimidating and alert in case another predator is planning to attack his rear. 

He is a fit, ferocious, and heavy-looking cat whose measurements compose an average of 31 to 43 inches in height and 220 to 660 pounds in mass. Since this is a wild animal, he constantly lives in uncertain places. He has to fight or hunt daily to survive.


Tibetan Mastiff

The Tibetan Mastiff enjoys more than a decade as an average for his life span. Undoubtedly, he can even live longer than 12 years if his health and physical condition aren’t jeopardized. Usually, it is mostly the disease common to this breed that can shorten his life expectancy. However, bringing him regularly to the vet and providing him with the right dog food can shoo away certain threats to his health.


The tiger lives longer than the Tibetan Mastiff. Environment largely determines how lengthy his time is going to be. For tigers who live in the wild, they have an estimated 15 years to live. Meanwhile, those under captivity live for about 26 years.

The reason why tigers in the wild don’t last that long isn’t because of illnesses. Rather, habitat loss or fragmentation and poaching are the main culprits. Although this suggests that putting them in captivity is a good idea so they could live longer, remember that these animals deserve to be in their rightful places. The jungle, the wild, or nature are where their home is. 


Tibetan Mastiff

On average, dogs can run at a speed of 15 to 20 km/h. The heavier the Tibetan Mastiff is, the slower he will get. This means he’s not a star when it comes to a sprinting contest. He boasts more of his capacity to defend and secure the safety of his territory and family.


Tigers cannot sustain themselves in a long-distance run. However, they are faster than the Tibetan Mastiff in sprinting. A 49 to 65 km/h is already an impressive record. Being cats, tigers are extremely agile and are always in control of how their body moves or to what direction they should go.

Bite Force 

Tibetan Mastiff

A powerful dog such as the Tibetan Mastiff can easily gnaw off a thick bone in only just a few bites. His teeth can apply about 500 to 550 pounds of pressure, dangerous and harmful enough to kill somebody. He has long and sharp canines and a broad, heavy head that can add up to the impact he can cause. 


This member of the genus Panthera is the largest living cat in the world. He has an extremely high bite force of around 1,050 psi which will vary depending on how threatened he is or motivated to kill. This figure tells us that he bites almost twice as much as an adult male lion. This is truly impressive!

Affection Level

Tibetan Mastiff

Although not really emotionally needy and clingy, the Tibetan Mastiff is purely loving and affectionate. He’d love to spend lots of his time with his owner, but his independent nature would occasionally kick in. He shows his love to his family in various ways and it includes his dedication to guarding his home. He tends to sleep most of the day and stay awake at night while his owners rest. Talk about a committed guard dog!


Affection is only mostly shown to whoever they are familiar with and are in a deep bond with. Just like a mother tiger who takes care of her cubs. If we apply the kind of affection our dogs show to humans, perhaps the tiger would score low on that. They are never petted in the wild nor is it something they want from someone. They would definitely not seek approval nor miss it if they’ve experienced human touch.

Need for Training

Tibetan Mastiff

All Tibetan Mastiff puppies that are brought home to be taken care of need to undergo a series of puppy training as a foundation for them to mature with the right manners and behaviors. This breed is innately stubborn and would not hesitate to do what he wants if he doesn’t perceive you as a leader. Since he can be a dangerous dog, letting him socialize will increase his tolerance level when surrounded by other dogs, pets, or people. 


Tigers in the wild are also trained not by humans, but mainly by their mothers when they were young. While they are still growing, their mother will teach them how to hunt. This happens mostly around 8 to 10 months of their early ages. Once they have to leave their family unit, experience and nature will be the ones to teach them more valuable lessons that would help them thrive in the wild.

Are Tigers Afraid of Tibetan Mastiffs?

No, tigers are not afraid of anything even a humongous Tibetan Mastiff, especially that they are apex predators and are at the top of the food chain. However, one thing that can scare them away is fire. For generations, people use fire to keep tigers off or at bay. Those who are in the circus also feel pressured to resist the hot flames surrounding the edges of the circle. The reason behind this: they’re just naturally and instinctively afraid of flames.

Can a Tibetan Mastiff Kill a Tiger?

It depends. If there are several Tibetan Mastiffs against one Tiger and they know how to fight as a team, they can stand a chance. However, take note that this guardian breed is not the best pack animal. 

To take down a tiger successfully, several Tibetan Mastiffs have to work hand in hand in holding the foe on his rear or distracting him while another throws fatal attacks. If the tiger is superior in strength, the dogs have to be great at tactics. 

Realistically, however, a Tibetan Mastiff and a tiger encounter won’t 100% end up in a fight. The wild animal, despite knowing he has the edge, won’t start a fight simply because it is not worth it or a key component to survival.

Ways to Protect Your Tibetan Mastiff From a Tiger Attack

Even though the chance of a Tibetan Mastiff and a tiger meeting up is low, the possibility remains to be there. If you live in nearby forests or a stray tiger ends up getting lost in your hometown, it is best to secure everyone including your dog’s safety right away. Here’s what you can do:

  • Keep your surroundings lighted to spot any signs of approaching threats.
  • Limit his outside time, especially during the night.
  • Keep him on a leash if you’re both out. This maintains your control over your buddy.
  • If you see a tiger, never attempt to feed him. 
  • Use noise to ward off a stray tiger.
  • Report the presence of the tiger to the authorities.