These priceless photos of Tibetan Mastiffs are courtesy of my friend, Kathy Hoskins. In the early 1900s her grandfather lived in Kalgan, China, an international trade city and the chief northern gate in the Great Wall. Located about a hundred miles northwest of what is now Beijing, it was the major entry/exit point from China through Mongolia to Russia on what was called the Tea Road.
Look closely and you can see that the dog is secured with a rope.
The Chinese word for the breed is do-khyi, translated as home guard, door guard or dog which may be tied. Not actually a Mastiff, the dog is a flock guard. They were usually tied outside the home during the day and allowed to run loose at night to protect livestock.
In the background of the photo below, you can see an automobile, Mongolian horses (the first domesticated horse) and camels. Where ever it is they're going, they have transportation covered.
The breed had already made its way to Europe as early as the mid 1800s. Queen Victoria's dog, Bout, is below.
|Queen Victoria's Tibetan Mastiff, Bout.|
c. 1855, by William Bambridge
An ancient breed, it was depicted in art as early as the 1600s.
Read more about the Tibetan Mastiff