Tibetan Terrier

Tibetan Terrier

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The Tibetan Terrier is a medium-sized squarely proportioned dog that looks more like a sheepdog than a terrier. The double coat protects the entire dog, even falling in front of the dark, large, widely spaced eyes. The fine outer coat can be straight or wavy. The undercoat is soft and woolly. The coat should be long, but should not touch the ground. Any color (or combination of colors) including white is acceptable except for chocolate. The feathered tail is heavily furnished and carried over the back. The desirable mouth is a tight scissors bite or a tight reversed scissors bite. A reversed scissors bite is where the inner surface of the lower teeth touches the outer surface of the upper teeth. The topline is level. This breed’s unique, large, flat feet are well furnished with hair and produce a snowshoe effect that provides traction and flotation in snow.


Sweet, gentle and loving, the Tibetan Terrier is lively, mild, and fun, but can be a bit willful. Reserved with strangers, but very dedicated to their owners, they are not happy when left alone. This breed does best with older, considerate children. This brave, intelligent, medium-sized dog likes to bark and is a particularly good watch dog. Its bark is deep like a rising siren. When the Tibetan Terrier is with other dogs it can try to dominate. In the United States, Tibetan Terriers’ bloodlines vary in terms of height, coat, and personality. Check with the breeder about any particular litter’s genealogy. The Tibetan Terrier has great agility as well as endurance. Because of their origins as companion dogs, Tibetan Terriers thrive on the presence of people. If left to their own devices, they can be extremely unhappy–which can lead to behavioral problems. So wherever you choose to keep your Tibetan Terrier, make sure that it has plenty of opportunities to be with the people it loves and trusts.
You’ll also want to spend a great deal of time with your Tibetan Terrier simply because they’re so smart. This makes them a very appealing breed in some ways–they’re extremely trainable, friendly, outgoing, and adaptable to whatever your habits and customs are. But in some ways–and at some ages, the first fourteen months or so of the dog’s life being the crucial age we’re talking about here–the breed’s intelligence could make you think that the name “Tibetan Terrier” is even more of a misnomer than we’ve said: “Tibetan Terror” might be more accurate.

Height, Weight
Height:  14-17 inches (36-43 cm.)
Height at the withers of over 17 inches or under 14 inches is considered a fault.
Weight: 18-30 pounds (8.2-13.6 kg.)

Health Problems
This breed can be very flea sensitive.

Living Conditions
The Tibetan Terrier will do okay in an apartment if it is sufficiently exercised. They are relatively inactive indoors and a small yard will be sufficient.

The Tibetan Terrier has lots of energy and the dog should have regular opportunities to run. In addition, they need to be taken on long daily walks .


Life Expectancy
About 12-15 years.

The Tibetan Terrier requires an extensive amount of grooming and should be brushed every 2-3 days to remove loose hair and prevent tangles. Never brush a dry coat; mist it with conditioner and water to ease brushing. Pay extra attention beneath the leg joints, the beard, and the hindquarters. The dog should be given regular baths – once every week or two. Remove excess hair from the ear passages. Clip any build-up of hair between pads of the feet. If the dog is not going to be shown, it can be clipped short, especially in the summer. This breed sheds little to no hair. It does not shed seasonally, but will drop some hair if kept in full coat. The Tibetan Terrier is good for allergy sufferers when their coats are kept very well groomed.

This is an ancient breed that has contributed to the development of all other Tibetan breeds, from the Shih-Tzu to the Lhasa Apso, including the Tibetan Spaniel. Originally bred by Tibetan monks, it was considered to be “lucky” and dogs were often given as gifts, but never sold. Dr. A.R.H. Grieg given several dogs, the first by a grateful patient, and by the Dalai Lama himself. She later established a Tibetan Terrier kennel in England. In 1956 Dr. Henry and Mrs. Alice Murphy of Great Falls, Virginia, imported the first Tibetan Terriers into the USA and later got them recognized with the AKC. In the United States, the Tibetan Terrier is primarily a pet and companion. This breed is available mostly on the West and East Coast of the United States. Some to the Tibetan Terrier’s talents include: being a watchdog, agility and competitive obedience.

Herding, AKC Non-Sporting Group

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