The Burmese Watchdog is a close relative of the dogs of Tibet and is considered by some to be the same breed as the Shan Mastiff, but this is unlikely, due to the physical differences between the two. Used as a guardian of temples in the past, it also makes a capable hunter and rodent control dog. This powerful cattle herder is rare outside its native Myanmar, where it can still be found protecting livestock and guarding properties, as well as being a common street dog. While it is unclear whether the Burmese is a direct descendant of one of the varieties of the Tibetan Mastiff breed or a result of crossings between local pariah dogs with the sheepdogs of Tibet, the physical similarities are evident, even though the Myanmar dogs are much leaner. Some theories suggest the existence of two separate Burmese breeds under this name, but this hasn't been confirmed. This breed should not be confused with the Swiss Bernese Mountain Dog or the non-existant "Burmese Mountain Dog" breed, which is a hoax. Territorial and suspicious of strangers, the Myanmar Watchdog needs an experienced owner and firm handling. The head is fairly narrow and the body is muscular, but quite lean.
The coat can be short or medium in length, but is always thick and harsh, preferably black, black-n-tan or tricoloured, although other colourings exist, such as grey, white and fawn. Average height is around 25 inches.