The Do Khyi
Reports about the "legendary Tibet Mastiff" have been passed on by the few travelers going to Tibet, in a more or less exaggerated way. But now, as traveling to those regions of the world has become easier, we are able to get information of first hand knowledge.
The inhabitants of Tibet claim that the Do Khyi (big dog from Tibet) has only been purely bred in one area in Tibet, namely along the borderline west of Nepal, purely bred and sheltered by Tibetan nomads. Since the Chinese takeover in 1958, the breed has been spread out all over Tibet. It can also be found in Bhutan, Nepal, Sikkim and in very high situated mountain villages in India.
The Do Khyi used to be a shepherds' dog, but some animals, with whom the shepherds weren't satisfied were passed on to the inhabitants of the villages. The dogs were put into heavy chains, then, used as watchdogs.One should never forget that vicious or aggressive dogs were eliminated due to the Tibetan mentality. As watchdogs only the big, heavy animals were allowed to bark, preferably at night.
The Tibetans have been traders for all their lives long and they have passed on dogs they didn't value to the inhabitants of the villages for many centuries. So it is really understandable that the dogs living in the isolated Himalayan villages became smaller having soft bones by inbreeding, whereas the watchdogs living in chains near the houses became stronger, bigger and also big-boned by interbreeding.
Do Khyis are mainly watchdogs and no fighting dogs. They are able to live in wild, rough surroundings by nature. As the dogs have a muscular build, they are determined to move easily, having a lot of perseverance. They can run for miles, being companions for caravans in rough areas. Although the Tibetan nomads and village inhabitants regarded their Do Khyis highly, they did not pay too much attention to them at all. The dogs did not have a place in daily lives of the families and nearly had no contact to people.
Only when living with us Europeans the second side of the Do Khyis' character was revealed: he is an exceedingly endearing comrade and companion of humans. His great intelligence and sensitivity make it a steady pleasure to live together with him. Up to a high age he will be a 'clown', always willing to gladden the ones loving him. But one must not forget that the Do Khyi has a mind of his own and is mentally independent, as he is a real Asian. Intensive research reveals that the nomads west of Tibet were the only ones to breed the Do Khyi purely. The short-haired type was called 'Dokyi' and the very rare one with long hair 'Dokyo-Apso'.