(Picture Credit: helen2552 / Getty Images)
Today, the Tibetan Mastiff is largely a massive but cuddly pet – a gentle giant in the dog world. However, this breed has strong working roots, and are still frequently used as Livestock Guardian Animals (LGAs). Originally bred to be used as guard dogs in the Himalayan Mountains, Tibetan Mastiffs grow to an average height of 26 to 30 inches and between 90 to 150 pounds as males, and 24 to 28 inches tall and 75 to 120 pounds as females.
While the Tibetan Mastiff might not be the first breed that comes to mind when you think of a working dog, one brave canine showed that they’re still just as capable of their ancestral duties.
Fluffy, Cuddly – And Relentlessly Loyal
In a now viral video, a Tibetan Mastiff is seen roaming among a pack of wolves. This setup is strange to most viewers – it takes place at a ‘wolf farm’ in China. The dog reportedly grew up among the pack.
In the video, an older wolf is challenged by a younger, more fit wolf that tries to take his food. The younger wolf is quickly chased off by the protective Tibetan Mastiff. The old wolf then eats in safety at his side. Reportedly, the older wolf is the former pack leader, and his friend the Tibetan Mastiff is still loyal to him.
Bringing a Livestock Guardian Home
While Tibetan Mastiffs are a beautiful breed, seeing their loyalty and bravery doesn’t mean they’re a good fit for your home. These breeds, along with similar dogs like the Akbash and Great Pyrenees, all have very high energy. As a result, they need lots of individualized attention.
If you’re truly considering a breed primarily used for livestock protection, have a plan in place to burn off your dog’s energy in a constructive way. Thankfully, this doesn’t mean you need a flock of sheep. Consider enrolling in dog agility or even the whimsical sport of musical freestyle. Keep in mind that the point isn’t to be best in show – just to keep your dog active and engaged!