Tibetan Terrier Breed Profile
KC Group Utility
Height Dogs 36 – 41cm; bitches slightly smaller
Average lifespan Over 12 years
Good with children? Yes
Good guard dogs? Would bark
Moulting level Low
Exercise requirement Moderate
Jogging partner Yes
Colours White, golden, cream, grey or smoke, black, parti-coloured, and tricoloured. Any colour in fact except chocolate, liver, or merle
Temperament Loyal, outgoing and intelligent
Tibetan Terrier Breed Profile
Tibetan Terrier popularity
The Tibetan Terrier has enjoyed moderate success in Britain and saw a surge in popularity after a Tibetan took the Best in Show title at Crufts in 2007. However, it can be argued that these dogs aren't getting the recognition that they deserve, with only 1,217 puppies registered in 2015. This is significantly lower than the French Bulldog, the most popular breed in the Utility group, which had 12 times as many puppy registrations in 2015.
Tibetan Terrier character
Cheerful, alert, a great playmate and a brilliant watch dog. The Tibetan Terrier is considered by many dog lovers as the full package, with its glamorous looks and huge personality: friendly and charming, with a definite sense of humour. These dogs just want to be a part of your family unit. Tibetan Terriers' temperaments can vary between dogs. While some can be very friendly and enthusiastic, others can be aloof and stand-offish with strangers, so it's important to understand that you're not guaranteed a certain temperament, even with dogs from the same litter or with similar genetics.
Tibetan Terrier history
The Tibetan Terrier originated from Tibet, high up in the Himalayan Mountains of Asia. The breed was kept in monasteries and used by the nomads to herd and guard their animals. They were developed to survive the extreme terrain and weather conditions of Tibet, with their thick doublecoats and large, round paws which helped them to walk on snow. The breed was first brought to the UK in the 1920s by English surgeon Dr Agnes Greig, who had been working in a hospital on the Indian/Tibetan border and was presented with one as a gift for treating a sick Tibetan patient. Dr Greig obtained two other Tibetan Terriers during her time in the area, which she brought back and bred from. These dogs formed the foundations of the breed that we recognise today. The breed was officially recognised by the Kennel Club in 1937.
Tibetan Terrier health
There aren't any major health concerns with the breed, although all breeders should conduct the relevant tests before breeding from their dogs.
Tibetan Terrier training and activities
Training is also vitally important with these dogs. Tibetans are clever and, if allowed to, can try to get away with things. For this reason, encourage the whole family (including children) to follow the same training guidelines and rules, so he understands the behaviours that you expect from him.
A fairly easy-going companion, the Tibetan Terrier will join in joyfully with all household activities. However, don’t forget that, despite his name, he started life as a sheep-herding dog, and still works in his homeland (despite there being very few remaining following the slaughter of Tibetan dogs by Chinese communists). This means that this is an intelligent dog at heart and without an appropriate outlet for his hardwired behaviours, he can easily get bored — and a bored Tibetan Terrier can become a noisy, unruly beast!
Separation-related issues are also often a problem within the breed.
Tibetan Terrier care
Tibetan Terriers' temperaments can vary between dogs. While some can be very friendly and enthusiastic, others can be aloof and stand-offish with strangers, so it's important to understand that you're not guaranteed a certain temperament, even with dogs from the same litter or with similar genetics.
Socialisation from a young age is key. The more positive experiences your Tibetan gets through puppyhood and adolescence, the more confident he is likely to become as he matures.
Tibetans have very thick, non-shedding double coats, so you need to give them a thorough groom daily to avoid mats and knots. Many people choose to clip their Tibetan's coat, which helps maintain it, although regular grooming is still vital. Frequent grooming also helps you check for lumps and bumps on the skin, which may be otherwise hidden. Start grooming your Tibetan from a young age, if possible, so it becomes part of his daily routine from puppyhood.
Due to their ancestry, these dogs love human company, so should never be left alone for long periods of time on a regular basis. If you work full-time, think long and hard before committing to a Tibetan
Did you know?
- The Tibetan Terrier is the eighth most popular breed in the utility group, according to the Kennel Club's registration figures for 2015.
- Although a terrier by name, they are not a member of the Terrier group. They were given their name due to the breed's likeness to true terriers
Remember! All breed profiles are general and every dog is an individual.