Tibetan Terrier

Type: Guardian Dog

Height: 14 - 17 inches.

Weight: 18 - 30 lbs.

Life Span: 12 -15 years.

Litter Size: 5 - 8 puppies.

Country of Origin: Tibet

Activity: Indoor - High. Outdoor - Medium.

Watch-dog: Very High. This breed has developed over the years as a herding breed, alerting Tibetan Mastiffs to danger.

Guard-dog: Medium

Description: The Tibetan Terrier is not really a terrier at all, just as the Tibetan Spaniel is not a spaniel at all. They are appealing, shaggy little dogs who are devoted to their owners and to children. Tibetan Terriers are persistent, resourceful, and like to have a reminder of their humans around. They can be wary and reserved with strangers, however. Along with intelligence and a good nature, they are loyal and affectionate with family and friends. They are very friendly and get along well with anyone they meet. Friendly with children and animals, this breed is quite adaptable. A unique-looking breed, the Tibetan Terrier is a true herding dog. They are a medium sized breed that is powerfully built. Its ears, hidden beneath the heavy coat, are pendulant and dropped. Tibetan Terriers were made for the snow, having particularly interesting round, large, flat feet. They have a shaggy outer appearance that can be any color or combination of colors. Floppy and fun, the Tibetan Terrier is a breed worth considering.

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Other Names: Dhokhi Apso

Colors: Any color or combination of colors, being white, gray, black, golden, with or without tan.

Coat: Soft, woolly undercoat; long, fine outer coat that can be straight or wavy. The fur often covers the face unless trimmed or brushed away.

Temperament: Tibetan Terriers are friendly, alert, and affectionate with their families. They are reserved with strangers, but usually get along with everyone. They are good with children as well as other pets. Loyal, intelligent and good-natured, the Tibetan Terrier is the quintessential shaggy dog. They were used for herding in the past. Playful, they have been known to play with objects like a cat, batting at them, holding and grasping balls. They can be stubborn dogs, and do not do well in obedience. But, they make a cheery housepet to play with.

With Children: Yes, good with children if children do not pester them.

With Pets: Yes, but they need to be socialized to cats at a young age.

Special Skills: Family Pet

Care and Training: Special attention and regular grooming to the Tibetan Terrier's heavy double coat is required. Use a metal comb to keep them free of tangles. Shedding is twice a year. Bathe with a mild shampoo or dry shampoo only when necessary. Clean the ears and trim around the eyes. Daily regular exercise for the Tibetan Terrier is needed as a play session or a walk. Tibetan Terriers are easy to train but need a calm, equal manner as they are sensitive to sounds and will react to the the tone of your voice.

Learning Rate: High. Obedience - Low. Problem Solving - Medium. Although intelligent, the Tibetan Terrier is not prone to obeying much as other dogs.

Special Needs: Attention, grooming, moderate exercise, positive training, and socialization.

Living Environment: An apartment is adequate if sufficient exercise is given. The owner of a Tibetan Terrier should be a patient leader who desires an active, sensitive companion. This breed is very adaptable to different places, ranging from the city to suburban to a country environment.

Health Issues: Hip dysplasia, lens luxation, hypothyroidism, PRA (Progressive Retinal Atrophy), and eye diseases.

History: Native to remote sections of the high Himalayas, the Tibetan Terrier is the result of more than 1000 years of natural adaptation to some of the harshest, most variable climate and geography in the world. They are thought to have come from the North KunLun Mountain Dog and the Inner Mongolian Dog, believed to resemble the Russian Owtcharkas. They were used for herding and guarding. They were known to hop down on the backs of sheep into narrow crevices to aid shepherds, as recorded by Margareta Sundqvist. They worked side by side with the Tibetan Mastiff, alerting them to strangers. The Tibetan Terrier was also used for guarding the monasteries of the Lost Valley. They are believed to be around 2000 years old. This breed was highly regarded and thought to be holy, thus only given as a gift and never sold. They are actually thought to be the progenitors of the Lhasa Apso. They are also thought to be related to the Puli, as the Tibetan Terrier was brought into Europe by the Magyars. Unknown until about 70 years ago, they are still somewhat of a rarity in the Western countries. The first Tibetan Terriers were brought to England by a physician named H.R. Grieg after she saved the life of a person who consequently gave her one of these dogs as a gift. India has recognized the Tibetan Terrier since 1920, and England since 1937, while the U.S. has taken until 1973 to recognize the breed.

First Registered by the AKC: 1973

AKC Group: Non-Sporting Group

Class: Non-Sporting

Registries: AKC, ANKC, CKC, FCI (Group 9), KC (GB), UKC