Tibetan Mastiff vs Caucasian Shepherd

Reviewed By Julie •  Updated: 02/02/23 •  6 min read
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Tibetan Mastiff vs Caucasian Shepherd

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Do you love the Tibetan Mastiff and the Caucasian Shepherd? Do you know the differences between these two dogs? If you’re considering adopting one of these breeds, it’s essential to understand them.

These two dog breeds do share some similarities; however, there are some differences you’ll want to consider before adopting either of these beautiful dogs. Let’s get started!

Quick Comparison of Differences

  Tibetan Mastiff Caucasian Shepherd
Average Height (Adult) 24-26 inches 23-30 inches
Average Weight 70-150 lbs 99-170 lbs
Lifespan 10-12 years 11-12 years
Exercise 1+ hour/day 1+ hour/day
Grooming Requirements Moderate Moderate
Dog-friendly Yes Only with early socialization
Trainability Independent, sometimes challenging Independent and sometimes challenging
Family Friendly Yes Somewhat aloof


Overview of the Tibetan Mastiff

The Tibetan Mastiff looks something like a combination of a Chow Chow, Mastiff, and a Saint Bernard. This is a giant dog breed. The dogs have a thick, double coat, and he needs it. These dogs were originally bred to herd cattle in the mountains.

The dogs are courageous and had to face dealing with snow leopards and other dangerous predators. People in the West never heard of these dogs until the mid-20th century! This is a dog that loves having a job.


The Tibetan Mastiff is highly intelligent and an independent thinker. They have a pretty good stubborn streak, as they were bred to take care of themselves in the wild when guarding sheep. If you have a fur baby like this for your family, he will be very protective of you and your home. The dogs also create strong relationships with their families. However, they aren’t all that affectionate. Still, this is a dog that loves his family, though he may not show it.

These dogs are also great with kids, especially if they’ve grown up together. They also do well with other pets in your home. However, they may be a little standoffish and wary when meeting new humans.


When it comes to training, the Tibetan Mastiff is highly intelligent; however, they can also be pretty stubborn. This can make training challenging. However, if the dogs are trained from a young age, they can be amenable to training.

The dogs respond best to positive reinforcement training methods that include plenty of praise and treats. Pet parents must be consistent when training these giant dogs.

Health & Care

Tibetan Mastiffs are prone to joint and musculoskeletal conditions, including elbow and hip dysplasia. So, it’s highly recommend that you adopt your fur baby from a reputable breeder. Their dogs are tested before breeding to ensure these conditions are not passed on to the dogs’ offspring.

The dogs are also prone to certain eye issues and hypothyroidism. Otherwise, these dogs are pretty healthy. These dogs also benefit from regular grooming to keep their hair in good condition.

Tibetan Mastiffs are best for families that have the time and energy to take care of these beautiful dogs. They have a moderate prey drive; however, training and socialization are highly recommended for these dogs. They also require plenty of mental stimulation to keep them happy and healthy!

Overview of the Caucasian Shepherd

Now, let’s take a look at the Caucasian Shepherd! These dogs look much like a Tibetan Mastiff, but with gentler faces. These dogs were also raised as guardians and shepherds of sheep in mountainous regions of southern Russia.

The dogs were also used by the military in ancient times and the USSR in the late 1920s. This is a dog that’s fearless, courageous, and very confident. These are the very attributes that made this an excellent military dog.

It’s amazing, though, that the Caucasian Shepherd is a laidback dog. True, they have a ton of energy and stamina, like other herding dogs. But they are loving and kind at the same time. These dogs do have a strong prey drive, too.


The Caucasian Shepherd has many of the same personality traits as the Tibetan Mastiff. These dogs are very loyal and affectionate with their families; however, they will defend their homes and families at all costs. And this is an extremely large dog that most people won’t want to deal with if he’s protecting his family!

These dogs can also be on the barky side. That’s because they’re always on guard! These dogs are also highly intelligent and sometimes a bit bolder than they need to be. However, these are both traits that come from the dog’s breeding and his past.


It’s highly recommended that you keep your Caucasian Shepherd on a leash at all times. These dogs are huge. They respond best to positive reinforcement training. Consistency is crucial to training these beautiful dogs. They may sometimes become stubborn during training, which you want to avoid. Fortunately, these dogs respond great to praise and treats when they do well!

Caucasian Shepherds also require plenty of exercise and mental stimulation. They need new activities every so often to stay engaged. The last thing you want is a bored, large dog like this!

Health & Care

The Caucasian Shepherd is a pretty healthy dog breed. However, they are prone to some of the same musculoskeletal and joint issues as the Tibetan Mastiff. For one thing, these dogs can develop degenerative myelopathy. This means it’s necessary to only adopt your fur baby from a reputable breeder. They should screen their dogs with tests recommended by the Orthopedic Foundation of Animals (OFA). You can also request this test before adopting your canine companion.

Caucasian Shepherds are also prone to becoming obese. The dogs are active; however, they also love to eat and are not quite as active as Tibetan Mastiffs. So, it’s important to monitor your dog’s eating and exercise every day to keep him at a healthy weight.

These dogs need to be brushed at least 2 or more times a week. This prevents painful matting and tangles in the dog’s fur.

Caucasian Shepherds are best for families that have a large home where someone can stay with the dog most of the time. The pet parents will also need to train this dog every day and ensure he gets the right amount of exercise daily.

These dogs are recommended for experienced pet parents who understand how to manage and train this dog breed properly.

Summing It Up

Choosing between the Tibetan Mastiff and the Caucasian Shepherd is challenging. Both dogs are large and share many of the same qualities. Both can make wonderful family dogs that protect and love their families.

However, the Tibetan Mastiff is more energetic and needs more exercise for this reason. These dogs are also more playful than the Caucasian Shepherd. However, Caucasian Shepherds are less sensitive.

And both dogs respond best to positive reinforcement training methods.

No matter which dog breed you choose, you’ll have a loving, affectionate protector who will be there for you when you need them.

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Julie is a graduate of the University of North Carolina, Wilmington, where she studied Animal science. Though contrary to the opinion of her parents she was meant to study pharmacy, but she was in love with animals especially cats. Julie currently works in an animal research institute (NGO) in California and loves spending quality time with her little cat. She has the passion for making research about animals, how they survive, their way of life among others and publishes it. Julie is also happily married with two kids.