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The Tibetan Terrier
Weight: Tibetan terriers typically weigh in at 18-30 pounds
Height: These mid-sized dogs are expected to measure between 14 - 17 inches at the shoulder
Coat: The terriers feature a long-haired double coat
Lifespan: An average lifespan is 12-15 years
With a long and storied history, the Tibetan Terrier hails from the
Himalayan region of Tibet. Dating back almost 2,000 years, these mid-sized
canines were bred in monasteries and much revered by the lamas responsible
for their care and breeding. To their owners, they were both considered to
be good luck charms and skilled watchdogs.
Structurally, the Tibetan Terrier is well adapted for life in its mountainous homeland. The dense coat, coupled with a snow-shoe like large foot, aided in the survival of many harsh winters in Tibet. According to the breed standard of various national kennel clubs, a correctly bred dog will appear square on its frame, with a sturdy build and a feathered tail that curves over. Additionally, sporting a trade marked beard, the face, muzzle and eyes should be covered by facial hair. With an inquisitive set of eyes, these terriers have been known to have a mischievous look about them.
Generally, Tibetan Terriers are considered among the healthiest of breeds. In analyzing common health issues frequenting the breed, owners occasionally reference cases of hip displaysia and progressive retinal atrophy (PRA). X-raying of the hips, after age two, is recommended if there are concerns. Additionally, a dog's breeder should be able to offer insight into their line of terriers and any known health or genetic issues. Genetically, some dogs have been known to be stricken by a rare neurological disease known as neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (NCL). These inherited neurological disorders unfortunately have no known cure. Research is underway to understand both the underlying root cause and develop effective treatment methods.
The temperament of the Tibetan Terrier contains a list of admirable traits; affectionate, intelligent, loyal and sensitive. If one were to find fault with the mannerisms of these gorgeous dogs, it would be in their potential shy and reserved nature. Some dogs can be excessively shy, which is a turn-off for many potential owners. Additionally, while loyal to their owners, excessive barking may be common when presented with new sounds and strangers in the dog's home environment.
Recognized by their luscious and long-haired double coat, and sturdy, compact frame, the Tibetan Terrier is a welcome addition family or owner. With a storied history, kind temperament and disposition along with a relatively robust constitution, the Tibetan Terrier is a friendly dog and much loved by families around the world.