Tibetan Mastiff

The beginnings of the Tibetan Mastiff or Do Khyi are believed to date back centuries, although no written records are left to actually prove its existence before the 19th century. Scientists link its DNA to dogs that lived in mountainous regions of Asia 5000 years ago. As its name suggests, the Tibetian Mastiff originated from Tibet, where it was developed as a guard dog on farms and for protecting property and livestock. Cynologists believe that its direct ancestors were Mastiffs and Molossers that populated large parts of Europe and were kept as war dogs in ancient Rome and other empires of that age.

Tibetan Mastiffs, as very impressive in size, were gradually used to also guard entire villages or settlements in the Himalayan mountains, as they were kept in confined spaces in the daytime and left to roam free at night. To enhance aggressive behaviour from an early age, the puppies were sometimes tied up and left. In the mid 19th century, the British started to show an interest in these quintessentially Tibetan dogs after Queen Victoria received one as a present during a state visit. Soon after, the British started to import them in large quanities, which led to their growing popularity as guard dogs and companions for people of the upper classes. Towards the end of the 19th century,...

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