The German Shepherd Tibetan Mastiff Mix

Categorized as German Shepherd Types and Mixes
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So you’re interested in the German Shepherd Tibetan Mastiff mixed breed dog? This powerful cross between two legendary guardian breeds produces an intensely loyal and protective family companion.

But is this rare crossbreed right for you?

In this complete guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know about the German Shepherd Tibetan Mastiff mix including temperament, size, health, grooming needs and more.

Overview of the Parents: German Shepherd and Tibetan Mastiff

To understand what goes into a German Shepherd Tibetan Mastiff mix, let’s look at the key traits of each parent breed:

German Shepherd

  • Originated as a herding dog in Germany
  • Known for intelligence, trainability and versatility as a working dog
  • Medium-large size at 22-26″ tall, 50-90 lbs
  • Moderate energy and exercise needs
  • Double coat sheds heavily
  • Eager to please, loyal family companion

Tibetan Mastiff

  • Ancient guardian breed from Tibet
  • Large and powerful, 26-30″ tall, 70-150 lbs
  • Imposing, aloof attitude deters intruders
  • Lower energy but needs space and exercise
  • Heavy double coat sheds intensely
  • Independent but devoted to family

Crossing these two breeds aims to combine the intelligence and trainability of the German Shepherd with the protectiveness and physical power of the Tibetan Mastiff.

Appearance: Large, Sturdy and Majestic

The German Shepherd Tibetan Mastiff mix is a large, sturdy dog with a noble appearance. They tend to strongly resemble Tibetan Mastiffs in size and physique.


This crossbreed is quite substantial in size. They typically stand 24-30 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh 90-130 pounds.

Coat & Colors

The coat is thick, double layered and sheds heavily year round. Length can be medium like the German Shepherd or slightly longer like the Tibetan Mastiff parent.

Common coat colors include black, black and tan, sable, brown or a mix. Markings like a black face mask are also seen.

Ears & Tail

Ears are often floppy like the Tibetan Mastiff but can sometimes be pricked like the German Shepherd. The tail is bushy and may curl over the back.

Temperament: Loyal Protectors

The German Shepherd Tibetan Mastiff inherits a desire to protect and guard their family from both parent breeds. They are devoted to their people but aloof and wary of strangers.


This crossbreed forms extremely strong bonds with their family. They want to be with loved ones as much as possible.


They are bold and fearless when defending their home and family from any perceived threats. Their size and powerful bark acts as a deterrent.


These dogs are bright and pick up on things quickly. The German Shepherd half contributes high trainability and problem solving skills.


The Tibetan Mastiff lineage gives this mix an independent streak. They listen when they want to and have a subtle stubbornness.

Guard Dog Instincts

Natural protectiveness and wariness of strangers needs proper guidance. Early socialization is critical to prevent overprotective behavior or aggression issues.

If properly trained and socialized, the German Shepherd Tibetan Mastiff mix makes a devoted family guardian who takes their job very seriously. This is not a dog for novice owners.

Exercise & Activity Levels

This mix has moderate exercise requirements. Both parent breeds need daily activity to stay fit and well-behaved.

  • At least 30-45 minutes of exercise per day is ideal. This could be a few long walks, hikes, playing fetch or jogging.
  • Access to a large fenced yard is beneficial as they like to patrol and explore.
  • Mental stimulation through obedience training, food puzzles and interactive toys helps satisfy their intelligence.
  • Socialization from a young age teaches good canine manners around other pets and strangers.
  • Leash walking skills should be practiced regularly to control their size and strength.

If under-exercised, these energetic crosses may become restless and destructive. Make sure to meet their daily physical and mental exercise quotas.

Trainability & Handling

The German Shepherd Tibetan Mastiff mix can be a challenge for first time dog owners to train and handle.

Intelligence & Eagerness

Thanks to their German Shepherd ancestry, this crossbreed is highly intelligent and aims to please their owner. They generally enjoy learning new things through training.

Independent Nature

The Tibetan Mastiff influence can make them less obedient and more stubborn. They like making up their own mind which requires patience during training.

Early Socialization

Exposing these dogs to a wide variety of people, places and situations from a young age is vital for a well-adjusted temperament.


You must establish yourself as a fair, firm leader. Positive reinforcement and consistency is key when training this strong-willed mix.

An experienced owner who establishes themselves as “top dog” early on through structured training can manage this hybrid wonderfully. They are a better fit for owners able to properly socialize and train guarding breeds.

Grooming & Care

The German Shepherd Tibetan Mastiff mix has high grooming needs, especially during shedding season.

Coat Care

  • Brush thoroughly 2-3 times per week to remove dead hair and distribute skin oils. Use a slicker brush and/or undercoat rake.
  • Bathing only when necessary – over-bathing damages their harsh outer coat.
  • Pay close attention to ears, nails, teeth and skin fold cleanliness.


Their heavy double coat sheds heavily year round. During spring and fall blowing coat seasons, be prepared for extensive tufts of hair flying everywhere. Investing in a good vacuum cleaner is a must!

General Care

  • Feed a high quality large breed dry dog food and monitor their weight.
  • Ensure they get plenty of exercise and mental stimulation.
  • Vet visits for vaccines, deworming, heartworm tests and preventatives.

With their grooming needs met and proper care, the German Shepherd Tibetan Mastiff mix can live a long and healthy life.

Health Issues

All large and giant dog breeds are prone to certain health conditions. For the German Shepherd Tibetan Mastiff mix, watch out for:

  • Hip and elbow dysplasia – malformed joints. Can cause arthritis and lameness.
  • Bloat – life threatening stomach twisting. Feeding multiple smaller meals can help prevent this.
  • Allergies – environment or food allergies are common.
  • Eye problems – cataracts, entropion, ectropion, etc.
  • Obesity – maintain a healthy weight through proper diet and exercise.

Reputable breeders will screen breeding dogs for genetically inherited conditions. Early health screening and vet care helps minimize risks as your dog ages.

These hardy hybrids enjoy a typical lifespan of 10-14 years. Providing excellent nutrition, regular vet visits, daily exercise and a loving home helps ensure a long, healthy life.

Finding German Shepherd Tibetan Mastiff Mix Puppies

This mixed breed is still quite rare. Finding puppies will take effort and patience.


Check local shelters and rescue groups for adoptable adults and puppies. Mixed breed dogs often end up in need of forever homes.


Responsible breeders specializing in this crossbreed are uncommon but can be found with online searches. Ensure health testing is done on the parent dogs.


Expect to pay $500-1500+ for a German Shepherd Tibetan Mastiff mix puppy from a breeder. Adoption fees are typically under $500.

Be wary of backyard breeders offering “designer dogs” at cut rate prices without health screens.

Is the German Shepherd Tibetan Mastiff Mix Right for You?

This unique crossbreed is best suited for experienced dog owners able to properly socialize, train and handle them.

They need consistent leadership combined with affection and activity to be happy, stable family companions. Proper care and training helps temper their protective instincts.

Prospective owners must also dedicate time to regular grooming and exercise needs.

If you’re up for the challenge, the German Shepherd Tibetan Mastiff mix will be a loyal guardian like no other by your side.

Frequently Asked Questions

Curious to learn more about this breed? Here are answers to some commonly asked questions.

How big do German Shepherd Tibetan Mastiff mixes get?

This is a large to giant sized crossbreed. Fully grown adults typically reach 24-30 inches tall at the shoulder and 90-130 pounds.

Do they make good family pets?

Yes, with proper training and socialization they can be great family dogs. Their protectiveness must be monitored around very young kids.

Are German Shepherd Tibetan Mastiff mixes aggressive?

They can be aggressive without early socialization and training. This mix needs an experienced owner to manage their guarding instincts appropriately.

How long do German Shepherd Tibetan Mastiff mixes live?

The typical lifespan is 10-14 years. With proper care, diet and exercise they can live into their early teens.

Do Tibetan Mastiff German Shepherd mixes bark a lot?

They are inclined to bark at perceived threats or intruders. However they should not excessively vocal otherwise with training.

What is the temperament of a German Shepherd Tibetan Mastiff mix?

Confident, courageous, loyal and protective. Wary of strangers but affectionate towards family. Intelligent but somewhat strong willed.

Are German Shepherd Tibetan Mastiff mixes easy to train?

Their intelligence allows them to learn quickly but their stubbornness can be a challenge. Consistency and positive reinforcement are key.

How much exercise does a German Shepherd Tibetan Mastiff mix need?

Around 30-45 minutes of vigorous daily exercise along with access to a yard. Mental stimulation is also important.

What colors do German Shepherd Tibetan Mastiff mixes come in?

Common colors are black, black and tan, brown, sable, and mixes of those colors. Some have masks or other markings.

By Andrew Garf

Andrew Garf has loved dogs, especially German Shepherds, since he was 10 years old. Though he also loves burgers, training dogs is his real passion. That's why he created the website TrainYourGSD.com - to help dog owners learn how to properly train, care for, and bond with their German Shepherd dogs.