Tibetan Terrier | Dog Breed Information & Facts – Pictures


Last Updated on September 24, 2021 by Pets Feed

The Tibetan Terrier is a very beautiful and intelligent dog with a luxurious coat. In appearance, it resembles an Old English Sheepdog only in a reduced version.

This breed is for those people who value infinite loyalty, courage, intelligence and balanced temperament in dogs. The Tibetan Terrier in his homeland was considered a talisman of good luck, a sacred animal capable of protecting the owner from evil spirits.

The Tibetan Terrier is active and energetic. He is ready to accompany the owner on any journey. Unusual surroundings and moving will not scare him. In the company of the owner, the terrier will be happy anywhere.

Representatives of the breed in the modern world are famous for their decorativeness. They are excellent companions and loyal friends, and in dangerous situations they are also guards.

Other names: Tsang apso,

Tibetan Terrier

For Tibetan monks, these terriers were just favorites and companions, for the villagers, faithful helpers and shepherds. In the modern world, these animals successfully combine both functions.

The history of the breed

The homeland of the Tibetan Terrier is Tibet.

The beginning of the history of this breed is lost in the distant past, long before the appearance of written sources. It is believed that the Tibetan Terrier originated a thousand years ago. With the help of scientific research (DNA analysis), it was possible to prove that it originated from the most ancient breeds.

Tibet was a politically and geographically isolated place. Maybe because of this, Tibetan Terriers have not changed their original appearance for hundreds of years, remained purebred.

There is a version that initially terriers in Tibet were taken out for herding work. If small puppies appeared in the brood that were not suitable for such use, they were given to the care of Tibetan lamas.

Representatives of the breed were named “sacred dogs of Tibet”. They could not be sold, but only gifted. The monks believed that this dog brought good luck and happiness to the house, and if it was sold, then the prosperity would leave the owners.

At the beginning of history, the Tibetan was called the “Lhasa Terrier”. It was only in 1930 that it was recognized as the “Tibetan Terrier”.

The breed, despite the name, does not belong to terriers, has nothing to do with it. It’s just that the British, seeing the Tibetans, decided that they were very similar to English terriers.

The Tibetan Terrier also came to Europe thanks to the British. In 1922, the Englishwoman Craig brought these dogs with her home from Tibet.

After a short time, she created the Lamleh Kennel cattery, which is now known all over the world. Thanks to Craig in 1937, the Tibetan Terrier breed was officially recognized as an independent species.

The Second World War, almost destroying many other species of dogs, practically did not affect the population of Tibetan Terriers. In 1956 these terriers were brought to America. In the seventies of the twentieth century, they are recognized by the AKC.

The Tibetan Terrier, being an ancient breed, served as the basis for breeding the Shih Tzu, the Tibetan Spaniel.

Today tsang apso is not very popular, but it is not in last place either. It is considered a rather rare and expensive species, the main purpose of which is a companion dog.

Tibetan Terrier

DNA analysis has shown that the Tibetan Terriers have a very ancient history. Their ancestors lived on earth for more than one millennium. Due to the closed type of development, the breed has been perfectly preserved and has survived to this day almost unchanged.

Breed standard

The Tibetan Terrier is a medium sized breed. He has a compact build, square format with well-developed muscles. Adults are very similar to a smaller copy of the Old English Shepherd Dog.

The average weight of a mature Tibetan Terrier is 9-12 kg, the height at the withers is about 30-40 cm. Bitches are slightly smaller, lighter than males.

A not too large head is supported on a strong, medium-length neck. The ears are drooping, V-shaped. They are covered with long, lush hair.

The eyes are large, round, dark, set wide apart, eyelids tight.

The stop is well defined. The muzzle is of medium length. The nose is not too large, pigmented. Cheekbones not protruding.

The jaws are strong, one might say powerful. Scissor bite, but straight bite is allowed.

The topline is straight, the back is strong and straight. The loin is muscular. The chest is quite voluminous. The tail is of medium length and set high. Twisted into a ring, well pubescent.

The limbs are of medium length, straight. A distinctive feature of Tsang Apso is the shape of the paws. The Tibetan’s paws are shaped like snowshoes. They are large, wide, rounded. A Tibetan on such paws can relatively easily move in the snow.

The coat of the Tibetan Terrier is long, thick, soft. The outer hair is wavy, but not curly. There is a dense fluffy undercoat.

Tibetan Terrier is allowed in one-color, two-color, tricolor. Tsang Apso of golden color is considered the rarest and most expensive.

Tibetan Terrier

These dogs need early socialization and education. It is better to teach them obedience from early puppyhood.


The character of the representatives of the breed is not at all the same as that of the terriers. It is not surprising, because there is no blood relationship between them.

A Tibetan is absolutely happy only in the company of his beloved hosts. It is family oriented. The character is playful. The dog always tries to participate in all household chores.

Strongly attached to the family. Separation is hard. Loneliness is not desirable for such dogs.

The Tibetan terrier gets along with children, is able to endure their pranks for a long time. But such a pet is recommended for schoolchildren, not for toddlers.

He is suspicious of strangers. Can act as a watchman.

He gets along well with pets. But he often shows jealousy. If the owner pays, for example, more attention to the cat, the terrier will try to correct the situation.

Tsang Apso loves to bark with or without reason. He may bark just out of boredom or hearing footsteps on the street, outside the door. So that in such cases there is no discomfort both for the owners of the house and for the neighbors, it is important to teach the terrier to stop barking on command.

Apso has a supernatural instinct; he is acutely aware of the state of a person and behaves in a manner appropriate to the situation. Such a pet is perfect for those who have suffered from stress, who are depressed. It has a positive effect on the nervous system, charges you with optimism.

The Tibetan Terrier is not fearful, not aggressive. He is a calm, affectionate, loyal dog subject to proper education and socialization.


On average, the Tibetan Terrier can live for about 12-14 years, but there are cases of longevity, when representatives of the breed could live 17 or more years.

Life expectancy directly depends on the conditions of detention and the quality of food. It is also important to carry out treatment against skin parasites, deworming and vaccination on time. Annual preventive examinations at the veterinary clinic are recommended.

The Tibetan Terrier has a predisposition to the following diseases:

  • Dislocation of the eye lens is the most severe pathology of the eyeball.
  • Dysplasia is a disorder of the development of the hip joint, which leads to the development of arthrosis and destruction of the joint.
  • Cataract – clouding of the lens, impairs vision, can lead to its complete loss.
  • Retinal atrophy is a genetic pathology that can lead not only to deterioration of vision, but also to its loss.
  • Dislocation of the patella is a displacement from its usual (normal) position outward (lateral) or inward (medial).
Tibetan Terrier

Tibetan terriers do not tolerate heat well, so in the summer it must be cut as short as possible so that it does not get heatstroke.

Basic care

The Tibetan Terrier can be kept in the house and in the aviary. It is medium in size, does not take up much space, is unpretentious, and its thick, dense coat with undercoat reliably protects from the cold.

Any way of keeping a Tibetan requires physical activity. Every day you need to walk with your pet at least twice. Walking at a slow pace is not suitable, they need to be alternated with running, jumping, active games.

If you release a Tibetan from a leash, you must not let him out of sight. He is very curious by nature, always striving to explore new places. Due to this habit, it is considered to be prone to escapes.

An ideal place of keeping for representatives of this breed is a private house with a spacious, fenced house area. In such conditions, the pet will be able to walk freely in the yard at least every day. Especially such dogs love to play in the snow, for them it is the best entertainment.

Caring for a Tibetan Terrier cannot be called too easy. But if you carry out the procedures below on time, there will be no particular difficulties. Caring for representatives of the Tibetan breed is as follows:

  • The long, fluffy coat of the Tibetan Terrier requires daily brushing. This will help to avoid tangles and at the same time massage the skin. To make combing easier, it is recommended to moisturize the coat with special agents before the procedure. Intensive seasonal molting takes place twice a year, during this period it is important to take special care of the coat.
  • The Tibetan Terrier has to be bathed quite often. The coat of such a dog is not dirt-repellent. Due to its length, it, on the contrary, collects all the debris and dirt on itself. For bathing, you need to buy special products, “human” shampoo is not suitable, it may cause an allergic reaction.
  • On the pads of the paws, you need to cut the hair, it interferes with the dog.
  • We cut the claws as they grow.
  • Tsang Apso’s eyes are characterized by increased tearfulness. Because of this feature, it is recommended that you rub your eyes weekly using light tea leaves and napkins.
  • The teeth are also considered to be the weak point of the representatives of this breed. It is important to clean them weekly with a special non-foaming dog paste. To clean your teeth, it is recommended to let your pet chew on hard vegetables, fruits and special bones from the veterinary medicine.

We provide balanced nutrition for the apso. An improperly formulated diet contributes to the development of many diseases. 60-70% of the diet is protein food.

It is forbidden to give spices to dogs, salt is acceptable in minimal quantities.

Tibetan Terrier

For proper digestion of food, the terrier needs rest, so you need to feed the dog after a walk.

Training and education

The upbringing and training of a pet should be started from puppyhood. But this process can be problematic.

The fact is that a Tibetan Terrier puppy is not disciplined. It is difficult for him to concentrate on one action; he quickly loses interest in monotonous activities.

Based on the above, training lessons should be varied, interesting and not long. During breaks, it is worth keeping your pet busy with a fun game, during which you can unobtrusively repeat the commands you have already learned.

Despite the apso’s reluctance to train and teach commands, the owner must go through a general course of training and obedience with him. At the same time, cruel and rude methods are excluded. The training is strict, but fair and calm.

Disobedience is especially acute at the age of 11-14 months.

Interesting Facts

  • The Tibetan Terrier was kept by Tibetan monks for a long time, because of this it is often called the “holy dog ​​of Tibet”.
  • One in five Tibetan Terriers live more than 15 years, record cases of longevity up to 18 years are known.
  • Tsang Apso is also called “little people” because of the ideal qualities of a companion dog and developed intelligence.
  • The golden Tibetan Terrier is especially honored. The price for it is 2-3 times higher than usual. This color is extremely rare. Apso with the indicated color is the talisman of the house, bringing good luck.
  • In Tibet, it was not allowed to sell tsang apso. Such a dog could only be presented to good people for good luck.
Tibetan Terrier

Pros and cons of the breed

The Tibetan Terrier as a pet is suitable for both young families with children and the elderly. This breed is suitable for inexperienced dog breeders. The main thing is that the owners love the Tibetan and provide him with the proper level of physical activity.

The main advantages of the Tibetan Terrier breed:

  1. Beautiful appearance.
  2. Friendly disposition.
  3. Developed intelligence.
  4. Refers to long-livers.
  5. Good health.
  6. Get along well with other pets.

The main disadvantages of the Tibetan Terrier breed:

  1. Stubbornness, willfulness.
  2. Difficult care.
  3. Manifestation of jealousy.
  4. Cannot stand loneliness.
  5. Rare, expensive species.