Tibetan Terrier: Discover this Lively and Gentle Companion with Origins Rooted in Tibet

Physical characteristics, character and advice for care, training and nutrition

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By Edward Campbell

tibetan terrier

The Tibetan Terrier, originating from Tibet, holds a revered and fortunate status in its homeland, where it was traditionally raised within monastic environments. The breed’s gentle demeanor is believed to stem from its upbringing in a harmonious and spiritual atmosphere.

Tibetan Terriers were not commercially traded; instead, they were bestowed upon deserving individuals as tokens of goodwill. Renowned for their cheerful and lively disposition, coupled with gentleness and affection, Tibetan Terriers seamlessly integrate into family life, thanks in part to their manageable size and adaptability.

Tibetan Terrier: Origins and Spread

This ancient Tibetan breed served as both a guardian in villages and monasteries, utilizing its keen senses to detect even the faintest suspicious sounds, alerting both owners and the formidable mastiffs by its side.

In Tibet, these dogs were not sold but gifted to visitors or friends, symbolizing happiness and prosperity. The breed’s introduction to Europe occurred in the early 1900s, initiated by Dr. Agnes Greig, who received Tibetan Terrier puppies as a token of appreciation from a Tibetan princess after providing medical care. Dr. Greig subsequently brought these dogs to the West, marking the beginning of the breed’s presence in Europe.

Tibetan Terrier: Physical Characteristics

The Tibetan Terrier, a distinctive and ancient breed, is characterized by its medium size, robust build, and luxurious, long coat. This charming dog, known for its square-like structure, has a length from the tip of the shoulder to the root of the tail that equals its height at the withers.

With a compact and vigorous build, the Tibetan Terrier’s hind limbs are slightly longer than the front ones, covered in abundant hair. The forelimbs are parallel and also adorned with a generous coat, featuring a slight angulation of the metacarpals. The skull, of medium length, tapers a bit from the ear to the eye and neither domed nor completely flat between the ears. A marked stop in front of the eyes adds to its distinctive appearance.

The truffle is black, the eyes are large, round, and well-spaced, with dark brown color and black eye rims. The V-shaped ears, hanging and not too close to the head, are set rather high on the side of the skull and feature abundant fringes. The lower jaw is well developed, with incisors aligned in a slight curve and evenly spaced, showcasing a scissor or reverse scissor bite.

A strong, muscular neck of medium length fits well into well-positioned shoulders. The tail, of medium length, is set rather high and carried rolled over the back. The coat, a prominent feature, is long, fine, and abundant, with straight or wavy strands but not curly. The undercoat is fine and woolly.

Tibetan Terriers come in various colors, including white, cream, golden, black, grey, multi-colored, and tri-colored.

In terms of size, males typically stand at an average height of 36 to 41 cm at the withers, while females are slightly smaller. The weight of this breed ranges around 8-13 kilograms, contributing to its manageable and adaptable nature. Overall, the Tibetan Terrier’s physical characteristics showcase a harmonious blend of strength, elegance, and a luxurious coat that adds to its unique charm and appeal.

Tibetan Terrier: Temperament

Renowned for their lively, cheerful, and intelligent nature, Tibetan Terriers exhibit responsiveness to stimuli while maintaining a gentle and affectionate demeanor.

Loyalty characterizes their relationship with those who care for them. Excelling as companion dogs, they harmonize well with children, demonstrating a love for play and the outdoors.

Despite their lively disposition, Tibetan Terriers are known for their vigilant behavior, barking loudly in the presence of potential threats. Generally non-aggressive, they exhibit a strong character, necessitating consistent and firm early training.

This breed adapts well to living with other dogs, and even cats, making them suitable for various households, including those with older individuals, provided they receive adequate daily physical activity.

EXPLORE: Tibetan Spaniel, another dog breed from Tibet

Tibetan Terrier: Puppies

Tibetan Terrier puppies showcase intelligence and cheerfulness from an early age, warranting a comprehensive training and socialization process.

Proper nutrition is crucial during growth stages, with recommended feeding schedules transitioning from 3-4 meals a day between two to six months to 2 meals a day after the first year of life. Due to their long fur, introducing them to grooming practices, such as brushing, should commence early.

Tibetan Terrier: Health and Care

Like many dog breeds, Tibetan Terriers may be susceptible to hip dysplasia, exhibiting symptoms like limping, pain, and arthritis in later years. Eye diseases, such as progressive retinal atrophy, and hereditary conditions like lens dislocation are also observed.

Regular care involves daily brushing with a metal pin comb, using a water and conditioner mixture to ease the process. Bathing should be done with warm water, followed by thorough drying to prevent knot formation.

Attention to dental and ear hygiene is essential, with teeth requiring regular brushing and specific products recommended for ear care.

tibetan terrier

Tibetan Terrier: Recommended Diet

Maintaining a healthy and proper diet is crucial for Tibetan Terriers to prevent weight gain. The BARF diet, comprising raw meat, vegetables, and rice, is suggested, but high-quality dry food is also suitable.

How long do Tibetan Terriers live?

With an average lifespan of 14 years, Tibetan Terriers can lead long and healthy lives with the right care.

Tibetan Terrier: Price

Prospective owners should be aware that the price of a Tibetan Terrier puppy typically ranges from $700 to $1,000, reflecting the breed’s unique qualities and heritage.

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