When I think of Tibetan Mastiffs, I think of massive dogs that are really just big teddy bears. However, that’s not quite the case. Originally bred as guard dogs in the Himalayan Mountains, they grow to an average height of 26 to 30 inches and between 90 to 150 pounds as males, and 24 to 28 inches tall and 75 to 120 pounds as females.
They can often be used around ranches to alert homeowners and ranchers of predators like wolves, and in places like Tibet, they are still used to protect homes, but less so to protect livestock. Nevertheless, they’re still a pretty ferocious breed when they need to be.
Here’s the proof that Tibetan Mastiffs are not to be messed with. In this video footage, we see a Mastiff hovering over a lone wolf that’s snacking on what appears to be a carcass of some sort. The wolf is described as the elder of the pack, who is being protected by the dog.
You can see the rest of the pack circling and trying to get a bit for themselves, but the Mastiff viciously growls at them and snaps at them, scaring them away for brief periods as it protects the lone wolf eating. It’s pretty wild to see just how intimidated the rest of the pack is of the massive dog, and the dog goes from house pet to relentless protector in a heartbeat.
According to an article, this scene comes from a “wolf farm” in China, and the dog grew up among the wolves from a very young age. The dog was initially bigger and essentially the “leader of the pack” until the wolves grew into mature wolves and challenged his rule. One wolf emerged as the pack leader, however it formed a close bond with the dog. As the wolf grew older and younger pups challenged him for food, the dog would often protect the wolf, allowing him to eat first.
It’s a pretty wild story, and who knows how accurate it is, but seems pretty damn cool to me. Wolf pack dynamics are so intriguing. And for anyone thinking these are coyotes, they are not. They are most likely a Himalayan wolf (sometimes known as a Mongolian wolf or Tibetan wolf), which tend to be much smaller than the North American Grey wolf.
Needless to say, I’m sure the lone wolf is thankful that it got a massive meal all to itself in thanks to the Mastiff.