Expensive Things

The Tibetan Mastiff

The Tibetan Mastiff

What’s the first thing that pops into your head when we say the word ‘Dog’?

Friendly? Cute? Adorable?

Let’s break that bubble of yours:

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If Clifford the big red dog existed, this big guy would make him look like a Chihuahua!

The Tibetan Mastiff has a special place reserved in history. They are considered by many to be the basic stock from which most modern large working breeds have developed. Even though a great deal has been written about them since the mid-1880’s, there are very few specific details available.

Hidden in the mists of legend is the history of the Tibetan Mastiff – the large guardian dog of Tibet. Accurate records of the genetic heritage of the dogs were never found and maybe don’t even exist.

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In the present day scenario of the Himalayan regions, a pure Tibetan Mastiff is almost impossible to find since most have been trafficked by dog breeders willing to sell them for top dollar. Traveling with the caravans of the Tibetan sheepherders and traders, these beasts are expected to defend the tents of their masters against wolves, snow leopards & predators of the like. Others will be often found as homestead guardians, chained to gates and rooftops.

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Prior to the early 1800’s, few Westerners were allowed into Tibet so little was known about these dogs. In 1800 Captain Samuel Turner in his “An account of an Embassy to the Court of the Teshoo Lama in Tibet” mentioned his experience with huge dogs. Unfortunately he did not offer a description of the dogs.

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This powerful & rugged breed with a solemn expression is not inclined to play fetch or Frisbee, nor frolic in the yard with you. The Tibetan Mastiff was developed strictly for working purposes, and his instincts to perform that work are ingrained. Livestock guardians bond with flock animals, as well as their own families with fierce possessiveness, making their own decisions about who is a friend and who is a foe.

 

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The Tibetan Mastiff is dignified & serious, quiet & calm – unless they’re provoked. They’re also generally aloof with strangers, and will remain watchful of every moment of them being on the property. Typically patient with their own children and other family pets, they require repetitive & careful introduction to those outside the family.

Despite his bulk, the Tibetan Mastiff often prefers to be outdoors where he can view and patrol his territory. They’re remarkably agile, skilled at climbing and jumping. Most full-growns require a six-foot-high fence! A remarkable feature about the Tibetan Mastiffs is their deep, impressive bark which they tend to use freely, especially at night when they are most attentive.

 

If you’re one of those billionaires who can afford the world’s biggest dog with an equally big price tag, keep these points in mind before whipping out your platinum credit cards:

 

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1. Provide them proper balance of exercise. Young pups need enough exercise to keep them lean and healthy. Be careful that they do not over exert themselves; otherwise their tender growing bones, ligaments, and joints become over-stressed and can get damaged. Adults need more exercise to keep them in shape, but extreme caution has to be taken to keep them away from hot or humid weather for fear of overheating. Left alone, Tibetan Mastiffs become bored and destructive — and their powerful jaws can literally destroy your $50 million living room or the interiors of your $10 million Bentley in minutes.

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2. Introducing them to society: These adorable beasts have ingrained protective instincts and are very watchful with others. They need extensive exposure to friendly people so they learn to recognize the normal behaviors of “good guys.” Their instincts are used to the wild and as such ‘domesticating’ them can be quite a challenge. Without careful socialization, they may be suspicious of everyone, which could lead to aggression and biting.

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3. Instinctual aggression. Bred to keep unknown animals away from their owner’s property, they won’t even tolerate another Mastiff of the same sex. Some won’t tolerate even a female! Many even have strong instincts to chase and seize felines and other fleeing creatures. If anything goes wrong in the breeding, socializing, training, handling or management of this breed, it is capable of seriously injuring or even killing other animals.

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4. Their headstrong temperament. Remember this, they aren’t Golden Retrievers. They have an independent mind of their own and are not pushovers to raise and train. Most of them are willful, obstinate, and dominant (they WANT to be the boss) and will prove it to you that you can’t make them do things. Be patient; to earn their focus you must show them, through absolute consistency, that you mean what you say. There is no other way.

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Well there you go. That’s the biggest dog in the world for you (even as a puppy they’re bigger than most dogs). Also, did we mention that the Tibetan Mastiff is the most expensive dog in the world too? Recently an 11 month-old Red Tibetan Mastiff named Hong Dong, or Big Splash in English, was sold for almost $2 million to a coal baron from China!

 

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Now, even dogs come with million dollar price tags, and you’re still wondering how many zeros in a million! If you had $2 million, would you buy the Tibetan Mastiff? Comment down below, we’d love to know!

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