Tibetan Terrier

Tibetan Terrier

The Tibetan Terrier originates from...

Despite its name, this breed is not classified as a Terrier under Kennel Club standards, but is considered the original herding dog, hailing from the monasteries of Tibetan monks over 2,000 years ago. Falling within the 'utility' breed group, the Tibetan Terrier shares its classification with the non-sporting Poodle, Bulldog, Dalmatian, and Akita. Primarily bred as a guardian of livestock and property, the breed assisted in many working roles and was highly valued by breeders and enthusiasts alike. Due to the geographical isolation of Tibet, the breed has remained relatively pure, with cross breeding being restricted. Believed to be a divine bringer of good fortune, the Tibetan Terrier was never sold, only venturing outside its homeland because it was gifted to visiting nobles and distinguished guests. The breed was originally registered as the Lhasa Terrier, and was recognised officially by the American Kennel Club in 1973.

The Tibetan Terrier is characterised by...

A dog of medium build, the breed bears a striking resemblance to the Old English Sheepdog in everything but size. It is also likened to the Lhasa Apso, Shih Tzu, and Tibetan Spaniel — likely descendants of the breed. Otherwise, the Tibetan Terrier has a compact frame with short legs, a heavily feathered tail that arches over the back, dark, wide-spaced eyes, and a level top line. The double coat is of a rustic appearance in all colours and patterning and serves to insulate the dog in cold climates. Typically, the coat can be either wavy or straight and has a long growth cycle, meaning regular grooming is necessary. This breed also has broad feet, which aid the dog's balance over difficult terrain.

The average Tibetan Terrier...

Despite being stubborn, strong-willed, and disobedient at times, the Tibetan Terrier has the potential to be an affectionate companion, responding well to consistent training from puppyhood. When left to its own devices, the Tibetan Terrier can wreak havoc in the home, displaying destructive behaviours due to loneliness and boredom. For this reason, regular exercise, mental stimulation, and human companionship is imperative, ensuring your dog is contented, relaxed, and healthy. Vigilant to change and threat, the Tibetan Terrier makes an excellent watch dog, engages well with children, and adapts well to new situations and people. On average, a healthy Tibetan Terrier will weigh 8-14kg depending on its gender, with a life expectancy of 12-15 years.


Generally healthy and long-lived, this breed is prone to few breed-specific conditions, including optical disorders, with lens luxation and progressive retinal atrophy being most prevalent in the breed, congenital deafness, and various orthopaedic complaints. Heart murmurs are also well documented in the Tibetan Terrier.

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Our Tibetan Terrier owners have uploaded 55 photos

Our Tibetan Terrier owners' thoughts

Added on 14/04/2015

Pebbles was rescued from Tenerefe after being abandoned due to a broken leg in a car accident, she had surgery in Tenerefe to try to save her leg which had been left broken and without vet care, she was in severe pain for approx. two months. Unfortunately she has had to have her leg amputated after we brought her to the UK removed just below the hip as the nerve damage was so severe.
Now at only 18 months she has a new pal in my little whippet and runs on three legs enjoying life to the full, a much loved little dog.

Added on 01/06/2017

I recently rescued a puppy from Crete. I think he has tibetian terrer in him. He is about 5 months old and the most adorable dog. Crete appears to have many dogs similar to Alfie, all looking to be rescued

Added on 07/01/2018
Joined 07/01/2018
From Worcestershire, United Kingdom

Willow is my first TT. But she will not be my last. She is completly different from any other breed. She is intelligent loving, great sence of adventure amazing sence of fun. She is also stubborn strong willed and naughty.
It is said that TTs are the reincarnated naughty monks!! So very believable.
I am already planning on getting another little terror!

Added on 27/06/2018
Joined 20/07/2015
From Lincolnshire, United Kingdom

Harvey my TT is just the best dog ever. He is funny and intelligent and very cheeky.

Added on 17/04/2019
Joined 06/12/2018
From Warwickshire, United Kingdom

My TT Elsie is just great. Can be a bit stubborn at times, I agree she is strong willed. Very loving, she’s my shadow. Loves to meet other dogs and the humans too. Does not get worn out no matter how long the walk!!

Added on 03/11/2020
Joined 09/12/2019
From Cheshire, United Kingdom

Poppy and Tashi our Tibetan Terriers are fabulous dogs. Freindly, stubborn but amazingly loving. You couldn't wish for better dogs. Watch out for allergies though and please take out a good insurance as treating allergies can be very expensive.