The Do-Khyi — the history of the breed


The Do-Khyi is a very old breed. These dogs’ cleanliness of blood has been kept due to the country geographical isolation.

Tibet is the country of snow, high plates and green valleys. It is situated on the northern slopes of the Himalayas in Central Asia and is isolated from the rest of the world by high mountains covered with snow in the south and surrounded by a practically impassable desert in the north.

In the 13th century Chinese merchants passing through Tibet to the Gobi desert and northern China took their guard dogs with them. The population of Chinese and Tibetan dogs began to mix with imported Western breeds and the only dogs which were not spoiled by the stranger blood were the dogs which lived high in the mountains. They were powerful and strong animals capable to withstand the country severe climate and hard way of life.

They had strong bones, powerful bodies and muscles as well as great endurance which allowed them to walk big distances in the mountains. They have thick hair with an even thicker undercoat.

The Do-Khyi is a powerful and heavy dog of strong complexion and muscular system and abundant hair, a mane around its neck growing from the inion and covering the withers.

The dogs are remarkable for their good health and long length of their life. Grown-up dogs are practically never ill. Dispasia of hip joints is encountered very rarely, but it is not an exception. The average length of life is 16 years.

The male dogs grow up by the age of 4, the bitches grow up by the age of 2-3. The bitches have only one heat per year which usually start at the end of autumn.

The Do-Khyi is remarkable for its wonderful charm, but its character represents its long-term work as a guard dog. It is very distrustful of strangers and has definite ferocity. In its owner presence it will not show any aggression and is quite friendly to the owner’s guests. However being left alone on its own territory especially at night it will become a serious guard constantly checking its property. The dog will choose the highest point on its lot and watch everything around.


Having been left outside at night the Do-Khyi will make its presence known by a rarely loud and resonant barking which has the sound of «a good brass gong». This sound can stop a snow leopard and other predators, so robbers will have to think twice before they decide to look at the source of the barking but you might have serious problems with your neighbors. If such strangers start provoking or teasing the dog, it will become horrible. Its withers hair will rise on its end, it will become twice its size, show its teeth, and its eyes will become red — a threatening opponent which not everyone would like to get in touch with.

The Do-Khyi is a dog oriented on a human being, but it will protect its own territory and its own people from any stranger to its death. For this purpose it was selected thousands years ago, therefore any owner must know well what dog he has chosen. From early years it is necessary to develop obedience in your Do-Khyi using games for this purpose. As well as other molossian dogs the Do-Khyi can be very stubborn and it will defend its independence in the frames of good relations with a human being.

The Do-Khyi’s puppy needs a special training. Tolerance must be balanced with firmness, and resolution must be balanced with love. It must be taught the main commands of obedience which make life with the dog comfortable and pleasant. As a member of a family the Do-Khyi is very reserved, calm and cool in its behavior, but at the same time it is a very obedient, charming and devoted dog which constantly needs human being’s society and which is happy when it finds it. The breed admirers consider the Do-Khyis to be very intuitive dogs which are capable to feel all changes of a human being’s mood.

It is the best dog for children if the children behave themselves which is necessary for establishing relations between a child and a dog of any breed. Perhaps, this devotion to children goes back to the times when these big dogs protected Tibetan villages and their adult residents fully entrusted the dogs to look after their children. The Do-Khyi is very tender to children and walking on a lead it adjusts itself to their pace and allows them to do what they want with it. Therefore parents should look after their children more than after their dog, especially if it is a puppy. The Do-Khyi will protect small members of any family so you should watch attentively when your children are visited by their friends.

Their four-footed guard will not always understand the meaning of children’s quarrels and games and can decide that the children in its charge are in danger. Therefore in such a situation an adult person’s presence is necessary to control the dog but this applies to any breeds of dogs.


If you like big dogs and you choose to get a Do-Khyi, you should understand the dogs’ use peculiarities and their working qualities. These dogs’ ancestors used to shepherds and hunters, therefore any Do-Khyi will feel at its best at a country house. The Do-Khyi needs daily physical exercise and long walks. It is quite unpretentious and eats not more than a Boxer or a Labrador twice a day and needs fresh water. The Do-Khyi’s puppies are very moderate in food, they excellently estimate their needs and stop when they have eaten enough. Perhaps it is connected with those days of the breed life when they were not only underfed, but even hungry. A big lot of land where it could frolic freely and walk regularly is all that it needs, and its layers of skin allows not to notice any heat or frost.

The Do-Khyis’ grooming is a relatively simple task. Its undercoat usually falls out once a year in spring. It is sometimes hard to believe that you can collect so much hair from one dog and this dog will not stay completely naked. These dogs do not smell therefore it is not necessary to wash them permanently.

If you have an allergy for dogs’ hair, you will hardly suffer from the presence of a Do-Khyi due to its hair quality.

If you train your puppy correctly, continuously and tenderly, you will grow up an excellent devoted friend and defender. Sometimes it seems rude to call it a dog.

And there is one more, final remark about the Do-Khyis’ behavior. When they do not have any arguments against, they start to blow up their cheeks and puff disapprovingly, bristling their moustache. And this is an excellent method of expressing its discontent!