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AKC Meet the Breeds: Tibetan Terrier

American Kennel Club, Inc. (c) 2011

The hardy Tibetan Terrier is a breed built to withstand the extreme climate and difficult terrain of its home country Tibet. Medium-sized, yet powerfully built and very agile, they possess large, flat, round feet that produce a snowshoe effect and provide traction in heavy snow. The breed has a protective double coat, which can be any color or combination of colors, and a fall of hair that blocks the eyes and foreface from the elements.

A Look Back

Despite its name, the Tibetan Terrier is not a true terrier, only terrier in size. They were bred and raised in monasteries by lamas almost 2,000 years ago. As the "Holy Dogs of Tibet," the breed was treasured by the lamas, who kept them as companions, good luck charms, mascots and watchdogs. They were also used for some herding and to retrieve articles that fell down the mountains.

Right Breed for You?

Highly intelligent and somewhat mischievous, the Tibetan Terrier loves his family, and his sensitivity to the moods of his owners makes him an excellent companion (although he may be reserved around strangers). An independent and active breed, the Tibetan Terrier responds best to positive, patient training and regular exercise. His profuse, thick coat requires weekly maintenance.

  • Non-Sporting Group; AKC recognized in 1973.
  • Ranging in size from 14 to 17 inches tall at the shoulder and 18 to 30 pounds.
  • Companion; multi-purpose utility dog.

AKC Meet the Breeds is a registered trademark of the American Kennel Club, Inc.