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Tibetan Terrier

Tibetan Terrier

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Breed Organization
Tibetan Terrier Club of America
Native Country
Other Names
Phassa Terrier, Tsang Apso, Dokhi Apso, Holy Dog of Tibet, Luck Giver
Life Expectancy
Approximately 12-15 Years
Litter Size
Average 5-8 Puppies
Breed Group
AKC Non-Sporting
Breed Appearance
Fully grown, the Tibetan Terrier resembles a miniaturized Old English Sheepdog. The head is moderate, with a strong muzzle of medium length, and a skull neither rounded nor flat. The eyes are large, dark, and set fairly far apart. The V-shaped drop ears are well feathered, and should be set high on the sides of the skull. Although the preferred colour for the nose is black, in showdogs, they are also sometimes brown. The body is well muscled and compact. The length of the back should be equal to the height at the withers, giving the breed its typical square look. The tail is set high, well feathered, and carried in a curl over the back. One of the more unusual features of the Tibetan Terrier is the broad, flat feet with hair between the toes. They are ideal for climbing mountains and act as natural snow shoes. Despite its name, it is not a member of the terrier group.

Breed Description
Head: Medium in length. Skull not completely flat. Pronounced stop. Strong muzzle. Well-developed lower jaw with a slight beard. Black nose.
Ears: Not too large, forming a V. Pendulous but not too close to the head, with heavy feathering.
Eyes: Large, round, dark brown. Veiled with long hair.
Body: Square build, compact, muscular. Well-developed neck. Short, slightly arched loin.
Tail: Set on fairly high, medium in length, carried gaily, curled over the back. Very well-furnished with hair.
Hair: Long and fine but neither silky nor woolly. Straight or wavy, but not curly. Fine, woolly undercoat.
Coat: White, golden, cream, grey, or smokey, black, parti-color, and tricolor. Chocolate and liver (brown) are undesirable.
Size: Various
Weight: Various

This very ancient breed resembling both a miniature Old English Sheepdog and a Lhasa Apso comes from Tibet, where he was once kept by monks. He was actually worshiped as a sacred animal and a guardian of temples. Around 1920, a Tibetan princess gave Dr. Greig, her British doctor, a pair of Tibetan Terriers as a gift. He brought them back to England, where they were used to develop the European strain. The breed was officially recognized in 1930. The Tibetan Terrier is still very uncommon in Europe.

The temperament has been one of the most attractive aspects of the breed since it was first established. They are amiable and affectionate family dogs, sensitive to their owners and gentle with older children if properly introduced. As is fitting for a dog formerly used as a watch dog, they tend to be reserved around strangers, but should never be aggressive nor shy with them. Though not prone to excessive barking, the Tibetan Terrier has an assertive bark.

Suitable for apartment living, the Tibetan is still an energetic and surprisingly strong dog, and needs regular exercise. The energy level of the Tibetan is moderate to high and its general nature is happy, active, lively, intelligent and agile. As a result, they are well suited for dog sports such as agility. They are steadfast, determined, and clever, which can lead to them being stubborn. Tibetan Terriers are usually charming and loyal. Some dogs of this breed can often be jealous, which can make it hard to live with another pet.

This breed can be very flea sensitive. Also prone to progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) and hip dysplasia.

He can live in an apartment. He is athletic and needs exercise. He also requires daily brushing and combing.

Agility, Watchdog, Pet.

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