Height: 14-17 inches
Weight: 18-30 pounds
Coat Type: Long and thick
The hardy Tibetan Terrier dog is a breed developed to withstand the extreme climate and difficult terrain of its home country, Tibet. The dog is known as Tsang Apso in Tibetan, which means ‘shaggy or bearded (apso) dog from the province of Tsang’. The breed is no way related to other terrier breeds, but is called so, due to its size, since breeds of this size were classified as terriers in England. The Tibetan Terrier is sometimes referred to as a ‘large dog in a small dog’s body’, since it has a personality of a large dog as opposed to its size, which is belongs to a smaller breed. Tibetan Terrier is a loving companion and makes an excellent family dog. The average life expectancy of this breed is 12 to 15 years. Read through the following lines to know more about the Tibetan Terrier breed.
The Tibetan Terrier is an ancient breed that evolved over 2,000 years back. The breed was treasured by Tibetan Monks, who considered it to be a good luck charm and a lucky mascot. The dogs were not sold, but were given as gifts instead. In the 1920s, Dr. A.R.H. Grieg from England, who was working for Women’s Medical Service of India, was gifted two of these dogs, one by a patient for successfully performing an operation and the other by the then Dalai Lama himself. Dr. Grieg bred the two dogs and brought back three of them. The breed was originally registered as Lhasa Terriers. However, the Indian Kennel Club changed the name to Tibetan Terrier in 1930. In 1956, the dog was imported to USA. However, it was only in 1973 that it was recognized by the American Kennel Club. The Tibetan Terrier was used for developing other Tibetan breeds, such as the Shih-Tzu, Lhasa Apso and the Tibetan Spaniel.
The Tibetan Terrier is a powerful, medium-sized dog with square proportions. It has a moderate head with a moderate stop. The large eyes are dark brown in color and are wide-set apart. The ears are V-shaped and pendant and hang besides the head. Irrespective of the coat color, the nose of a Tibetan Terrier is always black. The high set tail is well-feathered and curls up over the back. The back legs of the dog are slightly longer than the front legs. The canine has a double coat, which is long and thick, but does not touch the ground. The undercoat is soft, wooly and warm, while the top coat has a texture of human hair. The top coat is profuse and fine, but never silky or wooly. The coat can be found in all colors and patterns. The dog can be seen in any combination of solid, particolor, tricolor, brindle or piebald.
The Tibetan Terrier is very athletic and agile and at the same time, calm and laid back. The dog is highly intelligent, sensitive, loyal, devoted and affectionate. The breed is extremely energetic and surprisingly strong, making it a good sports dog. The dog can be reserved with strangers, but is not aggressive or shy with them. With sufficient exercise, the canine does well in an apartment. Since a Tibetan Terrier has a lot of energy, the dog should be given enough opportunities to run. The dog makes a good companion on long daily walks.
The Tibetan Terrier is prone to a number of health problems, particularly those related to the eyes and joints. These health issues include canine hip dysplasia, luxating patella, progressive retinal atrophy, lens luxation and cataracts. The breed is also known to carry the genetic disease called Canine Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinosis, which is known as ‘Batten Disease’ in human beings.
The Tibetan Terrier requires an extensive amount of grooming. The dog must be brushed after every 2 to 3 days, to remove all loose hair and prevent tangles. Before brushing, the coat should always be misted with conditioner and water. Extra care should be given beneath the leg joints, beard and hindquarters. Tibetan Terrier needs to be regularly bathed. The dog sheds very little to no hair.