Phil & Mel In The Afternoon

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A Tibetan Mastiff is displayed at a Tibetan Mastiff exposition on February 27, 2005 in Longfang, some 100 kilometers southeast of Beijing, China. The Tibetan Mastiff is a large breed of guard dog from the Himalayas. Bred to guard monasteries, villages, nomadic camps and livestock herds, it is very renowned for its loyalty and territorial nature. (Photo by Guang Niu/Getty Images)

Dogs are social animals. They either want to be with their people or other dogs. Unfortunately, we humans don’t always have time to play with our dogs. We have to do other things like go to work so we can buy dog food and treats. But how do you say no to a hatchback-sized fluffball that looks like it was created by Jim Henson? If you’ve never seen a Tibetan mastiff before, get ready to fall in love.

Tibetan mastiffs were bred to be flock guardians in the high altitudes of the Himalayas and the Tibetan Plateaus. They were also used to protect Buddhist monasteries and monks of Tibet from animals such as bears, wolves and snow leopard. As cute as they are, Tibetan mastiffs can be fiercely protective and loyal. I wouldn’t want to mess with one.

According to the American Kennel Club, a Tibetan mastiff can weigh between 70 and 150 pounds with a life expectancy of 10 to 12 years. And then there’s that thick, fluffy coat, especially around the head. Back in 2013, CNN reported that a Chinese zoo actually tried to pass a Tibetan mastiff off as an African lion. It did appear to have a mane, but the barking gave it away.

The Tibetan mastiff in the video below is desperately looking for someone to play with him. I can understand the reluctance of the people. Running around with this dog is a bit like playing in traffic. But he’s just so darned adorable!