Tibetan Terrier

Tibetan Terrier

Group: Non-Sporting

Origin: Tibet

Height: 14 to 16 inches (36-41 cm)

Weight: 20 to 24 lbs, however, the weight may range from 18 to 30 lbs
– Weight should be proportionate to height, maintaining a sturdy, compact build.

Commonly Referred to as: TT

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Breed Profile

The Tibetan Terrier (often called TTs) originated in the Lost Valley of Tibet and was regarded as a holy dog and one who brought good luck to those who owned them. These dogs were never sold but rather, visitors to the Lost Valley were often given a dog to safeguard them on their journey. It is believed that TTs were raised as companions for hundreds of years by the monks that lived high in the mountains of Tibet.

The breed is not really a Terrier in that he was never used to “go to ground” after burrowing animals or to hunt vermin as other Terriers were bred to do. It is believed that the Terrier term was used only because of the breed’s similarity in size to the average Terrier. He is a medium sized dog but often referred to as “a large dog in a small dog’s body” because he has a personality that is more often seen in larger breeds. The TT is born a companion dog and he should not be left alone for long periods of time. Though, he may be slightly cautious and reserved toward strangers, he is affectionate and devoted to his family as well as sensitive and intelligent.

He is capable of tremendous endurance and agility and does well in the winter with his unique round feet that produce a snowshoe effect. His outer coat is long, profuse and fine but never silky or wooly and he has a soft, wooly undercoat. Any colour or comination of colours are acceptable but he must have a black nose.

Health Issues

As with all breeds of dogs, the Tibetan Terrier breed is known to be affected by some hereditary disorders. Incidences of hip dysplasia, PRA and lens luxation have been seen in the breed. The Tibetan Terrier Club of America recommends that all breeding stock have OFA and CERF certification before breeding.

If you are considering the adoption of a Tibetan Terrier puppy, or any breed, it is very important to be selective in choosing a responsible and reputable breeder. Ensure that the prospective puppy’s parents have all health clearances. Breeding of any dog should not be done until after they have been proven to be free of evidence of significant hereditary diseases. (For more information on selecting a breeder, see the articles on the main General Information page.)

Additional Health Resources:

  • Canine Health Information Center (CHIC) — Providing a source of health information for owners, breeders, and scientists that will assist in breeding healthy dogs. CHIC is a centralized canine health database jointly sponsored by the AKC/Canine Health Foundation (AKC/CHF) and the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA).
  • Health and Nutrition — Growing section of the Canada’s Guide to Dogs website which includes information on several health and nutrition related issues.
  • Ontario Veterinary College (OVC)
  • University of Pennsylvania Hip Improvement Program (PennHip)
  • HealthGene — HealthGene Corporation is the leading provider of veterinary DNA diagnostic services in Canada.
  • Labgenvet — Laboratory of Veterinary Genetics is a Canadian diagnostic laboratory that offers a comprehensive service of DNA tests for veterinary genetic diseases.

Grooming Information

  • Grooming — This section of the Canada’s Guide to Dogs website includes tips, articles and information covering all aspects of dog grooming along with a listing of Groomers from across Canada.


Training Resources

  • Training — For training information, see this growing section of the Canada’s Guide to Dogs website for tips, articles, as well as listings of training centres across Canada.


Additional Information

  • Clubs, Sports & Activities — For information on the many sports and activities you can get involved in with your dog.
  • Working Dogs — The Working Dogs section of the Canada’s Guide to Dogs website provides information and listings of organizations that are involved in various dog jobs, such as Guide Dogs, Therapy Dogs, Police Dogs, Protection Dogs, and much more.

Breed Listing

*NOTE 1: CHIC – The Canine Health Information Center “is a database of consolidated health screening results from multiple sources. Co-sponsored by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) and the American Kennel Club (AKC) Canine Health Foundation, CHIC works with parent clubs to identify health screening protocols appropriate for individual breeds. Dogs tested in accordance with the parent club established requirements, that have their results registered and made available in the public domain are issued CHIC numbers.” To learn more, visit: www.caninehealthinfo.org

*NOTE 2: The Fédération Cynologique International (FCI) is the World Canine Organization, which includes 91 members and contract partners (one member per country) that each issue their own pedigrees and train their own judges. The FCI recognizes 344 breeds, with each being the “property” of a specific country. The “owner” countries write the standards of these breeds in co-operation with the Standards and Scientific Commissions of the FCI, and the translation and updating are carried out by the FCI. The FCI is not a breed registry nor does it issue pedigrees.

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