Tibetan Terrier | Dog Breed Information & Facts – Pictures

Tibetan Terrier

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.

Dog sheet Tibetan Terrier

Other names: Tsang apso

Tibetan Terrier photos

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Physical characteristics

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 Sheepdog.

The weight of a Tibetan terrier is 9 – 14 kg, the height at the withers is 35 – 40 cm. Females are slightly smaller, lighter than males, with 7 – 14 kg and 32 – 40 cm.

Dog sheet Tibetan Terrier

Distinctive features

  • Head: The head is of medium harmonious size, of square type, in proportion with the rest of the body. The skull is not rounded, but not domed either. The forehead is not wide with a slight convexity, wedge-shaped. The transition line from the forehead to the muzzle is pronounced. The muzzle is small.
  • Jaws: The teeth are white, strong in full collection. The jaw is well developed. Bite “scissors”.
  • Ears: The ears are medium, triangular in shape, hanging type.
  • Eyes: The eyes are large, round and set well apart. The color of the iris is shiny black.
  • Frame: The physique is powerful, square. The body is muscular but compact. The chest is oval, deep. The back is short, muscular and straight. The belly is well proportioned.
  • Limbs: The legs are well developed, parallel, powerful. The pads are large, wide and rounded, allowing the animal to move easily in deep snow.
  • Coat: The coat is long and double, straight or wavy. The undercoat is dense, soft in texture. Chocolate color, white, gold.

Character and behavior

The Tibetan Terrier is an incredibly peaceful, affectionate and friendly dog ​​with a pronounced cheerfulness and a well-developed intellect. Unlike true terriers, they are less energetic, more calm than active.

This dog loves to bark with or without reason. He may bark just out of boredom or hear footsteps in the street outside the door.

He has a developed intellect, perfectly understands a person, sometimes he can be stubborn, but there is no need to try too stubbornly or break the dog. You just need to be able to be the leader of your pack, a wise and kind owner for your pet.

With the children

They are perfect with children of all ages. However, with children under the age of four, who usually make a lot of noise and shouting, and don’t yet know how to control their behavior around animals well enough, there can be problems. In addition, the dog has its own limit of patience, has a small size, because of which the child can inadvertently harm him and cause an acute reaction.

With other animals

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


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).

Life expectancy

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.


Care for the Tibetan terrier is quite simple:

  • Comb the coat 1 time in 2 days or daily.
  • Grooming is done twice a year.
  • The eyes are checked 3-4 times a week and cleaned with a special lotion.
  • The ears are cleaned once a week.
  • The hair around the eyes gets shorter as they grow.
  • Bathe the dog 1 time in 10-14 days.
  • Check and brush your teeth regularly.
  • They systematically do a “pedicure”, by cutting the hair between their fingers.

Fun 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.

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.


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