The Tibetan Terrier, also called the Dhokhi Apso, is a non-sporting breed that originated in Tibet. They are a natural breed that developed characteristics and features needed to survive in the harsh climate of the Himalayas. They are a small to medium sized dog that stands between 14 and 16 inches tall and they weigh between 18 to 30 pounds. They have a long fluffy coat that comes in a variety of colors. They are a friendly breed that can get along with kids and other pets as long as they have been raised with them or properly socialized and trained.
History and Origin
The Tibetan Terrier, often called the Holy Dog of Tibet, is an ancient breed that has contributed to the development of all other Tibetan breeds, from the Shih-Tzu to the Lhasa Apso, as well as the the Tibetan Spaniel.
They were called “little people” and were highly valued as companions to the monks and families who owned them. They were treated like children in the family. After the Dalai Lama gave a Tibetan Terrier to Dr. A. R. H. Grieg, the breed was brought to England and was bred extensively. Eventually, the dog was brought to the United States where it has become a popular companion.
Tibetan Terrier Appearance and Abilities
They are a mid size (averaging 14-16 inches at the shoulder, 20-24 pounds), shaggy breed, with a long, thick, heavy coat. The breed is relatively rare, and can be solid in color, parti-colored, or tri-colored.
It is small enough to live comfortably in an apartment and share your bed or chair, yet large enough to enjoy a long hike or romp with kids. Owners often describe them as a large dog in a small dog’s body.
Tibetan Terriers are a hardy breed and generally healthy. They have strong legs for jumping and this breed has been known to jump up to twice their height. There is also evidence that the these dogs were used to herd as well as to retrieve articles that tumbled down the steep rocky mountains into crevices
Temperament and Tendencies of the Tibetan Terrier
Tibetan Terriers are a high energy, outgoing, playful member of the Terrier group. They are an independent, intelligent, easy-to-train breed. They are a gentle, warm and affectionate pet. It is very family-oriented and easy to train if you have its respect. The breed is very eager to please and thrives in tricks training.
They are amiable and affectionate family dogs, sensitive to their owners and gentle with older children. They can be clingy and they love to be around their owners all the time and dislike being at home alone. They are often wary with strangers and can be very stubborn but are loyal to their family.
Tibetan Terrier Training and Care
Tibetan Terriers are full of energy and should have opportunities to exercise every day. Since they jump higher than expected, owners should keep them in a well fenced yard with a high enough fence as to not allow the dog jump over it. They are suitable for apartment living. But owners should keep in mind that the Tibetan is still an energetic and surprisingly strong dog. Physical and mental stimulation is imperative.
Socialize and train your Tibetan Terrier while he is still young so as to achieve a well-behaved dog when it is older. Socialization is required to help address inclination to shyness to strangers.
The Tibetan Terrier has a thick double coat and must be groomed on a regular basis. They do tend to have sensitivity to fleas. If your pet is itching excessively, consult your veterinarian. The dog should be brushed every 2-3 days to remove loose hair and prevent tangles. Owners should never brush a dry coat; mist it with conditioner and water to ease brushing.