Don Messerschmidt (Nepal 1963-65) Wins National Award for Dog Book

big-dogsDon Messerschmidt (Nepal 1963–65), anthropologist and writer, has won national recognition for his recent non-fiction book, Big Dogs of Tibet and the Himalayas: A Personal Journey (Orchid Press). His book received the Dog Writers Association of America’s (DWAA) prestigious Maxwell Medallion for Excellence at their annual meeting in New York City in early February.

Don at left with Dr. Carmen Battaglia, President of the DWAA

Don at left with Dr. Carmen Battaglia, President of the DWAA






Big Dogs is the result of Don’s life-long love of Tibetan mastiffs and other large canines of the Himalayan regions. He first went to Nepal as a Peace Corps Volunteer in 1963, and returned later as an anthropologist. After he encountered the big dogs of the Himalayan region he began nearly a half-century of research on their place in local cultures and as livestock (yak and sheep) guardians.

The book, based on his in-depth research is part memoir, part history and cultural description, and part reference book about the Tibetan mastiffs, with sections on three other large dog types: the rare KyiApso (a ‘bearded’ or ‘shaggy’ Tibetan mastiff), the Himalayan mountain dog, and the least known Sha-kyi (Tibetan hunting dog).

PC Writers posted a review of Big Dogs of Tibet and the Himalayas last year.

Don and his wife, Kareen, live in Vancouver, Washington, but frequently travel to Asia where Don leads treks and tours, and continues his research and writing.

Congratulations, Don!

Autographed copies of Big Dogs are available directly from the author. Write him at
for information.


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