Tibetan Terrier

Non-Sporting Group

Three Tibetan Terriers lying down in front of a white background

Height at Shoulders

14-17 in

Weight

18-30 lbs

Life Expectancy

15-16 yrs

History

The Tibetan Terrier is a half-misnomer, as it did indeed originate in Tibet but is not a terrier. The breed dates back thousands of years, originally serving at Buddhist monasteries. The Tibetan Terrier found work as a watchdog, companion, herder, and livestock guard. The dogs would even be tasked with fetching objects that fell down mountainsides. Tibetan Terriers were seen as good luck and were never sold, but rather passed around exclusively through gift-giving. In fact, the first Tibetan Terrier found its way to Europe in 1922 after Dr. A.R.H. Greig of England performed an operation on a patient in Tibet and was gifted one of the small dogs. She then started a kennel and began breeding the dogs herself. The "terrier" in the breed's name comes from a westerner mistake that somehow stuck.

Breed Characteristics

While not all Tibetan Terriers will display the exact characteristics typical of the breed, most share a personality and temperament can be generalized by the characteristic rankings below. 

Intelligence

Affection Towards Family

Friendliness Towards Strangers

Friendliness Towards Other Dogs

Exercise Needs

★★★★☆

★★★★★

★★★☆☆

★★★★☆

★★★★★

Energy Level

Sensitivity

Noise Level

Prey Drive

Shedding

★★★★☆

★☆☆

★☆☆

★☆☆☆

Intelligence

★★★★


Affection Towards Family

★★★★★


Friendliness Towards Strangers

★★★


Friendliness Towards Other Dogs

★★★★☆


Exercise Needs

★★★★★


Energy Level


Sensitivity

★★★★☆


Noise Level

★☆☆


Prey Drive

★☆☆


Shedding

★☆☆☆

Common Traits

Lively, playful, and sweet

Adapt easily to family's lifestyle

Have large, flat, round feet that function like snowshoes

Make great watchdogs, barking at anything unusual, but don't make effective guard dogs

Very affectionate with their people but tend to be reserved with strangers