The Tibetan Mastiff In China
Lana Tsan © TheDogPlace July 2009
We present Part 3 of a three part pictorial series direct from China. Lana Tsan is a member of our Science and Advisory Board, lives in China, and travels all over the world seeking and sharing information on dogs.
The picture to the right is the show from
last year (2008) in Canton where the Tibetan mastiff association of qinhai give
everyone a Royal Haitak (Scarf) welcome and blessing. The ordinary scarf is
white but the royal VIP scarf is yellow. I saw on the TV a few days before the
Dalai Lhama giving the president of France a white scarf.
I only have 1 Tibetan mastiff in my kennel. I would buy another one when that
I love the breed and have always kept one Tibetan mastiff since the 1980’s until
My first pair is from Ausable Kennels in 1980’s from Australia who traces back
to Apache Ann. One of the most noted foundation bitch in USA.
(pictured to the left) Now I have broken the rules after the death of my last
Tibetan mastiff in 2008 from poisonous snake bite, most likely a cobra (we
captured one a few days after his death).
Then the dog I rescued during Chinese New Year has been a handful and its
previous owner send it to the agricultural and fisheries department of Hong Kong
to be put down. It was not put down because it is during Chinese New Year.
Our students heard about it from the old owner and asked the old owner if we
might be able to take it and on the promise of paying all fees. We took it home.
The dog to the right is the 10 month old puppy I bought earlier in Jan, 2009.
The dog at 2 ½ is handsome and fairly obedient especially to Philip. He has a
good memory of voices and likes to play. I think in being too boisterous was
what was its original trouble with his previous owner. He has a funny habit of
fishing koi from my pond and half eating them. That is another of its trouble
with a real garden. Usually Tibetan mastiff loathes water but this one is not
typical in this sense.
I hate to say this but Tibetan mastiff could wrecked the house as it likes to
follow its owner around. It also likes to walk around its own area and
territorial – an excellent guard dog who would give all to its own family and
its animals. I have seen them nursing kittens of its own family’s. but will
decidedly immediately kill any stray cats in its territories plus dogs.
The colors of Tibetan mastiff and the standard I have seen in USA is not the
same. China recognized only red and all its shades, fawn, tan and fawn sables,
white, black ( solid color for the above colors) with some white no bigger than
a few hairs on the chest and toes, black and tan. I have not seen any sables
like Alaskan malamutes colors – the light wolf-sables or silver sables.
In my search of the breed, I have when I went to judge in Taiwan been able to
speak to the Tibetan Mastiff president of the Taiwan Tibetan Mastiff
Association. He claims that China no longer has any Tibetan mastiff of his
standard and that he sells about 50 dogs per month oversea esp. to USA the date
for this is in 2004. I have also visited their kennel in which they show me dogs
which I think to my eyes look like cross between Rottweiler and Tibetan mastiff.
I heard rumors that they are crossing the dogs to make them more tame, which to
me is wrong. The person who quote this also remark on the cross in Russia of
Caucasian Mountain dog with St. Bernards and other breeds to make them more
easier to control and train, this act is done by the Red Star Kennel. Then when
the Berlin wall collapse the Caucasian Mountain Dog at that time used by the
East Germany to patrol the walls were sold in total over 100 of them to Taiwan.
As they were too ferocious to control, they become extinct in Taiwan by 2000’s.
(pictured to the right is our Certificate Agreement making us the spokesperson
for the North American Working Dog Association - Far East)
It is also easier and more acceptable for the western judges to have Tibetan
mastiff with better angulation in their hind legs. As Chinese breeds tend to
have more straighter hocks like say 130 degrees i.e. chowlike, nearly all
Chinese breed has these characteristic i.e. sharpei, chows, shendong greyhound (
saluki-like Chinese breed). For me I am beyond words...
As dogs have no boundary like human they are not limited to environment
boundaries like we do. They are limited to small pods in each area in Qinhai is
because of the high mountain range separating them. We humans should be wiser of
the two and be able to understand our dogs better and use our knowledge and
understanding of the breed to breed better purebred dogs for its purpose in the
future or else our breed will face extinction because of us in playing gods.
I am only human but I love my dogs and dog sports.
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