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Tibetan terrier

Tibetan Terriers


To any dog enthusiast, the word terrier conjures up a certain image: gruff, intelligent, excitable, bred for the killing of rats and vermin. One hears the name "Tibetan Terrier" and one assumes that the same holds true for this fairly unknown breed.

The Tibetan Terrier is a medium-sized dog, similar to a Shih Tzu in some details of its appearance. (Which is not coincidental--it's now believed that the Tibetan Terriers were one of the Shih Tzu's most significant ancestors in early breeding programs.) Tibetan Terriers have a fall of hair over the faces in order to protect them from the elements, as well as powerful hind legs, a long, straight outer coat with many possible color variations, and a long, tufted tail carried above the dog's hindquarters and falling slightly over its back. Its most distinctive feature, however  is its set of extremely flat, roughly textured feet. These give the Tibetan Terrier a high degree of mobility over rough terrain an extremely valuable attribute, given the breed's origins as a companion to the monks in mountainous monasteries surrounded by fields of rock and snow.

Height:  14-17 inches (36-43 cm.).
Weight:18-30 pounds (8.2-13.6 kg.)


Life Span:

12-15 years.

Coat Description:

Tibetan Terriers have two coats. The inner coat is short and extremely smooth, while the outer coat is long and usually straight



The Tibetan Terrier is not really a terrier, so don't expect a terrier temperament. This delightful, childlike dog is his own breed. The Tibetan Terrier is a highly intelligent, loving companion with a mind of his own. He loves his family and is rather famous for being sensitive to the moods of people around him. He is affectionate, but he isn't overly demonstrative, especially for the first 2-3 years of his life. They seem to enjoy playing more than cuddling.They want to be involved in everything, and if you leave them alone, don't be surprised if you return to find they have stripped your wallpaper for you, or opened the pantry to get themselves a snack. A Tibetan Terrier can unscrew the lid of a soda bottle with his teeth, so don't underestimate him  Tibetan Terriers like to solve problems. They love to play and are athletic and agile. However, at the end of the day, they can be calm and laid back and enjoy watching television with you. A Tibetan Terrier parent must establish his leadership, because a Tibetan will take over a house if allowed to. But a well trained Tibetan is a happy, steadfast, devoted companion.

As a watch dog:

He makes an excellent watchdog with a nice, loud bark. He is a bit reserved around strangers.

Living Environment:

Tibetan Terriers are indoor pets that could use some time out every now and then. This means that while the breed does tolerate apartment living, a home with a yard is the more optimal choice.


 Coat care literally demands a great deal of commitment from the serious dog owner. Without your help, your pet's long coat could become a ball of mess in no time. This is a high-maintenance breed.


The Tibetan Terrier is harder to train than most other dog breeds. He learns new commands more slowly than the majority of other breeds. You will need to be extra patient when Training him.



Health Problems:

This breed can be very flea sensitive. Also prone to progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) and hip dysplasia.


The Tibetan Terrier was almost completely unknown in the West until the 1920s, when a British surgeon in India was given a female of the breed as a gift for saving the life of a local woman. His colleagues had never seen a dog like the Tibetan before, and after the surgeon entered the rare breed in an Indian dog show, the judges made a special effort to acquire a male of the species from Tibet. After the dogs had been breeding for several generations, the surgeonone Agnes Greig retired to England to begin breeding the dogs full-time, popularizing the breed in the West.


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