The Affectionate and Apartment Friendly Tibetan Terrier!

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tibetan dog pantingIntroducing the Tibetan Terrier Breed! First and foremost a companion dog! These friendly pooches are known as the Holy Dogs of Tibet, because of their long affiliation with the Tibetan Monks of their homeland. Beautiful to look at and wonderful to live with, they get along with everyone and everything.

Lost in Translation: They’re Not Terriers! 

Although Tibetan Terriers are indeed Tibetan, they are not true terriers. European travelers named them Terriers because they thought this breed resembled the Terrier Dog Breeds back home! TTs are true Asian dogs.

A Brief History of Tibetan Terriers

This companion doggy is the historical watchdog of Buddhist monasteries and a friend of the Dalai Lama. “Holy Dog of Tibet” is another name for these doggos.

Relatives of Tibetan Spaniels and Lhasa Apso, they started their lives in the isolated Lost Valley in the area known as the Roof of the World. They worked cosey with the nomadic herdsmen in the area!

They’ve worked as herders and flock guardians in this mountainous region over their many years as Tibetan companion dogs. The breed originated from a feast and fast lifestyle! This means that the “Holy Dog of Tibet” is geared to eat only what they need and may not clean out their bowl at every meal.

The breed was introduced outside of Tibet when a Tibetan man gifted one to Dr. Agnes R. H. Greig, as thanks for saving his wife’s life.

She went on to get another, and the progeny soon spoke for themselves. They became a recognized breed in America in 1973, after being in the country for only 17 years.

The Appearance of These Snow Dogs! 

TTs are shaggy and medium-sized, square in proportion with a powerful build. The faces and glinting eyes have a covering of hair. The Tibetan Terrier has a curved well-feathered tail.

Their hair-covered dark expressive eyes are not visually impaired, thanks to their long eyelashes. Their hallmark feature must be their lovely, profuse double coat: a long outer coat over a wooly base.

Adaptability: They Thrive in Cold, Snowy Climates! 

Originating from the extreme climate and harsh terrain of Tibet, the TT has a protective double coat, agility and a very unique foot construction as a result of breeding.

The TT’s round, flat feet are like snowshoes which give the dog traction in snowy conditions. These “snowshoe” feet have adapted to help them live in the snowy, mountainous terrain of their homeland.

Average Size and Weight of This Breed! 

The Holy Dog stands at a height of 14 to 17 inches. Males weigh in at an average 18 to 30 pounds, while females are slightly smaller.

the cutest tibetan terrier rescue on lake

Temperament and Personality of These Sweet and Sensitive Doggos! 

This pooch is adaptable,  good-humored and loves to please. They are obedient and easy to train. With daily exercise, they will be happy in just about any household.

Families with older children who understand how to treat dogs will suit the TT to a T.

Sweet and kind, they are fun loving and lively and absolutely love human companionship. These barking dogs! They will bark at anything! All the time!

You may need to hire a dog walker if your dog suffers from separation anxiety while you are away for long periods of time. Bored barking may otherwise disturb your neighborhood.

What is Their Lifespan?

This medium breed has a life expectancy of 15 to 16 years.

Grooming Requirements: Level Expert! 

These beautiful coats range in color: white, gold, tricolor, brindle, silver, black, and require frequent brushing. Brush adolescent dogs daily. After the age of 18 months, groom one to three times a week.

If you do the grooming at home, you’ll need the tools: a pin brush, a metal “greyhound” comb, ear powder, and a spray bottle for misting the coat.

You’ll be fooled into thinking that this beautiful coat needs professional care, but your TT is really fairly easy to take care of, despite their coiffured appearance.

They are not great shedders and require a bath every seven to ten days. Trim the nails as needed and keep the hanging ears clean and dry. If your pup needs it, brush his teeth often with a vet-approved toothpaste. You’re sure to have a good looking TT with a delightful breath.

If neither you nor your doggy companion enjoy the grooming, a cute puppy clip is gorgeous and easy to maintain. Have your pet clipped if that will make life happier for you and yours.

4 Potential Health Issues for These Pups! 

Although they tend to look after themselves, the TT is prone to certain health problems:

  1. Hip Dysplasia, where the femur doesn’t fit snugly into the pelvic socket of the hip joint, can be corrected through medication or surgery. Breeders will need to guarantee that their stock is free of this condition.
  2. Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) is a degenerative eye disorder which eventually causes blindness.
  3. Lens Luxation is a disorder in which the lens is improperly positioned in the eye.
  4. Neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis Tibetan terrier type (NCL) is an autosomal recessive genetic disease.

tibetan terrier puppies sad face

Puppy for Sale! 

TTs were thought to bring good luck, and historically were only given as gifts or as thanks ~ but never sold. Nowadays, however, you may need to know a little about buying your TT.

Viable Tibetan Terrier Breeders will have the puppies socialized, temperament tested and dewormed, and you should be sure they have no inherited health issues.

If you don’t want to adopt an adult dog, a reputable breeder is usually your best bet. Bear in mind though that adopting a TT will alleviate your need to potty train a pup.

Tibetan Terrier Puppies Price 

American Kennel Club breeders seem to average a price of $2000. The cost of a Holy Dog puppy depends on a few variants, among them:

  • The breeder’s locale.
  • Whether the pup is male or female.
  • The heritage and suitability for either the show ring or as a family pet.

Adopt, Don’t Shop! Ask an Animal Shelter About Tibetan Terrier Rescues! 

Unfortunately, people often take these friendly companion pups on without a full understanding of their requirements. This leads some to end up in rescue facilities, looking for a loving forever home of their own.

The TTCA Rescue program attempts to find homes for such Tibetan Terriers, and Petfinder may be a good option too. If you want a Holy Dog, ask your local shelter or vet for options on adopting in your area.

Common Questions 

Why does my TT usually leave food in his bowl and seldom eat the suggested daily requirement?

I need a fairly good watchdog, will my TT be suitable? 

How are Tibetan Terriers for apartment lifestyles? 

Where can I find a Tibetan Terrier puppy with good breeding?

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