The Tibetan Mastiff developed in the foothills of Tibet, China. These foothills have an average elevation of 16,000 feet above sea level. This high elevation environment gave the breed its thick coat and a layer of body fat not found in the Mastiff breeds of the lower elevations and warmer climates. The high elevation environment also affected this Mastiff's nutritional requirements, making them as different from their English or Neapolitan relatives as their respective coats and coloring. The first written records pertaining to this breed appeared in Chinese literature around 1121 B.C. Later, when Marco Polo was in the far east he referred to this breed in his reports. These two early accounts provide evidence that todays Tibetan Mastiff has changed very little over the last 3000 years.
Native food supplies for this breed would have included meats of the horse, mountain goat, yak, llama, and oxen. The grains and vegetables are those that can grow in a very short season in rocky soil, like barley and rice or a tuber root that can be compared to sweet potato. The Tibetan Mastiff has a dietary requirement for foods high in animal fat. They will not do well on the vegetable fats .
For the Tibetan Mastiff its recommended foods that contain horse meat, barley, white rice, and beet pulp. Avoid feeding this breed any potatoes, citrus products, avocado, or ocean fish.