Tibetan Terriers


Tibetan Terriers

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Breed Notes:

The Tibetan Terrier is not a true terrier in that it was not bred to hunt but is instead a small, active herding-type dog. He was raised by Tibetan monks for over 2,000 years as a companion and watchdog. Brought into Europe he may be the ancestor of many European herding breeds. The breed was introduced into Great Britain in the 1930s and to the United States in 1956.
The Tibetan Terrier is a good companion, outgoing, alert and loyal. He is small enough for apartment life and sturdy enough for children. He needs some exercise, is intelligent and easy to obedience train. Wary of strangers, he makes a good watchdog. His long coat does require some attention.
The Tibetan Terrier is a compact, powerful, medium-sized dog. His head is fairly narrow and medium sized. His skull length equals the length of the muzzle. The nose is black. He has a scissors type bite. The eyes are large, dark brown and round. The coat on top of the head falls over the face covering the eyes and forming a beard under the chin. The ears are v-shaped and hang down alongside, but not too close to, the head and are heavily feathered. The length of neck is proportional to the size of the body which is compact, square, strong, and capable of both speed and endurance. He has a straight, level topline. The shoulders are well muscled and the legs are straight with the distance from elbow to withers being the same as from elbow to the ground. His feet are large and round leaving a snowshoe type track but hidden beneath profuse, fine hair. The tail is of medium length, set high and carried in a gay curl over the back. It is well feathered with coat. The coat is a double coat with a fine, wooly undercoat and profuse fine top coat. It should not reach all of the way to the ground. Coat colors include white, cream, gray, smoke, black and golden. These may be either in solid color, parti-colored or tri-colored. Liver and chocolate are not acceptable coat colors. Average weight is between eighteen and thirty pounds while average height is between fourteen and sixteen inches at the withers.


ChrissyR1@aol.xom of U.S. writes:

An all-around wonderful dog.
My Tibetan was very easy to train and housebreak. He is wonderful with children and very loving. Although he exercises everyday, he would prefer to just snuggle on the couch with me. The only downside I see to them is the grooming, but if you have one you know they are worth it.


maria@gooseman.dircon.co.uk of England writes on 8/19/01:

Not for everyone.
I own two Tibetans, a dog, now 11 and a bitch, now 10. First I have to say I love my dogs BUT they have been hard work. I am not an expert on Tibetans, I only go on experience from my own dogs, and others I have encountered. I am also an experienced dog owner and been involved in dog training. Tibetans can be VERY willful and from day one my dog has had aggressive tendancies - the first year with him was really tough. He is very dominant in character and has taken a lot of work, several injuries to myself and my family and much heartache to make him the dog he is today. The bitch, whilst not dominant and is fine with the family will "snap" at strangers if they try to stroke her. They are also very noisy dogs, they bark at everything - a problem all TT owners I know complain about. However I may have been unlucky in getting a particularly dominant individual and I have to say that the breed is certainly full of character and always ready for a game. I agree about thier intuition regarding people and once they know someone they will greet them as long lost friends everytime. I am certainly not saying TT's are awful dogs, I just wanted to balance these reviews to say they are not perfect and maybe a first time dog owner should consider another breed.


Name withheld by request of Orlando, FL writes on 4/12/01:

Good dogs, but stubborn.
My Tibetan is a great dog, but is so smart that he knows that he does not have to do anything that he does not feel like doing. If you like a dog with its own personality, this is a great dog.


rolly@inkcafe.com of California writes on 12/19/00:

The dog who has got your number.
Somewhere I read that Tibet's two great gifts to the planet were its religion and its dogs. I'm not very knowledgeable about Buddhism, though I admire its openness and big-spirit towards all people; but based on living with two TTs for eight years, I'd be surprised if the spirit of Tibet is not in these remarkable dogs. They are, as many here have noted, funny, willful (usually in a charming way), sweet, devoted, intelligent. They do take over a bed; my male, who is 8, often takes over guests, especially women he likes, sometimes simply draping himself on top of guests who like dogs - he always avoids people who he knows will not indulge him. I'd have to say that that uncanny ability to intuit what's going on and to size people up is pretty amazing, sometimes spooky and seems to be part of the TTs who are the Big Shot type of TT. TTs are like dim sum-- you find a big variety of styles, and that's what they have - a certain style of doing their life. For instance, my female TT is more downto earth and loves all infants and babies in strollers, she really gets off on the oohs and the ahhs when she kisses babies. She's running for office when she isn't running for a squirrel or a ball. She's not interested in being the Top Dog Big Shot. Yet she is not at all timid. The breed seems to be completely self-possessed, even at peace with their own natures. They seem to know their limits, whether in the case of my alfa dog there are apparently NO limits, or like my female she's eager to please and seeks out showing me she can obey the limits. I personally believe they are the kind of dog that humans learn from, but they really aren't for control freaks, overly serious types, weapons salespeople, or those with paranoid tendencies. You have to already have a sense of humor about yourself, and, preferably, you admire non-conformity, eccentricity and intelligence and you get a kick out of the Tibetan yodel (yes, they yodel) I think we're dealing with several hundred or even a few thousand years of Tibetan culture, carried into the west by these unique little people - it's exactly how they are, and you get a person not just a dog, if that makes sense. It's also a nice little secret to keep. It'd be awful if they started to get cross bred with pit bulls, for example. I am in the habit of telling someone who would make a lousy TT owner - and people always ask what kind of dogs are those - that oh, they're just some mutts. To sum up, you do get a little Tibetan-crazy because of these guys. You start saying insane things like, Honey, maybe we should have five TTs, and it's only because the bed won't hold three more that you don't call the breeder up. I think they hypnotize us into doing whatever they want, which is to be their best friends, walk them for long, long walks, hug them, brush them, teach them a few new vocabulary words each day ("ego" is a good one, or "pasta"), rub them wherever they want, take them everywhere in the car, and cook gourmet meals. And say stuff like you'll never get another breed of dog, which I swear I won't. Long live Tibet.


Knitlace@Ktis.net writes on 3/15/00:

A comedian. Child-like, love buy, bright eyed, loving pal.
We lost our Golden Retriever of 14 years to cancer, and I felt, at 69 that our "dog pal" days were over. After 2 years, I realized that I didn't only want a dog, I needed one. We went to the humane society. I had planned on a very small dog, preferably female,with short hair. There weren't any among the 40 females, and I was prepared to leave when my daughter convinced me to at least look at the males. They were jumping at the gates and barking loudly, and THEN! Sitting at attention, his every energy and sparkling eyes drawing me, was a Tibetan Terrier. I was so excited and filled with joy, that I took no chances, and stood by his cage while my daughter went to tell the personnel that I wanted him. He'd been groomed badly, but he was totally beautiful to me. I can't imagine how he arrived, forlorn on a streetcorner, but he was waiting for me alone. I can't tell you how much joy he brings to everyone who sees him. I pray the breed doesn't become popular and the standards remain. My dog with the smiling face!


jean.lynady@avon.com of New York writes on 3/13/00:

Loving, funny, loyal, happy dogs.
After much research and waiting, I obtained a black & white male TT who is now 1 year old. I can't begin to tell you how much laughter he has brought into our family. Getting through the puppy "blow coat" stage when TT's mat up is extremely trying and we ended up putting him in a "puppy" cut. However, these dogs have no doggy odor and do not shed. They train very quickly but obey a command only when they are in the mood. They love people and are constantly where they are in the household. TT's have this amazing capacity to use their paws like a bear and sleep in the weirdest positions usually on your couch or in your bed (something I originally thought we would never allow). They do not overeat or bark excessively. I would never get another breed again.


ceders@earthlink.net of Minnesota wrotes on 12/4/99:

Beautiful, intellegent dog with a great sense of humor.
I am the proud first time owner of an 11 mo. old male TT. After my experience with Benson I would never own any other bread. He is just this happy go lucky dog that is constantly cracking up my husband and I with his amazing personality. We can't have anything out of place in our house or he won't leave us alone until we put it back, and if we buy him a new toy he won't go near it, it's kind of like he is just stuck in his ways. He is great with children, my 3 year old niece and Benson play like the best of friends, she even uses him as a pillow sometimes. I could go on and on about how great his personality is but I nead to talk about his appearance also. He has a beautiful black and white wavey coat that does not shed, and he doesn't ever seem to get that doggy odor. To sum it up I think the TT is an all around perfect family pet!


ATP2007@aol.com of Des Moines, IA writes on 10/10/99:

Gentle dogs that do not follow rules but think for themselves
Can be stubborn, refuse to folow a command, pretend they have no idea what you are talking about and can get very matted if not cared for regularly. On the other hand they are very loving, entertaining, curious, intelligent, gentle, perceptive and fun in the snow. They are very adaptable and will go whereever you go as long as you are there. They make their own beds, sometimes rearranging the covers in the middle of the night. They sleep in the strangest of positions, stare into the wind and seem to understand whatever is going on.


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