Tibetan Mastiff Info


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TM Pups

T Mastiff Puppy Training & Socialization

Since the Tibetan Mastiff is not an “easy” or naturally cooperative breed, the first 2 years of its existence will be an unforgettable experience for both of you. Even the most seasoned fur parents face obstacles when it comes to puppies, which are slow to mature but highly intelligent and primal.

Although some of the behaviors I explain might not always apply to your pup, the general descriptions of puppy development I provide are likely to identify your puppy.

Tibetan Mastiff Puppy Stages (0-2 years)

The first 2 years of a TM’s life are the most crucial since he will develop through 3 unique phases. The phases vary in timing from puppy to puppy, but you could still identify them and plan for them so that your puppy grows into an adult who is a pleasure to own and understand.

Your puppy will arrive at your house around the age of 10 weeks. I prefer keeping the pups once they are close to 10 weeks old so they may mature and build confidence via socialization with the rest of the litter and adult dogs.

T Mastiff Puppy Fear Stages

Trained TMs

A calm, attentive, and rather reserved with strangers is the right temperament for an adult TM, but your pup will require direction to build the self-confidence he needs to avoid being an aggressive and challenging dog. While most of the temperament is inherited, the balance is certainly influenced by the environment.

Many people are well aware that puppies go through distinct “fear” periods, but recognizing your TM puppy’s “emotion” is essential. It will take time and care to train your puppy to be a companion and buddy, but it will be well worth the time and effort.

Once your puppy first arrives home, he might be a little uncomfortable and may have separation anxiety. The presence of additional pets in the house can help to alleviate the feeling of “loneliness.” The reality is that the pup feels disoriented and uncertain, rather than “lonely” as humans perceive it.

The puppy’s comfort will be determined by his ability to learn his new space and family, therefore you should limit the puppy’s exposure to events and new people.

For a young puppy, meeting someone new, going to new locations, and even smelling new things will be overwhelming experiences. Even though the puppy is young, he’s still a Tibetan Mastiff, and he will instinctively sense the urge to exert authority over his surroundings.

Introduce Your TM Puppy To New People

Make sure that when you expose the puppy to new people, they wait until the pup has already had a chance to “smell” them and examine them for a minute before approaching. Even if your puppy doesn’t seem disturbed, allowing others to pick him up and touch him without such an introduction will make him feel uneasy.

This is particularly necessary at the veterinarian’s office, where persons unaware of the Tibetan Mastiff’s personality may make him nervous as a puppy, making it harder to get him at the front of the door later.

Most new puppy parents are embarrassed if their puppy is not very friendly, and this embarrassment can build tension, which your puppy can pick up on. In new settings, remember to be relaxed and self-assured so that your pup may relax as well.

Tibetan Mastiff Car Riding

Avoiding activities that the pup dislikes are one of the most frequent mistakes made by new pet owners. If your puppy refuses to go in cars, it’s a good idea to address the issue before he becomes 100 lbs. and you have to drag him into the car to go to the veterinarian. At first, many puppies are vehicle sick or have motion sickness. The anxiousness of being “out of control” is to blame for a lot of this.

Sitting in the car for a few minutes is sometimes the first stage, followed by small trips that develop in duration until your TM settles down and rides without fear. If you have a big enough car to fit a crate in, your puppy will be safe. Traveling with a pup or dog inside the back of an open truck is never a good idea.

Mastiff Puppy Collars, Leash Training and Crating

Leash training might be difficult for a puppy at times. The reason for this is that he is being forced to give up some control.

You should choose a well-fitting flat collar with no loud tags or medallions on it to make your dog comfortable on a leash. The puppy is easily distracted by dangling stuff, and he will scratch at the collar to detach it. Simply attach a leash after your puppy has worn the collar for a while and is familiar with it.

Flexi-lead Leashes

I personally like a flexi-lead for puppies because the flexi-lead will allow the puppy more latitude in movement at first. Many times a puppy will follow an adult dog on a leash so if you have another adult dog or a friend who can walk their dog with you, that may help get him accustomed to walking on leash. 

Try to keep the puppy walking on your left side as his training progresses and get him accustomed to being under control without pulling.

As your puppy grows, use caution in the selection of leashes and collars. Check them for wear as TMs have been known to strip out a flexi-lead and break a weakened collar or leash. My TM puppies also like to chew collars off of each other. Never use a choke collar on your Tibetan Mastiff puppy as you can easily injure him.

Leash Training and Housebreaking

The importance of leash training is clear, but it also aids with housebreaking. I recommend taking your puppy out on a leash to do potty. This will enable him to make the connection between going outside and what he wants to accomplish there. Many pups that are just “let out” in the yard may play for a while before returning to the house to empty themselves.

Praise your puppy when he completes the task for which you took him outside, then bring him back inside and let him out to play. Another effective method is to attach a bell to the door you will use to let the puppy out. If you ring the bell on your way out, the puppy will learn to do the same when he wishes to go outside. This can help prevent scratches on your door.

T Mastiff Puppy Crate Training

For many individuals, crate training is a delicate topic. People in general dislike being restricted, and we transfer this onto our dogs. Dogs, in reality, are animals with a den instinct and prefer to have their own space.

If left unsupervised or uncrated, the T Mastiff puppy is quite mischievous and can do a lot of damage in your home.

Kennel Or Leave Your TM Puppy At The Vet?

Again, you may need to kennel your dog or leave him at the vet’s overnight, so let’s train him to feel at ease in a crate. It’s a good idea to put up his crate in a silent area where he can see what is going on and leave the door open so he doesn’t get shut in by accident. Begin by rewarding your dog with a special toy or treat just when he enters his crate.

Please keep in mind that your puppy would not “hate” you, albeit the “Legendary Guardian” may become irritated if he does not get his way. Unless you want to be his pet, you must draw the line with your puppy.

When closing the crate’s door for the first time, expect some resistance. To get out, he may whine, cry, bark, or howl. Wait till the racket has stopped before allowing him to come out. If he believes that having a tantrum will get him released, he will keep throwing tantrums.

Allowing enough time for early puppy training will save you a lot of sorrow and stress while also strengthening your bond with your new best companion. Patience and perseverance will result in a puppy who likes a fast leash walk and can be readily crated if necessary.

You should be able to travel with your puppy in a car, walk him on a leash, and crate him by the time he’s 4 months old. Keep an eye on him while he’s developing these positive habits to make sure he doesn’t pick up any bad ones. Regardless of how “cute” his puppy behavior is, he is acquiring patterns that will form the foundation of his adult behavior.

Tibetan Mastiff Puppy Chewing (4-6 Months)

Chewing by puppies is a typical issue. TM puppies have a specific liking for wood and aren’t afraid to gnaw on your prized possessions. Another reason for crate training is that TMs can’t always be trusted not to destroy your belongings.

Damaged or destroyed personal things, such as eyeglasses, remote controls, pagers, shoes, and other similar objects, as well as furniture and fabrics, are the most frequent concerns.

TMs may be incredibly destructive even as puppies, especially if bored. TM puppies are also said to be capable of climbing to the highest point in a room (after all, they are mountain dogs!) and perching regally atop the dresser or dining room table. No, I’m not making this up.

Your Puppy Is Cutting Teeth?

Your puppy will be cutting his adult teeth and will be more tempted to chew while he is 4 to 6 months old. I like to provide puppies with green willow branches to chew on since the wood isn’t too rough and the willow bark contains anti-inflammatory characteristics that help with gum soreness.

Willow branches, of course, create a mess in the house, so be sure your puppy will not really “sneak” one in. Due to gum soreness, your puppy may become an inconsistent eater during this period. This is also a time when puppies are more likely to play rough and injure themselves if not carefully supervised.

Large breed puppies should not be permitted to leap onto or off of decks, steps, or furniture without assistance, nor should they be allowed to bound into or out of a car without assistance.

Barking T Mastiff Puppies (5-7 Months)

Puppies can become a barking nuisance around the age of 5 to 7 months. For a couple of thousand years, the breed has been barking to frighten predators or just for the fun of it, so expect some barking.

If you can, teach your dog to quit barking on command. You’ll have to bring him in at night if you don’t want to endure sleepless evenings. After dark, the breed is extremely alert, and even a minor noise can result in a barking outburst. 

De-barking the dog, in my opinion, is cruel and useless when it comes to training. Some dogs may benefit from no-bark collars, but leaving them on all the time is cruel. Barking is almost synonymous with Tibetan Mastiffs, so be prepared to work with, but not remove that trait.

Mastiff Puppy (7-10 Months) Digging and Climbing?

Your puppy will go through a number of significant changes between the ages of 7 and 10 months. First, he’ll stop acting like a puppy and start behaving more independently. You might discover that the puppy that used to come when you called or seemed to care about satisfying you has a new objective—  self-satisfaction.

Digging, climbing, and chewing can still be a problem, but there’s also the issue of sexual development to consider. Around this period, males will become more protective, and females will be emotionally “all over the map.” Your female may have her first estrus or heat cycle as early as 6 to 7 months, however, 9 to 12 months is the most common age.

Female Tibetan Mastiff Estrus

Sociable Mastiff pup

This time is very important with a female puppy and distinct character changes have been noted after the first estrus. This stress is more intense because the breed has a single, annual estrus, which directs them to have a strong and persistent desire to breed. In my view, under no circumstances, should a first year male or female be bred. 

It is not possible to be certain of the health of the dogs and the female’s character can be forever changed. Of course the physical strain on a female of about a year to carry, deliver and raise puppies is obvious. The emotional strain is just as profound. Keep your puppy under close observation during this critical time. Temper guardiness and watch for aggressive behavior toward other dogs and toward people.

  • a kind of stillness and watchfulness when food is presented
  • circling of the food dish repeatedly, especially with the head down
  • lifting or moving the food dish
  • dumping or burying uneaten food or empty food dishes
  • resting with the food dish between the front paws, sometimes with the head resting in the dish
  • grumbling or growling while eating or when the food dish is removed
  • rapid gulping of food
  • refusal to eat at all
  • sitting with and guarding the food dish, including racing over to it when anyone else approaches

TM Dog Food Issues

ALL Tibetan Mastiffs have issues with food. Food is a means of sorting out pack order and a young dog may show any of a number of food related behaviors. These behaviors are commonly overlooked so I will describe some things to watch for – even if you crate your dog or separate him to feed him. You may notice any of the following:
  • a kind of stillness and watchfulness when food is presented
  • circling of the food dish repeatedly, especially with the head down
  • lifting or moving the food dish
  • dumping or burying uneaten food or empty food dishes
  • resting with the food dish between the front paws, sometimes with the head resting in the dish
  • grumbling or growling while eating or when the food dish is removed
  • rapid gulping of food
  • refusal to eat at all
  • sitting with and guarding the food dish, including racing over to it when anyone else approaches

T Mastiff Puppy Food Anxiety

I cannot over-emphasize the importance of dealing with your dog’s food issues. Recognition is the first step in dealing with your dog’s expression of food anxiety. 

The outcome of these issues if unaddressed can range from anorexia in dogs that only guard their food and refuse to eat to full-fledged food aggression in which no one can approach an empty food bowl. 

These circumstances can affect your dog’s health and can result in injury. Make sure that your dog stays relaxed and confident when food is placed in front of him; be sure that you can pick up the food bowl and/or biscuits and other treats without his becoming aggressive. 

Starving at the Kennel

You may have to pet the dog and talk to him while he eats to get him comfortable with your presence and the sound of your voice. Dogs that won’t eat in the presence of other dogs are a very special problem and may have to be fed by themselves. 

These dogs often starve themselves if left in a kennel because they cannot find the privacy they need to “let go” and eat. Many times, the same kind of dog will also go quite some time before relieving themselves in a new place. This type of tension can be difficult for both of you.

Young Adult Tibetan Mastiff Socialization (10-14 Months)

This brings me to the next phase of your dog’s development, which focuses on young adult behavior and socialization. At a younger age, socializing your puppy just means introducing him carefully to new situations and helping to build his self-confidence. At ten to fourteen months the focus of socializing your puppy changes. 

He now looks almost like an adult and your expectations of his ability to behave well are pretty well set. During this time he will start to assume his job as guardian in a more serious manner. He may begin to be more “on guard” when at home, in the car or on a leash. He is determining his territory and his responsibilities. 

Young Adult TM Dog Aggression Socialization

This is the time of year when dogs who have been kept too long at home may become aggressive against visitors. The dog who was walking on a leash casually may begin to growl at other dogs or people who he perceives as a threat. Managing your dog’s behavior during this period can have a significant impact on his adult behavior. Let him know you appreciate his guarding you and that you appreciate him being a good dog, but also let him know when he can relax and just monitor.

You can say, “Okay, boy, you’re fine – it’s okay now”. Whenever possible, introduce him to the person or thing that got his attention so he will know that you are paying attention to his concerns. Once, a young male that I own was walking through a motel lobby at a dog show and had a serious moment with a large carved wooden horse that was a part of the decor. 

While the incident was amusing, I had to be careful not to disregard his fear and patiently accompany him to the carving so he could see it wasn’t a threat. Your puppy is really just learning about the world, and he’ll do everything he can to defend you from any danger.

Tibetan Mastiff Puppy (1-2 Years)

Between 14 months and 2 years, your puppy will mature physically and will begin to resemble the dog he will become at three to four years of age. Your dog’s behaviors should be fairly predictable and manageable. 

You will have discovered that your Tibetan Mastiff is not going to let people enter the house or car in your absence. You will have developed a protocol for introducing him to new situations and new people so that he can evaluate his role. 

What About Young T Mastiff Breeding? (2 years)

If your dog is of breeding quality and has undergone all of the normal health examinations, you may decide to breed him or her around the age of 2. I hope you’ll seek the advice of your breeder in making that decision. If you bought a breeding quality puppy, the final decision and responsibility are yours. After breeding, there are noticeable behavioral changes.

The males become quite alert and sexually motivated for several weeks following their first mating. They are really grown up now and want the world to recognize what they see as elevated pack status. The females if they are bred and conceive go through an entire palette of emotions and hopefully go on to become wonderful mothers. Again, they are profoundly changed by the experience. 

Spay or Neuter A Mastiff

If you don’t want to breed your dog, spaying or neutering is a good idea. Females can be a real pain in the neck during the breeding season, whereas neutered males are happier and easier to manage. The only reason you should breed your dog is if he has something unique to offer the TM breed.

Every breeder is responsible for every puppy they make for the rest of the puppy’s life, thus it’s not a decision to be made lightly.

This breed is not advised for off-leash activities. Off-leash activities are extremely problematic and catastrophic at worst due to their independence and lack of attention to obedience commands.

No matter how well you believe your Tibetan Mastiff is taught, shouting “COME” will not make much difference if they believe you or they are in danger.

At best, their exuberant nature will send them over the next hill to explore, causing you to lose your dog or, in the worst-case scenario, be hit by a car. Tibetan Mastiffs should be kept on a leash at all times.

An article about properly containing your Tibetan Mastiff can be found here.

That is not the case! As they’re a protector breed, Tibetan Mastiffs might be wary and hesitant around unfamiliar people and objects. They’ll be naturally protective and territorial of your belongings and person.

Only the most well-known members of the family are allowed to enter without being greeted. Casual guests cannot be expected to simply “walk-in” without being escorted.

Despite the fact that this is a breed trait, it is the owner’s obligation to introduce and socialize their pet to guests in their home. Giving a Tibetan Mastiff a lot of early and good interaction with people and kids that come into the house is a big step.

Puppy socialization and good canine manners begin at a young age. Guests in your home should have no trouble with a well-behaved, well-socialized Tibetan Mastiff!

While it’s crucial to choose and breed for the right temperament, you should also consult your breeder for “at home” ideas and methods to allow timely socialization success.

If left to his own devices, the Tibetan Mastiff might very well find ways to entertain himself because he is intelligent and easily bored. They like wood, but everything from clothes to electronics has been reported as being destroyed.

During teething and frequently well into adulthood, proper supervision and guidance to appropriate chew toys are critical.

Monitoring, crate training, and plenty of suitable chew toys are all recommended. Chew toys for a Tibetan Mastiff can be found in large branches put out in the yard.

In comparison to its massive size, the Tibetan Mastiff consumes very little food. This could be due to the poor and harsh living conditions that were common in ancient Tibet.

Puppies require more food as they develop, but most adult Tibetan Mastiffs can maintain healthy body weight on less food than other breeds of similar size.

For a raw or home-prepared diet, an adult dog would require around 4 to 5 cups of premium kibble or 1 to 2 percent of the dog’s body weight.

The Tibetan Mastiff is supposed to be a “dry-mouthed breed.” In other words, they shouldn’t even have a wet mouth all of the time.

If they are frightened or sweating from the heat, they may drool after drinking water.

Although this varies from dog to dog, the Tibetan Mastiff is not really a water dog in general. Few will enjoy it, but the majority will be content to dip their toes in.