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Tibetan Mastiffs Aren’t Desirable In China Anymore And They’re Being Abandoned

Tibetan Mastiffs Aren’t Desirable In China Anymore And They’re Being Abandoned

Unfortunately, many places on the planet don't have the same care and affection for animals as we have in the UK.

I lived it the Middle East (Qatar, specifically), and watched cats and dogs walking around in 50-degree heat day-after-day, either abandoned or born feral as the owners couldn't be inclined or bothered to get them neutered or spayed. It was very upsetting to see on a daily basis. No-one gave a shit.

China also has a pretty bad reputation. And the fad a couple of years ago by China's wealthy was to have Tibetan Mastiff dogs as pets.

Now they're undesirable and not a status symbol anymore. There was an oversupply and nearly 1,000 of the animals have been abandoned in Yushu prefecture alone, reports These have been rescued by an animal shelter after being spotted in the street, roaming as strays, or the previous owner has brought them over because they don't want the animal anymore or can't afford it.


Breeding centres closed down once the desire for the animals quelled. Before this, well-bred mastiffs were fetching as much as £1 million in the past in China.

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A Tibetan mastiff Expo, when they were more desirable. Credit: PA

The dogs are particularly large and, desperate, have begun to attack local livestock in the region, as well as residents, meaning the local Yushu government teamed up with Surmang Namgyaltse Monastery to make a shelter to look after the animals (sounds like the wrong reasons to form a dog shelter, but better than nothing I suppose).


Tibetan Mastiffs are known for their loyalty and can weigh up to 12.6 stone. Obviously, the costs of keeping the animals are high and, add the fact they're no longer the 'in' thing, this has led to a surge in the abandonment of the breed.

All of the animals at the sanctuary have been sterilised so the population can be controlled.

Very sad indeed.

Main image credit: PA

Topics: China