This is an interesting article about the mastiff. Apparently, they took an evolutionary shortcut to get adapted to the Tibetan plateau. Interesting.
As recent as 24,000 years ago the mastiffs of the Tibetan highlands bred with grey wolves, animals that were already well adapted to that demanding environment. The implications of the study, Wang says, might surprise Darwin, because it shows that survival of the fittest sometimes means borrowing a gene or two from another species.