The Tibetan Mastiff is primitive breed that originated from the Himalayan mountain regions of Tibet. They were original guardians of the Tibetan monasteries and were later bred to guard livestock and homesteads. The TM is known in Tibet as the Do-Kyi, which translates to “tied dog,” as they were tied at the gates of the homes and temples they guarded. They are naturally protective and can be territorial.
They are not often eager to please, which can make obedience difficult when training. They are however extremely intelligent and can be sensitive, responding best to patience and soft hands. They are not a breed that will respond to a heavy hand and negative reinforcement in training. They are also not a breed meant for everyone. Acquiring a TM is a lifetime commitment, so it is important that you thoroughly research breeders, lineage, and the requirements necessary to own one. They are able to easily clear fences that are 4 feet in height and require sturdy fencing of at least 6 feet to ensure they remain in their yard. The Tibetan Mastiff is a slow maturing breed and can take up to 4 years to reach full maturity. Their lifespan can reach anywhere from 10-14 years on average. They can also be same sex aggressive, which can come on later on in life as they mature. Grooming is a relatively easily thing to do and requires brushing once a week to ensure no mats form. Their thick double coat only sheds once a year - typically in the springtime - and is referred to as "blowing" coat. However, they can drop coat later on due to weather changes.
Good and ethical breeders research their potential families deeply and are not comfortable just selling to anyone. It may seem like a job interview, but if you and your home are found appropriate you will have lifetime support and become family to your breeder. They will not be afraid to say "NO" to you if your situation is not suitable for the Tibetan Mastiff. They will also require you to return the puppy to them if any time you cannot provide the puppy or dog with a permanent home. Look for a breeder who lists full registered names of their dogs so you can search their pedigrees. It is also important to look at hips/elbows and verify scores through OFA. If someone says that their vet has health checked them and they are clear, run... you cannot detect hip dysplasia without x-ray films. Hypothyroidism is also prevalent in the breed so make sure the parents are tested and are negative.