Your Purebred Puppy, Honest Advice About Dogs and Dog Breeds

Tibetan Terriers: the most honest dog breed review you'll ever find about Tibetan Terrier temperament, personality, and behavior.

tibetan terrier topics

Tibetan Terrier dog breed

Tibetan Terrier Temperament
What's Good About 'Em,
What's Bad About 'Em

By Michele Welton.
Copyright © 2000-2016

The good-natured Tibetan Terrier is lively and playful, yet also calm and low-key. He is a moderate dog in all respects and can adapt to any home, city or country, so long as he is given brisk daily walks and occasional romps in a safe enclosed area.

He especially enjoys playing in the snow, his large, flat, snowshoe-like feet providing traction, and his long heavy eyelashes protecting his eyes.

He is athletic and agile, a sure-footed climber, and a clever problem-solver who often uses his paws with great adeptness to open doors and hold toys.

Tibetan Terriers are family-oriented: they love to play games and participate in activities with their own people, but most are conservative with strangers. In some individuals, caution can shade into timidity or suspiciousness, so early socialization is important to develop a confident, outgoing temperament.

Most are amiable with other animals, though perhaps a bit bossy. Indeed, the Tibetan Terrier is very stubborn in general and must be shown from Day One that you are in control.

If you want a dog who...

  • Is small to medium-sized, sturdy and shaggy, a natural-looking dog
  • Is a moderate dog in all respects, being lively and playful at times, yet also calm and low-key
  • Makes a good watchdog but is not aggressive with people
  • Is usually amiable with other pets

A Tibetan Terrier may be right for you.

If you don't want to deal with...

  • "Separation anxiety" (destructiveness and barking) when left alone too much
  • Suspiciousness or timidity when not socialized enough
  • Stubbornness (mind of his own)
  • Regular brushing and combing
  • "Shaggy dog syndrome," i.e. debris clinging to the coat, water soaking into the beard and dripping on your floors
  • Waiting lists (hard to find) and a high price tag

A Tibetan Terrier may not be right for you.

But you can avoid or minimize some negative traits by
  1. choosing the RIGHT breeder and the RIGHT puppy
  2. or choosing an ADULT dog from your animal shelter or rescue group – a dog who has already proven that he doesn't have negative traits
  3. training your dog to respect you
  4. avoiding health problems by following my daily care program in 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy

More traits and characteristics of the Tibetan Terrier

If I was considering a Tibetan Terrier, I would be most concerned about...

  1. Stubbornness. Tibetan Terriers have an independent mind of their own and can be stubborn and manipulative. You must show them, through absolute consistency, that you mean what you say.

    To teach your Tibetan Terrier to listen to you, "Respect Training" is mandatory. My Tibetan Terrier Training Page discusses the program you need.

  2. Providing enough socialization. Standoffish by nature, Tibetan Terriers need extensive exposure to people and to unusual sights and sounds so that their natural caution doesn't become suspiciousness or shyness.

  3. Grooming. Without regular brushing, Tibetan Terriers become a matted mess. Consider trimming the coat short to keep it neat, clean, and healthy.

    Clipped Tibetan Terrier
    Clipped Tibetan Terrier:
    Ivor the Invincible

  4. Shedding. Tibetan Terriers definitely shed, though some of the shed hair gets caught in the coat rather than ending up on your floor. (If you clip the coat for easier brushing, the shed hair can now fall out freely. So it's a trade-off – longer coat equals more brushing but less shedding; shorter coat equals minimal brushing, minimal matting, easier bathing, but a little more shedding.

  5. "Shaggy dog syndrome." Again, if you leave the coat long, the Tibetan Terrier is a messy dog. If you leave the coat long, leaves, mud, snow, fecal matter, and other debris cling to it and end up all over your house. When a Tibetan Terrier drinks, his beard absorbs water, which drips on your floors when he walks away. When he eats, his beard absorbs food so that when he sniffs your face or presses his head against your leg, YOU end up dirty, too. Shaggy dogs are not suited to fastidious housekeepers.

  6. Finding one and paying the price. Fewer than 700 new Tibetan Terrier puppies are registered each year. (Compare that to over 60,000 new Golden Retriever puppies.) And many breeders are charging $1000 and up.

book cover To learn more about training Tibetan Terriers to be calm and well-behaved, consider my dog training book, Teach Your Dog 100 English Words.

It's a unique Vocabulary and Respect Training Program that will make your Tibetan Terrier the smartest, most well-behaved companion you've ever had.

Teaches your dog to listen to you, to pay attention to you, and to do whatever you ask him to do.

book cover My dog buying guide, Dog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams, will teach you everything you need to know about finding a healthy Tibetan Terrier. Health problems have become so widespread in dogs today that this book is required reading for ANYONE who is thinking of getting a purebred, crossbred, or mixed breed dog.

If you'd like to consult with me personally about whether the Tibetan Terrier might be a good dog breed for your family, I offer a Dog Breed Consulting Service.

book cover Once you have your Tibetan Terrier home, you need to KEEP him healthy -- or if he's having any current health problems, you need to get him back on the road to good health.

My dog health care book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy is the book you need.

Raise your dog the right way and you will be helping him live a longer, healthier life while avoiding health problems and unnecessary veterinary expenses.

Please consider adopting an ADULT Tibetan Terrier...

When you're acquiring a Tibetan Terrier PUPPY, you're acquiring potential -- what he one day will be. So "typical breed characteristics" are very important.

But when you acquire an adult dog, you're acquiring what he already IS and you can decide whether he is the right dog for you based on that reality. There are plenty of adult Tibetan Terriers who have already proven themselves NOT to have negative characteristics that are "typical" for their breed. If you find such an adult dog, don't let "typical breed negatives" worry you. Just be happy that you found an atypical individual -- and enjoy!

Save a life. Adopt a dog.

Adopting a Dog From a Dog Breed Rescue Group

Adopting a Dog From the Animal Shelter