The Tibetan Terrier. 


Described by the Tibetan Terrier Association as being, “a force to be reckoned with”, these quirky dogs are not commonly seen as pets. Holidays4Dogs finds out more about this happy, out-going little breed of dog.

Origins of the Tibetan terrier.

Not surprisingly, these dogs originate from Tibet. They were kept by monks and nomads to herd and protect livestock. Their homes were often high up in the harsh lands of the Himalayan Mountains. The geographic territory meant these dogs had to be tough to survive extreme weather conditions and terrain. In the 1920’s an English doctor brought the dogs to the UK.


These are medium-sized dogs with a stocky, square shape. They can be any colour from white, golden to grey or black and any colour in-between, including parti-colours.


The modern Tibetan terrier is still reputed be a tough little character and despite being described by some as, ‘stubborn’, they are also amenable to learning. Many enthusiasts of the breed work their dogs in agility and obedience with great success.

They have engaging personalities and make delightful family pets always ready to join in with activities.  They are not a dog for everyone because that cute fluffy exterior belies a whirlwind character inside! While Tibetan’s look cute, they are not really lap dogs.


Another major consideration when contemplating this breed is the grooming since this will be extensive.  They have a fine, woolly undercoat which mats readily, so it is imperative to comb this through daily. Using a pet de-tangling product will help with this. Some people do clip their Tibetan’s but this does tend to change the texture of the coat Many people prefer to thin the coat with thinning scissors instead.

A professional dog groomer can do this, or you can learn how to do it yourself at home. However, this will take up a fair amount of time.  During the winter months, coats can easily become matted and tangled. Regular bathing with an appropriate pet shampoo is probably wise. A dog coat will help protect the coat and prevent matting during winter walks.


Although generally healthy and long lived dogs there are some genetic disorders that responsible breeders will test for.  The two main possible conditions found in Tibetan terriers are Primary Lens Luxation and Neuronal Ceroid Lipfuscinosis, both conditions of the eye.

Both of these disorders can now be DNA tested along with hip-scoring and annual general eye testing under the B.V.A. (British Veterinary Association) scheme.  It is always sensible to purchase puppies only from breeders who carry out these tests on their stock.