The Tibetan Mastiff is a massive, giant dog with sturdy bone structure. The body is slightly longer than tall. The somewhat wrinkled head is broad, heavy and strong. The broad muzzle is square when viewed from all sides. The large nose is black. The teeth meet in a scissors or level bite. The upper lip usually covers the lower lip. The slightly slanting eyes are almond shaped, deep-set and medium in size. Eye color comes in shades of brown. The pendant ears are V-shaped, hanging forward close to the head. The neck is muscular and arched with a moderate dewlap. The dewlap is more prominent in males than in females. The topline is level. The feathered tail is curled over the back. The front legs are straight with feathering. The feet are cat-like and may have feathering between the toes. Dewclaws are sometimes removed. The double coat is immense and thick with a heavy mane around the neck and shorter hair on the head. The coat color comes in black, brown and blue-gray, all with or without tan markings and various shades of gold. It can also have white markings.
Some breeders have labeled the Tibetan Mastiff into two types, although both types are often born in the same litter: the Do-khyi and the Tsang-khyi. Tsang-khyi means “dog from Tsang” and is described as the “monastery” type. It is taller and heavier boned with more wrinkles around the face. The Do-khyi or “nomad” type is leaner with fewer wrinkles.