Typical Tibetan terrier bitch.
|Country of origin
|Classification and breed standards
||Group 9 Section 5 #209
||Group 7 (Non Sporting)
||Group 6 (Non-Sporting Group)
|Not recognized by any major kennel club
|This breed of dog is
The Tibetan Terrier is not a member of the
group, the name being given to it by European travelers to
Tibet who were
reminded of terriers from back home when they first encountered the breed. Its
origins are uncertain at best, as some sources claim them to be lucky
whereas others place them as general use
The Tibetan Terrier is a dog with many uses, able to
and also be a suitable
companion dog. Their utility in Tibet meant that the first examples of the
breed available in the west were generally given as gifts, as the Tibetan
Terrier, along with other Tibetan breeds, were too valuable to the people who
owned them to casually sell. As such, the early history of the breed is linked
to only a handful of
analysis has concluded that the Tibetan Terrier is one of the most
ancient dog breeds.
The appearance of the Tibetan Terrier is that of a powerful, medium sized dog
of square proportions, with a shaggy coat. Overall, there should be a feel of
The head is moderate, with a strong muzzle of medium length, and a skull
neither rounded nor flat. The eyes are large, dark, and set fairly far apart.
The V-shaped drop ears are well feathered, and should be set high on the sides
of the skull. The nose is always black, regardless of coat colour.
The body is well muscled and compact. The length of the back should be equal
to the height at the withers, giving the breed its typical square look. Height
for either sex is 14-16 in (35-41 cm) and weight is 18-30 lbs (8-14 kg), with
20-24 lbs (9.5-11 kg) preferred, but all weights acceptable if in proportion to
The tail is set high, well feathered, and carried in a curl over the back.
One of the more unusual features of the Tibetan Terrier is the broad, flat
feet, not found in any other dog breed. They are ideal for climbing mountains
and act as natural snow shoes.
The double coat is profuse, with a warm undercoat and a topcoat which has the
texture of human hair. It should not be silky or curled, but wavy is acceptable.
Long and thick, it is shown natural, but should not be so long as to touch the
floor, as is typical in breeds such as the
or Maltese. A
fall of hair covers the face and eyes, but long eyelashes generally prevent hair
from getting in the Tibetan Terrier's eyes, and the breed has very good
All colours are permissible, barring liver and chocolate, and none are
preferred. Tibetan Terriers are available in any combination of solid,
particolour, tricolour, brindle or piebald, as long as the nose leather is black
and the eyes and eye rims are dark.
The temperament has been one of the most attractive aspects of the breed
since it was first established in the 1920's. They are amiable and affectionate
family dogs, sensitive to their owners and gentle with older children. As is
fitting a dog formerly used as a watch dog, they tend to be reserved around
strangers, but should never be aggressive nor shy with them.
Suitable for apartment living, the Tibetan is still an energetic and
surprisingly strong dog, and needs regular exercise. Their energy level and
intelligence is well suited for
agility. They are steadfast, determined, and clever, which can lead to them
Though not yappy, the Tibetan Terrier has an assertive bark, likened to a
The Tibetan Terrier enjoys the long life span often associated with small dog
breeds, and generally lives from 15-17 years.
Though an atheletic breed that has been bred for a natural look, the Tibetan
Terrier is still susceptible to a variety of health problems, especially those
related to the eyes and joints. These can include:
Because of that, Tibetan Terrier clubs recommend purchasing from breeders who
participate in eye and hip testing, such as the
Canine Eye Registration Foundation (CERF) and
Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA).
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| Thai Ridgeback
| Tibetan Mastiff
| Tibetan Spaniel
| Tibetan Terrier
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| Toy Fox Terrier
| Toy Manchester Terrier
| Toy Mi-Ki
| Treeing Walker Coonhound
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