Where Are Tibetan Mastiffs From?
The history of the Tibetan Mastiff is well hidden, thanks to the isolation of Tibet from the rest of the world. They have been guarding land and flock for centuries, and are believed to be the ancestor of every other Mastiff breed. Their large bodies and thick fur are perfect for the cold climate and high altitude of the Himalayan Mountains, and their intimidating demeanor acts as a very effective deterrent for potential intruders.
In the mid-19th century, travelers were allowed to enter Tibet, and many wrote about their first-hand experiences. Marco Polo noted the Mastiff to be as “large as donkeys.”
Exportation of the breed to England began around the same time, and America became home to Tibetan Mastiffs roughly 100 years later. Today, the number of Mastiffs in Tibet has dramatically decreased, though they are likely still bred by the people of the Chang Tang plateau.