Tibetan Terrier Information, Guide to a Monk's Best Friend What Makes This Breed Special

Tibetan Terriers photo
Medium Breed Cataract Tibetan Terrier

Is the Tibetan Terrier right for you?

  • 1 Tibetan Terriers are highly intelligent and sometimes mischievous.
  • 2 Tibetan Terriers were built for the steep and chilly tundra of Tibet.
  • 3 They maintained characteristics like a thick, shaggy coat and bulky body.
  • 4 The Tibetan Terrier is known to be able to aptly empathize with people's emotions.


A contributing part of every other Tibetan breed, the Tibetan Terrier isnโ€™t even an actual terrier; they got the name because of their size. Bred and raised in Tibetan monasteries by the Lamas nearly 20 centuries ago, they were considered tokens of good luck and were not available for sale, but were often given as gifts. They were recognized by the AKC in 1973.

Quick Facts

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    15 to 17 years

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    Hair Length


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    Male Height

    14-16 in (35-40 cm)

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    Male Weight

    18-30 lbs (8-14 kg)

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    Female Height

    14-16 in (35-40 cm)

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    Female Weight

    18-30 lbs (8-14 kg)

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    Litter Size

    5 to 8 puppies


The Tibetan Terrier is a smart, headstrong, medium-sized dog that makes a great family dog. They get along well with children and crave human attention at every turn. Be careful not to let this breed think that they are in charge, or else they will begin to boss others around and bark incessantly. When properly trained and socialized, the Tibetan Terrier makes for a good watchdog, as well as a great companion. .


The Tibetan Terrier can be found in a wide variety of colors, from black and white, tricolor, silver, gray, cream, golden, and black. Any color but chocolate or liver is acceptable for Tibetan Terriers who are show dogs.

Health Concerns

The average life expectancy of Tibetan Terrier is 12-15 years. This breed is sensitive to fleas and prone to:

  • anesthetic idiosyncrasy
  • cataracts
  • minor eye problems

A sturdily built, medium sized dog, the Tibetan Terrier looks more like a sheepdog than anything else. They are strong, evenly built dogs that stand about 16 inches tall and weigh somewhere in the neighborhood of 24 pounds. They have a dense coat of long, slightly wavy, hair, and a feathery tail that curls up and rests on their back.

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