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This page is aimed primarily at people considering making a Tibetan Mastiff part of their family and is based on my own experiences and that of fellow owners and breeders. It is not meant to be an in-depth study of the breed, but more a light-hearted piece on what to expect should you decide that a TM is the dog for you.

It should be borne in mind when considering a Tibetan Mastiff as a pet, that it is a guarding breed and although my own dogs are laid back to the point of being comatose there are many TM's who take their role as a guardian far more seriously! Yes they can and do bark, some more than others, this should be expected, but should not be a problem unless the dog is left on it's own for long periods, which I personally would not recommend.

Temperaments on a whole are very good and they are generally very tolerant and good-natured with children, this is assuming of course that the children are well behaved and treat the dog with respect and not as an animated cuddly toy!

Tibetan Mastiffs, as I am sure most owners will agree, can be stubborn and independent and for those reasons are not always the easiest dogs to train. This does not mean that they are untrainable by any means, just that they tend to give your command due consideration, decide you are not really serious and then obey in their own sweet time!

My own TM's have excellent temperaments, I have no problem free running them with other dogs, and over time they have all come accept that the general idea is for them to accompany me on the walk, and not go in three different directions!! It has taken them a while to come round to this way of thinking but we have got there in the end, although the process has been more than a little frustrating at times, to say the least.!! Do they dig some people ask? Yes they certainly and do!! No matter how beautiful you think your garden is, a Tibetan Mastiff puppy will undoubtedly take it upon himself to re-landscape it for you! Digging for moles / rabbits, real or imaginary is a favourite pastime, followed closely by the severe pruning of any available shrubs and the chewing of wood . If you have any plants that you are particularly fond of, I would recommend protecting them in some way or even better, relocating the aforesaid mentioned shrub to the garden of a friendly neighbour or relative until you are sure your TM is over his gardening phase. The same advice would apply indoors too, I would suggest that you do not leave a puppy / young dog alone with the prize Chippendale dining suite until you are sure he is not going to inscribe his name on it !!. Also as some TM's appear to be veritable Houdini's of the canine world a well fenced and secure garden is definitely necessary.

The Tibetan Mastiffs thick, double coat does not require as much care as one would imagine and no trimming or stripping is needed. Regular grooming once a week should be sufficient, increasing to perhaps twice a week in the Spring when the coat is being shed. For this, I find a rake, slicker brush and a comb are usually all that is needed. The Spring moult can be quite dramatic and some newer owners worry that that something is wrong when their dog loses what appears to be enough hair to make at least another half a dozen dogs!! It is perfectly normal, as is the dandruff that sometimes accompanies it, but by the late Summer / Autumn your TM will be well on his way back to his former glory!

Further information on the breed can be obtained from the Secretary of the Tibetan Mastiff Club of Great Britain, Mrs Iris Feddon. Tel 02088 591309.

An excellent book Tibetan Mastiff by Juliet Cunliffe is also available from the Club.

Contact Darchen 023 971 2622

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