Tibetan Terrier Dog Breed Profile

by Luke Blaise

Tibetan Terrier Dog

Tibetan Terrier Dog

AKC Group: Non-Sporting Group

The Tibetan Terrier dog is a powerful, medium sized breed. Their thick heavy coat has kept them warm through the cold winters of Tibet. They have been around for over 2,000 years and were known as the holy dogs of Tibet. Today they're very intelligent and make a great family dog.


Tibetan Terriers are an ancient breed that served as great stock material for all other Tibetan dogs, such as Lhasa Apso, the Tibetan Spaniel, and Shih-Tzu. They are not actually a terrier in nature. Tibetan Monks kept them as good luck charms for almost 2,000 years ago. The monks never sold them, but frequently gave them as gifts.

Physical Features

They got a great body, compact and well muscled. The back should be the same height at the withers and the hips. This feature gave the breed its distinctive square look. The required height for both sexes is about 14-16 inches and the preferred weight is 18-30 pounds. However, all weights are acceptable as long as it is in proportion to their size.

The double coat is prolific, a combination of a topcoat that has the feel of human hair and a warm undercoat. It must not be curly or silky, wavy is adequate. The hair although often shown long and thick, should not touch the floor. This is the opposite of what is seen in other long haired dog breeds, like the Maltese or Lhasa Apso.

All colors are allowed and none are giving any preference. Existing colors of Tibetan Terriers are a combination of solid, tricolor, particolor, piebald, or brindle but the features it must have are a black nose.


Tibetan Terriers are an intelligent, dedicated, and brave medium-sized dog. They are a loving, sweet, and gentle breed. These dogs are also known as lively, fun, with great endurance as well as agility.

Common Health Problems

Tibetan Terriers normally live anywhere between 17-20 years. They're susceptible to health conditions like canine hip dysplasia, PRA, and cataracts.

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