The Tibetan Terrier is a thoroughly enchanting dog breed in so many ways. All the main characteristics of the Tibetan Terrier are related to function; they are not purely esthetic but vital to survival. The Tibetan Terrier’s size and personality, coupled with intelligence, makes this dog breed a wonderful companion. It must be recognized from the outset, however, that the Tibetan Terrier’s coat demands regular grooming to maintain it in tangle-free good condition.
Constructed with purpose and strength, the Tibetan Terrier is a sturdy, robust dog, instantly recognizable as an Oriental dog breed because of its square outline and long coat. The long hind legs, with their well-bent stifles, are designed to help this special dog breed thrive at high altitudes on difficult terrain, to which the Tibetan Terrier has historically been accustomed.
The Tibetan Terrier has a double coat: a fine, woolly undercoat and a long, profuse topcoat. Such a coat would have been necessary for this dog breed to survive in its homeland, a country with such extreme weather conditions. For survival, the topcoat needed to be durable and waterproof to prevent the dog’s undercoat from becoming wet. The Tibetan Terrier’s coat is described as fine (meaning that it should not be coarse) and should never be silky or woolly, according to the breed standard. It may be straight or waved, but should never be curly.
The Tibetan Terrier’s long double coat does require a substantial amount of grooming to be kept tangle-free and in good order. This is a very serious point to be considered before deciding to bring a Tibetan Terrier into your home. However, because the coat has a tendency to mat, these dogs does not shed very much. Instead, the dead hair is taken out during the grooming process.
Although Tibetan Terriers seem ready to accept as much or as little exercise as their owners will give them, this is an active dog breed, so it is only fair to give them an opportunity for a good amount of exercise, both by way of free running and walking on a lead. When a Tibetan Terrier is kept with another dog, the two will also find opportunities to create their own exercise through play.
This dog’s muscles need to be kept in good, firm condition, and exercise, even lead walking, stimulates not only the dog’s muscles but also the dog’s mind. Always remember, though, that Tibetan Terriers are capable of running fast, so they should only be let off lead in areas where you are entirely certain they can come to no harm.
Tibetan Terriers are good jumpers, and those kept in a kennel situation, or an environment where they do not have access to free exercise areas, appreciate different levels on which to jump and to sit, though these should never be so high that they might cause injury.
The lively and good-natured Tibetan Terrier is a loyal companion dog breed, though one should appreciate that these dogs are meant to be sparing of affection to strangers. The Tibetan Terrier needs firm but gentle handling; from puppyhood this dog must be trained to know that you are the boss, and then you will be rewarded with both loyalty and devotion.
Excerpt from Tibetan Terrier, part of the Comprehensive Owner’s Guide series, with permission from its publisher, Kennel Club Books, a division of BowTie Inc. Purchase Tibetan Terrier here.