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Tibetan Terrier Characteristic

Breed History

The Tibetan Terrier is an ancient breed that originates from the land of Tibet in the Himalayan Mountains. These spirited little dogs were kept as watchdogs, companions, mascots and herding dogs. Also known as ‘Little People’ and ‘Holy Dogs of Tibet’ the friendly dogs were treasured and considered to be a good luck charm. A Tibetan Terrier was only ever gifted and never sold. 


  The TT is a medium sized, sturdy, compact, generally square dog of 14" - 16" at the shoulder. With their long coat that covers the eyes they resemble a miniature sheepdog. Although they carry the Tibetan name, they have absolutely no Terrier traits. This is a hardy, shaggy and versatile breed that not only makes a fine companion, but they are also highly capable of guarding, herding and protecting.


Blessed with a highly developed sense of humour he is also perceptive, astute, resilient and often strong willed. The Tibetan Terrier is a loving and affectionate pet. They are sensitive to their owners and get on well with other dogs, cats and considerate and well-behaved kids.


The fur of the Tibetan Terrier is a double layer. It allows them to be protected at all times, even the face. They have a long, thin layer of coat, wavy or straight hair, while the inner layer is soft and woolly. 


The Tibetan Terrier is a breed that will require at least one hour daily exercise in the form of a long walk or play session. This breed is more suitable for families with a courtyard or garden, where they can run free. They can live in an apartment building, as long as they get their daily amount of exercise. They are energetic and strong and do well in agility. They are excellent hiking companions and enjoy a vigorous run in a securely fenced yard or safe open space.


Tibetan Terriers are highly intelligent, deeply devoted, and exceedingly loyal to their family. They thrive on human interaction and will not do well if left alone for extended periods of time. They are very sensitive and react to their owner's moods, feelings and emotions. The Tibetan Terrier will get along with children who are considerate and well-behaved. They may be wary of strangers but are never aggressive. They make good watch dogs and will bark their alarm at unusual sounds and also to announce visitors. They will not tolerate being left outside in kennels. They suit people who can give them lots of time and love and not suitable for people who work full time.

Coat Care

The coat has a long thick double coat that requires extensive grooming even when clipped off. The Tibetan Terrier requires weekly grooming to prevent tangles and remove loose hair. The coat must never be dryed combed. It is important to mist the coat with conditioner before combing to prevent breakage. Combs and brushes should be with a pin head brush to get rid of matts and tangles. You should only bath when necessary. It is important to keep their nails cut and to regularly check their ears, teeth and feet are kept clean. I would class their coats as high maintenance.


Tibetan Terriers are relatively easy to train and house train. They are energetic and very clever, so train using exercise and puzzles.  They tend to be strong-minded, and will attempt to dominate owners who they regard as unable to handle the position of pack leader. Ensure that you understand how to communicate and require respect.

They have a self-reliant and independent nature that may lead them to avoid doing things they have already learned !. They benefit from early socialisation and obedience. The Tibetan Terrier will not respond to harsh or heavy-handed training methods. They do best with positive reinforcement, consistency, patience, and respectful loving direction. I strongly recommend that your puppy attends puppy socialisation classes and further socialisation and training. Puppies can be very strong minded, and wilful.


Tibetan Terriers are prone to hip dysplasia, hernias, cataracts, lens luxation and progressive retinal atrophy.


Helping with the gardening, agility, watchdog, loving companion, obedience, sofa monsters, watching animal programmes on the TV, helping cleaning the dishes in the dishwasher, love chasing after a ball, going to the beach.

A TT by nature, is a happy and outgoing soul with a zest for life and he will want to play his part in all the family activities.

They are addictive !