Tibetan Terrier

Tibetan Terrier courtesy Paul Douglass

Quick Facts

  • Weight: 18 – 30 pounds
  • Height: 14 – 16 inches

The Look of a Tibetan Terrier

Tibetan Terriers are medium-sized, square-built dogs covered in thin, abundant coats that can be wavy or straight. Though handsome and refined, they are also sturdy and powerfully built. Tibetan Terriers are easily distinguished by the long drapes of hair that hang in their faces (making them look a little like sheepdogs) in addition to their well-plumed tails. They also have wide, round and flat feet that provide a snowshoe-like traction. Overall, Tibetan Terriers have a strong yet graceful look.


  • Gentle
  • Protective
  • Loyal
  • Intelligent
  • Sensitive

Ideal Human Companion

  • Families with older children
  • Experienced dog handlers
  • Active singles

What They Are Like to Live With

Tibetan Terriers are sweet and loyal members of the household, forming very strong bonds with their families. They also have keen protective instincts—not surprising when you realize that Tibetan Terriers have several thousand years’ worth of watchdog experience under their belts. Their bark is deep, confident and loud. But, Tibetan Terriers only bark when necessary.

While they don’t usually try to take center stage, Tibetan Terriers like to be included in whatever’s going on around the house. They love long walks and romps through the grass. Tibetan Terriers are very patient with children, but they may be slightly reserved with strangers.

Things You Should Know

Tibetan Terriers can live as long as 15 years, sometimes even longer. Generally healthy, some may develop hip dysplasia and eye problems. Tibetan Terriers will be fine living in apartments as long as they get good, long daily walks.

The Tibetan Terrier needs bi-weekly brushing. Its coat may be profuse, but it is not especially thick. Try misting it with a plant sprayer before brushing.

Tibetan Terrier History

Tibetan Terriers originated in Tibetan monasteries more than 2,000 years ago. Considered tokens of good luck, they were treated like family members as opposed to working dogs. However, they still proved to be formidable protectors of property and livestock. Technically not “terriers,” they were called so because of their size. Today, Tibetan Terriers are adored around the world as loving companions, fierce protectors and winning competitors.

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