Tibetan Terrier - Not A Terrier Breed

As the name suggest, the breed belongs to Tibet but it is not a terrier group breed. European travellers gave it name Tibetan terrier because of its resemblance to terriers breed dogs. This breed proves the maxim “dog is a man’s best friend”.

Since inception it has proved itself great companion. The ultimate aim of its creation was to provide company to humans. The dog has a shaggy coat which is wiry in texture. Its coat requires frequent grooming in order to keep it neat. This breed is a true gift to mankind.


Those who have lived with this breed can only know about what priceless possession this breed is. Do not get confused by its name, this breed doesn’t possess any terrier traits. Though it is lively and cheerful but it doesn’t dig or shows aggressiveness. The dog has a good sense of humor and it feels elated when it knows the reason for smile on master’s face is because of it.

They are the perfect choice of dog for novice or first time dog owners. The dog is highly trainable; you can mold the dog in any shape. It can be agile sports dog, super watchdog or sweet companion. The dog is a human pleasure and excels in obedience training.

Tibetan Terrier


Tibetan Terrier Origin

This breed is a highly valued dog of Tibet. It is also known as “holy dog of Tibet” as it is believed that the dog is “token of good luck and charm”. It is a purebred that existed 2000 years old. In early days the dog was never sold rather it was given to people as gift. The dog was used for herding, watchdog, and companion since inception. 

Tibetan Terrier Characteristics & Information

  1. The breed belongs to Tibet and is a companion dog
  2. It is considered as holy dog of Tibet as it brings good luck and happiness
  3. It has a shaggy coat of wiry texture which requires frequent grooming
  4. The dog is easy to train and good choice for first time dog owner
  5. The dog is fond of barking. Sometimes it barks just to pass time
  6. The dog is highly adaptable. It can thrive in urban or rural lifestyle
  7. It makes perfect watchdog
  8. The dog loves children and it form intimacy with children
  9. Lifespan of the dog is 12 to 15 years
  10. It is a hypoallergenic breed
  11. Weight of the dog is 8 to 14 kg
  12. The dog is  35 – 41 cm tall
  13. It comes in black, brindle, golden, grey, white and piebald color
  14. Price of the dog is $1200 - $2000.

Tibetan Terrier Appearance

It is medium sized dog with a muscular built up body. Its full body is covered with dense long hair. They are squarely built up and have a straight topline. Their eyes are dark in color and deeply set in, tail is long, feathered and should be curled over its back. It has broad and flat feet which gives the dog friction in snow.

  • Size and Weight

Ideal height of the male breed should be 15 to 16 inches while female should be slightly smaller in height. Average weight of the dog is 20 to 24 pounds irrespective of the gender.

  • Coat and Color

The dog’s body is covered with profuse dense hair. Its coat can be wiry or straight in texture. Undercoat should be soft and wooly and topcoat should be frizzy and rough. The coat is long enough to touch the floor. The dog comes in many colors like black, brindle, golden, grey, white and piebald color or combination of any of these colors.

Tibetan Terrier Temperament

  1. Personality - The dog doesn’t exhibit any traits of terrier. Though it is lively and cheerful. The dog loves to be around humans. Inside home it remains sweet tempered and calm. It should be given opportunity to run, jump and romp. It loves children and entertaining them is its favorite pastimes. It is a highly adaptable dog and can mold itself to any situation and environment. It can thrive in urban as well as rural area.
  2. Behavior - The dog loves to shower love and affection to humans. It is true to its nature for what it was bred for. This is one of most sought after dog for companionship purpose. The dog is highly social. It can tolerate new pets at home and forms strong bond with house pets. It is important to expose the dog to as many people so it doesn’t develop standoffish behavior in case of strangers.  The dog barks excessively and it makes awesome watchdog.
  3. Activities Requirement - If you do not provide exercise, the dog will not turn aggressive or destructive as long as you give it time and attention. But for its health, it is highly recommended to take your dog on long or short walk. It loves to play hide and seek, fly ball and fly disc.
  4. Trainability - The dog is easy to train. You can train it as per your needs. The dog excels in being a watch dog and herd dog. You can give obedience related training to the dog. It can also outperform in agility related sports if trained properly.  As the dog has no history of hunting, so it is not possible to make it a hunt dog.


The dog requires premium quality nutrition to stay healthy. It should be fed 250-300 grams of meat per day which should be supplemented with vegetables, flaxseed and fish oil. Carrot, beans and cucumber are great for dogs.


It lives up to 12 to 15 years.

Tibetan Terrier

Health Issues

It is a hypoallergenic dog. It is a great choice of pet for asthma patient or people suffering from allergy. The dog can suffer from following health issues-

  1. Progressive Retinal Atrophy- It is a degenerative eye disorder that causes blindness in dogs.
  2. Lens Luxation- In this the lens in dog’s eyes is improperly placed. It can be treated with surgery.
  3. Hip Dysplasia- It is the defect of pelvic joints. The dog faces problem in walking and sitting.

Tibetan Terrier Grooming

Its long coat requires daily brushing to avoid tangled hair and mats formation on its body. It is important to comb its hair from top to bottom to avoid lose hair. Tibetan terrier should be bathed at least once a month. You can trim or clip its hair to give a clean look to dog. Do not forget to brush its teeth, clean its ears and trim its nails.


This breed prefers cold climate. Thought it can survive in any climate. It can adjust any lifestyle.

Tibetan Terrier Pet Names

  1. Collie
  2. Beauty
  3. Grace
  4. Chetak
  5. Cuckoo

Things To Consider Before Buying


  1. If you want a dog for companionship purpose, this is the perfect breed for you
  2. It is a hypoallergenic dog. Best choice of dog for people prone to allergy
  3. It is an animal friendly dog that easily accepts new pet at homes
  4. The dog also makes wonderful therapy dog. It is recommended by doctor to depressive patient or person who gets seizure.


  1. The dog requires extensive grooming
  2. It is not a hunt dog and doesn’t make effective guard dog.