Humla at dogshouse perfect P1750627

History as I have understood it

The breed is one of the world's oldest breeds and probably more than 5000 years old.


Its use is cattle- an guarddog. As a cattle dog teh TM was used mainly to assist the pastors with their yaks and sheeps. The speed and agility of the breed were mecssary when it came to protect the cattle against threts such as snow-leopards, wolves and cattle thieves.

Watchdog instinct were also used to protect the monasteries and villages against unwanted strangers. Even nowadays you can see Tibetan Mastiff lying on the flat roofs but also tied to trees in remote areas of Tibet.

It is the largest of the Tibetan breeds and the word Mastiff originates from the time when the Englishmen gave name to the breed. For them Mastiff, probably ment big dog of any kind.

Breeding in the area of origin has hardly put emphazism on the the exterior only but on the behaviour and fitness to do the tasks to needed. A dark, deep and respecful barking has been appreciated.  Many of these Tibetan Mastiffs had an attendant who could deal with the dog when no one else could. 

Even Marco Polo  in the 1200 told about the Tibetan Mastiff. But the breed is older than that. Pictures depicting Tibetan Mastiff are found on objects that can be dated back several thousand years in time. It is thought that the Tibetan Mastiff is among the world's oldest breeds.

It is likely that this mountain dog from the Himalayas existed and evolved into several different variations depending on the geographic isolation the areas offer.

Those first TM that reached Europe must therefore be considered as a small sample of the breed when they reached England at 1830´s. 

They were placed on menageriet in the Tower. In the late 1800s came a few more to England and some came to the Prince of Wales. The most famous of these was a TM named Sirling.

The Swedish explorer Sven Hedin encountered also Tibetan Mastiffs  on his travels in Tibet in the early 19 centrury.

In the 1930s five TM were  imported to  England and were placed at the Edinburgh Zoo. The first  litter was born 1931.

U.S. President Eisenhower's were in the 50's given two dogs as a gift from the Dalai Lama. And the imports made in the 70´s was the beginning of the TM breeding history in U.S.  

When the cultur-revolution hit china the number of originally and typical TM were decimated.  Some sources says that lack on food for the dogs were the reason. Others tell about a time when TM were killed by soldiers. It has also been said that Chiang Kai-shek brought to Taiwan speciment of the best TM found when he fled from civil war between  Mao Tse Dung guerrilla and his own troops.  From there, said the Taiwanese strain of TM originate. What is true is difficult to find out. Rumours and sayings are wandering about. 

In Germany there were in the 30's a number of Tibetan Mastiffs, but it was not until the 70 - and 80's the breed was established. Soon after the first litter was also born in Holland.

The first European standard came in 1934 and was approved by the FCI.

In the 70 - and 80s the breed  increased in Europe and more kennels arouse and started breeding.

In Scandinavia, there would have been only a few Tibetan Mastiffs over the years until 

a bitch was imported from U.S to Sween in 1978. In 1981 a male from Switzerland was imported to Sweden as well. These two TM are the ancestors of many TM that now exist in Scandinavia.


Swedish TM history

Kennel Tai Wind introduced the breed to Sweden in 1978 by importing Ausables Mathilda from kennel Ausables in the U.S. The bitch spent the first time in quarantine in Finland before she arrived to the kennel in Sweden. Then a male was imported from Switzerland, Gesars Kunga was his name. These two dogs founded the Swedish stock. The bitch Marty of Jamar and the males Conrikyi Com Po and Uchangou De New Flame were introduced to the kennel after a few years and a more diverse breeding could proceed.

Tai Wind's kennel was the door opener for the Tibetan Mastiff in Sweden. Several bitches born at the kennel became founder bitches on other kennels that had 

occasional litters. Amongst these kennels are Tibaramm's, Melmac and Flush Time. Kennel Me Jomo, Mimayin, Durettos and Kyang La's can be described to belong to the second wave of TM breeders n Sweden.  Of above mentioned kennels are both Tai Wind's, Mimayin, Durettos and Kyang La's together with Fahrenhait's, Housedogs and my own kennel Bod khyi.

SKK statistics says that over the last 20 years annually have been registered somewhere between 4-25 TM. The breed is actually a small breed in Sweden and the total number of TM  is assumed to be around 80. This makes the breed both exclusive and at the same time so small that  cooperation between kennels abroad are necessary otherwise the gene pool risks to be too narrow.



The Internet opens up new possibilities for the breeders of TM. Changes in rules have allowed imports of young puppies from a handful of countries to Sweden. 
 In Sweden today  we have TM born in countries such as:  Finland, Italy, Czech Republic, UK, USA, Estonia, Poland.
Several of them with their roots in Taiwan.

The Swedish Tibetan Mastiffs shows a large variety in type and appearance and so do the breed all over the world.  There is evidence that the breed will be divided into two varieties. A heavier, which might be given the name Tsang khyi. And a lighter that could be named Do khyi. It is probably beacause it was the lighter type that first  came to Europe many people consider it to be the geuine Tibetan Mastiff. Others argue that it is the larger, heavier and with more loose skin bearing Tsang Khyin that best resembles the dog who Marco Polo's described as "as big as a donkey".


Kennels belonging to the Swedish Kennel Club follows the breed standard from FCI. The country in which a breed has its own origin affects a standard in many respects.

Right now the FCI owns the patronage but China wants to have it and will if given it have a big inlusense over the standard of the Tibetan Mastiff. That would be a developments that strongly will influence us since Chinese Tibetan Mastiff has a much heavier appearance than what we are used to.


How it all ends is still unwritten. Perhaps it will end as a breeder in the U.S. described it. In the end there will be one breed, a man made breed with infliuence from both the Do Khyi and the Tsang Khyi - a Tso khyi.

Sierras´Viking He Who Travelled