The Tibetan terrier originated in the Himalayas – the highest mountain range in the world. Today, the breed has captured the hearts of millions of people around the world thanks to their lively, intelligent and lovable personality. Let us study some interesting facts, characteristics and other details about this gorgeous breed.
Fun facts about the Tibetan Terrier
- Tibetans are believed to have been developed in a region known as the ‘Lost Valley’. An earthquake presumably destroyed this region and hence the name.
- These dogs have existed for at least 2000 years; they are athletic, agile and capable of navigating steep rocky terrain of the Himalayas.
- Tibetans were considered good luck charms and if someone wanted to wish good luck to a friend or neighbor, gifting a Tibetan terrier was a good way to do it. Even visitors to the Lost Valley were given these dogs to accompany them on their way home, so treacherous was the journey.
- In reality, a Tibetan terrier is not a terrier at all; it does not hunt vermin and nor is it small in size like the other terrier breeds.
- In difficult times or famines, Tibetan people would give away all their possessions, but they would never part ways with their Tibetan terriers. They would only part with their dogs as a payment for services rendered or as gifts.
- The Lhasa Apso is close relative of the Tibetan terrier. It is also related to other herding dogs like the Puli and Polish lowland sheepdog.
- A Tibetan terrier named Puck saved his British mistress named Miss Nye, living in India, from falling into the Jhelum River while vacationing in Kashmir. News report of this incident drew even more attention to this breed.
- Average weight of the Tibetan terrier is between 20 to 24 pounds with standard weight range as 18 to 30 lbs. Average height is 15-16 inches with females being slightly smaller.
- This is a medium sized dog with a harmonious body structure, curled tail and hanging ears. Its smooth coat is very long and it covers the entire body.
- Coat colors – The breed exists in many different colors except chocolate and liver.
Where to find a Tibetan Terrier
You can find a list of Tibetan terrier breeders on the official website of the TTCA. Research several breeders and soon you will be able to zero in on a knowledgeable and reputed one. Ethical breeders will be more concerned about the health of their puppy and will want to make sure you are a good potential owner. So be prepared to answer a lot of questions. Also good breeders will make you wait for a long time for a puppy; be prepared to even wait for up to a year. You can also look for a Tibetan terrier rescue. Contact an animal shelter near you to check if they have one.
Regardless of a dog’s breed, the temperament and disposition are its most important qualities. It is, after all, what makes a puppy lovable and livable. Tibetan terriers are normally lively, friendly and loyal dogs. They make excellent household companions and are highly devoted to their families. At times though, they can be wary of strangers. Steeped in lure and mysticism, this dog breed cannot fail to delight his fans thanks to his effervescent personality and jovial sense of fun.
Training your puppy
The first day you bring your puppy home, he is going to cry for his mother and siblings. It will be great if you can take a sock with you for the puppy’s mother to roll on; it will provide great comfort to the little one at night. Get your pet used to crate training right from the start. He is bound to cry the first few nights, but you will have to be firm. Your pup will also cry, whimper or whine when he wants his mother, or when he wants to be fed or walked. You must make your Tibetan terrier feel a part of the family. So include him in activities and make sure you have plenty of fun with him. Reward based, positive and consistent training is best as it helps you get wanted behaviors out of him. Scolding and hitting will not work and might even make your pet timid and shy. Early socialization with other pets and humans will help prevent biting, snapping or other unwanted behaviors.
Your Tibetan needs plenty of exercise, especially your young puppy. Make sure he walks two times a day, for 30 to 45 minutes each. This will help them expend energy and keep them from getting bored. If you keep coming home to find chewed up furniture, you might want to increase your pet’s exercise. You could teach him some simple commands and also get him to fetch. Your Tibetan has been bred to be a herding dog, so his instincts will be to herd and guard. You can also take your Tibetan terrier on hikes and treks.
Tibetans have a double coat: soft and wooly on the underside and longer, finer on the outside. They do not shed too much but a little shedding may be expected on an annual basis. Extensive amount of grooming becomes necessary to prevent hair from getting all over the place. Brush your pet 2-3 times a week to get rid of loose hair. Brushing frequently will also remove tangles and mats and prevent parasites. Always dampen the coat slightly before brushing. You can use a mist spray to do so. Bathe your terrier once every 15 days.When grooming at a professional groomer’s, you may consider getting him the Tibetan terrier puppy cut. That will make your life a lot easier. If you DIY trim your pet’s hair, make sure you remove excess hair from the ears and also from his paws.
This is a healthy breed but it may be prone to certain skin conditions, parasites and also to progressive retinal atrophy. They could also develop hip dysplasia. Tibetan terriers also have sensitivity to gluten, wheat and dairy. They will do well in an apartment as long as they get their daily exercise. It is good idea to give them access to the yard but ensure it has a sturdy, tall fence. These dogs have a relatively long lifespan compared to many other breeds and are capable of living up to 12-15 years.