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Tibetan Terrier – a Lovable Shepherd from the Highlands of Tibet

07.10.2022 - Reading time: 3 minutes

Ein Tibet Terrier im Vordergrund eines Sees.

The Tibetan Terrier is not a terrier, but rather a small, furry shepherd from the highlands of Tibet. His open, friendly and playful nature has opened Europe’s doors and heart to this breed. As a vigilant and child-friendly companion, he fulfills numerous tasks – as a playmate, entertainer, fellow traveller and couch cushion. In short: a lovable dog that is a good fit for many families.


Newsletter Tibetan Terrier

Tibetan Terrier
Companion dog
35 to 41 centimetres shoulder height
8 to 14 kilograms
compact, square and harmonious
large, dark and difficult to see under the coat
medium sized, very furry hanging ears
Coat and colour
double-layered coat with a thick undercoat and soft, wavy outer coat; in many colours from white to black, numerous brown and golden tones, as well as checked and tricolour
Special features
not a terrier, but rather a shepherd with little hunting instinct and coat which barely sheds
perky, playful, vigilant and highly intelligent
coat requiring intensive care with daily brushing and occasional visits to the groomer
generally good, tests to exclude certain heritable diseases required for the breeder

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A gift from the heart

Not much is know about the origins of the Tibetan Terrier. This mid-sized dog served as a guard and shepherd dog in Tibet, with its most essential task being to report dangers. They lived on farms and in temples, accompanied shepherds into the mountains and, even today, are very adaptable and tough. According to long tradition, these frizzy dogs were never sold, but always given as gifts. In this way, the first two Tibetan Terriers were given as a gift to an English doctor and taken to Great Britain. They were incorrectly identified as terriers, though they have nothing in common in terms of genetics or temperament.

The personality of the Tibetan Terrier

The vigilant nature of the Tibetan Terrier can be summed up as “always on guard”. His job as a guard dog is deeply rooted in his genes and means that he always has one ear open. He is full of energy, active and interested in any find of attention. This fluffy dog forms a close bond with his humans and prefers to be with them everywhere they go, all the time. Thanks to his open, friendly nature, this mid-sized Tibetan breed is a good companion that is welcome nearly anywhere. The Tibetan Terrier is reserved and cautious around strangers without becoming aggressive. Good socialisation during the first few months will help the dog to build his confidence and accompany calmly you day by day.

Training and keeping a Tibetan Terrier

The Tibetan Terrier is just as at home on the sofa as he is on long walks through woods and fields. His huge drive to move must be satisfied – whether that be through wild playtime in the garden or long hikes, cycle tours or as a companion for horseback riders. For his size, he is remarkably energetic and hardworking but can get calmer as he gets older. This shepherding dog is suitable for a flat if he can get enough time outside and mental stimulation to make up for it. He loves to participate in dog sports, such as dog frisbee, dog dancing or agility. The most important thing is action, together which his humans – then the Tibentan Terrier is in his element.

Caring for a Tibetan Terrier

Despite all of his advantages, there is one thing the Tibetan Terrier demands of his owners: coat care. The long, silky-soft coat should be brushed daily and freed from dirt, brambles and twigs collected outside. Your Tibetan Terrier needs professional coat care multiple times per year in which the coat is thinned and the ears and thoroughly cleared of hair. Otherwise they can become blocked and infected. For coat and ear care, you should plan for at least two hours per week in total. This little shepherd dog is otherwise generally healthy and normally lives to be 12 to 15 years old.

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