Tibetan Terrier Breed Guide

Tibetan Terriers are medium-sized dogs with a protective double coat that comes in any color or combination of colors and is straight or wavy. The undercoat is woolly and soft, and the outer coat is fine and profuse. The coat is long and hanging, but not so long that it touches the ground. These dogs have plumed tails and long hair that falls into their faces. The eyes are large and dark, the nose is black, and the pendant ears are heavily feathered. Tibetan Terriers measure 14 to 17 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh 18 to 30 pounds.

These dogs love their human family members and get along well with most people, although they can be a bit reserved around strangers. They are active and need regular exercise.

Independent and highly intelligent, the Tibetan Terrier makes a fun and affectionate companion, even though the breed has a tendency to be somewhat mischievous. These dogs love their human family members and get along well with most people, although they can be a bit reserved around strangers. They are active and need regular exercise.

Tibetan Terriers possess flat, large, and round feet that produce a helpful snowshoe effect in the snow. The traction the breed's feet provide enables them to climb mountains and walk in heavy snow. These dogs were given the nicknames Holy Dog and Luck Bringer in Tibet.

Intelligent, mild-mannered, and friendly, the Tibetan Terrier is a good choice for families who want a devoted pet or hunting, jogging, or hiking companion. These dogs form strong bonds with their human family members and are gentle and affectionate members of the household. They are patient with children, but they tend to be reserved around unfamiliar people. They also have strong protective instincts and make good watchdogs.

Although the Tibetan Terrier has a loud and deep bark, these dogs only bark when it is necessary. They do fine living in apartments, provided they are allowed daily exercise and long walks, but they are best suited to homes with securely fenced yards for running and exploring. Vigorous play sessions at the park are also beneficial.

Tibetan Terriers don't need to be the center of attention, but they prefer to be included in whatever's happening around their home. These dogs have a mischievous sense of humor, but they are also eager to please and very loyal. They make good travel companions and are excellent at reading emotions. These people-loving dogs should not be left alone for long periods.

Tibetan Terriers are known to suffer from a few potentially serious health conditions that negatively affect length or quality of life. Obtaining puppies only from reputable sources is an important part of ensuring a healthy dog.

Hip dysplasia, patellar luxation, hypothyroidism, and congenital deafness are all known to affect Tibetan Terriers. In addition, the breed is prone to developing certain eye conditions, including lens luxation, progressive retinal atrophy, cataracts, and distichiasis. Canine neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis is also seen in the breed. This disease is rare and is characterized by deposits of fatty pigments in the eyes and brain.

With balanced nutrition, daily exercise, timely vaccinations, and routine veterinary care, Tibetan Terriers typically live 12 to 15 years.

Independent thinkers, Tibetan Terriers can be a challenge to train without experience and patience. These dogs are eager to please, though, and respond well to positive reinforcement techniques, such as food, praise, and play rewards.

Like most other dogs, Tibetan Terriers will seek out sources of amusement if left alone or allowed to become bored. Often, the fun these terriers find won't be innocent. Digging, chewing, barking, and otherwise acting out are usually associated with boredom, loneliness, or neglect. Additionally, the breed's intelligence means inexperienced trainers may end up on the receiving end of training sessions, instead of the other way around. Clever and mischievous, these dogs can train a new dog owner in a short period of time.

Socialization is an important part of preventing overly fearful or suspicious behavior later in life. To be most effective, socialization should begin within the first months of life and should continue through old age. Puppy kindergarten is a good start, and walks around the neighborhood, trips to local businesses, and playtime at the dog park are beneficial in later years. Proper socialization ensures Tibetan Terriers grow into calm, tolerant, and confident adults.

Prone to tangling and matting, the Tibetan Terrier needs brushing and combing every few days to keep the coat healthy and manageable. Misting with a mixture of water and coat conditioner before and during brushing will reduce static electricity, prevent breakage, and help with tangles. Working through the coat in small sections will make the process go more smoothly. During spring and fall shedding seasons, brushing frequency may need to increase to every day or every other day. A slicker brush, pin brush, and stainless steel Greyhound comb are good tools to keep on hand.

Bathing should be done every week or so to clean the coat and remove debris from the hair. Mats and tangles are common where the legs join the body and should be removed before bathing. Frequent bathing will also help remove loose hair before it ends up on furniture and clothing. A pH-balanced canine shampoo and conditioner will gently clean and nourish the coat without causing skin irritation.

The nails need clipping every week or two to prevent breaking, and the teeth should be brushed frequently to minimize bad breath and prevent gum disease and cavities. The use of dental chews and drinking water additives is helpful between brushings. Weekly ear checks are important for detecting excess wax accumulation and signs of ear infection before serious problems or illness occur.

Despite the breed's name, the Tibetan Terrier is not technically a terrier at all; the dogs were given this name by the British due to their size. These dogs were raised by lamas in monasteries nearly 2,000 years ago. They were treasured companions, mascots, good luck charms, and watchdogs. They were also occasionally used for herding and other purposes.

In 1920, a physician named Agnes Greig received a Tibetan Terrier in return for medical treatment. She quickly became interested in breeding the little dogs and obtained more for that purpose. The breed was first recognized in India, and then made its way to England during the 1930s. Later, in the 1950s, Tibetan Terriers arrived in the United States.

Today, Tibetan Terriers are primarily kept as companion animals and are adored around the world. They also do well in competitions. They are popular for their small size and friendly personality.

In 1973, the American Kennel Club officially recognized the Tibetan Terrier.