THE TIBETAN TERRIER

Originating from Tibet, Tibetan Terriers are a medium-sized dog breed in the working group. They are so called “terriers” but have no relation to the terrier group of hounds.  However, due to their remarkable resemblance to terriers, European travelers included the breed in their name. In Tibet, this dog is called Tsang Apso (shaggy or bearded) dog or Dokhi Apso meaning outdoor dog. 

Brief History

Tibetan terriers have lived for thousands of years in the area that we now know as Tibet. Various DNA tests revealed that these dogs may have descended from various ancient breeds. In centuries past, Tibetans bred these dogs as good luck charms, companions, mascots, and herding dogs. Often known as holy dogs in Tibet, they were sometimes considered a rarity and were never sold, but raised by monks to be given as gifts. Living in Tibet which was a geographically isolated region, Tibetan terriers managed to stay as a purebred dog for more than 2000 years. In 1922, an English doctor brought the first Tibetan terrier to Europe. This was a white and gold female puppy. She later acquired a male Tibetan and with this couple as foundation stock, began breeding them in her then established kennel.

The first litter born to these dogs was in 1924, these puppies assumed the name Lhasa terriers. It was in 1930 when the Kennel Club of India changed the name Lhasa Terriers to Tibetan Terriers. In 1956, Dr. Henry and Mrs. Alice Murphy brought the first Tibetans to the US and in1973 the AKC recognized this breed placing it under the non-sporting group.

tibetan terrier

Physical Features

Tibetan Terriers are medium-sized with a powerful build and profuse coat. Their hairs are long and tend to cover their face, eyes, and sometimes mouth. The Tibetan’s body is square in proportion with large round feet that lie flat on the ground. Their tails are well feathered with an upward curl that allows it to fall forward over the back.

Average Height:

14-17 inches

Average Weight:

18-30 pounds

Life Expectancy:

15-16 years

Temperament

Tibetans are known for their loyal and affectionate charm which makes them good family pets. They are also intelligent, capable dogs with a strong helper drive. Tibetan terriers are sensitive and gentle to both adults and children.

Special Needs

With strangers or strange environments, Tibetans tend to be reserved. Owners need to exercise patience while introducing them to people and places they don’t know. Early socialization is required for them to grow into obedient and well-mannered pets. Due to their clever, steadfast and determined natures, some Tibetans tend to be stubborn. They also make excellent guard dogs. 

Possible Health Concerns

Tibetans are a hardy and healthy breed, however, they tend to succumb to western canine diseases due to environmental changes and other bearing aspects such as the lifestyle they were used to in their country of origin. Early neutering and spaying may expose this breed to joint issues. In fact, many breeders suggest that owners wait until these dogs reach maturity. Occasionally, older Tibetans may suffer from vestibular disease. Although fatal, they may recover from it if dealt with during its early stages. Canine cancers also remain of concern to aging Tibetans.

tibetan terrier puppy

Exercise

The Tibetan terrier is an outdoor dog and enjoy daily walks with their family. Plan to fit in at least 30 minutes of exercise time a day to make sure your Tibetan stays at a healthy weight and is mentally stimulated. 

Grooming

A Tibetan’s double coat is adaptable in everyday life. The undercoat is woolen and acts as a natural insulator and water resistor. Coat textures may vary from soft to hard and they may or may not be susceptible to matting. Grooming the Tibetans ample coat should be a regular activity, perhaps trimming it to a manageable length or just hand stripping any dead or loose hair. As they tend to chew their food, owners should ensure that they clean their dog’s teeth once a week to keep them healthy and clean.

Tibetan Terriers have a versatile, friendly and intelligent nature. They make loving and loyal family companions.

tibetan terrier breed

Liked this post? Subscribe to our newsletter!

5 Diseases You Can Get From Your Cat

Did you know you can get diseases from your cat? Read this article and find out how.

What is the Age of Cats in Human Years?

Have you ever wondered what is the age of cats in human years? Here’s your answer.

How to Adopt a Maine Coon Cat

How to Adopt a Maine Coon Cat The Maine Coon Cat is one of the oldest breeds native to...

How Long are Cats Pregnant?

How Long are Cats Pregnant? Whether you’re a cat breeder or owner, if you have a...

Common Health Problems in Birds

If you have a bird it’s important to know the health concerns they may face.

Amazon Parrots as Pets

Amazon Parrots as Pets There may be more than 350 different types of bird species...

What Are African Grey Parrots?

What Are African Grey Parrots? One of the most distinctive breeds of parrot is the...

What Are Bearded Dragons?

What Are Bearded Dragons? The Bearded Dragon is like a primeval character that would...

A Guide to Pet Wellness Programs

Are pet wellness plans worth it? Taking your pet to the veterinarian for an annual checkup is the best way to catch problems before they become severe. Learn about pet wellness plans, including those from Banfield Pet Hospital, VCA, and National Veterinary Associates.

How do I Find Veterinarians Near Me?

If you have a pet (or several) you’ve likely asked yourself, how do I find veterinarians near me? If you’re about to search for “local vets in my area,” rest assured that we have done the work for you, and all you have to do is call.

Kidney Failure in Cats

Read this article to learn about kidney disease and kidney failure in cats. Know the signs of kidney failure in cats and call a veterinarian if you have any concerns.

Breathing Problems in Dogs and Cats

There are a number of reasons why your pet may be experiencing breathing problems, read this article for some possibilities.

Cat Health: A Checklist

In this article find a checklist for cat health. You’ll learn daily, weekly and monthly tips for cat healthcare. And call a local veterinarian if you have any concerns.

Common Illnesses in Dogs and Cats

Watch out for these common illnesses in dogs and cats, including skin conditions, upset stomachs, urinary tract infections, and arthritis.

Upset Stomach in Dogs and Cats

It can be scary when your dog or cat experiences vomiting or diarrhea. In this article learn the signs and symptoms of upset stomach in dogs and cats. As well as remedies for upset stomach in cats and dogs.

Dog Health: A Checklist

Keep track of your dog health with this checklist. Covering everything you need to do daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly.

Is Pet Insurance Worth It?

You may have asked yourself: is pet insurance worth it? Veterinarians and pet health experts say yes!

When to Visit Your Veterinarian

As a pet owner, it’s important to know the signs to watch out for that indicate a trip to the veterinarian is necessary.