Tibetan Terrier

Tibetan Terrier



The Tibetan Terrier is an ancient breed, originally from Tibet. This dog breed was developed by Buddhist monks, who refused to sell these terriers. Hence, they were only given as gifts to most respected visitors. Tibetan Terriers are known as ‘The Holy Dogs of Tibet’, because it is believed that they bring luck. These dogs were also kept as mascots, herding dogs and pets. The Tibetan Terrier is still considered a very rare breed.

Height: 12-16 inches  Weight: 18-30 pounds  Lifespan: 15-17 years


The Tibetan Terrier is a dog of medium size. Despite their name, Tibetan Terriers do not look like a typical terrier. On the contrary, because of the long hair covering its eyes, this dog breed looks like a little shepherd. Even today, this is a versatile dog. Hence, the Tibetan Terrier can be a companion, guard and a shepherd. Comparable Breeds: The Lhasa Apso and Shih Tzu.


The Tibetan Terrier is very intelligent and deeply devoted to his family. This little dog does not like being alone and needs constant contact with people, otherwise it tends to behave inappropriately. Tibetan Terriers do well in communicating with teenagers and other pets within the family, except cats. However, with the right training, they can learn how to coexist with cats. The Tibetan Terrier will bark to warn the owners about possible danger, which makes him a wonderful caretaker.

Coat / Care:

Tibetan Terriers have a double-layered coat, which protects the dog from harsh weather. While the outer layer is long and thin, the undercoat is thick, soft and woolly. This breed’s coat can be either monochromatic or it can come in a range of patterns and colors. Typical color shades are: white, cream, silver, gold, brindle, black and red. It is necessary to comb a Tibetan Terrier several times a week to prevent the hair from tangling. This will also minimize the hair loss. Before brushing, the dog must be washed and air-conditioned to avoid hair breakage. Bathing is allowed only in case of emergency, using a mild shampoo. Still, a dry shampoo is the best choice.

Health Problems:

The Tibetan Terrier is prone to hip dysplasia, hernia, cataracts, lens luxation and progressive retinal atrophy (PRA).


Tibetan Terriers learn quickly and with great pleasure. But, he tends to be somewhat capricious and is not very fond of dull, monotonous lessons. This breed needs early socialization. Do avoid too harsh methods, since it can only aggravate the training process. In fact, the Tibetan Terrier needs to train consistently, and the coach must treat him with patience and respect. Furthermore, positive reinforcement is a must.


Even though this is a petit breed, Tibetan Terriers require constant training. The Tibetan Terriers enjoys going for a walk with the owner, or simply frolic in a fenced yard. If it exercises enough, this dog breed can also be kept in a city apartment.

Photo credit: Alasdair Mckenzie/Flickr

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