At first glance, these may look like cute and cuddly big bears. But these ‘bears’ are actually 200lbs Tibetan Mastiffs.
Kinu Liutas Kennels is a unique breeding ground for the ‘bear dogs’, run by Aleksandr Khilyk and wife Nina. The canine-loving couple decided to open their unusual Ukraine- based business because of their love for the Tibetan Mastiff. Known for their huge size and extremely hairy coats, you would think they would be a handful, but the couple enjoy every minute of it. “The Tibetan Mastiff is one of the most ancient breeds in the world,” shares Nina. “They're flawless guards, excellent friends and companions.”
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The Tibetan Mastiff can also grow to be as tall as 80cm, with the largest Mastiff at Kinu Liutas measuring 75cm. So what does caring for giant ‘bear dogs’ involve? Well, the cuddly canines have their very own floor in the family’s four-storey home, and are treated to the finer things. They have their own bathroom to wash in, a training room adorned with various show awards, and there is even a dedicated room for puppies.
The couple often take the ‘bear dogs’ out on errands with them in the car, which always draws a big crowd of fascinated strangers. Despite their successful business, the couple insist they are not breeding their ‘bear dogs’ to sell, and have never sold a puppy for less than 10,000 Euros.
In fact, the family is simply content with owning such lovable, rare dogs. “When you come home from work and 100 kilos of joy run towards you and push you onto the floor,” explains Aleksandr, “then three more happy little puppies join him – that's the happiness.”
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Cynthia Lawrence is freelance lifestyle journalist. Starting off her career in national magazines, she moved to digital and e-commerce publications. When she's not reviewing exciting products, she is obsessed with home interiors and her neighbour's cat!