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Tibetan Mastiff Vs. Caucasian Shepherd: 5 Main Differences

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The main differences between Tibetan Mastiffs and Caucasian Shepherds are their level of friendliness and their grooming needs. Tibetan Mastiffs are more affectionate, while Caucasian Shepherds are fearless and bold. Besides this, they usually act alike. 

Tibetan Mastiffs and Caucasian Shepherds are loyal, working dogs. If you want to get a protective dog for your family, these two breeds are perfect options. 

They are also stubborn, difficult to train, and not suitable for owners without previous experience.

In this article, we’ll go through all the differences and similarities between Tibetan Mastiffs and Caucasian Shepherds. We will also provide details about a mix between the two.

Tibetan Mastiff vs Caucasian Shepherd: An Overview

Tibetan Mastiffs and Caucasian Shepherds have many similarities. Both are large breeds, and they have the same coat length and energy level. Their lifespan differs and neither is hypoallergenic. The main differences between them are their price and temper.

Because of their size, these two breeds are not suitable for small apartments. They need lots of space to grow and play around. If you cannot provide them with a large enough area, they will destroy every item in your house.

When it comes to their temperament, Tibetan Mastiffs are more affectionate than Caucasian Shepherds. This makes them perfect for families with kids. If you aren’t looking for a cuddly and loving dog, a Caucasian Shepherd is better for you. 

Compared to Tibetan Mastiffs, Caucasian Shepherds are more fearless and less expensive.

TraitTibetan MastiffCaucasian Shepherd
SizeLargeLarge
Lifespan10-1510-12
CoatMediumMedium
EnergyMediumMedium
HypoallergenicNoNo
TemperamentSmart, bold, affectiveBrave, faithful, fearless
Price>$2.500>$1.500

Differences Between Tibetan Mastiffs and Caucasian Shepherds

The main differences between Tibetan Mastiffs and Caucasian Shepherds are their looks, cost, and coaching needs. They also differ when it comes to adapting to small spaces or being left alone. Their level of affection also differs.

Differences between Tibetan Mastiffs and Caucasian Shepherds occur in their:

  • Appearance & maintenance
  • Adaptability
  • Friendliness & temper
  • Trainability & needs
  • Price

Appearance & Maintenance

Tibetan Mastiff vs Caucasian Shepherd Appearance & Maintenance
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Tibetan Mastiffs are slightly smaller in height and weight than Caucasian Shepherds. This subtle difference can sometimes cause confusion between Tibetan Mastiffs and Caucasian Shepherds. 

What helps differentiate these two breeds the most is their coat color. While Tibetan Mastiffs are black, black and tan, golden or brown, a Caucasian Ovcharka’s coat is usually fawn, sable, rust, or agouti & white.

The most important differences when it comes to these breeds’ coat types are shedding and grooming needs. Tibetan Mastiffs are more difficult to groom than Caucasian Shepherds, ut Caucasian Shepherds shed twice as much as a Tibetan Mastiff.

Related: Do Tibetan Mastiffs Shed?

TraitTibetan MastiffCaucasian Shepherd
Height24-29″23-30″
Weight70-160 pounds99-170 pounds
ColorsBlack, black & tan, brown, cream, red gold, brown & tan, blue-gray, cream sable, red gold sable, blue-gray & tanAgouti & white, black & gray, cream, fawn, gray, grizzle, red, rust, sable, white
MarkingsWhite markingsWhite/brindle markings, piebald
EyesBrown[1]Different shades of brown[2]
NoseBlack, dark brownBlack, brown[3]
Shedding24
Grooming difficulty42

Adaptability

Tibetan Mastiff vs Caucasian Shepherd Adaptability
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There are small differences between the two breeds when it comes to adaptability. These discrepancies are a result of the calmer and more affectionate temper of Tibetan Mastiffs, compared to Caucasian Shepherds. 

Tibetan Mastiffs can be trained to live and behave themselves in an apartment. This is impossible for a Caucasian Shepherd. 

A Tibetan Mastiff’s love for its owners also results in attachment issues. Compared to Caucasian Shepherds, it is impossible to let a Tibetan Mastiff alone for more than 3-4 hours.

TraitTibetan MastiffCaucasian Shepherd
Apartment living21
Can be alone12

Friendliness & Temper

Tibetan Mastiff vs Caucasian Shepherd Friendliness & Temper

Tibetan Mastiffs and Caucasian Shepherds have different tempers and friendliness levels. 

Tibetan Mastiffs are affectionate with their family. They are also territorial so they won’t get along with strangers. If trained well, this breed even gets along with other dogs.

Caucasian Shepherds aren’t playful. They don’t show much affection to their owners either. This breed isn’t good with children or other dogs. Unlike Tibetan Mastiffs, Caucasian Shepherds are friendly to strangers.

TraitTibetan MastiffCaucasian Shepherd
Affectionate43
Kid-Friendly52
Dog-Friendly52
Friendly to Strangers24
Playfulness53

Trainability & Needs

Tibetan Mastiff vs Caucasian Shepherd Trainability & Needs

There are small differences between these two breeds when it comes to trainability and needs. Tibetan Mastiffs are more difficult to train than Caucasian Ovcharkas. 

Because they are incredibly intelligent, they also need more mental stimulation than Caucasian Shepherds.

Unlike Tibetan Mastiffs, Caucasian Shepherds have a high tendency to bark. You have to deal with this from an early age if you don’t want a barking dog.

TraitTibetan MastiffCaucasian Shepherd
Easy to train12
Intelligence54
Barking23

Price

The biggest difference between these two breeds occurs in their price. Tibetan Mastiffs are a rare breed. This makes them more expensive than Caucasian Shepherds.

BreedPrice
Tibetan Mastiff$1.500-$4.000
Caucasian Shepherd$1.000-$3.000

Related: Tibetan Mastiff Price

Similarities Between Tibetan Mastiffs and Caucasian Shepherds

The main similarities between Tibetan Mastiffs and Caucasian Shepherds are their= coats’ type and length. They are also alike when it comes to their exercise needs and stubborn behavior. Neither of them is good for owners without experience.

There are five main similarities between these two breeds:

  1. Breed group
  2. Exercise needs
  3. Training needs
  4. Difficulty in discipline
  5. Coat

1. Breed Group

Tibetan Mastiff vs Caucasian Shepherd Breed Group
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Both Tibetan Mastiffs and Caucasian Shepherds are working dogs. They were bred to protect flocks or humans from dangerous animals. This makes them the perfect guard for a family.

They are big and protective dogs. They tend to protect their territory, toys, and family members. They are also wary of strangers.

2. Exercise Needs

Tibetan Mastiff vs Caucasian Shepherd Exercise Needs
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Tibetan Mastiffs and Caucasian Ovcharkas don’t represent a burden when it comes to exercise. They only need one hour of exercise daily. Long walks and low-intensity games are perfect for these breeds.

Because Tibetan Mastiffs and Caucasian Shepherds are smart dogs, they also need stimulant activities. It is important to keep their mind busy. If you don’t, they will start chewing items in your house out of boredom.

3. Training Needs

Both breeds are stubborn dogs. They need thorough coaching and a sturdy trainer. You can train your Tibetan Mastiff or Caucasian Shepherd at home. If you don’t feel capable of doing this yourself, it is better to take it to specialized training classes.

If not trained properly, both breeds can become aggressive.

Related: Are Tibetan Mastiffs Aggressive?

4. Difficulty in Discipline

Tibetan Mastiff vs Caucasian Shepherd Difficulty in Discipline
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Tibetan Mastiffs and Caucasian Shepherds aren’t for everyone. They are difficult to discipline and they need a strong-minded owner.

Another important aspect to keep in mind is their need for socialization. These two breeds need to socialize with strangers, both humans, and dogs. Socialization is vital throughout their life, not only in the puppy stage.

5. Coat Type

Tibetan Mastiff vs Caucasian Shepherd Coat Type

Tibetan Mastiffs and Caucasian Shepherds both have double coats. Their undercoat is made from soft, fine hair. The outer guard hairs are longer and coarse.

This gives Tibetan Mastiffs and Caucasian Shepherds a very low tolerance to hot weather. The thickness of their coats makes these breeds perfect for cold climates though.

TraitTibetan MastiffCaucasian Shepherd
Coat typeDoubleDouble
Cold weather tolerance55
Hot weather tolerance22

Are Tibetan Mastiffs and Caucasian Shepherds Related?

Even though they come from the same family, it is not known if Tibetan Mastiffs and Caucasian Shepherds are related. There is no proof to back up this information.

Some people think that Tibetan Mastiffs were bred from Caucasian Shepherds thousands of years ago. Others think that there is no connection between the two breeds. 

Unfortunately, the truth hasn’t been documented yet.

Related: 21 Tibetan Mastiff Mixed Breeds

ClassificationTibetan MastiffCaucasian Shepherd
KingdomAnimaliaAnimalia
PhylumChordataChordata
ClassMammaliaMammalia
OrderCarnivoraCarnivora
FamilyCanidaeCanidae
GenusCanisCanis
SpeciesCanis lupusCanis lupus
LocationAsiaEurasia

Conclusion

Tibetan Mastiffs and Caucasian Shepherds are similar dogs. They were bred for the same purpose and they both share a fearless and protective temper. These two breeds are approximately the same size and both have a medium-length, double coat.

There are many differences between them too. Caucasian Shepherds and Tibetan Mastiffs have different coat colors, shedding levels, grooming needs, and prices. Tibetan Mastiffs are better than Caucasian Shepherds for protecting families with kids from strangers.

FAQs

Can a Tibetan Mastiff and a Caucasian Shepherd Mate?

A Tibetan Mastiff and a Caucasian Shepherd can mate. The Tibetan Mastiff Ovcharka mix results in a stubborn and fearless guard breed. Just like its parents, this dog is a large-sized one, with over 100 pounds and 23-29 inches in height.

Caucasian Ovcharka vs Tibetan Mastiff: Who Would Win in a Fight?

It is not sure who would win a fight between a Caucasian Ovcharka and a Tibetan Mastiff. The two breeds have similar sizes and personality traits. They were also bred for the same reason. Because of this, it is hard to predict a winner. Most probably, a fight between them would end in a draw.

About Iordache Cristina Maria

Cristina is a freelance writer, student, and animal enthusiast. While she learns about animals, she writes about how they behave, what they look like, and other facts that most people don't know about.

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