Dog Breed profiles

Tibetan Terrier Breed Profile

Tibetan Terrier fact file

KC Group: Utility
Size: Medium
Good with children?: Yes recommended
Exercise requirement: Moderate
Good guard dogs?: Would bark
Moulting level: Low
Grooming: Lots
Jogging partner: Yes
Colour: Any colour except chocolate 
Average Lifespan: Over 12 years
Average Price: £650-£950
Temperament: Loyal, outgoing and intelligent

A lovely all round family dog. Loyal, alert, playful and a clown all in one! There are no 'terrier' instincts in the Tibetan... in fact they are classified as a Utility dog.

Tibetan Terrier Popularity

The Tibetan Terrier has enjoyed moderate success in Britain and saw a surge in popularity after a Tibetan took the Best in Show title at Crufts in 2007. However, it can be argued that these dogs aren’t getting the recognition that they deserve, with only 1,217 puppies registered in 2015. This is significantly lower than the French Bulldog, the most popular breed in the Utility group, which had 12 times as many puppy registrations in 2015.

Tibetan Terrier Character

Cheerful, alert, a great playmate and a brilliant watch dog. The Tibetan Terrier is considered by many dog lovers as the full package, with its glamorous looks and huge personality: friendly and charming, with a definite sense of humour. These dogs just want to be a part of your family unit. Tibetan Terriers’ temperaments can vary between dogs. While some can be very friendly and enthusiastic, others can be aloof and stand-offish with strangers, so it’s important to understand that you’re not guaranteed a certain temperament, even with dogs from the same litter or with similar genetics.

Tibetan Terrier History

The Tibetan Terrier originated from Tibet, high up in the Himalayan Mountains of Asia. The breed was kept in monasteries and used by the nomads to herd and guard their animals. They were developed to survive the extreme terrain and weather conditions of Tibet, with their thick doublecoats and large, round paws which helped them to walk on snow. The breed was first brought to the UK in the 1920s by English surgeon Dr Agnes Greig, who had been working in a hospital on the Indian/Tibetan border and was presented with one as a gift for treating a sick Tibetan patient. Dr Greig obtained two other Tibetan Terriers during her time in the area, which she brought back and bred from. These dogs formed the foundations of the breed that we recognise today. The breed was officially recognised by the Kennel Club in 1937.

Tibetan Terrier Size

Small to medium. The Breed Standard stipulates the height at shoulder for dogs as 36-41cm, bitches slightly smaller.

Tibetan Terrier Health

There aren’t any major health concerns with the breed, although all breeders should conduct the relevant tests before breeding from their dogs.

Tibetan Terrier Activity Levels

Training is also vitally important with these dogs. Tibetans are clever and, if allowed to, can try to get away with things. For this reason, encourage the whole family (including children) to follow the same training guidelines and rules, so he understands the behaviours that you expect from him. Breeder Mark James states: “They are easy to train and really clever too,” said Mark James, from Desborough, Northamptonshire, who is secretary of the Tibetan Terrier Association, owns 11 Tibetan Terriers, and has bred and shown them for over 35 years. “Training is really important with Tibetans, because they do like to get their own way, but they’re not awkward dogs.“They can do lots of things — I’ve seen them do agility, heelwork to music, and apparently they make good Pets As Therapy dogs too, because they show a lot of empathy for people.”

Tibetan Terrier Special Needs

Tibetan Terriers’ temperaments can vary between dogs. While some can be very friendly and enthusiastic, others can be aloof and stand-offish with strangers, so it’s important to understand that you’re not guaranteed a certain temperament, even with dogs from the same litter or with similar genetics.

Socialisation from a young age is key. The more positive experiences your Tibetan gets through puppyhood and adolescence, the more confident he is likely to become as he matures.

Tibetans have very thick, non-shedding double coats, so you need to give them a thorough groom daily to avoid mats and knots. Many people choose to clip their Tibetan’s coat, which helps maintain it, although regular grooming is still vital. Frequent grooming also helps you check for lumps and bumps on the skin, which may be otherwise hidden. Start grooming your Tibetan from a young age, if possible, so it becomes part of his daily routine from puppyhood.

Due to their ancestry, these dogs love human company, so should never be left alone for long periods of time on a regular basis. If you work full-time, think long and hard before committing to a Tibetan

Did you know?

*The Tibetan Terrier is the eighth most popular breed in the utility group, according to the Kennel Club’s registration figures for 2015.
*Although a terrier by name, they are not a member of the Terrier group. They were given their name due to the breed’s likeness to true terriers

Remember! All breed profiles are general and every dog is an individual.