Why We Chose
Our interest in Tibetan mastiffs started in 1997
while on a visit to Cyprus. One day whilst sitting on the beach
we saw this lovely grey and tan dog being walked along the shore, and
when I asked the owner what breed she was she told me she was a
Tibetan Mastiff. I had never heard of them before, and although
I never saw her again I was very much taken with her.
I didn't think any more of it until 3 years later
when a UK magazine called "Dog World" did a rare breeds supplemental
pull-out. At the time I was thinking I would like a different breed of
dog as I'd had Rotties since I was a teenager and had decided it was
time for a change. While looking through the pull-out I noticed
one particular breed of dog which looked familiar, and as I read on I
realised it was the same breed I'd seen on the beach in Cyprus.
I finished reading through the pull-out, but none
of the other breeds had the same appeal for me, so I rang the number
advertised by a lady who bred Tibetan mastiffs and had a nice long
conversation with her, asking her various questions about the breed
and their temperament etc. This was particularly important to me
since at that time we were breeding cats and therefore needed to be sure
they would get on okay together, which fortunately they do. So
that was it, the search was on!
I looked around on the Internet, and eventually
contacted a lovely lady in Canada whose dogs I very fell in love with
to the extent that I was seriously considering buying a puppy bitch
from her. She had a lovely litter on the ground, but I decided
not to get a bitch from her since she would have to come to England
via the Pets Passport Scheme, meaning that she would not be here until
she was a young adult (and I had very little experience of the breed
at that time).
Thereon I confined my search to the UK and
contacted two breeders, one located in Leeds, Yorkshire and another
based in Wales. Leeds is about three to four hours drive for us and I
wasn't sure how I or the puppy would cope with the long journey first
time round, so I decided to visit the breeder in Wales. Richard
showed us around his kennels and his lovely dogs before getting to the
best bit which was the puppies! They were four weeks old and and
all looked adorable, however I fell in love with a gorgeous black &
tan puppy who also thankfully seemed to like me! I had to then
wait for a long time to see if anybody else on Richard's waiting list
wanted her too, which luckily for me they didn't. So there it
was, I was smitten!
We brought her home when she was about nine weeks
old, and it has to be said that she's one of the sweetest and easiest
puppies I've ever had. Her only troubles are that she is a
bark-a-holic, and that she is a nightmare to feed. But I would
not part with her for the World!
TM Breeding Program
You will have already seen that our dogs are predominantly from foreign lines, and this is no accident. Whilst we agree that there are some wonderful dogs here, we have preferred to sample the breadth and depth of the breed that can be found outside the UK.
We have visited the USA on two occasions now, and have met many TM breeders there. Our first visit was to meet a bitch which we were planning to import (which sadly fell through due to unforeseen circumstances), and also to attend a three-day event in Virginia consisting of a TM dog show, breed seminars, and the opportunity to meet some 70 Tibetan Mastiffs and of course their owners.
One year later we were back again, this time to visit Norbu and Meara who were doing their “Pets Passport” time before come over to join us here in the UK. Again we had the opportunity to meet some now-familiar faces, and spend some valuable time getting acquainted with Norbu and Meara.
We have chosen dogs for our breeding program by looking at the depth of pedigree, paying particular attention to the quality of the lines, genetic traits, health issues, and the nature & character of the dogs. They need to be able to co-exist peacefully with each other and also with us, since they live with us in our house (we do not keep dogs in kennels). Our goal has not been to import a “perfect” TM, but rather to import from good strong lines that have all the ingredients necessary to produce quality dogs in years to come. Our breeding experience has taught us to look beyond the outward appearance and to see the potential that a line has, then work those lines together to achieve our goal. This is not a short term solution, but over the years we hope that the fruits of our efforts will come to bear. Sure we’ll make some mistakes, but the long term achievements we hope will be very satisfying!