21 Exotic Dog Breeds
3. Tibetan Mastiff
This ancient dog breed is impressive in both its size and its duties. These dogs can weigh up to 160 pounds, although originally their weight was somewhat lower, since overweight dogs could hardly be useful for their duties.
The Tibetan Mastiff was, and still is, used for protection of homes, sacred places and monasteries in Tibet. In India, it is used for protection against leopards, which says a lot about its size, strength and courage. If they don’t come from inbred lines, Tibetan Mastiffs are generally healthy and have an average life expectancy of 10 to 14 years.
It is worth mentioning that the name “Tibetan Mastiff” is actually a misnomer – these dogs are not mastiffs at all. At one point, the word “mastiff” was used to describe a large dog, but travelers to Tibet from the Western world had a habit of misnaming breeds they found there – for example, the Tibetan Terrier is not really a terrier, and so on. According to many experts, the Tibetan Mastiff should actually be named the Tibetan Mountain Dog.