Male vs. Female Tibetan Mastiff: Which Is Better?

Male and female Tibetan Mastiff sitting outdoors

If you are thinking of adopting or purchasing a Tibetan Mastiff, you might be wondering if a male or a female Tibetan Mastiff is right for you.

For some dog breeds, sex plays a major role in the development of their appearances and behavioral responses. But this is unlikely for the majestic and giant dog breed, Tibetan Mastiffs.

Male and female Tibetan Mastiffs are very much alike in terms of appearance with males slightly larger than females. For behavior, males are more protective, aggressive and territorial than females. Meanwhile, female Tibetan Mastiffs mature earlier and are more sociable and affectionate.

Knowing the key traits of Tibetan Mastiffs according to sex will help you choose the perfect pet for you based on your personality and lifestyle. It would also tell about what you should expect from their behavior and appearance as they grow along with you.

As we move on in this article, we will dig deeper into the key traits of a male and female Tibetan Mastiff to help you decide which one to bring home.

Does Gender Really Matter When Choosing Your Tibetan Mastiff?

For some dog breeds, you can spot significant differences which arise from their biological sex. Some dog breeds undergo massive changes in their appearances and behavioral aspects due to the hormones exclusive for males and females.

On the other hand, some dog breeds have little to say about the differences brought about by their biological sex – just like the Tibetan Mastiff.

While there are only minor differences between a male and female Tibetan Mastiff, it is still very important that you are knowledgeable about them because these are the keys to knowing how to take care of them and whether they are suitable to be the pet for your family.

Same-sex aggression is also one of the reasons why you should consider sex in choosing your new dog. Putting same-sex dogs at home can trigger aggression as they assert dominance in their territories.

Taking care of females, specifically intact ones requires special attention during their heat cycle as they will try to follow their biological urge which is to reproduce. On the other hand, unneutered males should also be monitored as they become full-grown adults.

To sum it up, gender does matter, not only in choosing your Tibetan Mastiff but also in choosing any pet that you would like to bring home. The biological needs of each sex will tell you about their needs and how you can properly take care of them.

Physical Differences

The American Kennel Club (AKC) has described the general appearance of Tibetan Mastiff as noble and impressive. This is one of the largest breeds of dogs in the world so if you are thinking about purchasing or adopting one, you should ready a spacious room for it.

Both male and female Tibetan Mastiffs grow elegant long and thick coats. They also have a mane which makes them look like lions.

Since it was historically bred as guard dogs, the watchful and alert stance of Tibetan Mastiffs is still intact which makes them good deterrents and guards.

Overall, both male and female Tibetan Mastiffs project an astounding appearance with their compact body composition, watchful posture, broad skull, and elegant long double coat.


Male Tibetan Mastiffs are a bit larger compared to female Tibetan Mastiffs. Full-grown male Tibetan Mastiffs are about 2 inches taller and about 15 pounds heavier than female Tibetans on average.

Males can stand at least 26 inches tall from the withers and weighs 100 to 160 pounds on average when fully grown. Surprisingly, as per the American Kennel Club, male Tibetans have a thicker coat than females.


Female Tibetan Mastiffs are slightly smaller and lighter than their male counterparts. Females are at least 24 inches tall at the withers and weigh 75 to 125 pounds on average.

Female Tibetan Mastiffs also have a compact and large body but with a more feminine and smooth appearance compared to male Tibetan Mastiffs.

What’s also unique about female Tibetan Mastiffs is that they only undergo estrus once a year. This means that female Tibetan Mastiffs will be on the heat only once per year, unlike other dog breeds which can ovulate several times annually.

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Temperamental Differences

Male Tibetan Mastiff and female Tibetan Mastiff walking together outdoor

Tibetan Mastiff in general is a calm and quiet breed unless provoked or disturbed. While bred as guard dogs historically, the watchful and territorial instincts are still intact, making them aloof with strangers (humans and pets).

So if you are looking for the perfect guard dog, Tibetan Mastiffs are perfect for the task. With their large compact body and watchful stance, they can be a good deterrent to burglars and other animals.

Here are some of the differences you can observe on male and female Tibetan Mastiffs.


Male Tibetan Mastiffs mature later than their female counterparts. It can take four to seven years for them to mature mentally. The Tibetan Mastiff is not the perfect dog for you if you are looking for a pet to play fetch with.

It is said that male Tibetan Mastiffs tend to be very stubborn to show their dominance and independence even over their owner.

It would require dedication and a lot of effort in training this breed as they don’t work well with obedience training due to their dominant and independent inherent trait.

Males also have the tendencies to become too territorial and protective. It is quite normal for a male Tibetan Mastiff to regularly mark its territory may it be outdoor or indoor especially if it is unneutered.

Unneutered males can also become a nuisance especially if a full-grown intact female is around. Neutering can also affect the temperament of Tibetan Mastiffs. Males who have undergone the surgery are observed to be less aggressive and wander and mark territories less.


Female Tibetan Mastiffs share the same protective and territorial traits as their male counterparts. They are quiet inside the house but are active and alert outdoors.

It is said that female Tibetan Mastiffs are livelier and more energetic than male Tibetan Mastiffs. This also means that they are more spirited in doing their duty to guard and protect their home and family members (they are more protective and territorial!).

Female Tibetan Mastiffs are also subjected to behavioral changes during their ovulation or heat cycle. This is evident to the females that didn’t undergo spaying.

Due to hormonal fluctuations, female Tibetan Mastiffs tend to roam around the streets as a response to their biological needs. Aggression could also be observed during this period.

Leaving your Tibetan Mastiff alone is also not advisable. This dog breed can easily get bored which could trigger aggression. It would be best if someone accompanies your Tibetan Mastiff at home.

Trainability Differences

Tibetan Mastiffs must be exposed to socialization and obedience training while they are still pups. This prevents them from being too stubborn by eliciting dominance and respect over them as the owner.

Since this dog breed wants equal membership in the family – meaning, a Tibetan Mastiff thinks he is not just a pet and has the same authority as you, you will need to consistently assert authority for it to follow you.

Here are some of the differences between male and female Tibetan Mastiffs when it comes to trainability.


Male Tibetan Mastiffs must be trained while they are young. Once they become fully grown, it will be very hard to train them. Unlike other dogs, pleasing the owner is not the primary goal of Tibetan Mastiffs.

Socialization is important in training your male Tibetan Mastiff. If you want him to be on good terms with other people and pets, you must expose him to strangers (humans and pets) and walk him to different places.

You must also leash train your male Tibetan Mastiff if you don’t want him to cause trouble while walking in the park. Male Tibetan Mastiffs are known for being territorial and aggressive.

If he is not properly leash trained, you must prepare yourself to restrain a dog whose weight ranges from 100-180 pounds if needs arise.

Since they are more independent, they would insist on doing their duty which is to protect and guard instead of playing fetch. This may sound harsh, but they will only obey you if they respect you as their owner.


Female Mastiffs are almost similar to their male counterparts. They don’t go well with obedience training.

If you don’t expose them to different places and other people while they are young, they will become suspicious of strangers and they will likely have trouble getting along with other people and pets. This means that setting up a house party would be challenging!

Socialization is also important for female Tibetan Mastiffs. Although they are also territorial, they are more sociable and affectionate compared to their male counterparts.

Nonetheless, female Tibetan Mastiffs could be very stubborn especially during their heat cycle due to fluctuations in hormones.

Though this is not the case with spayed females since their entire reproductive system has already been removed, they will never undergo ovulation again.

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Health Differences

Two large beautiful Tibetan Mastiff of different genders lie on a green lawn

In terms of health, both male and female Tibetan Mastiffs are prone to minor and major health issues.

Obesity, hip dysplasia, allergies, heart diseases, and reproductive health problems are just some of the Tibetan Mastiff health issues you should be aware of.


Due to their heavier and larger body size, male Tibetan Mastiffs are prone to joint-related health problems like hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia.

Their compact and large body exerts too much pressure on their joints which, in prolonged exposure, develops into chronic pain.

Prostate disorders and testicular cancer are also unique to male Tibetan Mastiffs since it concerns the male reproductive organ. The prostate disorder occurs in 80% of unneutered dogs.

On the other hand, testicular cancer has a lower probability of manifesting in intact dogs with only 7%.

Cryptorchidism is prevalent among unneutered dogs. Also known as “undescended testicles,” this disease occurs when one or both of the testicles are not in the sac of the scrotum.

Non-neutered male Tibetan Mastiffs are also prone to a skin disease called perianal fistula which is difficult to treat.

The diseases mentioned above could all be prevented through neutering. However, you should think carefully before deciding to neuter your dog.

Careful consultation with your veterinarian must be done to avoid complications. Untimely and improper neutering can cause harm rather than a benefit to your dog.

A veterinary study found out that neutering dogs appears to significantly increase the risk of acquiring cardiac tumors.

Other possible side effects of neutering include incontinence, higher risk of obesity, higher risk of hyperthyroidism, and a higher risk of acquiring hemangiosarcoma.


Just like with male Tibetan Mastiffs, females can also suffer from diseases that are unique to their sex. With the mammary glands of female dogs being more active, they have a higher risk of acquiring mammary tumors or breast cancer.

Infection on the uterus or pyometra is also common among female dogs. This disease is caused by hormonal changes in the reproductive tract and is very dangerous that it needs immediate attention.

According to a veterinary manual, mastitis and metritis are health problems exclusive to female dogs. Both health issues happen after a dog’s pregnancy and are caused by a bacterial infection.

Mastitis is caused by the inflammation of the mammary gland(s) that occurs after giving birth. On the other hand, metritis occurs due to the inflammation of the uterus after pregnancy and is also caused by a bacterial infection.

Spaying can help in preventing the diseases mentioned above. However, just like neutering, spaying also has side effects which are: higher risk of obesity, higher risk of hyperthyroidism, and a higher risk of acquiring joint-related problems.

With Other Dogs and Pets

In general, Tibetan Mastiffs can go along very well with other dogs and pets especially if they have grown along since they were puppies. However, that wouldn’t be the case if new pets or dogs are to be introduced after they have fully grown.


Male Tibetan Mastiffs show good relationships with other pets that they have grown with. If they were exposed to socialization while they are young, they would be able to get along with other pets pretty well.

Nonetheless, you should note that same-sex aggression may persist even if your Tibetan Mastiff grew with another male dog – more so if you will introduce a new male dog to the family. Same-sex aggression might occur as they try to show dominance among the group.

Due to their guardian instinct, male Tibetan Mastiffs are also observed to chase birds, or even cats, from time to time.


Same-sex aggression can also be seen among female dogs. Female Tibetan Mastiffs can also be sociable when trained at a young age. Females are seen to be more friendly and well-spirited than males.

However, their social skills can be heavily affected when they are on heat due to hormonal fluctuation.

Since they were grown to keep strangers out of the group, introducing a new pet will be difficult as they are naturally suspicious of strangers.

With Children

Female Tibetan Mastiff with a kid

Overall, Tibetan Mastiffs can prove a good companion for adult-supervised children who are taught how to care for and respect dogs. As guardian dogs, Tibetan Mastiffs have it all: strength, agility, courage, and loyalty.

If a Tibetan Mastiff puppy will grow along with your children, then there would probably be no problem at all.

However, there are some instances where Tibetan Mastiffs cannot tolerate the screaming and yelling of children as they see it as a sign of aggression. This is the reason why they must be trained and exposed to socialization.


There would be no better guardian for your children other than the well-trained male Tibetan Mastiffs. With their sturdy stance and compact body, they are the perfect guards for your children.

Male Tibetan Mastiffs are quiet and calm when inside the house and could be playful friends outdoors.

The only concern is that full-grown male Tibetan Mastiffs are not advisable for families with small children. The large and heavy body of a male Tibetan Mastiff can easily sweep off a child unintentionally.


Female Tibetan Mastiffs are sociable and affectionate. They could also be the perfect companions for your children as they have the inherent guardian trait just like male Tibetan Mastiffs.

Nonetheless, although they are slightly lighter and smaller than their male counterparts, they are still big enough to make small children stumble if they bump with each other accidentally.

Hormonal changes can also affect how female Tibetan Mastiffs interact with children. During their heat cycle, females tend to be more sensitive and aggressive.

Are Male or Female Tibetan Mastiff Better Guard Dogs?

This could be quite a difficult question to answer. Both male and female Tibetan Mastiff possess the inherent guardian trait which they have acquired through history.

Guarding is the innate duty ingrained in the blood of Tibetan Mastiffs. They are not trained to be guardians – they are naturally born as guardians.

A male Tibetan Mastiff has a larger body and sturdier composition which means greater strength. Its aggressive trait can prove beneficial in case of break-ins but at the same time dangerous if they are untrained.

On the other hand, females are more enthusiastic about accomplishing their duties as guardian dogs. However, their hormonal changes can easily affect their moods.

The verdict? Both can prove a perfect guard dog for your family. Given their natural and innate guardian traits, the final verdict will heavily depend on how they are trained, the environment they are trained in, and their health condition.

Are Male or Female Tibetan Mastiffs Better Family Companions?

The question will heavily depend on your definition of a “companion.” If your perception of a dog companion is a dog that accompanies your family and guards them, then a male Tibetan Mastiff is what you should get.

They are more aggressive and territorial which can prove a perfect fit for guarding your family.

On the other hand, if what you are looking for is a friendly and affectionate dog companion that can also protect your family, you should get a female Tibetan Mastiff. Nonetheless, the personality of a dog could be heavily affected by its environment and training.

Which Gender Should You Choose?

Brown female Tibetan Mastiff and a black male Tibetan Mastiff

As there are no significant differences between a male and a female Tibetan Mastiff, your decision should be based on your lifestyle and capabilities.

If you would like to have a larger pet at home, then a male Tibetan Mastiff would be a go. But if you are looking for a more sociable pet, then you should go for a female Tibetan Mastiff.

You should also consider the dog you already have. It would be better to have a Tibetan Mastiff of the opposite sex with the dog you already have. This will prevent same-sex aggression.

Males do also have sturdier body composition which is a good point for a guard dog. Their aggression could come in handy as guardian dogs. However, you should be ready to have your whole house marked by pee if you decide to have an unneutered dog.

It is also not advisable to have a Tibetan Mastiff if you don’t have a fence. You wouldn’t like to see a dominant and territorial dog roaming the streets.

Female Tibetan Mastiffs are desirable family companions because of their friendly traits. However, tending to the needs of a female Tibetan Mastiff, especially when she is ovulating, requires more attention as her behavior changes.

Letting a female in your yard without enclosure is also a big no. During the heat cycle, the instinct of females is to roam to find a mate.

Final Thoughts

Aside from the differences of male and female Tibetan Mastiff biologically, the two are pretty equal in other aspects. All of the changes they have biologically can also be seen with other dog breeds – and they are normal.

The slight difference in their temperament is not enough to say that the other one is better. However, they sure differ when it comes to tending their needs biologically.

If you’re not a breeder, then the gender of the dog you would like to have shouldn’t concern you that much.

Your criteria should be based heavily on your lifestyle and the compatibility of the breed’s trait to your personality. This will help you in finding the perfect fit for your way of living.

To top it all, you should choose what you want because he/she will be your companion for a lifetime.

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