Can we please start quantifying the weight of dogs in chihuahuas? :D
Originating from Tibet, the Tibetan Mastiff weighs in at about 20 Chihuahuas.
The Tibetan Mastiff itself is not a true Mastiff. The term “mastiff” was used by the Europeans who first came to Tibet because it was used to refer to nearly all large dog breeds in the West. Early Western visitors to Tibet misnamed several of its breeds: The “Tibetan Terrier” is not a Terrier and the “Tibetan Spaniel” is not a Spaniel. A better name for the dog would be Tibetan mountain dog or, to encompass the landrace breed throughout its range, Himalayan mountain dog.
Inside the Printing House at Palpung Monastery: seeing the process of making scriptures from start to end
Hidden deep in the mountains beyond Derge, close to the border with the Tibet Autonomous Region, is the monastery of Palpung, a Kagyupa institution. The printing house here creates woodblocks for making Tibetan buddhist scriptures, completing every step in the process within a single building.
In the cavernous first floor, trees from the surrounding forest are processed into planks of a uniform width and thickness, which can then be cut again into the rectangular blocks ready for carving.
In a well-lit room, artisans sit by the bright windows to painstakingly carve the text onto the new wood blocks, working first from a stencil that is softly printed onto the blank surface, and then with fine tools detailing the words.
Once carving is completed, woodblocks wait to be tested - a first print is made from the new blocks, and a smaller team of artists check the print to look for areas that need more detail cut out to refine the words and ensure clarity.
These artists then complete the touch-ups themselves on both the woodblocks and the freshly made prints: two men honing the carved words to perfection on the wood, and a third using a fine pen to clarify the printed text on the paper, ensuring that no material is wasted in this process.
As needed, new paper is created and refined in the courtyard outside.
Once the newly carved woodblocks have passed this test another two to three times - however long it takes to correct any unclear strings of letters and words - the blocks are ready to use for mass production of scriptures on the upper level of the building, or are sent to other monasteries for use.
there isnt much I could find on them, so could you talk about Caucasian Mountain Dogs / Tibetan Mastiffs?
I would prefer it if folks didn’t ask for two breeds in the same ask, but since I can talk about Tibetan Mastiffs but not Caucasian Mountain Dogs I will answer for that breed only.
But first, as usual, please note the disclaimer. These
posts are about the breed from a veterinary viewpoint as seen
in clinical practice, i.e. the problems we are faced with. It’s not
the be-all and end-all of the breed and is not to make a judgement
about whether the breed is right for you. If you are asking for an
opinion about these animals in a veterinary setting, that is what you
will get. It’s not going to be all sunshine and cupcakes, and is
not intended as a personal insult against your favorite breed. This
is general advice for what is common, often with a scientific
consensus but sometimes based on personal experiences, and is not a
guarantee of what your dog is going to encounter in their life.
Tibetan Mastiffs are rare because they’re huge, and living in suburbia doesn’t grant many people the space to keep such a big animal. They’re also not easy dogs to keep or train and I can’t say I’m fond of them. The breeding scene for these dogs was also interesting and highly political, with odd practices such as mating two different dogs to the same bitch and DNA testing the resulting pups, breeding a bitch every season and being very demanding about progesterone supplements for pregnant bitches even if they had no history of infertility. We clashed a couple of times.
It’s worth noting that I didn’t actually get to see and treat many of these dogs when they were old, because the local breeders were in the habit of desexing these dogs after their show careers were over, and rehoming them as adults.
Hip Dysplasia is a big issue in the breed, and no surprise there for a dog of such large size. Somewhat concerning, the rates of hip dysplasia have not improved in the last 30 years, despite screening. Now that might be because certain breeders have been screening, but breeding dogs with bad hips anyway, yet still assuring puppy buyers that their breeding dogs have ‘had their hips checked’, but that’s none of my business.
Entropion and Ectropion (eyelids rolling in and out respectively) are extremely common in the breed, as is Distichia (extra eyelashes that rub on the eyeball). This is compounded by many of these dogs having excessive skin on the head, a roly poly look similar to St Bernards. These eyes need surgery in order to not be a constant source of irritation or pain for the dog.
I saw lots of pups with overbites, though most were not overly severe. I didn’t get to see these ;ups grow to maturity, so I don’t know how they fared.
The breed is also reported to develop hypothyroidism and Addison’s disease (both immune mediated in origin) and Cushing’s syndrome, but I didn’t get to see enough of these dogs beyond middle age to comment on the frequency of these conditions.
Interestingly, it was a male dog of this breed which was one of the only two dogs I have encountered so far that I would have considered as being possibly asexual. We had a male tibetan mastiff patient who was physically and physiologically normal as far as we could tell, but refused to breed the bitches he was put with. Normal anatomy, normal bloodwork, no response to testosterone supplementation, he just did not respond to bitches in heat. He wasn’t remotely interested in them.
Even when attempting manual collection of semen, this dog was basically impossible to get a sample from. He would not get more than 50% of the way to an erection. We declined to attempt electroejaculation because at this point it was just getting ridiculous, and we decided as a clinic that we weren’t going to electrocute a dog’s prostate on welfare grounds and that the whole enterprise was going too far, but I did think it was interesting. So we just said enough’s enough, let the dog get on with his life.
Now, whether this individual’s lack of sexual behavior is a inherent characteristic of his, or whether it was a learned behavior due to a bad experience interacting with one of his owner’s female dogs (which were large and frankly aggressive) I have no way of knowing, but both scenarios seem equally likely at this stage.
Mount Kailash is considered sacred in four religions: Hinduism, Buddhism, Bon, and Jainism. In Tibetan, the mountain is known as Gang Rinpoche, meaning “Mountain of God”. Pilgrims believe that to circle the mountain can erase the sins of a lifetime.
Some further believe that 108 circles around the mountain will break the cycle of rebirth, and assure a state of nirvana at death. The mountain attracts most of its visitors during years falling on the Lunar calender year of the Horse. This is due to the horse being the zodiac symbol of Buddha.