Tibetan Terrier

Dog Breed Profile

Home Dog Breeds Non-Sporting Tibetan Terrier

Tibetan Terrier History

The Tibetan Terrier is a breed of small terrier native to Tibet. The history of the breed is unclear, but the Tibetan Terrier likely originated as a farm animal, guarding flocks of sheep and goats from wolves and bears. The Tibetan Terrier developed from crosses between the Lhasa Apso and the Chow Chow. The first recorded mention of a “Tibetan” dog was in the Chinese chronicle the Hou Han Shu, where it was written that a Chinese envoy had traveled through “the land of Tibet” and brought with him two “small, black mongrel” dogs. The Tibetan Terrier was originally used as both a guard and hunting dog, helping to protect livestock against predators, including wolves and tigers. The Tibetans valued the dogs highly, and often kept them in their houses. The Tibetans rarely owned pets, and the dogs were usually given to monasteries as gifts. The dogs, which were said to be “uncommonly intelligent,” were taught to fetch and retrieve and to guard property. The Tibetans also taught their dogs tricks, such as walking on their hind legs, and they reportedly always accompanied the monks on their pilgrimages to holy sites.

Time of Origin


Country of Origin



Lhasa Apso, Shih Tzu

Tibetan Terrier Physical Characteristics

The Tibetan Terrier is a small, long-legged, small- to medium-sized terrier breed of dog that typically stands at 9 to 12 inches in height at the shoulders and weighs between 15 and 18 pounds. They have a straight, low-set, wedge-shaped head, erect ears, and a bushy tail. Their body is compact and muscular with well-muscled legs. Their coat is long, thick, and coarse. Their skin is loose and supple. They have a light colored nose, dark round eyes, and a light-colored tongue. The Tibetan Terrier has a sweet personality and is alert and protective. They are easy to train and get along well with children.

Eye Colors


Nose Colors


Coat Colors


Height Range

Male Height Range: 15 – 16 inches

Female Height Range: 14 – 16 inches

Weight Range

Male Weight Range: 20 – 25 lbs

Female Weight Range: 20 – 24 lbs

Tibetan Terrier Health

Description of breed health.


12-15 yrs

Tibetan Terrier Health Concerns

Patellar Luxation, Progressive Retinal Atrophy, Lens Luxation, Ceroid Lipofuscinosis, Hypothyroidism, Heart Murmur, Retinal Dysplasia, Allergies

Tibetan Terrier Temperament and Behaviour

The Tibetan Terrier is a medium-sized, independent, and spirited dog. They are lively, playful, and energetic, but are also calm, quiet, and laid back. They are very intelligent and curious, and will try and figure out things on their own. This makes this breed easy to train, but can also make the Tibetan Terrier a bit stubborn at times.

Tibetan Terrier Activity Requirements

Tibetan Terriers are small, sturdy terriers that are great companions for children. They are extremely friendly and outgoing, and they love to be around people. A daily walk or time outside in the yard is a good way to give your Tibetan Terrier the exercise and stimulation they need. They don’t require a lot of physical exercise, but they do need lots of social interaction. If you are looking for a small dog with a lot of personality, the Tibetan Terrier may be for you. They are smart, friendly, and loyal, and they get along well with people of all ages. They do require regular grooming, but they require very little exercise and only need a short walk every day.

Miles Per Day


Activity Per Day


Daily Food

2.2 cups

Kennel Club Recognition

American Kennel Club

Recognized by the American Kennel Club

Tibetan Terrier is part of the Non-Sporting group.

Visit the American Kennel Club website.

The Kennel Club

Recognized by The Kennel Club

Tibetan Terrier is part of the Utility group.

Visit the Kennel Club website.

Australian National Kennel Council

Recognized by the Australian National Kennel Council

Tibetan Terrier is part of the Non-Sporting group.

Visit the Australian National Kennel Council website.

Canadian Kennel Club

Recognized by the Canadian Kennel Club

Tibetan Terrier is part of the Non-Sporting group.

Visit the Canadian Kennel Club website.