Tibetan Mastiff


The Tibetan Mastiff In China


The magnificent Tibetan Mastiff caught the dog world's eye on the telecast of the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in Feb. of this year when the enormous but stately Tibetan Mastiff LANA TSAN ON TIBETAN MASTIFF DOGS IN CHINAreceived a Working Group placement, setting a new record for newly AKC recognized breed. 

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 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 one dies.

I love the breed and have always kept one Tibetan mastiff since the 1980’s until now.

My first pair is from Ausable Kennels in 1980’s from Australia who traces back to Apache Ann.  TIBETAN MASTIFF DOGOne 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.


YOUNG TIBETAN MASTIFF IN CHINAThe dog to the right is the 10 month old puppy I bought earlier in Jan, 2009.

The dog at 2 ˝ 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.

ADULT TIBETAN MASTIFF DOG IN CHINAThe 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.


NORTH AMERICAN WORKING DOG ASSOCIATION - Far East(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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