Tibetan Terrier Breed Information and Buying advice

Tibetan Terrier

Are You Looking to Buy or Adopt a Tibetan Terrier?

Quick Tibetan Terrier Facts

Average Size of Adult
Small (2/5)
Puppy Puppy Puppy Puppy Puppy
Grooming Requirement
High (3/3)
Puppy Puppy Puppy
High (3/3)
Puppy Puppy Puppy
Exercise Requirements
High (3/3)
Puppy Puppy Puppy

Why Tibetan Terriers are great

The entire package of fun-loving, affectionate and adaptable whilst also being athletic, outgoing and intelligent seems to fit into the Tibetan Terrier exactly. This all-rounder is extremely caring, a great family companion, whilst also being a ferocious watchdog, always aiming to please their owners. They tend to be very good choices for first-time owners, with their high intelligence and their trainability. Some highlights:
  1. This breed is extremely adaptable, able to live in a city apartment or in a country house.
  2. They make excellent watchdogs and are never aggressive
  3. Unlike some other terrier breeds, they are not overly demanding for attention, exercise and playtime, remaining calm and quiet inside the house
  4. Tibetan Terriers are known for being very good companions for the elderly, respecting their owner’s and obeying their commands

Things to consider when looking at Tibetan Terriers for Sale

The high level of intelligence that the Tibetan Terrier has can also bring a level of stubbornness. They do require a rather firm and consistent level of training, but they will learn the rights and wrongs very early on, if the training is directed correctly. Some downsides to the Tibetan Terrier:
  1. Their coats are very high maintenance and require daily grooming due to constantly picking up debris and dirt due to its length
  2. Like all other Terriers, they do require a large amount of exercise, although not as much as some of their relatives.
  3. Occasionally, Tibetan Terriers can enjoy listening to their own voice, and will often bark or howl simply when they feel like it.

History of Tibetan Terriers

Originally bred to be a strong and robust dog that could survive harsher weathers of the Himalayas, Tibetan Terriers are the tallest Tibetan breed found. Their purpose ranges between being guardians, herders, watchdogs for Nomads and companions for the Tibetan Monks. They are believed to be ‘Bringers of Luck’ and remain today as lucky charms for some families. They were first discovered by an English doctor who was living in India in the 1920s, who was gifted a puppy by a local merchant after the doctor had saved his wife’s life. This act is regularly seen, with Tibetan Terriers not being sold, but being presented as gifts. It was believed that if they were sold, the individual’s luck would run out. They were thought to be the ‘Holy Dogs of Tibet’ and were highly prized by all families and classes. This breed began to grow in popularity from a few certain fanatics of Tibetan Terriers, and today they are one of the most popular breeds in the UK.  


How big is the Tibetan Terrier?

Although Tibetan Terriers are said to be the tallest Tibetan breed, they are still only around 35 – 41cm at the shoulder.  

How heavy is a Tibetan Terrier?

In proportion to their size, the Tibetan Terrier weighs around 8 – 14kg.  

What Colour is the Tibetan Terrier?

This breed can come in many colours. These can either be single, block colours or a mixture of a few together. The most commonly seen coat colours for this breed include: Black, Chocolate, Cream, Dark Sable, Gold, Red Sable, Sable, White, and possible mixtures of Tan, White, Gold and Black, possibly having Tricolours.  


Do Tibetan Terriers make good guard dogs?

In the past, Tibetan Terriers travelled with Nomadic Herdsmen and lay outside their tents at night to guard them. Therefore, this breed has an instinctive protective trait and will bark at anything unusual or unfamiliar, including strangers. However, they are never seen to be aggressive, simply ferocious in their stance to scare away potential danger. They tend to alert their owners more of an uncommon presence rather than act on it themselves.  

Do Tibetan Terriers bark a lot?

Tibetan Terriers do tend to enjoy making noise and will often bark to express themselves to their owners. However, this should be caught at an early age and not encouraged, as they will come to realise that they get nothing from making so much noise.  

Are Tibetan Terriers easy to train?

Tibetan Terriers are a clever breed and therefore making very easy training partners. However, it is very key to keep the training interesting, almost like a game, as this will help them focus and remain stimulated, almost excited to learn a new trick. Pair an exciting session with positive reinforcement such as praise, treats and playing and your Tibetan Terrier will be obeying your commands in no time.  

Are Tibetan Terriers playful?

This breed is notoriously playful. They really enjoy playing with people that can match their energy levels, and that is usually children. They are superb playing buddies for children of any age, but they can often become slightly boisterous, throwing their weight around. This is when smaller children may be at more of a risk because they can be knocked over easily, so it is always recommended that an adult supervises play and the children are always taught how to treat a dog correctly and safely.  

Are Tibetan Terriers good with other pets?

Tibetan Terriers actually get on very well with other pets. They adore playing with other dogs and cats a similar size to them, but they do need early socialisation in order to ensure they feel comfortable and happy with the other animals.  

Can I leave a Tibetan Terrier Alone?

Although they don’t suffer from separation anxiety, Tibetan Terriers should not be left alone for long periods of time. When they become bored, they bark, and when they continue to feel bored, they can escape, destroy objects, climb, jump, dig and be destructive in a way to relieve their stress. It is a good idea to leave your Tibetan Terrier with sufficient mental stimulation and having had enough physical exercise, as this will help distract them from realising they are alone.  

Do Tibetan Terriers like water?

Tibetan Terriers thoroughly enjoy swimming, especially as a way to cool down in the warm heat. Always watch your dog go into the water in case they get into trouble with a current or they are struggling to get out.  


How long do Tibetan Terriers live?

On average, Tibetan Terriers live to about 12 – 15 years.  

How much exercise does a Tibetan Terrier need?

This breed needs about 60-80minutes of exercise every day to feel calmer and less restless during the day.  

What are Tibetan Terriers Common health issues?

Although this breed is a relatively healthy breed, they can suffer from a number of illneses, including:
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Eye Diseases
  • Cancer


How much space do I need for a Tibetan Terrier?

Tibetan Terriers should not live outside, allowing to sleep inside and feel more like a part of the family. They thrive off human connections and they want nothing more than to feel like another member. However, they are not large dogs, and will happily lie on their owner’s lap whenever possible. Therefore, they don’t need a large amount of room, but they need enough to feel comfortable in their own space. They also require easy access to a backyard or garden whenever they need, as this will help them learn to release some energy by themselves rather than depending on their owner to entertain them.  

What should I feed my Tibetan Terrier?

High quality dry food is recommended, but the portions depend on your dog’s age, gender, exercise levels, metabolism and their health. This is very important, and a dog’s food should always be discussed with a vet so they can advise what is best for your dog individually.  

How much grooming do Tibetan Terriers need?

Unfortunately, Tibetan Terriers have very high grooming maintenance. They have two layers, the undercoat being soft and woolly whilst the topcoat has fine hair that is either straight or wavy. Instead of shedding, they ‘slough’ their coats, which is when any shed hair from the undercoat gets caught in the topcoat and will not fall out. This requires daily brushing to remove any dead hair as well as any dirt that has accumulated. Their long hair stops just above the ground and can very quickly become dirty, especially if their coat is of a lighter colour. Therefore, baths are also recommended every few weeks so remove any ingrained dirt.  

Average costs  

How much does it cost to keep a Tibetan Terrier?

As a rough guide in pricing: Cost to buy: roughly £500 - £600 for a well-bred Tibetan Terrier puppy Other costs (Vet, Food etc): £50 - £80 per month  

Specific Buying Guide

You can read our general buying guide here (/advice-on-buying-a-puppy/), with the most important thing being going to view your Tibetan Terrier Puppy, seeing it with its mother, and checking the quality of the breeder. More specifically, here is some Tibetan Terrier puppy buying advice:
  1. Due to this breed being popular but also rather rare, potential buyers should expect waiting lists for puppies with breeders. Waiting lists can delay the purchasing of a puppy and can be tedious, but once you get the puppy you want, the waiting was worth it.
  2. Tibetan Terriers can also be subjects of online scams. These can be spotted through the listing price, which is usually a lot lower than some other adverts. No breeder should be given any money without the potential buyer going to see the puppies themselves. This gives them a chance to see if the puppies are real and also to check the legality of the breeder.
  3. Tibetan Terriers are also very used to cold climates and adore to play in the snow. Their wide feet allow them to grip on slippery surfaces as well as withstand the cold better than some other breeds, and therefore makes them a very versatile dog.

Other reading, Adopting Tibetan Terriers Puppies and Rescue Organisations

https://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/services/public/findarescue/Default.aspx?breed=4104 https://www.tibetanterrierrescue.net/ https://www.a1tibetanterrierrescue.org/?LMCL=qvpJUF

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