© Lyse Stormont and Kathleen McDaniel
"Making a list, Checking it Twice. Gonna find
out who's naughty or nice..."
Author: J. Fred Coots & Haven Gillespie
The TMBRN continually strives to maintain its reputation as the
premier informational website about the Tibetan Mastiff breed.
In our efforts to educate the public we have provided numerous
articles addressing the various aspects of the TM character and
TM ownership. Please read these articles thoroughly
and take your time to ensure that you are the right fit for the
Tibetan Mastiff. Along with evaluating whether or not you are compatible
with the TM, your ability to recognize and your decision to choose
an ethical breeder positively impacts the breed.
For a more comprehensive article about the importance of choosing
the correct breeder and the red flags you should watch for, see Choosing
Basic Essential Requirements
- Because of the territorial and guardian nature of the Tibetan
Mastiff, it is essential that you have a fenced-in yard. Responsible
breeders will insist that you have a secure containment area
that is of good size. This is an imperative element to TM management
and there can be no short-cuts in keeping this large breed and
others safe from harm.
- Crate training must be a priority with the Tibetan Mastiff
breed. It is an important tool in helping to establish good manners.
Beginning the Process
- For more information and answers to any of your questions,
contact long-time breeders to ask about the Tibetan Mastiff experience.
- Look to a breeder that is a member of a breed club or is involved
with an organization that is dedicated to protecting and preserving
the Tibetan Mastiff breed.
- A breeder should speak openly about the challenges of the Tibetan
Mastiff and will not hesitate to refer you to other owners of
their puppies who may be willing to share their own experiences.
- Don't be afraid to ask for referrals to other breeders should
a puppy not be available from your breeder of choice.
- Should you consider buying a puppy from a novice breeder, question
him/her as to whether s/he is being mentored by a more experienced
- Statistics show us that those who venture into the world of
dog breeding rarely continue on with it past the 5-year mark.
When dealing with a novice breeder, ask how s/he will continue
on with advice and lifetime support for your prospective puppy
should that individual get out of the breed.
- If the breeder you are interviewing is not particularly active
in the show ring ask him/her how breeding stock is evaluated.
Expect to hear about a long term breeding program for that kennel
and its goals. This individual should be familiar with the Breed
Standard, be educated about health issues, structure, movement,
temperament and type. Continue your search if this person cannot
convey these important fundamentals.
- Having breeding stock evaluated, either by judges or an experienced
third party is important, but don't be fooled into thinking that
yards of show ribbons guarantees you an ethical breeder. Quality
dogs come from responsible and knowledgeable breeders. Ask the
breeder about his/her practices, ethics, philosophies and views
about continued advice and support for the life of the dog.
- Arrange to make a kennel visit when you can. Note the set-up
of the kennel and if the dogs are well-loved, socialized and
- Ensure that your breeder of choice raises no more than 2-3
breeds or more than 2 litters per year. Breeding dogs is not
a business nor is it a money-making venture. Puppy millers/backyard
breeders show their true colors and motivation when money is
at the root of their breeding efforts.
- Avoid breeders who make a constant point of criticizing and
bashing other breeders' dogs and programs. You do not need to
listen to any breeder bad-mouthing others. Truly reputable and
enthusiastic breeders understand the considerable effort it takes
to rear puppies and should be completely involved with the welfare
of their own dogs.
- Make sure that you have a list of questions to ask the breeder prior to visiting a kennel or visiting with a litter of puppies.
Evaluate whether the breeder volunteers information, is at ease
with your questions and answers you thoroughly about health and
other important issues.
- Ask questions about the sire and dam of the litter. The parents
of your puppy should be very near 2 years of age or older, so
get proof of their ages and ASK FOR COPIES of their medical checks,
(i.e. hips/elbows certification) prior to agreeing to a puppy
purchase. If the breeder cannot provide scores or evaluations
on hips and elbows for the PARENTS OF THE LITTER, look for another
breeder. Claims that relatives in the pedigree were evaluated
so this somehow clears the parents of the litter is NOT SUFFICIENT.
- Be prepared for the questions of responsible breeders. Questionnaires,
numerous email and long telephone chats mean that a conscientious
breeder is sizing you up as a potential puppy owner.
- Do not expect that you will just be handed a puppy because
you want one or because you have the cash. If getting a puppy
is this easy, walk away. Quality breeders love their puppies/dogs
and want only the best for them. Dedicated breeders have learned
to say "NO" when they do not feel that a Tibetan Mastiff
is a suitable dog for you, your family, your lifestyle or your
present situation. This does not mean that you aren't a WONDERFUL
dog owner. This is a challenging breed and it is much easier
to say "NO" at this stage, than face re-homing/rescue
- Make sure to find out if puppies are born on the premises.
A breeder should not have puppies born elsewhere and then shipped
into his/her facilities. Neither should a breeder claim puppies
as his/her own if they are born elsewhere and "drop shipped" from
- Every breeder should understand the importance of early socialization
and takes the time to introduce puppies to other people, animals
and different situations.
- Your breeder of choice should provide a contract and take the
time to review what is expected of breeder and owner.
- Breeding is a huge responsibility. It is an involved, time-consuming
and expensive venture. Do not enter into a contract in which
you are required to breed a litter of puppies as a condition
of the purchase of your puppy.
- Breeder will require that all puppies sold as pets be spayed/neutered
at the appropriate time.
- A responsible breeder does not sell puppies to wholesalers,
dealers, brokers or retail shops. Also ensure that the breeder
prohibits the same by the new owner in a written contract.
- Breeder promises to work with the owner to re-home or take
back the dog over the dog's lifetime should it be necessary.
- No responsible breeder will release any puppy to his/her new
home prior to eight weeks of age. In fact, many places have laws
that prohibit the sale of a puppy before the age of eight weeks.
- A responsible breeder will provide a summary and/or puppy packet
outlining the pedigree, medical history of the puppy and future
diet, training, grooming and general care recommendations.
- Choosing to open your home to a Tibetan Mastiff is a 10-14
year commitment. It is in your best interest to take your time
and choose wisely. Should you feel any doubts at all, it is best
to wait. Realize that your perfect puppy may not necessarily
be the one that is most readily available.
- Please remember that while it may be in your best
interest to purchase your puppy from an ethical breeder, it is
also your obligation to
do so. Rewarding bad breeders with puppy sales ultimately damages
the entire Tibetan Mastiff breed.
You may also find the following articles helpful:
Other Helpful Articles About the Breed
TMBRN Brochure / Hand Out
Mastiff Info Brochure in PDF format
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