Doggie Designer is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

Tibetan Wolfhound

Height:  30-33 inches
Weight: 160-180 pounds
Lifespan: 8-10 years
Colors: Black, gray, fawn
Suitable for: Active families looking for an intelligent and independent dog
Temperament: Fearless, smart, independent, gentle

You couldn’t ask for a more friendly and delightful dog than the Tibetan Wolfhound. He gets this loving temperament from both parent breeds, the Irish Wolfhound and the Tibetan Mastiff. They seem to get along with everyone—or at least a select few special human or canine friends. The only exception is strangers. This pup is also a devoted pet that makes an excellent watchdog.

The Tibetan Wolfhound is a striking dog that certainly has a presence. He carries himself in a dignified manner that’s hard not to notice. His size comes into play with many aspects of owning this pup. Both parent breeds have a long history that goes back hundreds of years. That long association with people has influenced the temperament, physiology, and intelligence of the Tibetan Wolfhound.

The Tibetan Mastiff and Irish Wolfhound are opposites in many ways, which you’ll see. The fact that the breeds have been around as long as they have is probably one of the few things they share in common. Underscoring it all is a dog that will make a loyal companion in the right home.

Divider 1

Tibetan Wolfhound Puppies – Before You Buy…

Energy
Trainability
Health
Lifespan
Sociability

Perhaps two things stand out when considering a Tibetan Wolfhound as a pet. First, there is its size. His ideal weight puts him in the giant class of dogs. That means higher expenses for the essentials, such as food. Suffice to say that it’s more expensive to own a large dog versus a smaller one, especially if he picks up destructive habits like chewing or digging.

The second thing to bear in mind is the shorter lifespan of a Tibetan Wolfhound. It’s just a fact of life that these pups don’t live as long as other dogs for a myriad of reasons. Size is one of them, too. Both factors may play a role in the parent breeds’ relatively lower popularity in the number with the American Kennel Club.

Nevertheless, there are also many outstanding reasons to consider getting a Tibetan Wolfhound. He is an intelligent dog that can learn new commands and tricks quickly. While sensitive, he is also tolerant of being alone, although we don’t recommend doing so. Both parent breeds have a strong prey drive and high wanderlust potential. A fenced-in yard is a must-have for this pup.

What’s the Price of Tibetan Wolfhound Puppies?

Both parent breeds fetch a high price, especially the Tibetan Mastiff. You’d be hard-pressed to find a puppy for under $1,800. Pups from championship lines can command over $5,000. Paying for a dog at that price point often hinges on whether you plan to breed the dog. You can save some money by choosing a pup that isn’t of show quality.

Of course, that isn’t the only cost involved with owning a dog. In fact, it just scratches the surface, especially for the first year.  Vaccinations are done in series to establish immunity in the first year. After that, it’s typically a single shot. Likewise, deworming follows the same pattern, which increases your cost. Spaying and neutering are also expensive.

Spaying is considerably more costly, given the invasive nature of the surgery. Neutering costs less with an easier recovery. Many breeders have requirements as part of the sale for these options. That can increase your cost of owning a dog. However, you can easily expect to pay at least $1,000 and more likely more for keeping a pup as a pet.

Divider 8

3 Little-Known Facts About Tibetan Wolfhound

1. The history of the Tibetan Mastiff is lost to time.

The Tibetan Mastiff is an ancient breed, which its name implies. However, how he came about is a mystery for which there is no answer. Written records go back to at least 1100 BC in China. He likely was a faithful companion in war and peace with the Greeks and Romans.

2. The Irish Wolfhound is appropriately named.

The Irish Wolfhound is also from ancient stock. His large size suited him and his primary job, hunting wolves. At one time, they were a scourge of rural Ireland. These dogs fearless defended their families and rid the country of this predator. He did his job so well that the breed almost became extinct.

3. There is a memorial featuring the Irish Wolfhound at Gettysburg.

Three regiments of the Irish Brigade fought at the Battle of Gettysburg. In a memorial to the soldiers that perished, artist William R. O’Donovan created this fitting sculpture of an Irish Wolfhound mourning his lost master.

The parents of the Tibetan Wolfhound
The parents of the Tibetan Wolfhound. Left: Irish Wolfhound (Airwolfhound, Flickr), Right: Tibetan Mastiff (Liliya Kulianionak, Shutterstock)

Divider 3

Temperament & Intelligence of the Tibetan Wolfhound

Both the Tibetan Mastiff and Irish Wolfhound are family dogs. They are also quite intelligent. That means that the Tibetan Wolfhound is independent and sometimes willful. He may get bored quickly if he doesn’t have enough mental stimulation. He is a dog that requires a commitment of time and energy from a prospective owner lest he develop bad habits.

Part of the reason for their temperament is their histories. The Irish Wolfhound was a sight hunter. Back in the day, he likely acted alone to locate predators. The Tibetan Mastiff, on the other hand, may have fought alongside soldiers in battle. It probably fueled his courage and independent nature. Combined with his large size, we strongly urge you to give a lot of thought to getting one.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 👪

The Tibetan Wolfhound is loving and protective of his family. The Mastiff in him isn’t as tolerant of small children, whereas the Wolfhound is ready for play. The former is also more reserved with almost a feline personality. The latter is like a big kid himself. The dominant breed is the deciding factor, but bear in mind his size. He’s probably not the best choice if you have small children.

It’s imperative to establish trust with the Tibetan Wolfhound early in your relationship. He has a pack mentality that looks for a leader in his owner. Early socialization is vital for establishing proper canine manners.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?

The Tibetan Wolfhound is dog-friendly, especially if you socialize him as a puppy. However, remember that he is protective of his family. That’s when he may become territorial with other canines. We still have to come back to his size. Even when roughhousing, he may hurt a smaller pup not out of aggression, but merely because he doesn’t realize how big he is.

This dog isn’t the wisest option if you have any other pets in your household, like cats. His prey drive is too ingrained in him not to give chase if another animal runs from him. He’ll do best in a home where he is the only pup.

View this post on Instagram

Hello my name is Mauri I’m a Tibetan mastiff Irish wolfhound cross

A post shared by Mauri (@the_tibetan_irish_wolfhound) on

Divider 4

Things to Know When Owning a Tibetan Wolfhound:

The two parent breeds have varying personalities. Whichever one is dominant can make a significant difference in the demeanor of your pet. Training and socialization are excellent ways to mold the temperament of your Tibetan Wolfhound and make him a better canine companion. Remember that owning a dog is a serious responsibility that you shouldn’t take lightly.

The Tibetan Wolfhound has the quirks of the Tibetan Mastiff with the easygoing nature of the Irish Wolfhound. You won’t have a dull day with this pup as a part of your household. However, there are a few things you need to keep on the front burner with this pup. He’s a loving pet, but he also has some special needs worth noting.

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

Food is a significant part of the life of a Tibetan Wolfhound. He eats a lot, and he must also get food that supports his growth both nutritionally and in its energy density. This pup grows slower than a smaller dog, which may seem like a disconnect. We like to think that he savors life and enjoys puppyhood to the fullest.

You should feed a pup more often than an adult. He needs a steady flow of nutrients and calories to support both his growth and activity level. Don’t skimp on the food, even if you’re dishing out a lot more cash for a giant breed. It’s essential to his good health to get the best mix possible for optimal health. There is a moderate possibility of weight gain, making monitoring his intake vital.

Exercise 🐕

The Mastiff part of your Tibetan Wolfhound wants to run and explore his world. The Wolfhound doesn’t mind relaxing and taking in the action around him. We recommend encouraging a higher level of activity to keep your dog fit. However, you should never overexert your pup because of his propensity for bloat and cardiovascular issues.

Both parent breeds take playtime lightly. The tug-of-war game isn’t life and death. You should supervise exercise because of the pup’s prey drive. We also suggest mixing it up to keep your Tibetan Wolfhound mentally stimulated. It’ll make both him and you happier. It’s the quintessential win-win situation since both you and your pet benefit from the increased activity.

View this post on Instagram

River dog #irish #irishwolfhound

A post shared by Mauri (@the_tibetan_irish_wolfhound) on

Training 🎾

Intelligence in a dog comes with a price, not unlike what you may see in kids. Yes, they can pick up new things quicker. However, they’re also more likely to get bored with the routine. You may need to convince your pup that obeying is a smart thing to do. That makes the Tibetan Wolfhound a poor choice for the first-time pet owner. You’re going to have to prove your cred with him time and again.

There’s also a question of trust. This pup demands that you establish it with him. We like the concept anyway, even without what the Tibetan Wolfhound thinks about it. Consistency is the key. Make sure your pup knows what you expect of him. Also, positive reinforcement is the idea approach with a dog with his sensitivity and independent streak.

Grooming ✂️

How much your Tibetan Wolfhound sheds depends on which parent breed is dominant. If the Tibetan Mastiff is the one, then you can expect minimal maintenance during most of the year, despite the double coat’s thickness. Weekly brushing will keep him looking his best and prevent mats. This pup will blow his coat once a year, which will have you reaching for the vacuum cleaner.

The Irish Wolfhound, on the other hand, sheds year-round. Regular grooming is essential for this pooch. You should also trim your Tibetan Wolfhound’s toenails regularly. Likewise, check his ears often since he’s prone to infections.

Health Conditions 🏥

The Tibetan Mastiff is the healthier of the two parent breeds. Of course, both are at risk for some health conditions that plague many dogs, such as hip dysplasia. However, the Irish Wolfhound brings some other concerns into the mix. Bloat or a twisted stomach is one of these disorders. As the name suggests, it is life-threatening and can come on suddenly.

Heart issues are another condition for which you need to take preventive action with annual EKGs on your pup. Reputable breeders will undertake the recommended health screenings. Because of the seriousness of many of them, we urge you not to buy a pet unless these tests have been done.

Minor Conditions
  • Ear infections
  • Skin issues
Serious Conditions
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Elbow dysplasia
  • Cardiac issues
  • Bloat

Divider 5

Male vs Female

The main point for choosing a male or a female Tibetan Wolfhound rests with the size. The difference between the two sexes is substantial. It’s a vital consideration, given the sometimes-willful nature of this pup. In short, you need to be strong enough to handle a dog that may end up weighing as much or more than you.

We suggest spaying or neutering your pet if you choose not to breed your pup. However, it is something you should discuss with your vet. There are risks with either choice that you should know upfront. Altering your dog’s sex can reduce his metabolism and make him more prone to weight gain, which is something else to think about, given the Tibetan Wolfhound’s propensity for obesity.

Divider 3

Final Thoughts:

Few dogs bring together such varying traits like the Tibetan Wolfhound. While he is decidedly rebellious at times, he is also loyal. He is intelligent, yet he gets bored with routines. He’s a giant pup that is gentle and loving with his family. This pooch isn’t right for every household, given his size and reserved manner. However, if you are willing to take the time to build a trusting relationship, you’ll reap the rewards.

thematic break

Featured Image Credit: Tatyana Kuznetsova, Shutterstock; 12019, Pixabay