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The top 13 dogs can kill a lion
- wolfhound, Irish
- Caucasian Shepherd Dog
- English Mastiff
- Wolves Dogs
- Boerboel Dogs
- Neapolitan Mastiff
- Rhodesian Ridgeback
- Argentine Dogo
- Fila Brasileiro
- Tibetan Mastiff
Which dog can kill a lion? A dog cannot kill a lion, as I stated above. Dogs that go up against lions face a greater risk of turning cold afterwards. These are huge and powerful cats. That probably explains their nickname, “king of the jungle”. There is a reason why lions are called that.
One can immediately see why a dog trying to kill a lion will fail with that name. Due to their power and fierceness, lions earned the nickname they have, and it is appropriate for the species. Even so, there is still a small chance that a dog can kill a lion, but only if there are several dogs. In a subsequent post, we will discuss the number of dogs needed to kill a lion.
I’d like to take a moment to list some of the toughest dog breeds that can fight a lion in a single fight before diving into the numbers. There is a slim chance of a lion being killed in one-on-one combat, however.
The following are the top 13 robust dog breeds that are capable of combat and can possibly kill a lion:
The Kangal Shepherd Dog is a breed of large livestock guardian dog in Turkey. Originally, the breed served the people of Sivas, where the Kangal continues to be a popular dog breed in Turkey. According to official Kangal Shepherd Dog organisations in Turkey, including the Cynology Federation of Turkey (Köpek Irkları ve Kinoloji Federasyonu, KIF) and the Ankara Kangal Association (Ankara Kangal Derneği, ANKADER), the acceptable colours for Kangal are sable and fawn. Kangals do not occur in brindle or black and tan.
While the Kangal Shepherd Dog is often referred to as a sheep dog, it is not a herding dog, but rather a flock guardian that lives with the flock of sheep to actively fend off predators of all sizes. Kangals have an average bite force of 743 lb/in2, the highest of any extant dog breed. Typically used as protection against wolves, bears, and jackals in its native Turkey, the breed has been exported to African countries such as Namibia and Kenya in more recent years due to its intimidating size and capabilities as an effective guardian, where it successfully protects local herds from lions, cheetahs, and similar indigenous big cats, which has had the benefit of not only protecting livestock but also ensuring the continuity of endangered predators due to reduced cullings by local farmers.
|Height||Dogs||70–80 cm (28–31 in)|
|Bitches||63–75 cm (25–30 in)|
|Weight||Dogs||48–60 kg (106–132 lb)|
|Bitches||40–50 kg (88–110 lb)|
|Coat||Thick, dense, usually short double coat, 3–7 cm (1.2–2.8 in) long|
|Colour||Fawn to wolf sable with white or lighter chest and paws, and a black mask|
2. Wolfhound, Irish
The Irish Wolfhound is a historic sighthound dog breed from Ireland that has, by its presence and substantial size, inspired literature, poetry and mythology. Like all sighthounds, it was used to pursue game by speed; it was also famed as a guard dog, specializing in protection against and for the hunting of wolves. The original dog type was presumed extinct by most authors of the 18th and 19th centuries but was re-introduced by Captain Graham in the late 19th century, crossing the descendants of the original breed with various other breeds. The modern breed, classified by recent genetic research into the Sighthound United Kingdom Rural Clade, has been used by coursing hunters who have prized it for its ability to kill game caught by other, swifter sighthounds.
The Irish Wolfhound is characterised by its large size; it is often described as the tallest dog breed in the world. According to the FCI standard, the expected range of heights at the withers is 81–86 centimetres (32–34 inches); minimum heights and weights are 79 cm (31 in)/54.5 kg (120 lb) and 71 cm (28 in)/40.5 kg (89 lb) for dogs and bitches respectively. It is more massively built than the Scottish Deerhound, but less so than the Great Dane.
The coat is hard and rough on the head, body and legs, with the beard and the hair over the eyes particularly wiry. It may be black, brindle, fawn, grey, red, pure white, or any colour is seen in the Deerhound.
The Irish Wolfhound is a sighthound, and hunts by visual perception alone. The neck is muscular and fairly long, and the head is carried high. It should appear to be longer than it is tall and to be capable of catching and killing a wolf.
81–86 cm (32–34 in)
minimum 79 cm (31 in)
minimum 71 cm (28 in)
minimum 54.5 kg (120 lb)
minimum 40.5 kg (89 lb)
|Coat||rough and hard on the head, body and legs; beard and hair over eyes particularly wiry|
|Colour||black, brindle, fawn, grey, red, pure white, or any colour is seen in the Deerhound|
|Life span||6–10 years|
The Rottweiler (/ˈrɒtwaɪlər/, UK also /-vaɪlər/) is a breed of domestic dog, regarded as medium-to-large or large. The dogs were known in German as Rottweiler Metzgerhund, meaning Rottweil butchers’ dogs, because their main use was to herd livestock and pull carts laden with butchered meat to market. This continued until the mid-19th century when railways replaced droving. Although still used to herd stock in many parts of the world, Rottweilers are now also used as search and rescue dogs, guard dogs, and police dogs.
|Height||Dogs||61–69 cm (24–27 in)|
|Bitches||56–63 cm (22–25 in)|
|Weight||Dogs||50–60 kg (110–132 lb)|
|Bitches||35–48 kg (77–106 lb)|
|Coat||Double-coated, short, hard and thick|
|Color||Black and tan or black and mahogany|
|Litter size||Average 8 to 12 although larger litters are known|
|Life span||8–10 years|
According to the FCI Standard, the Rottweiler is considered to be one of the oldest dog breeds. Its origin goes back to Roman times. These dogs were kept as herder or driving dogs. They marched over the Alps with the Roman legions, protecting the humans and driving their cattle. In the region of Rottweil, these dogs met and mixed with the native dogs in a natural crossing. The main task of the Rottweiler now became the driving and guarding of the herds of cattle and the defence of their masters and their property. This breed acquired its name from the old free city of Rottweil and was known as the “Rottweil butcher’s dog”. The butchers bred this type of dog purely for performance and usefulness. In due course, a first-rate watch and driving dog evolved which could also be used as a draught dog.
The buildup to World War I saw a great demand for police dogs, which led to a revival of interest in the Rottweiler. During the First and Second World Wars, Rottweilers saw service in various roles, including as messenger, ambulance, draught, and guard dogs.
The Deutscher Rottweiler-Klub (DRK, German Rottweiler Club), the first Rottweiler club in Germany, was founded on 13 January 1914, and followed by the creation of the Süddeutscher Rottweiler-Klub (SDRK, South German Rottweiler Club) on 27 April 1915 and eventually became the IRK (International Rottweiler Club). The DRK counted around 500 Rottweilers, and the SDRK 3,000 Rottweilers. The goals of the two clubs were different. The DRK aimed to produce working dogs and did not emphasise the morphology of the Rottweiler.
The various German Rottweiler Clubs amalgamated to form the Allgemeiner Deutscher Rottweiler Klub (ADRK, General German Rottweiler Club) in 1921. This was officially recorded in the register of clubs and associations at the district court of Stuttgart on 27 January 1924. The ADRK is recognised worldwide as the home club of the Rottweiler.
In 1931, the Rottweiler was officially recognised by the American Kennel Club. In 1936, Rottweilers were exhibited in Britain at Crufts. In 1966, a separate register was opened for the breed. In fact, in the mid-1990s, the popularity of the Rottweiler reached an all-time high, with it being the most registered dog by the American Kennel Club. In 2017, the American Kennel Club ranked the Rottweiler as the eighth-most popular purebred dog in the United States.
4. Caucasian Shepherd Dog
The Caucasian Shepherd Dog or Caucasian Ovcharka is a breed of large livestock guardian dog native to the countries of the Caucasus region, notably Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Dagestan. It was developed in the Soviet Union from about 1920 by dogs of the Caucasus Mountains and the steppe regions of Southern Russia. The Caucasus Mountains in Georgia has historically been the principal region of distribution of the Caucasian Shepherd dogs, both in terms of numbers and the quality of the dogs present in the area.
The bite force of Caucasian Shepherd Dogs is from 500 to 700 pounds per square inch. There can be no doubt that they are powerful dogs! Along with their deadly bite, they are also courageous, and no animal frightens them, not even lions! The reason for this dog’s ranking is clear.
preferred 72–75 cm (28–30 in)
minimum 68 cm (27 in)
preferred 67–70 cm (26–28 in)
minimum 64 cm (25 in)
minimum 50 kg (110 lb)
minimum 45 kg (100 lb)
|Coat||Straight, coarse, stand-off coat with well developed undercoat|
|Colour||Any solid colour, piebald or spotted colour, except liver, blue, and solid black|
|Litter size||5-10 puppies|
|Life span||10–12 years|
The Caucasian Ovcharka is a large dog. The preferred height at the withers is in the range 67–70 cm for females and 72–75 cm for males. The minimum heights and weights for registration are 64 cm and 40 kg for females, and 68 cm and 50 kg for males.
For centuries dogs similar to the Caucasian mountain dogs have served shepherds in the Caucasus mountains as livestock guardian dogs, defending sheep from predators, mainly wolves, jackals and bears. Caucasian Shepherd Dogs served as guard dogs, bear hunting dogs and today they work as prison guard dogs in Russia.
5. English Mastiff
The English Mastiff is a breed of large dog. The breed is referred to simply as the Mastiff by national kennel clubs, including the United Kingdom’s Kennel Club and the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI). They perhaps descended from the ancient Alaunt and Pugnaces Britanniae, with a significant input from the Alpine Mastiff in the 19th century. Distinguished by its enormous size, massive head, short coat in a limited range of colours, and always displaying a black mask, the Mastiff is noted for its gentle and loving nature. The lineage of modern dogs can be traced back to the early 19th century, but the modern type was stabilised in the 1880s and refined since. Following a period of sharp decline, the Mastiff has increased its worldwide popularity. Throughout its history the Mastiff has contributed to the development of a number of dog breeds, some generally known as mastiff-type dogs or, confusingly, just as “mastiffs”. It is the largest living canine, outweighing the wolf by up to 50 kg (110 lbs) on average.
|Height||Dogs||76 centimetres (30 in) minimum|
|Bitches||70 centimetres (27.5 in) minimum|
|Weight||Dogs||73 to 104 kilograms (160 to 230 lb)|
|Bitches||54 to 77 kilograms (120 to 170 lb)|
|Colour||apricot-fawn, silver-fawn, fawn, or dark fawn-brindle|
From ancient times to the early 19th century
There is a ceramic and paint sculpture of a mastiff-like dog from the Mesopotamia region during the Kassite period (mid-2nd millennium B.C.).
These dogs may be related to the dogs that fought lions, tigers, bears, and gladiators in Roman arenas. Certainly, an element in the formation of the English Mastiff was the Pugnaces Britanniae that existed at the time of the Roman conquest of Britain. The ancient Roman poet Grattius (or Grattius Faliscus) wrote of British dogs, describing them as superior to the ancient Greek Molossus, saying:
What if you choose to penetrate even among the Britons? How great your reward, how great your gain beyond any outlays! If you are not bent on looks and deceptive graces (this is the one defect of the British whelps), at any rate when serious work has come, when bravery must be shown, and the impetuous War-god calls in the utmost hazard, then you could not admire the renowned Molossians so much.
6. Wolves Dogs
It is a dog that is produced after mating a domesticated dog with a wolf. Dogs in the Wolf-dog breed are strong, intelligent, and independent. Their personalities resemble those of wolves but are less aggressive. They may also assert their authority, making themselves the pack’s leader.
Beginner dog owners shouldn’t get a wolf-dog as a pet. Wolf dogs can be very aggressive, making them not the best pet to have. Children and other pets should not keep wolf dogs as pets in a family with small children.
The fact that they have wolf-like characteristics makes them a threat to lions. They, however, are not powerful enough to destroy lions on their own. Nonetheless, a pack of Wolf dogs can take down a fully-grown lion! Despite their hybrid status, Wolf dogs are dangerous. They are not to be underestimated.
7. Boerboel Dogs
The Boerboel (pronounced [ˈbuːrbul]) is a large, mastiff-type dog from South Africa with a black mask and a short coat. This breed is large with a strong bone structure and well-developed muscles. Its head appears blocky with a short length between the stop and nose. It carries itself with a confident and powerful movement, is fearless and shows courage when threatened.
|Height||Dogs||66 cm (26 in) ideal|
minimum 60 cm (24 in)
|Bitches||61 cm (24 in) ideal|
minimum 55 cm (22 in)
|Colour||All shades of red, brown, yellow (fawn), brindle. Also black (SABBS only).|
The name Boerboel derives from the Afrikaans words boer which means farmer, and “boel” which is a shortening of “boelhond” which means bulldog.
One historical source dated 1909 describes events in 1857 when a cross between a bulldog and a mastiff referred to as the “Boer Hunting Dog” was the best dog for hunting leopards and baboons in packs. A leopard that is caught in a trap by one leg can be killed by a pack of these dogs, but in one case a dog was badly injured. The “Boer mastiff” is described as an excellent fighter, with one managing to kill a leopard in each of four single combats over a number of years before being killed himself in the fifth encounter. However, the Boerboel is not a deterrent for a leopard, and a leopard will kill and carry away a large dog such as a Boerboel or a Rottweiler; a missing dog in South Africa may indicate that a leopard is in the area.
In remote areas of South Africa, the Boerboel was kept by the white population to protect their families and property in their homes and on their farms.
8. Neapolitan Mastiff
The Neapolitan Mastiff or Mastino Napoletano is an Italian breed of large dog. It descends from the traditional guard dogs of central Italy. It was recognised as a breed by the Ente Nazionale della Cinofilia Italiana in 1949,and accepted by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale in 1956.
The breed is closely related to the Cane Corso.
|Height||Dogs||65–75 cm (26–30 in)|
|Bitches||60–68 cm (24–27 in)|
|Weight||Dogs||60–70 kg (130–150 lb)|
|Bitches||50–60 kg (110–130 lb)|
|Colour||usually grey, lead grey or black|
|Life span||up to 10 years|
The Neapolitan Mastiff derives from the traditional catch and guard dogs of central Italy. The selection of the breed was begun in 1947 by Piero Scanziani, who had seen one at an exhibition in Naples in 1946. He drew up the first standard, which in 1949 was officially recognised by the Ente Nazionale Della Cinofilia Italiana. It received full acceptance from the Fédération Cynologique Internationale in 1956
9. Rhodesian Ridgeback
The Rhodesian Ridgeback is a large-sized dog breed bred in the Southern Africa region.Its forebears can be traced to the semi-domesticated ridged hunting and guarding dogs of the Khoikhoi, which were renowned for their heightened ferocity in both of their roles as hunters and guardians. These were crossed with European dogs by the early colonists of the Cape Colony of southern Africa. The original breed standard was drafted by F. R. Barnes, in Bulawayo, Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), in 1922, who named the breed the Rhodesian Ridgeback. The standard was approved by the South African Kennel Union in 1927.
|Height||Dogs||63–69 cm (25–27 in)|
|Bitches||61–66 cm (24–26 in)|
|Weight||Dogs||36.5 kg (80 lb) desirable|
|Bitches||32 kg (71 lb) desirable|
|Coat||Short and dense, sleek and glossy in appearance|
|Colour||Light wheaten to red wheaten. A little white on the chest and toes is permissible. A dark muzzle and ears are permissible. Excessive black hair throughout the coat is undesirable. Two nose colors are permissible, black and liver.|
|Life span||13 years average|
The Khoikhoi people who lived in the Cape Peninsula when the Dutch began trading with the area during the mid 17th century, had a semi-wild hunting dog which was described by Europeans as absolutely fearless and ferocious when acting as a guard dog. This dog measured approximately 18 inches (46 cm) at the withers, with a lean but muscular frame. The ears have been described both as erect but later described as hanging due to interbreeding with European dogs, but the most distinctive feature was the length of hair often growing in the reverse direction along its back. Within 53 years of the first Dutch settlements in Southern Africa, the Europeans were using these local dogs themselves.
By the 1860s, European colonists had also imported a variety of mainly European dog breeds to this area of Africa, including such dedicated hunting dogs as Great Danes, Bloodhounds, Greyhounds, and Terriers. The Dogo Cubano(Cuban Bloodhound), an extinct breed used for dogfighting and guarding was also highly emphasised in to the composition of the early Ridgeback. Genetic analysis indicates that the Ridgeback and the Great Dane fall within the same genetic clade (group), which implies Dane’s major contribution. These breeds were bred with the indigenous African dogs, including the dog of the Khoikhoi people, which resulted in the Boer hunting dogs, generically called names such as boerhond (Boer hound) in Dutch; then its descendant language of Afrikaans, which are the chief forerunners to the modern Rhodesian Ridgeback. The sequencing of ancient dog genomes indicates that the southern African Rhodesian Ridgeback retains 4% pre-colonial ancestry.
Reverend Charles Helm (1844–1915), son of Reverend Daniel Helm of the London Missionary Society, was born in the Cape Colony, joined the London Missionary Society himself, and moved from the Zuurbraak (now Suurbraak) mission station just east of Swellendam (modern Western Cape Province, South Africa) to the Hope Fountain Mission in Matabeleland, Southern Rhodesia, travelling from October 1874 to December 1875, then bringing two ridged dog bitches from somewhere between Kimberley (modern Northern Cape Province, South Africa) and Swellendam with him to Hope Fountain in 1879 en route to becoming, as it would turn out, a political advisor to King Lobengula, house-host to hunter-explorer Frederick Courteney Selous, postmaster of Bulawayo and well-appreciated tooth-extractor. At Hope Fountain, now part of the city of Bulawayo, fellow South African transplant Cornelis van Rooyen (b. 1860, Uitenhage, modern Eastern Cape Province, South Africa), a big–game hunter, was married to Maria Vermaak of Bloemhof by Reverend Helm in 1879 the same year Helm brought his two rough-coated grey-black bitches to the Mission. Van Rooyen saw Helm’s pair of bitches and decided to breed his own dogs with them to incorporate their guarding abilities
The Bloodhound is a large scent hound, originally bred for hunting deer, wild boar and, since the Middle Ages, for tracking people. Believed to be descended from hounds once kept at the Abbey of Saint-Hubert, Belgium, in French it is called, le Chien de Saint-Hubert.
This breed is famed for its ability to discern human scent over great distances, even days later. Its extraordinarily keen sense of smell is combined with a strong and tenacious tracking instinct, producing the ideal scent hound, and it is used by police and law enforcement all over the world to track escaped prisoners, missing people, and lost pets.
|Height||Dogs||64–72 cm (25–28 in)|
|Bitches||58–66 cm (23–26 in)|
|Weight||Dogs||46–54 kg (101–119 lb)|
|Bitches||40–48 kg (88–106 lb)|
|Colour||Black and tan, liver and tan or red|
|Life span||≈ 7-12 years|
The St. Hubert Hound was, according to legend, first bred ca. AD 1000 by monks at the Saint-Hubert Monastery in Belgium; its likely origins are in France, home of many of modern hounds. It is held to be the ancestor of several other breeds, like the extinct Norman hound, and Saintongeois, and the modern Grand Bleu de Gascogne, Gascon Saintongeois, Ariegeois and Artois Normande, as well as the Bloodhound. It has been suggested that it was a dog of mixed breeding, not at all uniform in type.[page needed]
Whether they originated there, or what their ancestry was, is uncertain, but from ca. 1200, the monks of the Abbey of St. Hubert annually sent several pairs of black hounds as a gift to the King of France. They were not always highly thought of in the royal pack. Charles IX 1550–74, preferred his white hounds and the larger Chiens-gris and wrote that the St. Huberts were suitable for people with gout to follow, but not for those who wished to shorten the life of the hunted animal. He described them as pack hounds of medium stature, long in the body, not well sprung in the ribs, and of no great strength. Writing in 1561, Jaques du Fouilloux describes them as strong of body, but with low, short legs. He says they have become mixed in breeding so that they are now of all colours and widely distributed. Charles described the ‘true race’ of St. Hubert as black, with red/tawny marks above the eyes and legs usually of the same colour, suggesting a ‘blanket’ black and tan (see the section on colour types above). To De Fouilloux, the ‘pure black’ was the best of this mixed breed. Both writers thought them only useful as leash hounds. They both refer to a white hound, also a St. Hubert, which by their time had disappeared, having been interbred with another white hound, the greffier, to produce the king’s preferred pack hound, sometimes called le Chien blanc du roi, “the white dog of the king.
11. Dogo Argentino
The Argentine Dogo is a large, white, muscular breed of dog that was developed in Argentina primarily for the purpose of big-game hunting, including wild boar. The breeder, Antonio Nores Martínez, also wanted a dog that would exhibit steadfast bravery and willingly protect its human companion. It was first bred in 1928 from the Cordoba Fighting Dog, along with a wide array of other breeds, mainly bulldogs and terriers, including the Great Dane, Dogue de Bordeaux, Pointer, Bull and terrier etc
|Height||Dogs||60–68 cm (24–27 in)|
|Bitches||60–65 cm (24–26 in)|
|Weight||Dogs||40–45 kg (88–99 lb)|
|Bitches||35–40 kg (77–88 lb)|
In 1928, Antonio Nores Martinez, a medical doctor, professor and surgeon, set out to breed a big game hunting dog that was also capable of being a loyal pet and guard dog. Antonio Martinez picked the Cordoba Fighting Dog to be the base for the breed. This breed is extinct today, but it was said that, as a large and ferocious dog, it was a great hunter. Martinez crossed it with the Great Dane, Boxer, Spanish Mastiff, Old English Bulldog, Bull Terrier, Pyrenean Mastiff, English Pointer, Irish Wolfhound and Dogue de Bordeaux. Nores Martinez continued to develop the breed via selective breeding to introduce the desired traits.
In 1970, Dr. Raul Zeballos brought the first six specimens of Argentine Dogo to the United States.
12. Fila Brasileiro
The Fila Brasileiro (Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈfilɐ ˌbrɐziˈlejɾu]), or Brazilian Mastiff, is a large working breed of dog developed in Brazil. It is known for its superb tracking ability, aggressiveness and unforgiving, impetuous temperament. Rather than attacking its prey, the Fila traps it and waits for the hunter to arrive. Owing to these qualities, the Fila Brasileiro is used as a guard dog, as a cattle dog for livestock and as a hunting dog for tracking and controlling the large game. When slavery was legal in Brazil in the 18th century, the Fila Brasileiro was used to return fugitive slaves unharmed to their masters.
which dog can kill a lion
|Height||Dogs||65–75 cm (26–30 in)|
|Bitches||60–70 cm (24–28 in)|
|Weight||Dogs||more than 50 kg (110 lb)|
|Bitches||more than 40 kg (88 lb)|
|Colour||Brindle, fawn, black|
|Life span||9 – 11 years|
The Fila Brasileiro is thought to descend from European dogs brought to Brazil during the Colonial period, with little or no influence from indigenous South American dogs from the Pre-Cabraline era.
The Fila Brasileiro was bred and raised primarily on large plantations and cattle farms where they originated. In addition to cattle, jaguars, and other animals, these dogs were taught to chase down runaway slaves.
The first written standard of the breed was edited in 1946. The Paulistas were responsible for organizing a planned breeding program and opening a studbook to register dogs. Dr. Paulo Santos Cruz began to systematically breed the Fila Brasileiro and also contributed largely in setting the CAFIB standard, and who now, therefore, has the right to be called the “father” of the Fila Brasileiro.
About the registries, CBKC (Brazilian Confederation Kennel Club) follows the FCI (Federation Cynologique Internationale) policy and accepts for registration only dogs with FCI pedigrees, orienting the breeders to have hip dysplasia control, besides other health problems. The Fila Brasileiro is described as a Brazilian mastiff. In the U.S., the OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals) does a statistical registry of all Filas that were X-rayed to diagnose hip dysplasia.
13. Tibetan Mastiff
The Tibetan mastiff (Tibetan: འདོགས་ཁྱི, Wylie: Do khyi, Chinese: 藏獒, Pinyin: Zàng áo, Nepali: BhoteKukur, Mongolian: Bhankhar, Hindi/Garhwali/Kumaoni: Bhotiya/Bakharwal, Kashmiri: Gaddi, Ladakhi: Chang khi, Dzongkha: Byob Chi) is a large size Tibetan dog breed. Its double coat is medium to long, subject to climate, and found in a wide variety of colors, including solid black, black and tan, various shades of red (from pale gold to deep red) and bluish-grey (dilute black), and sometimes with white markings around neck, chest and legs.
The name Tibetan mastiff is a misnomer, as the breed is not a true mastiff. The term mastiff was assigned by the Europeans who first came to Tibet because that name was used to refer to nearly all large dog breeds in the West. Early Western visitors to Tibet misnamed several of its breeds, such as the Tibetan terrier, which is not a terrier, and the Tibetan spaniel, which is not a spaniel. A better name for the breed might be the Tibetan mountain dog or—to encompass the landrace breed throughout its range—the Himalayan mountain dog.
The Tibetan mastiff originated as a herding and guarding dog for the nomads of Tibet and as a watchdog in Tibetan monasteries.
The Tibetan mastiff is a phenotypically distinct dog breed that was bred as a flock guardian in the high altitudes of the Himalayas and the Tibetan Plateaus.
Meer Izzut-oollah (1872) wrote:
“The dogs of Thibet are twice the size of those seen in India, with large heads and hairy bodies. They are powerful animals…During the day they are kept chained up, and are let loose at night to guard their masters’ house.”
In the early 20th century, the Prince of Wales, George, introduced a pair of Tibetan mastiffs, and enough of the breed were available in England in 1906 to be shown at the Crystal Palace show. However, during the war years, the breed lost favor and focus and nearly died out in England.
The breed has been gaining in popularity worldwide since 1980. Although the breed is still considered somewhat uncommon, as more active breeders arose and produced adequate numbers of dogs, various registries and show organizations (FCI, AKC) began to recognize the breed. In 2008, the Tibetan mastiff competed for the first time in the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.
Since AKC recognition, the number of active breeders has skyrocketed, leading to the over-breeding of puppies, many of which are highly inbred and of questionable quality. Initially, the breed suffered because of the limited gene pool from the original stock. By 2015, due to excessive breeding and unsuitability of the breed as a pet in urban situations, prices in China for the best dogs had fallen to about $2,000, and both lower quality and crossbreed dogs were being abandoned.
In 2011, a DNA study concluded that there was a genetic relationship between the Tibetan mastiff and the Great Pyrenees, Bernese Mountain Dog, Rottweiler and Saint Bernard and that these large breed dogs are probably partially descended from the Tibetan mastiff. In 2014, a study added Leonberger to the list of possible relatives.
In general, these kinds of dogs are bred to hunt, catch, and protect livestock and humans. Most of them are aggressive in nature and highly prey-driven.
The majority of them are extremely strong and forceful, especially in terms of their ability to bite, their agility, and their sense of smell. In addition, they are typically intelligent, loyal, and hardworking animals.
They hunt best in packs when they are together. Once they outnumber lions, they might be able to kill or fight them once they have the advantage of numbers.
A novice owner or one without the command of the dog should not purchase one of these dogs. The dogs belonging to this breed are prone to being stubborn and aggressive. The independent thinking of these animals may lead them to disobey their owners if proper control is not applied to them.
As a matter of fact, these dogs are very obedient and can even live among humans with proper training. People may get the wrong idea of them when they see them as aggressive, as is connoted by them.
You can still be lovely to them if you are affectionate. Although, depending on the situation, they may still have protective instincts.