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Tibetan Terrier

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Physical Characteristics


Breed Group:



18 – 30 pounds


Around 14 – 16 inches


Tibetan Terriers come in a large variety of colors: solid colors, parti-color, tricolor, and other patterns are all possible.


The Tibetan Terrier has thick double coat that can be wavy. Regular grooming is essential to avoid matting and maintain a healthy look.



The Tibetan Terrier is not a true terrier and does not have the typical terrier temperament. Tibetan Terriers are calm and independent, and are self-reliant because of their nomadic ancestry. While they are a medium sized breed, they have a large dog's personality and athleticism. Tibetan Terriers often carry themselves in a dignified fashion, and are great companion dogs.

Country of Origin:



Tibetan Terriers were given the terrier name by European travelers who were reminded of terriers back home when they first saw these dogs in Tibet. Unlike the true terriers, Tibetan Terriers were not a hunting breed, and were most likely temple dogs, guards, and general purpose farm dogs. While the exact history of this breed is subject to speculation, it is recently determined that Tibetan Terrier is one of the most ancient dog breeds of the world. In their native land, Tibetan Terriers are still of high utility and considered very valuable.


Tibetan Terriers are often known as “TTs.” Their Tibetan name, “Tsang Apso,” roughly translate to “shaggy and bearded dogs from the province of Tsang.”


Tibetan Terriers are intelligent and independent. They are also affectionate and outgoing, and while they are wary around strangers they do not tend to be aggressive. They are generally calm and get along well with children. While Tibetan Terriers are energetic dogs, they are patient and do not nag to go outside.



As with all independent breeds, training Tibetan Terriers requires consistency and patience. They are certainly intelligent and very trainable, provided that they can see the purpose of what they are asked to do. Tibetan Terriers are also opportunists and will take advantage of loopholes, so firmness with rules is necessary in early stages of training.


Tibetan Terriers require regular exercise. While puppies only need short walks, an adult Tibetan Terrier can be very athletic and can be trained to go on long walks or compete in sports. Indoors, Tibetan Terriers are calm and not boisterous, although they are very good jumpers who may scale furniture and counters with ease.


Tibetan Terriers can be excellent apartment dogs, and they can adapt to a variety of environments. They have a long lifespan, up to 17 – 20 years; however, Tibetan Terriers are susceptible to a range of eye and joint problems, which can be tested at a young age.


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