Tibetan Mastiff Size: Impressive Facts & Colossal Companions 2024

Tibetan Mastiff Size: Impressive Facts & Colossal Companions 2024

Last Updated on March 22, 2024 by themubbi63

One of the most ancient dog breeds in the world, the Tibetan mastiff isn’t actually a mastiff at all. In fact, it was only named so by the English when they came to Tibet because that’s how they referred to all the big dog breeds in Europe. It’s considered a primitive dog in many ways, closer to its wolf ancestors than most domestic dogs nowadays. They’re one of the most expensive dog breeds in the world at present.

What Are Tibetan Mastiffs?

Well, the answer to that is that they’re guard dogs and they’ve been guard dogs for thousands of years. These mountain dogs are huge in size and usually have long manes around their faces, giving them a lion-like or bear-like appearance. 

They’re extremely protective and loyal working dogs, having worked to protect ancient monasteries and the monks inside from wild animals for many long centuries. The west only learned of these dogs quite recently, since they were largely tucked away in corners of the Himalayas. 

However, recent studies have shown that the Tibetan mastiff is related to and may be the ancestor of a number of popular (and large) dog breeds in the west – Saint Bernards, Leonbergers, Rottweilers, Bernese Mountain Dogs and Great Pyrenees.

History of Tibetan Mastiffs

Tibetan mastiffs were most probably bred from wolves by Tibetan nomads hundreds of years ago. Apart from acting as guardians for these travelling nomads, they were also given to lamas in monasteries to guard the gates. These dogs can live in high altitudes and withstand very cold temperatures.

No one really knows the complete history of these dogs. What we do know is that Chinese manuscripts from the 1100s mention very large dogs. The isolation that the Tibetan mastiff has faced, marooned high up in the Himalayas all these years, may have been what allowed it to develop into the highly prized dog it is today.

While these dogs often served as guard dogs for nomadic shepherds and travelled with their caravans, they weren’t sheepdogs and even now don’t have the work ethic that is required for sheepdogs.

Related Article: Top Signs Your Dog Needs To Be Neutered! Things You Should Know 2024

Tibetan Mastiff Height and Length

Tibetan Mastiff Height and Length

A mastiff is a tall dog. And all the fur makes them look even bigger than they are. A male Tibetan mastiff stands at a minimum of 26 inches (66 cm) at the shoulder but can go up to as much as 29 inches (74 cm). Meanwhile, a female Tibetan mastiff ranges from 24 to 27 inches (61 – 69 cm).

As far as body length is concerned, these dogs can be as long as 1.2 meters (47 inches or 120 cm). However, a purebred Tibetan mastiff can be hard to find nowadays in the Himalayan reaches. They’ve interbred with other dog breeds.

Tibetan-MastiffMales 26 – 29 inches (66 – 74 cm)Females 24 – 27 inches (61 – 69 cm)47 inches (120 cm)

Tibetan Mastiff Weight

mastiffs have quite a range in their weight and can weigh anywhere between 70 and 160 lb (32 – 72.5 kg). They’re considered giant dog breeds. Males usually weigh more, being upwards of 90 lb (41 kg). Females might be a little less heavy.

It’s their huge size that made them such effective guard dogs. After all, more than fellow humans, their purpose was to fend off wild animals like wolves and bears.

Tibetan MastiffMales 90 – 160Females 70 – 100Males 41 – 72.5Females 32 – 45

Tibetan Mastiff Puppy Size

A Tibetan mastiff puppy starts out at a pretty standard size. A 1 month old puppy might weigh between 5 to 10 lb. However, it quickly starts putting on weight after that. By the second month, the puppy normally triples its weight to 15 – 30 lb. This is also when the weight differences between males and females start showing.

A 6 month old Tibetan mastiff puppy weighs around 55 – 85 lb for males and 40 – 60 lb for females. Since they’re a giant dog breed, they need more time to grow to their full size. It’s only around the 18 month mark that you might consider your Tibetan mastiff puppy fully grown.

Tibetan Mastiff Litter Size

Recently, a Tibetan mastiff in Estonia named Yamico has given birth to a litter of 19 puppies. While all these puppies are doing well, most dog mothers aren’t equipped to feed that many puppies and will need external help for it.

The average size of a Tibetan mastiff litter is around 5 – 12 puppies. Unlike most other domestic breeds of dogs, Tibetan mastiffs like their wolf ancestors go into heat and reproduce only once a year. (Most dog breeds are capable of going into heat and reproducing two times a year.)

Interesting Article: Once Abused, Now Adored: Peanut the World’s Ugliest Dog 2024

Are Tibetan Mastiffs the Biggest Dogs?

No, we can’t say that they are. While mastiffs as a broad category are called the biggest dogs in the world, this moreso refers to the English mastiff. After all, there are many kinds of mastiffs in the world and we aren’t even sure the Tibetan mastiff should be placed in this category.

Dogs like St. Bernards and great danes often weigh much more than the Tibetan mastiff, reaching weights of 175 – 180 lb (79.4 – 81.6 kg). The record for height too would go to a great dane named Zeus who stood at a height of 1.12 meters or 44 inches.

On the other hand, the dog breed that is officially considered the largest is the English mastiff. The Guinness Book of World Records itself recognizes this, dubbing Aicama Zorba the English mastiff the longest and heaviest dog in the world. He stood 37 inches (94 cm) at the shoulder and weighed 343 lb or 156 kg.

Thus, while Tibetan mastiffs are definitely very big dogs, they aren’t the biggest dogs in the world. They can look that way though because of their heavy fur.


Tibetan Mastiffs are more than just a fluffy giant. Their loyalty and rich history make them fascinating companions. However, their size and independent nature require experienced owners. Research to see if this majestic breed is the perfect fit for your home!


What are some interesting facts about Tibetan Mastiffs?

Ancestors of popular dog breeds like Saint Bernards!
Bred for thousands of years to guard monasteries in the Himalayas.
Only go into heat once a year, unlike most domestic dogs.

Scroll to Top