Noble and impressive: a large, but not a giant breed. An athletic and substantial dog, of solemn but kindly appearance. The Tibetan Mastiff stands well up on the pasterns, with strong, tight, cat feet, giving an alert appearance. The body is slightly longer than tall. The hallmarks of the breed are the head and the tail. The head is broad and impressive, with substantial back skull, the eyes deep-set and almond shaped, slightly slanted, the muzzle broad and well-padded, giving a square appearance. The typical expression of the breed is one of watchfulness. The tail and britches are well feathered and the tail is carried over the back in a single curl falling over the loin, balancing the head. The coat and heavy mane is thick, with coarse guard hair and a wooly undercoat.
Broad, strong with heavy brow ridges. Heavy wrinkling to be severely faulted; however a single fold extending from above the eyes down to the corner of the mouth acceptable at maturity. A correct head and expression is essential to the breed. Expression- Noble, intelligent, watchful and aloof. Eyes - Very expressive, medium size, any shade of brown. Rims to be black except in blue/grey and blue/grey and tan dogs, the darkest possible shade of grey. Eyes deep-set, well apart, almond-shaped, and slightly slanting, with tightly fitting eye rims at maturity. Any other color or shape to be severely faulted since it detracts from the typical expression. Ears - Medium size, V-shaped, pendant, set-on high, dropping forward and hanging close to head. Raised when alert, level with the top of the skull. The ear leather is thick, covered with soft short hair, and when measured, should reach the inner corner of the eye. Low-set and/or hound-like ears to be severely faulted.
Neck - The neck is well muscled, moderately arched, sufficient in length to be in balance with the body, and may have moderate dewlap around the throat. The neck, especially in mature dogs, is shrouded by a thick upstanding mane. Topline - Topline level and firm between withers and croup. Body - The chest is well developed, with reasonable spring of rib. Brisket reaching to just below elbows. Underline with pronounced (but not exaggerated) tuck-up. The back is muscular with firmly muscled loin. There is no slope or angle to the croup.
Shoulders - Well laid back, muscular, strongly boned, with moderate angulation to match the rear angulation. Legs: Straight, with substantial bone and muscle, well covered with short, coarse hair, feathering on the back, and with strong pasterns that have a slight slope. Feet -Cat feet. Fairly large, strong, compact, may have feathering between toes. Nails may be either black and/or white, regardless of coat color. A single dewclaw may be present on the front feet.
In general, dogs carry noticeably more coat than bitches. The quality of the coat is of greater importance than length. Double-coated, with fairly long, thick coarse guard hair, with heavy soft undercoat in cold weather which becomes rather sparse in warmer months. Hair is fine but hard, straight and stand-off; never silky, curly or wavy. Heavy undercoat, when present, rather woolly. Neck and shoulders heavily coated, especially in dogs, giving mane-like appearance. Tail and britches densely coated and heavily feathered. The Tibetan Mastiff is shown naturally. Trimming is not acceptable except to provide a clean cut appearance of feet and hocks. Dogs are not to be penalized if shown with a summer coat.
Powerful, muscular, with all parts being moderately angulated. Seen from behind, the hind legs and stifle are parallel. The hocks are strong, approximately one-third the overall length of the leg, and perpendicular. Feet - A single or double dewclaw may be present on the rear feet. Removal of rear dewclaws, if present, optional.