An ancient breed, the Tibetan Terrier is credited with the development of all other Tibetan breeds. They were originally bred by Tibetan monks and were never sold. They were only given to esteemed friends or dignitaries. They are often referred to as the Holy Dog of Tibet, and it is believed they bring good luck to their owners. Tibetan Terriers are relatively uncommon and is still a rarity in the United States.
The Tibetan Terrier is of medium size. With their long coat that covers the eyes they resemble a miniature sheepdog. Although they carry the Terrier name, they have absolutely no Terrier traits. This is a hardy, shaggy, and versatile breed that not only makes a fine companion; but they are also highly capable of guarding, herding, and protecting.
Tibetan Terriers are highly intelligent, deeply devoted, and exceedingly loyal to their family. They thrive on human interaction and will not do well if left alone for extended periods of time. They are very sensitive and react to their owner's moods, feelings, and emotions. The Tibetan Terrier will get along with children who are considerate and well-behaved. They may be wary of strangers but are never aggressive. Although they are generally good with other pets, they need to learn to accept cats. They make good watchdogs and will bark their alarm at unusual sounds and also to announce visitors.
The Tibetan Terrier requires extensive grooming. They must be combed several times a week to prevent tangles and remove loose hair. The coat must never be dry combed. It is important to mist the coat with conditioner before combing to prevent breakage. Bathing should only be done when absolutely necessary using a mild shampoo. Dry shampooing may be done as needed. Tibetan Terriers are prone to hip dysplasia, hernias, cataracts, lens luxation, and progressive retinal atrophy.
The Tibetan Terrier has a profuse double coat that protects this breed from harsh climates. The outer coat is long, fine in texture, and can be way or straight. The under coat is dense, soft, and of a wooly texture. The coat comes in a wide variety of colors and may be solid, bi-color, tri-color, or a mixture. The colors include white, cream, silver, gold, black, and red. This breed sheds little to no hair.
This breed learns very quickly and is extremely eager to please. They have a self-reliant and independent nature that may lead them to avoid doing things they've already learned. They benefit from early socializations and obedience. The Tibetan Terrier will not respond to harsh or heavy-handed training methods. They do best with positive reinforcement, consistency, patience, and respectful loving direction.
The Tibetan Terrier requires daily regular exercise in the form of a long walk or play session. They are suited for apartment living provided they are given sufficient exercise. Tibetan Terriers are energetic and strong and do very well in agility. They are excellent hiking companions and enjoy a vigorous run in a securely fenced yard or safe open space.