Tibetan Terrier

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20-24 lbs
14-16"
Tibet
Luck Bringer, Dokhi Apso, Tsang Apso, Holy Dog of Tibet, Lhasa Terrier, Darjeeling Terrier

This breed originated in Tibet over 2000 years ago. The Tibetan Terriers were bred to be companions for the monastery monks of Tibet.  The Tibetan nomadic herdsmen also used them to herd sheep. They were believed to bring good luck to their owners; therefore, they were given as gifts and never sold. The Tibetan Terrier is a fun loving, medium size dog with a wonderful disposition. The breed makes an excellent companion and therapy dog. The energy level of the Tibetan is moderate to high.  Therefore, they enjoy daily walks and do well in agility training. They are a healthy and hardy breed with a soft, double coat that requires daily combing to help prevent matting. Occasional grooming of the long fur is necessary. Monthly bathing is recommended for the breed.

Purpose
herding, companion
Date of Origin
ancient times
Ancestry
lhasa apso, shih tzu, north kunlun mountain dog, inner mongolian dog

Tibetan Terrier Health

Average Size
Height: 15-16 inches Weight: 20-25 lbs
Height: 14-16 inches Weight: 20-24 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Patellar Luxation
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy
  • Lens Luxation
  • Ceroid Lipofuscinosis
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Heart Murmur
Minor Concerns
  • Retinal Dysplasia
  • Allergies
Occasional Tests
  • Eye
  • Hip
  • Blood Test
  • Heart
  • Thyroid Tests
  • X-Rays
  • Eye Examination

Tibetan Terrier Breed History

The Tibetan Terrier originally came from the Himalayan country of Tibet. They were bred by the Buddhist monks of the area. The monks would keep them as companions and watch dogs. Nomadic herdsmen also used the Tibetan Terrier to help herd their flocks on the high plains.  The Tibetan Terriers were considered good luck charms and were called “The Holy Dogs of Tibet”.  They were given as gifts in return for favors or when someone assisted them. The Tibetans never sold the breed as they were afraid that they would sell away their luck. They also believed that selling or mistreating the dog would bring bad luck to the whole village. The breed is not a true Terrier; they were given their name by European travelers who believed the dog resembled a Terrier in size. Dr. Greig, a British medical missionary brought the first Tibetan Terrier to England in 1922. She had been gifted a female puppy (Bunti), after she had successfully operated on a Tibetan woman. She then was given a second, male puppy (Rajah).  Bunti and Rajah had their first litter in 1924, which were registered as Lhasa Terriers. The Tibetan Terrier breed standard was created by the Kennel Club of India in 1930. Dr. Greig established the Lamleh Kennel in England and convinced the English Kennel Club to recognize the Tibetan Terrier in 1937.  In 1956 two Tibetan Terriers from Dr. Greig’s Kennel were imported to the United States. The breed was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1973. Downton Abbey actress Lesley Nicol owns a Tibetan Terrier named Bertie.  She describes Bertie as a show-off, entertaining but a bit dramatic.  The National Dog show non-sporting breed winner in 2016 was a beautiful Tibetan Terrier named Clue.

Tibetan Terrier Breed Appearance

The Tibetan Terrier is a medium sized dog, which has a thick double coat.  The undercoat is very thick and wooly, the outer coat is long and may be wavy or straight. The Tibetan Terrier’s hair parts down the middle of his back. They may be white, gold, tricolor, brindle, silver, or black or may have a variety of other colors and patterns. They have large, wide set eyes that are dark in color. The Tibetan Terrier have pendant ears and a black nose.  Their tail is feathered and is carried over the back. The Tibetan terrier has teeth that have a scissors or reverse scissor bite. The Tibetan Terrier’s muzzle is strong. The lower jaw is well-developed and has a small amount of beard.  They have flat feet that have a snowshoe-like look.

Eye Color Possibilities
Brown
Nose Color Possibilities
Black
Coat Color Possibilities
Brindle
Gray
Pied
White
Black
Coat Length
Short Medium Long
Coat Density
Sparse Normal Dense
Coat Texture
Straight Wiry Wavy Curly Corded

Tibetan Terrier Breed Maintenance

The Tibetan Terrier needs to be brushed daily to help prevent tangles and matted hair. The coat must be misted with water prior to brushing; if it is not pre-misted the hair breaks off. Some Tibetan Terrier owners prefer that their dogs are given a puppy cut. Nails should be trimmed monthly. Their ears should be checked weekly for wax build-up.  A veterinarian can help recommend an ear wash.  Their teeth should be brushed once a week to aid in preventing tartar buildup. The Tibetan Terrier has moderate to high energy, requiring daily exercise such as walks and runs. The breed does well in agility training and advanced obedience classes. If they get daily exercise they can adapt to apartment living.

Brushes for Tibetan Terrier
Pin Brush
Dematter
Comb
Nail Clipper
Brushing Frequency
Daily Weekly Monthly

Tibetan Terrier Temperament

It is important to socialize Tibetan Terriers when they are puppies.  Tibetan Terriers not exposed to other people and animals at a young age tend to be shy and reserved.  The breed enjoys and thrives being a companion. Their love of people and sweet, gentle temperament makes them excellent therapy dogs.  Unfortunately, they do not like being left alone for extended amounts of time. They can develop separation anxiety, although they are not excessive barkers. Tibetan Terriers enjoy treats and treats can be used as positive reinforcement when being trained.  The breed matures a bit slower than other dogs.  Therefore, patience is required during the puppy stage. When the breed matures, they are steadfast, intelligent and loyal. However, their intelligence and cleverness can lead them to be a little stubborn.  Overall the Tibetan Terrier is a charmer.

Activity Level
Low Medium High
Rec. Walk Mileage Per Week
7 miles
Minutes of Activity Per Day
30 minutes

Tibetan Terrier Food Consumption

Cups Per Day
2.2 cups
Daily Cost
$1.2 - $1.4
Monthly Cost
$34 - $45

Tibetan Terrier Height & Weight

6 Months
Height: 11 inches Weight: 12 lbs
Height: 10 inches Weight: 11 lbs
12 Months
Height: 15 inches Weight: 17 lbs
Height: 15 inches Weight: 17 lbs
18 Months
Height: 15 inches Weight: 22 lbs
Height: 15 inches Weight: 22 lbs

Top Tibetan Terrier Breeders

Check out who made our list for the most reputable Tibetan Terrier breeders of 2017.
RInchen Tibetan Terriers
Brighton, Colorado
Domani Tibetan Terriers
Lorton, Virginia
TriSong Tibetan Terriers & Pumik
Magnolia, Texas
Euphoria® Tibetans
Quakertown, Pennsylvania
Indira Tibetan Terriers
Delphi, Indiana
Tibetan Terrier Kennel
Catharpin, Virginia
Dzine Tibetan Terriers
Jerseyville, Illinois

Tibetan Terrier Owner Experiences