The Tibetan Terrier (known as the “Tsang Apso” in Tibet) is very much the meaning of their native name – “shaggy dog” – and looks very much like a miniature Old English Sheepdog with a long, shaggy coat that comes in virtually any color. Despite their Western name they are not actually a terrier but rather a member of the non-sporting or utility category. The breed originated more than 2,000 years ago, and they were originally used for the chief intention of companionship.

A number of their more distinctive features often are sensitive and devoted nature as well as their long, shaggy coat that actually sheds very little when properly groomed – which assist in making the Tibetan Terrier a familiar preference for families with older children and allergy sufferers.

The Tibetan Terrier’s origins are largely unknown, but was originally created in Tibetan monasteries over 2,000 years ago where they were bred as companionship dogs that could withstand the harsh climate and were occasionally given as good luck charms to keep visitors safe on their travels. Tibetan Terriers were never sold but one female eventually left Tibet with an English doctor as a gift for saving a life. Soon they acquired a male to begin a breeding program, and this is how the Tibetan Terrier came to be introduced to the Western world. Like their relative in the Lhasa Apso, they are believed to have descended from the most ancient of dog breeds.

Tibetan Terriers are classed as a medium to small-sized dog. The recommended standard size for the Tibetan Terrier male and female is 14-17 inches high from paw to shoulder and a weight of 18-30 pounds.

The Tibetan Terrier is renowned for their devoted, sensitive, independent and sometimes mischievous personality. They are typically reserved with people they don’t know, but their size often makes them unsuitable as a guard dog.

The Tibetan Terrier is also accepted to be highly intelligent – but only rank 62nd in comparison with other dogs when considering their ability to be taught obedience directives. They are additionally well-known to be good with gentle children – meaning they are not the best choice as a family pet with young children who will handle them too roughly. The Tibetan Terrier is sometimes well-matched with other dogs as long as they are socialized well and understand that the human is the pack leader – otherwise they may try to dominate them.

The Tibetan Terrier thrives with a small yard to play in, but they are quite suitable for apartment life so long as they are given enough exercise.

The Tibetan Terrier takes pleasure in hobbies such as agility trials, flyball, running around the yard or even herding. They possess a moderate quantity of energy that decreases with age and need to be given exercise every day in the manner of two short walks or outings at different times of the day to ensure they have no excess energy to burn off through destructive behavior or barking.

The Tibetan Terrier can be the perfect dog breed for a family with older children or even an allergy sufferer due to their non-shedding coat. They are suitable for anybody that is keen to do a fairly high level of grooming and allocate time to provide them with early socialization with different people and animals and positive obedience training in addition to take them on a couple of short walks every day and give a very high amount of companionship and devotion. Though they could be somewhat inappropriate in households with younger children, if you are capable of meeting their need for love, keeping clean and patient guidance then the Tibetan Terrier may possibly make the perfect breed of dog for you.

  • Affectionate, Loyal, Sensitive
  • AKC Breed Popularity: Ranks 96 of 193
  • Height: 14-17 inches
  • Weight: 18-30 pounds (male), slightly smaller (female)
  • Life Expectancy: 15-16 years
  • Group: Non-Sporting Group

Tibetan Terrier Club of America, Inc.

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