8 Facts About Tibetan Terriers

tibetan terrier puppy at beach

Planning a new furry addition to your home? Where better to look than man’s best friend? With so many breeds to choose from, it can be a tougher choice than you’d think. Before you make any decisions, consider the springy Tibetan Terrier. Their puckish charm will surely win you over. Here are a few facts about Tibetan Terriers:

1. The Tibetan Terrier is Not Technically a Terrier

The Tibetan Terrier belongs to a wide and diverse group of dogs known as the Non-Sporting Group. This group includes breeds like the Chow Chow, Dalmatian, French Bulldog, and more.

Interestingly enough, Tibetan Terriers aren’t related to a true terrier despite the name. They are known as terriers because of their small size. However, Terriers were bred to be working dogs, and the Tibetan Terrier was bred to be a companion.

2. They Originated in Tibet

Since they’re not officially Terriers, it stands to reason people may doubt that they’re even Tibetan. Don’t worry, these pups are indeed Tibetan. In fact, they originate from its legendary “Lost Valley”.

This area gained its name after a devastating earthquake destroyed the main roads and effectively sealed itself off from the world. These plucky little creatures have been around for over a whopping 2,000 years!

3. Tibetan Terriers Were Considered to be Good Luck

These dogs were considered to be good luck charms in Tibet. It was common practice to present Tibetan Terriers to friends as symbols of good fortune. People who visited the Lost Valley were oftentimes given a Tibetan Terrier to accompany them because the journey was considered to be so treacherous.

On top of that, it was considered bad luck to mistreat these dogs or to sell them. Even more, it was believed that doing so would bring misfortune to the perpetrator, their family, and their village. This superstition helped protect and preserve the Tibetan Terrier. It was also why they were gifted to visitors and not sold.

4. They Have Snowshoe-Like Feet

Because they were bred on the snowy mountains of Tibet, it’s no surprise that they are one of the fluffiest dog breeds and that their feet have adapted to be like tiny snowshoes. Compared to other dogs, Tibetan Terriers have flat and wide feet that are perfect for staying put on slippery surfaces.

This, plus their fluffy coat, makes them one of the dog breeds that love winter. They were also highly agile dogs and excelled in climbing and jumping. Although they may not be on the same level as mountain goats, they were known to be able to navigate down steep rock faces.

5. Tibetan Terriers May Have Done Some Work

Although the Tibetan Terrier wasn’t bred for work, there is evidence that they weren’t always companion dogs. After all, everyone had to pull their weight, especially after the earthquake!

Herding flocks and retrieving items that had fallen down mountainsides in addition to being a lovable, comforting companion were all in a day’s work for these lovely little pups. They also made very good watchdogs.

6. Dr. Greig is Credited With Bringing Them to the West

We can thank British doctor Agnes Greig for these amazing creatures making it to the Western world. Dr. Greig practiced medicine in Tibet and after saving one woman’s life, the family gifted her a Tibetan Terrier.

The doctor loved the breed so much that she established a breeding program in the UK. The American Kennel Club recognized the Tibetan Terrier in 1937. In the 1950s, two of the dogs from Dr. Greig’s program would be imported to the United States to serve as the foundation for a breeding program there.

7. Tibetan Terriers Are Vocal Dogs

Although little, these dogs are vocal and they will bark to alert you. This makes them good watchdogs, but can become a nuisance if left unchecked. In addition to socialization early and often, you can also train your dog to stop barking early on. This keeps their barking on an alert basis instead of a never-ending one.

8. They Are Affectionate

Tibetan Terriers are energetic and playful little dogs. They are also true companions that are known for their affectionate and sweet natures. They thrive on attention and affection from people, especially their favorite humans, and will often show their affection by playing, cuddling, just being nearby, and other ways dogs show love.

Is a Tibetan Terrier Puppy Right For You?

These are just a few facts about Tibetan Terriers. If you think this could be the right dog breed for you, learn more about them and then check out the available Tibetan Terrier puppies. Tibetan Terriers were thought to bring good fortune to their people, and they might just do the same for you!