Frequently Asked Questions

At DRAKYI Tibetan Mastiffs, our goal is to produce the finest, and most historically correct Tibetan Mastiffs in the breed (health, size, type, structure and temperament), and then to secure the very best of homes for our dogs. We believe that the key to finding the best dog for your home and family is through education and research about the breed, the different varieties and the various bloodlines and breeders within the breed. Purchasing a Tibetan Mastiff puppy can represent an 11-14 year long relationship and commitment, and is an emotional and financial investment that deserves much forethought. To help you in making this decision, we have answered many of your most frequently asked questions in detail to provide you with a more thorough understanding of the breed. We would also like to familiarize you with the successes, practices and policies that have made DRAKYI Tibetan Mastiffs foremost in top quality dogs and owner satisfaction.

DRAKYI, a merger forged in the 1970’s between Richard W. Eichhorn of "Dokyi" and Ray and Linda Larsen of "Dragonquest," is an exclusive, private, hobby breeding establishment now owned and operated exclusively by Richard W. Eichhorn and Efraín Valle, catering to resurrecting the original, pure Tibetan, historic GIANT mastiff variety of Tibetan Mastiffs, home-raised with loving care.  Recognized and respected worldwide, we are unsurpassed in years of active involvement and experience with TMs, and have owned, shown, judged, and bred the greatest majority of TM bloodlines available in the United States, Europe, and the Orient. We also have numerous exclusive sources throughout Tibet, China and Taiwan for importing authentic Tibetan stock.

The following answers are based on our 30+ years of observations, "hands-on" experience and in-depth research of Tibetan Mastiff bloodlines.


I - Breed Characteristics
II - Health
III - Care and Training
IV - Organizations and Information
V - About DRAKYI Tibetan Mastiffs
VI - Links to other DRAKYI pages

 

Breed Characteristics

1. Why is there such a great variation in size and breed type in this breed?

This is one of the most frequently asked questions. Simply stated, the historically separate varieties/sub-varieties of Tibetan/Himalayan dogs (Tsang Khyi, Do-khyi, Himalayan Sheepdog, Bhotia, Bangara Mastiff, etc.) that were used to resurrect this breed and save it from extinction after the Chinese occupation of Tibet in the 1950’s, all appear in contemporary TM studbooks and are now all classified under one "Tibetan Mastiff" umbrella. In its native land, the Tibetan Mastiff, now known throughout FCI countries as the "Do-Khyi," was not found to be a standardized breed in appearance/phenotype as we have come to expect in Western civilization. Traditional Tibetan dog breeding was the result of geographic patterns and subject to climate extremes, rather than the intentional, thoughtful breeding process we associate with dog breeding today. The nomadic life of herdsmen was not conducive to developing a breeding program, and breed type (appearance) was not the main concern of the nomads. Function, based on physical soundness and a strong guardian disposition were the two most highly sought after and prized traits in the dogs. Genetics were neither completely understood nor readily employed by the early Tibetans in their production of dogs, therefore they failed to arrest the tendency of type variation that can be controlled by selective breeding programs now practiced in the West. Thus, dissimilar types and varieties developed in different regions. Those differences (mastiff vs. shepherd/mountain dog) are still plainly seen in different breeding programs today. To better explain this discrepancy, in 1901, Mr. L. Jacob spoke of his most recent trek into Tibet:

"A group of twenty Thibetan (Mastiff) dogs might be taken at random, and if arranged in line, the most mastiff-like animal at one flank and the most sheepdog-like at the other, the rest being sorted in between by gradation, it would be absolutely impossible to say where the one variety ended and the other began."

Yet, the difference between the most "mastiff-like" and most "sheepdog-like" types of TMs he describes are no doubt great, to say the least, with tremendous differences in type and size, and even temperament. The same holds true today, more than 100 years later! The two most often seen and historically documented varieties of Tibetan Mastiffs that Mr. Jacob spoke of are known today as the Tsang-Khyi and the Do-Khyi, the former considered to be the finest, largest and most valuable dogs, the latter the more commonly seen smaller variety. The best description of the mastiff Tsang-Khyi variety was given by Mr. W. Gill in his narrative of a journey through China and Eastern Tibet to Burma in 1880:

"The chief had a huge dog, kept in a cage on the top of the wall at the entrance. It was a very heavily built black-and-tan, the tan of a very good colour; his coat was rather long, but smooth; he had a bushy tail, smooth tan legs, and an enormous head that seemed out of proportion to the body, very much like that of a bloodhound in shape with overhanging lips. His bloodshot eyes were very deep-set, and his ears were flat and drooping. He had tan spots over the eyes, and a tan spot on the breast. He measured four feet from the point of the nose to the root of the tail, and two feet ten inches in height at the shoulder [34"!]. He was three years old, and was of the true Tibetan [Mastiff] breed."

A very clear, descriptive picture for us today in reference to type and specific cross-referencing pertaining to giant size. The largest Tsang Khyi type of dogs were often found in the monasteries serving as stationary guardians, gifts to the monks so that the owner might find favor in God's eyes. Others were sold to the wealthy as courtyard guardians, as few people could afford to feed such a large animal, while the smaller, more common shepherd-like Do-Khyi remained in the villages, in the pastures, with the caravans and on the trail with the nomads functioning in more of a livestock/flock guardian capacity. The first imports that reached U.S. shores some forty years ago were from this wide, overly diverse gene base, varying in type, quality and authenticity depending upon their area of origin and the influence of other environmental factors. While these early U.S. imports represented the myriad of varieties referenced by Mr. L. Jacob in his narrative, the majority of present day TMs can now begin to be classified in the two distinct types of dogs historically known as the Tibetan Mastiff: the mastiff-like Tsang-Khyi and the shepherd-like Do-Khyi. Although the gap between the two types was often blurred and is bridged through the blending of contemporary bloodlines, a wide range of differences can still be seen in size, breed type, and at times, temperament.
BUYER BEWARE, if you are looking for the giant, historic mastiff type, the majority of TM breeders have the smaller mountain-type of dog and do not acknowledge nor differentiate between the varieties. Examine photos and videos carefully and have heights and weights documented! A breeder's guesstimations about size and weight are often misquoted or even exaggerated due to inexperience or wishful thinking that their dogs are actually of the mastiff variety, perhaps even in hopes of selling their Do-Khyi puppies into Tsang Khyi homes! This is a tremendous disservice to buyers wanting a specific type of dog, especially when there dog seems to stop growing at one year of age, never meeting their size and type expectations. Whenever possible, be sure to visit and actually see the dogs for yourself insure you get what you are looking for. Buyers wanting a shepherd/mountain dog should have one, and buyers wanting a mastiff-typed guardian should be able to get what they want too.

2. What can you tell me about the temperament of this breed?

The most consistent comment from TM owners is "What a challenge these dogs can be!" As a guardian breed developed to work apart from and instead of man, the TM has been bred and valued for its independent nature. In native Tibet, the dogs are allowed to roam freely at night to protect the village, home, family and flock from intruders and predators. Their deep, sepulcher-like bark heard sounding a warning throughout the night assured everyone that all would be well in the morning, when the dogs would be off duty. Consequently, the TM is much less active during daylight hours, napping with one eye open, just in case.
 
While these dogs are intelligent to a fault, they often choose not to listen or obey, seemingly fulfilling some higher calling. The Tibetan people believed in their ability to discern as dogs "who know a man’s heart." The Tibetan Mastiff expects to be treated like a companion, interacting with the family, not merely as a pet left outdoors. Pleasing people is foremost in the heart and mind of the Tibetan Mastiff, but like a stubborn child, they may have to be reminded more than once to complete the task at hand, requiring patience from the owner who must wait while the dog finishes its own agenda. While folklore and some historical accounts paint the picture of an aggressive, barking dog, it was actually the Tibetan people who preferred and encouraged aggressive behavior and barking in their dogs for function's sake. This was often accomplished by provoking chained dogs from puppyhood on. This temperament and behavior is encouraged and bred for throughout Asia to this day. Consequently, tales from Tibetan trekkers about "huge savage beasts lunging, straining and snarling at the end of heavy chains" take on a different perspective. This was learned and desired behavior for the native Tibetan dogs, and does not reflect negatively on their actual temperament as evidenced by their native reputation as "the defender of women and children."
 
On the other hand, successive generations of Western domestically bred and reared dogs have revealed a confident, reliable, and competent loyal family protector who desires primarily to maintain the sanctity and safety of the home turf, whether that be the home and family, or a pasture full of animals. Any temperament problems or excessive barking have been found to rest with individual dogs from certain bloodlines and not with the breed in general. The larger mastiff Tsang-Khyi examples of the breed make for quieter, more confident guardians in our experience.

3. What are the differences, if any, between the male and female temperament?

In regard to temperament, the sexes are equally reliable and stable, with the same male/female differences seen in any breed of canine. As for personalities, the male TM will often be a more carefree and independent soul, while the female has a more interactive, home/family focused demeanor, except for her periods of moodiness and crankiness associated with the breeding season. Both sexes offer equal protection and affection towards the family…they just show it differently.

4. How are TMs with other dogs and other animals?

The TM enjoys the company of the pack and excels with at least one canine companion. They can be very good with other animals, especially when introduced at a young age. Older dogs may require more of an adjustment period. As a flock guardian, the TM has an instinctive protective nature that encompasses his entire domain, and he usually will be top dog or "alpha" amongst his peers.

5. How is the breed suited for guarding, exhibition, and obedience work?

As a flock guardian breed the TM prefers to be a homebody, and puppies should be introduced to the perimeters of their turf early on and at regular intervals to help define and to cultivate their desire to protect their own property. If dogs are isolated and not socialized regularly, their tendency may be to bolt for open spaces in an eagerness to explore and familiarize themselves with an area, but they are not runners nor roamers. Their concept of their home turf goes beyond the fence line, and underground electric fencing with a shock collar is useless in this breed. Between their desire to explore their turf and their high pain tolerance, they would rather endure the voltage. A minimum of a six foot high fence around a quarter to half of an acre area or more is recommended. Outside the yard, if your dog is to remain faithfully at your side, it will have to be trained to do so and kept on a leash.
 
Teaching your puppy the basics of obedience at home from 2-4 months of age (the stay-at-home immune-acquiring vaccination period) such as sit, stay, and lay down; leash-breaking, bathing, and grooming etc., should be followed up by a basic obedience or conformation/handling class, attended by you and your dog, so that it learns to respond to you. A TM should never be sent to a training facility or trained by someone else.
As for exhibiting your dog in the show ring, the TM is well suited for the rigors of competition, and many of our dogs have become great ambassadors for the breed through distinguished show careers. If exhibition and/or obedience work is your goal, we will be able to select a suitable puppy to meet your needs, based upon years of observations and experience with our breeding stock, and we will be happy to help your puppy fulfill its potential in the show and obedience ring.

6. How is this breed temperamentally suited to children playing, guests in the home, and boredom if left alone?

TMs seem to have endless patience, especially when it comes to children, and can tolerate a lot of pestering. They can stay home alone all day if necessary with a good bone to chew on, providing they get regular attention from the family in the evening hours. A more primitive breed by nature, the TM is very "pack" oriented, thriving in the hierarchy and companionship that the pack provides. Accordingly, we strongly recommend daily interaction with another dog or "in-house" integration into the family structure. In either case, social interaction is vital for proper psychological development. Lonely, bored, solitary dogs may become destructive and/or overly needy, with tendencies towards dog aggression and problem barking. As for strange and/or new adults or children in the home, the TM will generally accept those people whom you accept if they are socialized with new people during puppyhood. A dog that has been regularly isolated cannot be expected to interact freely with strangers. Remember that this is a primitive breed that will be very sensitive to your routine and cues, and will adapt to your lifestyle. By nature, they will remain somewhat aloof and reserved with new people until familiarity is achieved. They are very keen at sensing friend or foe.

7. How can I expect my dog to mature?

As a fully matured adult (3-5 years), these remarkable and special companions are noted for their loyalty and devotion to the family, ready to stand their ground and defend their people and property at any time, fulfilling their distinguished, centuries old duties in partnership with mankind. With proper socialization that begins in puppyhood, your TM will be comfortable and dependable in public or in new situations. The appearance of a fully matured TM (large size, heavy bone, profuse coat and a huge, typey head) is something to behold! A visit to see our dogs is recommended if possible or we can direct you to the Drakyi dogs in your area. Sires and dams of our puppies are often on the premises, and we encourage everyone to visit and integrate in with the pack. I never forgot my first TM encounter, and neither will you! Experience the majesty of their noble beauty, the impressive appearance of their size, their soundness of temperament and see the overall quality of our dogs. Visitors always say, "Photos just don’t do them justice!" In this case, seeing IS believing!

8. How are the TMs in warmer climates?  Is the TM really hypoallergenic?

Generally speaking, the TM is adaptable to almost any climate and develops coat accordingly. However, we do not recommend that the dogs be kept in a tropical climate where extreme heat and humidity are factors unless indoor air conditioned facilities are available to the dog at all times. Being that TMs do have a longer, thicker double coat, they do not thrive and are lethargic in extreme humidity where fungal skin and ear problems may abound. In their native lands, they experience very cold winters, and very dry, hot summers. Since they shed out most of their coat by early summer, they seem to endure dry heat quite well. When temperatures reach 80+ degrees, the TM's activity level is greatly reduced during the day, and food consumption can drop 25-50 percent. Good common sense dictates that the dogs need an ample supply of fresh water and plenty of shade during the hotter summer months. 
And for those with sensitive animal allergies, the news is good.  The TM has none of the shedding dander that can make dog ownership a problem for allergy sufferers.  Even those with the most sensitive of allergies can enjoy years of healthy interaction with their Tibetan Mastiff.

 

 


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Health

9. Are there any special health problems associated with this breed?

As an overly diverse breed, thankfully, no. Since Mother Nature is the harshest and most selective of all breeders, the imports that arrived on our shores in the early 1970's descended from the strongest of dogs, culled by generations of severe weather and the treacherous terrain of Tibet. Consequently, as a "natural" breed, there are relatively few widespread health problems associated with the Tibetan Mastiff, in contrast to many of the "man-made" breeds of today. Health problems occasionally seen within this breed are entropian (an inward turning of the lower eyelid), hypothyroidism (a glandular deficiency seen in some lines), and otitus (an infection of the ear canal). Formerly a potential threat to the breed was CIDN, a hereditary peripheral nerve disorder that will be discussed later in detail. At DRAKYI we believe that all of these problems can be controlled and virtually eliminated through the proper application of genetics, pedigree research, and careful selection of breeding stock. With the exception of CIDN, which has only appeared in one kennel, the Tibetan Mastiff's health problems are neither widespread nor exclusive to any particular bloodline.

10. Is hip dysplasia a problem in the breed?

Hip Dysplasia is more prevalent in certain other TM bloodlines, but is not a common problem in Tibetan Mastiffs overall, in large pare due to the fact that the TM has evolved as a mountain breed where genetically unsound dogs could not survive to reproduce. By design, the TM is built slightly lighter in the rear than other large breeds, placing less stress and demand on the rear hip joints. As with all large working breeds, correct hip joint formation is of utmost priority. Our goal is not only to use parents who are OFA certified clear of hip dysplasia, but to have generations of ancestors with OFA certified hips as seen in our pedigrees. 
 
Hip dysplasia has a polygenetic mode of inheritance (genes from many ancestors are required) that experts agree is triggered and compounded by poor environmental conditions and improper nutrition, often causing the disorder to appear. Potential breeding stock under two years of age must pass a preliminary x-rays before being bred. After two years of age, x-rays are submitted for OFA certification. Our OFA certificates are kept on file, are available for viewing, and the results are published on the OFA website. Drakyi dogs are unsurpassed in numbers of our dogs certified for bone and joint health. You can see Drakyi OFA certifications on-line at www.offa.org

11. What is the disease known as CIDN?

The disease known as CIDN (Canine Inherited Demyelinative Neuropathy) is a nerve disorder that was found in the Tibetan Mastiff in the early 1980's and diagnosed in young puppies (from 5 weeks on). This disease affected the nerve fibers that run between the spinal cord and the muscles, causing a degeneration of the protective nerve covering (myelin). This loss of insulation allowed impulses from the brain to be lost and/or misdirected, causing a failure to function, primarily in the hind limbs, but the forelimbs were also affected. Detection of this disorder was made before puppies were sold and in their new homes. At this time, there are no affected CIDN puppies being reported throughout the world, with the disease only having appeared in puppies descending from one bloodline. Although all lines were technically "suspect", they are most likely non-affected. This fact has been verified by studies done at Cornell University, who ended their study on CIDN in the late 1980’s.
 
We at DRAKYI Tibetan Mastiffs strongly believe in the eradication of all genetic defects, and our breeding program has always been directed to that end. We are proud to say that DRAKYI NEVER PRODUCED A CIDN AFFECTED PUPPY. This has been accomplished by intensive pedigree research and a very selective breeding program, always breeding away from any suspect or known carriers that may have appeared in our pedigrees, and by using dogs from genetically non-involved backgrounds. We focused on producing dogs with CIDN clear pedigrees, with a minimum of seven generations of non-affected dogs as our goal, giving our puppies a Cornell University endorsed provisionally clear status of 99 percent. Consequently, all Drakyi dogs are certified provisionally clear. PLEASE NOTE - Cornell University is no longer affiliated with any test-breeding program and neither condones nor sanctions the same in light of the fact that the incidences of CIDN have disappeared from the breed.


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Care and Training

12. What kind, and how much exercise does this breed need?

The Tibetan Mastiff requires an average amount of exercise, which can be best realized in a spacious yard with a canine companion. As a flock guardian breed predisposed to overseeing their family and home turf, they should not be regularly confined to a small area or dog run. This boredom can lead to destructive and disruptive behavior that can result in personality problems. Frequent interaction with adults and children is recommended, along with long walks and/or romps in spacious areas.

13. Does this breed require special or frequent grooming?

This breed requires relatively little grooming other than a good brushing with a "Slicker" type wire brush several times a week, with special attention to the longer hairs found in the ruff, tail, and leg feathering. The Tibetan Mastiff's coat has been described as weather-resistant, shedding only once a year in early summer. Females may blow their coat an additional time after whelping a litter. Since this breed has no doggy odor, bathing more than once a month is neither recommended nor required.

14. How, when, and why do I use a crate?

You and your dog need to learn at an early age that the crate is a home-away-from-home, but is NOT a cage to be used for confinement. It can and should become a convenient, safe haven for your dog in the home, in the car, at a dog show, and while on vacation. From the puppy stage on, the crate, or the "den" can be used as the bed and as an aid in housebreaking, and rewards should be given to encourage its use.


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Organizations and Information

15. Is the Tibetan Mastiff an AKC recognized breed?

Yes, as of January 1, 2007. The TM is now eligible to compete in all AKC events. The TM is also fully recognized by every other kennel club throughout the world. All DRAKYI puppies come with AKC registration papers and a three generation pedigree.

16. Where can I show this breed?

Aside from any AKC or FCI show in the world, there are a growing number of organizations that cater to rare breeds that have all-breed exhibitions. For more information on show dates and locations, or regarding how championships can be earned, visit www.akc.org or www.infodog.com.

17. Are there any books on this breed?

Having authored two books on the breed, we have been overwhelmed with requests for information on the Tibetan Mastiff. The historic books that are available are expensive, and with a few exceptions they are generally difficult to find. Frequently the information is exaggerated, incorrect, varying greatly, and reflecting a single historian's experience and observations.
 
We are happy to recommend The Tibetan Mastiff, Legendary Guardian of the Himalayas by Rohrer & Flamholtz , where many of our dogs and photographs are featured. Our foundation stud dog, Simba, is featured on the front cover, and two of his progeny, Mel and Zorina, are featured on the back cover. This 160 page hardbound book provides a nice introduction to the breed, and a chronicle for the breed during its development in the U.S. during the 1970s and 1980s.
 
A must for any serious TM enthusiast is the 1995 release, The Venerable Tibetan Mastiff by Max Siber, revised and edited by Cathy Flamholtz . Translated from a 100+ year-old German text, this book provides a rare look into what the breed was in the unspoiled, pristine Tibet of centuries gone by.
The Ultimate Book of Mastiff Breeds by Douglas Oliff offers an outstanding chapter, complete with photos, on the breed. All of these books can best be ordered online at amazon.com or at bn.com. Additional titles can be found at one of the best known carriers of dog books in the U.S., 4-M Enterprises, Inc. at 1 (800) 467-9867, where you will find the largest selections of books on dogs from the orient.
 
We are very excited to announce the May 2007 second edition release of Tibetan Mastiff, (Comprehensive Owners Guides series) by Juliette Cunliffe (www.amazon.com ), with our special forward, cover dogs, photos and editorial contributions designed to provide a more comprehensive view of the breed and introduce the breed to the AKC world.
 


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About DRAKYI Tibetan Mastiffs

18. How many years have you been breeding TMs?

Founded in 1975 and in our fourth decade in the breed, we are unsurpassed in experience and now have pedigrees that are fifteen+ generations deep in domestically bred DRAKYI Tibetan Mastiffs, pursuing our goals for health, temperament and quality, and seeing the results in our outstanding line of dogs.

19. What about involvement with any dog clubs?

I have been involved with many organizations throughout the years, and am a founding/charter member of the AKC parent club, The American Tibetan Mastiff Association, ATMA (1983), and The Tibetan Mastiff Club of America, TMCA (1997) from their inceptions and have served the clubs in all the elected offices, as a member of the Board of Directors, in many appointed positions as well as chairing various committees and serving as the editor for the ATMA Gazette and the TMCA Sentinel. I co-founded The Western Regional TM Fanciers (formerly The Tibetan Mastiff club of Southern California) and served as a Director and Best in Show judge for the American Rare Breed Association (ARBA). Currently I am focusing on educating AKC judges at breed seminars, acting as an AKC Breed Mentor and judging at AKC and FCI events around the world.

20. Which variety of Tibetan Mastiff do you breed, and why?

Breed experts and historians agree that the rare, legendary mastiff-typed Tsang-Khyi is the forebear of many of the largest working breeds seen today. At DRAKYI, our goal is to breed toward, preserve and protect that special, original mastiff type in the breed. Our breeding program is focused on producing the imposing Tsang- Khyi variety, the arch-type of all Tibetan Mastiffs and many working breeds, because of its sound, good-natured even temperament, its large size and commanding appearance, its heavy bone and body; its beautiful broad head and unmistakable breed type. In an effort to broaden the gene pool and keep the health, vigor, fertility, and stamina high in the breed, we will continue to incorporate superior dogs from a variety bloodlines into our breeding program and to import outstanding dogs from the Orient of pure Tibetan heritage whenever possible. We are wholeheartedly dedicated to seeing the true breed resurrected, restored and preserved from pure TIBETAN bloodlines, focusing all of our knowledge and resources to that end.

21. How many litters do you produce each year?

Since 1975 we have whelped between 1-5 litters every year, with the average being 2-4 litters (15-30 puppies). We maintain 3-6 top quality brood bitches on the property at all times, representing both our signature Drakyi look and a variety of imported Tibetan bloodlines to maintain correct type, health and vigor. Occasionally we arrange for puppies back from co-ownership agreements and/or stud fees. With litters all arriving in late fall/early winter and being raised at home, socializing that amount of puppies properly is a labor of love that becomes a full-time job!
DRAKYI works in conjunction and cooperation with various associates throughout the world to produce the finest Tibetan Mastiffs to be found anywhere. Through our combined efforts and co-ownership agreements, the most outstanding examples of the breed can be maintained and used in our breeding programs, with the highest quality and most authentic dogs being made available to the most discerning of buyers.

22. How do you find a home for all of your puppies?

At DRAKYI Tibetan Mastiffs, it is our policy to only breed according to the demand for our puppies, always based on the number of deposit pre-reservations received. Thankfully, with our longevity and notoriety in the breed, referrals and repeat buyers, and the response to our international successes in the breed, we often have a waiting list for our puppies. It is our philosophy that it is better to have to wait an extra year for the right puppy rather than have the surplus of average puppies sometimes seen in the breed. Our puppies always stay with us until they find their families.

23. How do you socialize your litters?

All puppies at DRAKYI are raised at our home where socialization begins at birth. Puppies are handled daily, and periodically introduced to new environments, sounds, surfaces, smells, other animals, adults, and children. Early interaction with humans is essential, and helps the pups adjust more quickly to their new homes. A crate is used in the puppy pen as a sort of doghouse to facilitate early crate familiarity and training.

24. Do you know each puppy as an individual and do you temperament test your dogs?

Definitely yes! With the amount of puppies we have each year, it allows us to spend individual time with each puppy in its first 2 months of life. Daily feeding, cleaning, cuddle, and play times are a joy as we watch each puppy's personality unfold. From birth, behavioral traits and tendencies seen in individual puppies are noted, and each puppy is identified by its sex and markings, often being given a call name. Knowing generations of ancestors and each particular puppy, intimately, facilitates our task in meeting the buyers needs for a family pet, a guardian dog, a performance or exhibition dog. Temperament evaluations are done regularly on any adult dogs used for breeding.

25. What is the advantage in selecting a DRAKYI dog?

The answer is the proven health and quality of our dogs and our longevity in the breed as seen in the years of satisfied dog owners. Purchasing a puppy involves a large amount of trust, so it makes sense to deal with a breeder who has an established reputation for high-quality dogs. Buyers want the security of knowing that they are getting a healthy, quality puppy, and as the longest established active breeder/exhibitor/judge of Tibetan Mastiffs in the world today, we offer the longstanding client assurance that is expected by any concerned, discerning purchaser.
DRAKYI dogs are line-bred for structural and temperamental soundness and are among the most noteworthy dogs in breed history, appearing as foundation stock for the majority of other breeders throughout the U.S. and abroad. If you are looking for the largest, mastiff Tsang-Khyi variety of TM, it is the hallmark of the DRAKYI breeding program. We have references available on request, and we encourage you to see as many of our dogs as possible and contact other DRAKYI dog owners before making your decision to purchase a dog from us.

26. What is the difference between "breeding" quality and "pet" quality besides the price? Do You Require a Spay/Neuter Agreement if I am buying a Pet Quality Dog?

The difference is based upon our opinion of the dog's potential as a pet, show and/or breeding prospect. This "ideal" is outlined in the Breed Standard, which describes the ideal dog for any given breed. It is a standard of excellence that breeders use as their goal. Puppies that appear to closely approach that "ideal" are sold as breeding quality, and from those, show dogs are selected who have that standout personality required for the ring. Such puppies would be larger in size, heavier in bone, more "mastiffy" in head type, and sounder structurally at the time of evaluation. Other puppies, which in our opinion should not be used for breeding would be sold as healthy, temperamentally sound pets to loving homes, and these dogs are sold at a more moderate price. In cases of pet quality dogs, they are sold with "Limited Registration" non-breeding AKC papers. Should these dogs mature beyond our expectations, at the owner's request they can be evaluated and upgraded to breeding status, at our sole discretion as breeders, provided that additional contractual and financial requirements are met. In certain cases, spaying/neutering may be recommended, and a contract required.

27. Do you sell your puppies/dogs with a contract? What about pedigrees, health records, etc.?

All DRAKYI puppies are sold with a lifetime buyer protection guarantee, complete health records to date, AKC registration papers and a three generation pedigree. The guarantee is designed to protect both the buyer and the seller by clearly defining the terms of the sale and the expectations of all parties involved. The document states that the dog will mature as represented (show/breeding or pet quality), has been inoculated commensurate with its age and is in good health (Vet certification included when shipped), is a purebred descendant of documented Tibetan Mastiffs and eligible for AKC registration, and that should a breeding quality dog be found genetically unsuitable for breeding (as evaluated by the breeder), a partial refund or a replacement puppy will be offered (at the discretion of the breeder). Also contained therein is any information regarding breeding agreements (stud services and/or puppies due back) or co-ownership.

28. Do you ever have older dogs available?

Occasionally, we do have older dogs for sale or rescue dogs for placement. They could be first year dogs available to pet or breeding homes, or older dogs looking for a loving "retirement" home with a family who may prefer a "Grandma" dog to spoil as a loyal pet and guardian, perhaps helping to raise the new TM puppy in the family. Personally, we have had very good luck with the older dogs that have joined us later in life. The advantages: full physical and psychological development, generally housebroken and leash-broken, ready to act as a guardian, function as a showing or breeding dog (if classified and sold as such) and not having to deal with the puppy destruction syndrome (furniture, shoes, plants, etc.). Disadvantages include the loss of the primary bonding stage (8-12 weeks of age) and any bad habits already set in. All of these pros and cons vary with the individual dog. We give great priority to placing the right dog in the right home, and we would only suggest a dog to you that seemed appropriate for your needs, based on your experience with large breeds, family situation and lifestyle.

29. How do I reserve a puppy and what kind of deposit do you require?

Once you have decided that the Tibetan Mastiff is the breed for you, and that you would like to purchase a DRAKYI puppy, we recommend making your reservation as early as possible, being that many of our puppies are reserved before breeding season by breeders and repeat buyers. Our puppies range in price from $2,000.00 (substantially sized, family companions with non-breeding/limited registration), to $3,000.00-$4,000.00 (larger and largest show/breeding puppies with full AKC registration privileges). We also have exclusive Tibetan/Chinese bloodlines for $5,000.00+.  To secure your reservation of a DRAKYI puppy, we suggest that you contact us by phone or via e-mail for more information and to discuss your deposit and/or payment options and to schedule a payment plan.

30. How do you decide on puppy placement?

After we determine the type of puppy you are looking for (sex, color, price range), we carefully take note of your additional requests and requirements for a puppy (guardian, family, show, breeding). Then, as our litters are born and the puppies grow, we carefully note developments in their temperaments and conformation so as to make the best recommendation and match between you and your puppy from all the puppies born in the breeding season (some may be available from co-owned litters in other parts of the country). Because we are so well acquainted with our bloodlines and what to look for in a puppy, our experience in the selection and placement of our puppies is usually more objective and better able to meet your needs. Also, to fully guarantee our dogs, we prefer to be responsible for making the final decision on puppy placement…based on your needs. Take heart, our puppy-to-owner placement satisfaction rate is unsurpassed! Please contact us for a current list of references from satisfied DRAKYI puppy buyers and owners nearest to your home.

31. After I have reserved a DRAKYI puppy, what's next?

Once we have received your deposit and have determined your prerequisites for a puppy, we wait for puppies to be conceived, whelped and reared, making note of your specific requirements and preferences. Then, as the breeding season progresses, we will keep you informed about all of our breedings, options and the progress of the puppies.

32. What about shipping puppies?

The airlines that we choose to ship our dogs are very competent and provide a safe environment for the dogs. TMs do not require sedation and travel very well. We will contact you to coordinate a convenient arrival time for your puppy and to discuss shipping options. Shipping expenses are paid for by the buyer and range from $400.00-$750.00 (domestic) to $2,500.00-$4,000.00 (international). This includes all preparation, delivery, kenneling (as required), shipping and health related documents, transport and crate charges, and any other requirements imposed by foreign countries, airlines, registries or customs. Due to the restrictive nature and increasing governmental requirements, all of our puppies are shipped by a specialized animal transport handler to guarantee that all international requirements are met with their safest passage.

33. After I have my puppy, what can I expect from DRAKYI?

As your puppy matures, we will gladly assist you in all aspects of your dog's life: nutrition, health, training, exhibiting, breeding, etc. Should you ever decide to purchase a mate for your dog, we offer puppies from a variety of bloodlines and would select a puppy from a diversified pedigree to fully compliment the dog(s) you already own. We welcome your calls, letters, e-mails, visits, stories, questions and photos.  We know you have a choice where to acquire a new canine family member, and thank you for considering the fine dogs bred at DRAKYI Tibetan Mastiffs.
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For more information email us at: drakyitms@aol.com

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