Tibetan Mastiffs

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    Because the Tibetan Mastiff is a powerful guardian breed, a stable temperament is high on my breeding priorities list.

    It is important that the Tibetan Mastiff retain its guardian instincts, but this needs to be complemented with intelligence and the ability to react appropriately in non-threatening situations. While appropriate reactions can be accomplished to a degree by socializing a dog through introducing her/him to a variety of situations,

    An experienced Tibetan Mastiff breeder can influence puppies from birth through socialization exercises that can stabilize temperament, however if this does not happen no amount of socialization later can change it.

    What does a "stable guardian temperament" mean?

    A dog with a NATURAL guardian temperament:

    Is watchful
    Bonds to his/her people, territory and "pack" (can be a variety of animals).
    Alerts (barks) when there is a change/possible threat within their territory.
    Are often possessive
    Has the ability to think for his/herself.
    Displays maternal characteristics toward his/her people and pack.

    A dog with a STABLE natural guardian temperament is all of the above plus:

    Recovers quickly to a calm state after a perceived threat has passed.
    Does not overreact to perceived threats.
    Displays confidence, walks with head up, tail up and reacts appropriately in new situations.
    Is appropriate when "strangers" are invited on the premises by their people.
    Is able to discern between threatening and non-threatening situations
    (this can be based on age and experience and both should be considered when evaluating a dog's temperament).

    A dog with an UNSTABLE natural guardian temperament has the natural guardian characteristics but instead of the stable characteristics they can be inappropriately aggressive or fearful. From the genetic standpoint, these two traits are linked. Most dogs that are inappropriately aggressive are fearful of new situations and were born with a lack of confidence because of an over sensitive temperament/nervous system.

    They can be defensive biters, attacking in the belief that they are protecting themselves.
    They may display aggression at the fence, but if challenged, may run away to avoid a confrontation or may stay a safe distance away from the percieved threat/stranger and barkng, but will dart away if approached.
    They will bite in self-defense if they see no escape route.

    In addition, a dog with an overly sensitive temperament will react inappropriately to non-threatening stimuli. He may seem to display confidence and a willingness to defend his territory when he is behind his fence. This type often overreacts by jumping, vigorously barking, biting at the fence whenever presented with a stranger in his view, even if the stranger is far off. This type of dog may run off when the perceived threat gets close, possibly barking as they do, or may bite, especially in close quarters or when the "intruder" turns away/breaks eye contact. He/she may respond in this manner even after his/her people invite the stranger on to the premises.

    For information about temperament testing
    ATT Test Description

    Marcha Garn
    (269) 317-2382

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