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Meet the breed: Tibetan Terrier

Choosing to add a furry friend to your growing household is a long-term commitment, and picking a breed that fits your lifestyle presents the key to a happy home. With over 160 American Kennel Club-recognized breeds, that decision can seem overwhelming. We’re here to help you meet the breed that’s right for you. If you’re looking for a kind and caring companion dog, learn everything you need to know about the Tibetan Terrier.


  • Intelligent
  • Energetic
  • Affectionate
  • Mischievous
  • Independent


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Bred in Tibet as a companion dog, the Tibetan Terrier was also raised as a herding dog. Kept by monks, the breed was never sold or traded due to the belief that the dogs brought good luck. Despite its name, the Tibetan Terrier lacks true Terrier characteristics. Not likely to dig or hunt, this is one loving and kind-spirited dog.

Breed standards

  • AKC group: Non-sporting
  • UKC group: Companion dog
  • Average lifespan: 12 – 15 years
  • Average size: 18 – 30 pounds
  • Coat appearance: Soft, wooly, thick double coat
  • Coloration: Any combination of colors
  • Hypoallergenic: Yes
  • Other identifiers: Proportionally sized body; dark brown, wide-set eyes; medium-sized head and short, black nose; ears hang beside head; feathered tail curls around to back of body
  • Possible alterations: None

Is this breed right for you?

Tibetan Terriers are wonderful with school-aged children and other animals if raised with them. Doing OK with apartment living if properly exercised, this breed is inactive indoors but enjoys a good romp outside. Enjoying his own space in the yard, he can also be satisfied with daily walks and gentle praise. In need of companionship, he may act out if he doesn’t get enough attention. If not given proper leadership, the Tibetan Terrier is likely to think of himself as the alpha and may become an over-active barker. Only shedding once a year, he makes a good fit for the allergy sufferer but will need grooming every 2 to 3 days.

Breed characteristics

A dream day in the life of a Tibetan Terrier

The Tibetan Terrier will be happiest starting his day in the bed of his owner. After snuggling, he’ll follow his owner wherever he may go. Ready for his daily walk, you’ll find this breed waiting patiently at the door. Going back inside and enjoying a nice meal, the Tibetan Terrier will likely relax the rest of his day away on the couch. Happy with a couple of play sessions and a few petting sessions in the afternoon, the Tibetan Terrier will end his day just as he began it, cuddling close to his owner.

Other breeds you might like

Lhasa Apso
Bichon Frise
Tibetan Spaniel

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