Tibetan Terrier


A small to medium sized Tibetan Terrier
Tibetan Terrier Quick Summary
Also Known As
Height (at withers)14-17in (35.5-43cm)
Weight18-30lbs (8-14kg)
Hair Colour(s)Varies
Lifespan12-15 years
Energy LevelHigh
Litter size5-8
Barking TendencyMedium-high
Exercise requirementsMedium
Ease of trainingMedium
Suitability for kidsMedium
Animal compatabilityMedium
Aggression levelsMedium
Distress if leftMedium

The Tibetan Terrier is a compact and powerful dog similar in appearance to a sheepdog. The body is square in shape and well muscled with a level topline, straight legs and a high-set feathered tail carried in a curl over the back. The head has a strong muzzle with a black button nose, large round dark eyes, and high-set triangular pendant ears. The long coat is fine and wavy or straight with a softer undercoat, and the colouring can vary greatly but includes brindle, black, white, gold, and silver, amongst others.


Tibetan Terriers are spirited and friendly little dogs with cheerful natures. They are sociable and entertaining, and make loyal and devoted companions and family pets. These good natured dogs enjoy interaction and are not the right choice for those with little time for their pets. Although playful with fair amounts of energy, they also seem to know when to be calm and sensible. Early socialisation is recommended for this breed to promote confident and stable temperaments, because there is a tendency towards timidness and shyness in some lines. Tibetan Terriers are intelligent quick learners with great problem solving skills, but they can also be very stubborn and independent, whcih can make training difficult. Although confidence and assertiveness are required from owners, these dogs are well suited to novice dog owners, as well as those with some experience in dog ownership and training. Tibetan Terriers aresuitable for older, more considerate children, as they are small and do not like any rough handling. They tend to be accepting of other pets but can be a little bossy. They are cautious around strangers and will usually bark to raise the alarm, making them effective watchdogs.

History & Skills

Tibetan Terriers originate from the Himalayan country of Tibet, as suggested by their name, and are an ancient breed bred by Tibetan monks for around 2000 years. Once considered as lucky charms, they were often given as gifts to highly respected individuals. They were also used as companions and watch dogs, just like today.

Breed Specific Ailments

Tibetan Terriers tend to live between 12-15 years and are a relatively health breed. Some of the health problems that have been noted include luxating patella, cataracts, thyroid problems, vWD, hip dysplasia, and PRA. They can be sensitive to fleas also.


Tibetan Terriers are low shedders, when groomed correctly, and so may be suitable for those suffering from allergies. However, their grooming requirements are pretty high, although they do require less maintenance as they grow older. The heavy coat may need brushing on a daily basis to remove dead hair, prevent tangles and keep it in good condition. It should also be bathed every week or two, and the coat can be trimmed every 4-6 weeks or so. The hair around the bottom area should be trimmed regularly for hygiene reasons, and the ears should be kept clean and dry in order to reduce the chances of infection.

Exercise & Environment

Tibetan Terriers tend to live indoors and can be suitable for small homes such as apartments. These are energetic dogs and will need a daily half-hour walk and access to a yard or garden area for play and exercise. These areas must be secure because these dogs are agile and very adept at climbing, and garden lovers be aware that these dogs love to dig.


FCIFCI - Federation Cynologique Internationale
KCThe Kennel Club (UK)
AKCAKC - American Kennel Club

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