Tibetan Terrier

  • Overview

    These jolly little dogs actually have more in common with other herding dogs than they do with terriers. Not only do they have little interest in digging through the ground for vermin, they do not share any of the typical terrier traits. Their bark is actually an unusual, quiet sound rather than a sharp yap. They have a fine, soft coat. Their temperament is absent of any sharpness or edginess — they are much gentler than terriers.

    The Tibetan Terrier is not really a terrier at all. He is a good-natured, fun-loving family companion who enjoys barking to announce visitors and being with his family at all times, but requires some extensive grooming to stay comfortable and beautiful.

    View Grooming Diagram for tibetan terrier
  • Personality

    Tibetan Terriers are sweet, happy dogs. Like their Tibetan relatives, they are also fiercely devoted to their family and have been bred to be wary and cautious around strangers. They are adaptable to most living situations and their moods match the personality of their family. Like other Tibetan breeds, that means they are sensitive to their owner's shouting or sadness.

    Although they make good watch dogs, they are actually much smaller than their thick, profuse coats would suggest. They only weigh between 18 and 30 pounds and stand up to 16 inches tall. These guys are energetic and curious outside, where they enjoy plenty of activity and often appreciate fetching. True to their heritage, they love the snow. Frolicking in the snow is one of the Tibetan Terrier's favorite activities. Their large, flat paws are round and provide them with snowshoe-like traction while they bound across the snow. Inside, however, they quickly become couch potatoes and delight in curling up at their owner's side. Tibetan Terriers love to snooze, but they will instantly be startled by foreign noises.

  • Coat Care

    Their coat comes in all sorts of colors, but it is most commonly seen in white and black combinations. The long coat covers their entire body and flops down over their eyes. The double coat is made up of a fine, luxurious top coat that can be either straight or wavy and a wooly, dense undercoat that gives the coat its bulk.

Tibetan Terrier
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Those long coats need to be brushed daily with a large pin brush and combed through with a steel comb to prevent tangles. Make sure to brush the long hair from the top to the bottom to remove all mats in the most painless way possible. Go over the long facial hair with a steel comb to help shape it and remove painful tangles. Tibetan Terriers do not shed much — some of their owners insist that they are almost hypoallergenic. This isn't entirely true.

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Tibetan Terriers will shed their wooly undercoat at least once a year. They will need lots of extra brushing with a slicker brush and bathing with conditioning shampoo during their shedding periods.

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Hair Clipping

These silly dogs wash their paws like a cat, but they will appreciate having their footpads trimmed so they can power through the snow. Some owners prefer to keep their Tibetan Terriers in puppy clips, which makes it easier for these active dogs to move around.

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Many dog owners are apprehensive about trimming their dog’s nails because they are nervous about cutting into the quick. But with the right conditioning and careful cutting, nail clipping can be a simple, stress-free activity for you and your dog.

Provide your dog with plenty of positive reinforcement and even treats to help associate nail clipping with a positive experience.  As you start to clip, gently press on your dog’s paws to help him become accustomed to the feeling of having his nails clipped. Then, work gradually, shaving down just a thin portion of the nail at first to make sure you don’t reach the quick. Clip one nail, reward your dog with a treat, and stop to give him some positive reinforcement before moving on. Gradually increase the number of nails you clip in one sitting to help your dog get used to the process. Never trim extremely long nails down to a short nail in one sitting, because this is an excellent way to accidently quick the dog’s nail. Instead, work gradually, shaving small portions of your dog’s nails off each time.

You can tell if you’re getting close to the quick by the texture of your dog’s nail. The nail is hard closer to the surface and becomes softer as you get closer to the quick. If your dog’s nail starts to feel softer, that’s a good indication that you’re getting close to the quick.

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Eyes / Ears

Pay special attention to the ears, becauseTibetan Terriers have sensitive ears that are prone to infection if they become too hairy.

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Many owners do not realize how important it is to brush your pet’s teeth on a regular basis. Some dogs are prone to dental problems and sensitive teeth, especially small dogs with tiny teeth and dogs with special diets. These problems can be easily combatted with frequent brushing.

Cavities are rare with dogs but gum disease caused by tartar buildup is not, which is why they require regular brushing with toothpaste and a toothbrush formulated specifically for dogs. While daily brushing is ideal, doing so on a weekly basis will be a big help in avoiding the need to bring your dog to a veterinarian for a cleaning, which usually has to be done under sedation.