Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Tibetan Mastiff Art

"Tibetan Mastiff" ( see all proofs)
© rebecca collins / artpaw.com
Today I got to play with a Tibetan Mastiff that lives in China. We are working on a large 34  x 34 project for a local client that is ordering a gift portrait. This has been a fun project because I thought I knew all the breeds there were and in the last 14 years I have been lucky to have created artwork of most of the breeds that are out there. This huge lion threw me for a loop, I have never seen one of these noble beasts before!

So of course I had to do some study, and I learned the following:
• This is an ancient breed.
• In the early 19th century, King George IV owned a pair of Tibetan Mastiffs, and enough of the breed were available in England in 1906 to be shown at the 1906 Crystal Palace show.
• In March 2011, a red Tibetan mastiff was reported to have been sold to a 'coal baron' from northern China for 10 million yuan.

• A Tibetan Mastiff named Max is seen in the 1993 horror film, Man's Best Friend.
• Unlike most large breeds, its life expectancy is long, some 10–14 years - at least in some lines.
• The name Tibetan mastiff is a misnomer; it is not a true mastiff. The term "mastiff" was used primarily because it meant "large dog". 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 Tibetan Mastiff is the subject of the 2011 animated film The Tibetan Dog. See trailer below.

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