Tibetan Terrier: dog breed appearance, character, training, care, health

The Tibetan terrier dog breed is medium in size and with a semi-long and shaggy coat. Although somewhat independent, its character is cheerful, cunning, docile, gentle and lively. Therefore, it combines a series of characteristics that make it a firm candidate to be among the companion dogs preferred by the public. Petlifey, we explain the character and characteristics of the Tibetan terrier.

Character of the Tibetan Terrier breed

The Tibetan terrier is an active, lively and cheerful dog. Its kind, friendly and faithful character makes it a companion dog with many attractions.

But it has a brave temperament, with courage, intelligent and prudent before strangers. This makes it an excellent watchdog as well. It is always alert and is very faithful to its master.

The Tibetan terrier is characterized by having enormous intelligence and insight, but also by possessing a sweet, affectionate and gentle character.

It is endowed with a great personality and possesses a certain degree of independence, which is why sometimes, perhaps more often than not, it makes its own decisions when it considers it appropriate and if it perceives that its owner is going to allow it, a characteristic of this. shared by many other Tibetan dogs, among which it stands out for being the most agile, active and sporty.

  • Energy: High. Active, energetic and lively, you need to do a lot of daily activity.
  • Temperament: Rustic, alert, cunning and somewhat independent, it is affectionate and docile in its family environment. It is smart, clean and faithful.
  • Adaptability: High. It adapts to any environment but you need to be close to your family and be able to exercise.
  • Sociability: High. Somewhat independent, it is affectionate with its family and gets along well with children and other dogs, but is suspicious of strangers.
  • Health: Good. It is a healthy and strong animal.
  • Longevity: High. It lives on average between 12 and 15 years, but can exceed this number.
  • Utility: Company. It was born as a guard dog that guarded Buddhist temples, but today it is basically a companion animal.

Is it a good family dog?

Well-mannered and balanced, this dog is an excellent companion animal that is tireless and playful. It gets along very well with children and shares its games and adventures with them, and with the rest of the family it behaves in an affectionate and friendly way.

With strangers it maintains an initially indolent attitude, as befits a good guard dog. But although it warns of any noise or strange presence with its characteristic bark similar to a howling howl, it is not elusive or aggressive towards them.

In fact, it gladly accepts anyone who comes to the house if it does it in the company of a family member.

Medium in size and relatively light, this dog is an ideal companion dog for any family. Even for those made up of older people, because, in addition to receiving a lot of love and company from their pet, they find in it the perfect excuse to force themselves to lead a healthier and more active lifestyle.

How does it behave with other animals?

With other dogs you can have a more than acceptable relationship, as long as they do not pose hierarchical conflicts, especially if they are individuals of the same sex, but with other species of animals you have to be a little more careful.

It can be used from a puppy to live with cats, hamsters, birds, etc., the relationship will be cordial, but never completely reliable.

This happens especially in the case of cats, as the Tibetan terrier seems to have a special predilection for chasing them. Although, of course, there are always exceptional cases of a good relationship.

Can it be left alone?

This animal does not like being alone at all, it constantly demands the presence of its family, because it needs to know where they are at all times.

And if left to its own devices for many hours a day, this balanced and stable dog can become noisy and destructive, adopting a behaviour typical of individuals affected by separation anxiety disorders.

Can you live in an apartment or in the city?

It is an animal that can adapt to living in an apartment and also in the city. Of course, the owner of a Tibetan terrier must be aware that their pet is an active animal that needs to exercise daily to be physically healthy and with a good mental balance.

Therefore, it is very important to enroll them in a specific sport or activity that involves some moderate to high exercise.

Due to its agility and size, it is an ideal breed for the practice of a large number of canine sports, among which, especially, agility , flyball or Frisbee stand out.

It can also be considered a great animal to participate in therapy dog ​​programs, as it has shown in the field of assistance, where there have been some very successful cases, especially performing as a helper for the hearing impaired.

However, if the owner cannot or does not want to involve its pet in any of these activities, it will be enough to take them out for long walks on a leash and combine them with free sessions in safe and limited areas.

Of course, it can also be included without any problem in all the activities and trips that the family undertakes, because, in this way, they will be filled with happiness and all members of the family unit will be able to enjoy a magnificent animal of company.

Characteristics of the Tibetan Terrier

The general appearance of the Tibetan terrier is that of a sturdy dog ​​with a square profile. It is a medium-sized dog, with a confident and firm expression. Its body is well covered with long hair and somewhat dishevelled, rather rustic.

How is the Tibetan Terrier physically


The body of the Tibetan terrier is compact, muscular and strong, it is a medium-sized dog with a square profile, since the length of its trunk, between the shoulders and the birth of the tail, is the same as its height at the withers. which is around 38 cm in males and 36 cm in females. The back is straight and the loin is slightly arched and short.

Its tail is of medium length and is set quite high. The dog wears it gracefully curled on its back and covered with many fringes.

The feet are under straight and solid limbs, the feet of the Tibetan terrier are large in size, rounded in shape and covered with abundant hair.


Its head is round in shape, it is covered with abundant long and fine hair that falls forward in the form of loose strands over the eyes. Its black truffle stands out.

Their eyes appear quite far apart, they are round, large and dark brown in color, and they are framed by black eyelids, but they are often half hidden by their hair.

The ears are long, in the shape of a “V” and hanging, but not very close to the head; they are covered with long hair in the form of loose, disheveled fringes at the lower end.


The hair is double-layered, the internal one is endowed with fine and woolly hair, while the external one has abundant long, fine and smooth fur, or wavy. It can have several colors, from white to black, through cream, grey or gold.

Tibetan Terrier breed standard

  • Origin: Tibet / United Kingdom Patronage.
  • Size: Medium.
  • Height at the withers: between 35 and 41 cm for males and between 33 and 39 cm for females.
  • Weight: between 8 and 13 kg both males and females.
  • General appearance: It is a square-built, robust and strong dog.
  • Use: Companion dog.
  • Other names: Tibetan Terrier / Tibetain Terrier / Tibet-Terrier.
  • Head: Of medium size and rounded lines, it is covered with long, fine hair that falls over the eyes. It also sports a small beard under the lower jaw.
  • Skull: It is of medium length, neither broad nor coarse, and tapers slightly from the point where the ears are inserted to the eyes. It is not dome shaped, but it is also not completely flat between the ears.
  • Nose-frontal depression (stop): It is well marked, although it is not exaggeratedly deep.
  • Muzzle: It is strong and has almost the same length as the skull.
  • Nose: It is black.
  • Jaws: The lower jaw is well developed and the incisors are placed in a slight curve and completely perpendicular. The bite is usually scissors, although sometimes it is inverted scissors, that is, it is the inner part of the lower incisors that touches the outer part of the upper teeth, and not the other way around.
  • Eyes: They are large, round in shape and well set, without being excessively prominent or sunken. Widely separated from each other, they are dark brown in color and have black pigmented edges of the eyelids.
  • Ears: They are not too large and have a “V” shape. They hang down on both sides of the head, without sticking too closely to the cheeks, and are covered with abundant long, heavy fringes, especially at the lower end.
  • Body: Muscular, compact and strong, it is rather square in structure, since the distance between the point of the shoulders and the insertion of the tail is equal to the height at the withers.
  • Back: It is straight, with a short and slightly arched loin.
  • Chest: The ribs are well extended backwards.
  • Tail: Set quite high, it is of medium length and the dog wears it happily curled on its back. Sometimes it is knotted near the tip. It is well covered with loose strands and fringes.
  • Forelimbs: They are straight, parallel and covered with abundant hair.
  • Shoulders: Well sloping.
  • Forearms and arms: They are straight and strong.
  • Hind limbs: They are also covered with abundant hair.
  • Legs: They are robust.
  • Knees: They present good angulations.
  • Hocks: They are slightly sloping.
  • Feet: They are large, rounded and have good pads that provide firm support. The fingers are not arched and abundant hair grows between them and the pads.
  • Movement: It is uniform, of great amplitude and powerful impulse- When the dog walks or jogs, the hind limbs move parallel to the forelimbs, without deviating outwards and inwards.
  • Fur: the hair of this animal has a double layer of hair. The internal one has fine and woolly hair, while the fur of the external layer is abundant, fine and long, although not silky or woolly. It can be smooth or wavy, but not curly.
  • Color: The coat of this breed can be white, gold, cream, gray, black or combine two of these colors, or even three. It is also possible to find specimens with other shades, but not in chocolate or liver color.
  • FCI classification: FCI nº 209. Group 9 – Companion dogs. Section 5 – Tibetan dogs.

Education and training of the Tibetan Terrier

One of the essential points in the work of training the Tibetan terrier is to subject it to a deep socialization process when it is a puppy. In fact, ideally, this program should be started while the animal is still with its breeder.

If in its first days of life the Tibetan terrier is exposed to as many situations as possible, with different noises, new smells, unfamiliar people, different animals, different environments, little by little the animal acquires a stable and balanced temperament.

This will prepare you to face naturally and calmly any episode, no matter how stressful it may be, and able to act accordingly.

This breed needs to have dedicated owners full of energy, who, on the one hand, are capable of satisfying all the needs of their pet and, on the other, know how to earn their affection and their total and absolute dedication by exercising natural leadership. not forced, but at the same time solid and firm, and based on serious and consistent work.

The important thing is that its owner acts with an iron fist in a silk glove, that is, firmly but being fair, in order to prevent the animal from developing a dominant or overprotective behaviour over any of the family members.

If the owners are people who lack experience in the possession or training of dogs, the most advisable thing is that they ask for help from a professional of canine behavior or that they enroll in a work group, thus making it much more pleasant and fruitful. animal education experience.

Tibet Terrier health and diseases

It is a basically healthy breed with very few health problems. The Tibetan terrier is a dog that, due to its size and structure, is very easy to have at home and that makes coexistence very simple.

Its longevity is remarkable, as it is not unusual to find specimens that are over 15 years of age and that are healthy, agile and energetic, which is, without a doubt, the best proof of their privileged nature and great physical strength.

In fact, this dog developed in a harsh and hostile environment, the inhospitable peaks of the Himalayas, so it had to adapt to very special living conditions.

If it had been a weak or sickly race, it is certain that its survival in such circumstances would have been impossible.

Although this dog hardly suffers from serious diseases, it does present a certain tendency to suffer from some other ailment of the osteoarticular type, so it is very important to ensure that it does not grow or age obese, since this is the safest way to avoid it many later complications.

Likewise, it should also be noted that the breed shows high hypersensitivity to flea bites, so it is highly recommended to strictly control parasitic infestations to prevent them from leading to other more serious secondary diseases.

And, in any case, the best preventive health policy with a Tibetan terrier, as well as with all dog breeds, is to act preventively by going regularly to the veterinarian to complete the relevant vaccination programs and annual revaccinations.

Internationally there are standardized vaccination protocols to protect developing puppies against the most common diseases, such as distemper, parvovirus, leptospirosis or hepatitis.

But there are also other types of vaccines that act against certain diseases of a seasonal nature (such as kennel cough), or linked to the circumstances of the animal at a specific time (for example, the case of the herpesvirus vaccine for pregnant females ), and a final type of mandatory vaccines are those that have to be given by legal imperative, as is the case with rabies.

Since the Tibetan terrier is a very suitable dog to accompany family members on the trips they undertake, it is very important that the owner who wants to travel with its dog, especially if it is going abroad, keeps all of them up to date. their vaccinations, especially that of rabies.

In the event that you wish to travel to countries with border restrictions, such as the United Kingdom or Sweden, that you have passed the essential serological tests to be able to enter them.

Of course, this vaccination program is not complete if it is not complemented by another of internal and external deworming, since these act against infestations of parasites of different kinds and species, which sometimes serve as vectors of very serious diseases or that They can alter the effectiveness of vaccinations by reducing the immune system’s response to their attack.

The veterinarian, on the other hand, should become a trusted ally to turn to with any doubt, problem or question that arises regarding the ownership or health of the dog.

Also, will also be responsible for reviewing the overall dog from the control weight and grew-meant, to evaluate the mouth, eyes, hair, skin or ears, especially since the practice of cutting Ears has become less and less common and the lobe falls, covering the ear canal and preventing its aeration and cleaning.

Feeding the Tibetan Terrier

In relation to the correct feeding of the Tibetan terrier, it is very important to ensure that the animal grows to its ideal weight, without becoming overweight.

To do this, it is essential to subject them to a proper exercise regimen and a healthy and balanced diet.

The sports activity must be abundant, in line with its needs and in order to have the dog mentally and physically balanced, and the diet must be rich in nutrients, in order to keep its muscles in shape, but at the same time provide it with the appropriate level of the beneficial essential fatty acids, so necessary for the proper functioning of your skin, your hair or your eyes.

Care and maintenance of the Tibetan Terrier

One of the characteristics of this breed is that, despite having an abundant coat of fairly long hair, it lacks shedding, which is a great advantage for its owners, since by not leaving hairs loose wherever it passes.

On the one hand it is much cleaner, and on the other, and perhaps more interesting, it prevents the development or minimizes the consequences for people who suffer from some type of respiratory allergy.

For the Tibetan terrier to present its most characteristic appearance, that of a beautiful dog with a slightly wavy and very shiny coat that reaches almost to the ground, it requires following some routine care.

First, the coat should be brushed often with a metal comb and a card, trying to work the hair to its full extent, reaching the roots and airing the undercoat to prevent knotting.

Then, and depending on the type of life to which it is going to dedicate it or the nature of the activities in which it is planned to enrol, the coat can be trimmed a little so that the hair draws the natural silhouette of the dog, or you can let it grow.

And, finally, you can give it a good bath when the animal is really very dirty, always taking care to dry it very well afterwards and not to leave it wet in the open.

A complementary task that must be done from time to time, and that is interesting to undertake taking advantage of the moment of the bath, is to check the state of the nails and cut them if it is considered necessary, being very careful not to reach the fleshy part.

As has been seen, there are not many tasks, care or obligations required to keep this dog, so life with a Tibetan terrier is usually very pleasant and simple.

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