(aka: Dhokhi Apso, Tsang Apso)
Tibetan Terrier Description
The Tibetan Terrier is small to medium in size, and has a sturdy build. He has an appealing, eager expression, with dark eyes and a little button nose. The coat of the Tibetan Terrier is long and fine, with a softer undercoat. The outer coat can be wavy or straight. The coloring can vary and these dogs are available in a myriad of colors that include brindle, black, white, gold, and silver, amongst others. The weight of the Tibetan Terrier is around 19-30 pounds, and they reach around 14-17 inches in height.
A devoted, loyal, and friendly little dog, the Tibetan Terrier - despite his name - is not related to the terrier breed. He is a spirited and playful dog with a fair amount of energy, but also knows when to be calm and sensible. These dogs are agile and very adept at climbing, which is why it is important to ensure that his play and exercise area is safe and secure. He does enjoy regular walks as part of his exercise regime, and loves to frolic around in the snow. The Tibetan Terrier loves to be around his family, enjoys interaction, and is not the right dog for those with little time for their pets. He is cheerful, sociable, and good natured, and is also very adaptable in terms of his living environment. These dogs have high problem solving skills, are intelligent, and quick to learn. However, training can still be a bit of a challenge, as they can be very stubborn and independent. Although a confident, assertive, yet positive owner is necessary, these dogs are well suited to both experienced and inexperienced dog owners.
There is timidity and shyness in some lines, so it is advisable to provide your Tibetan Terrier with early socialization to promote confidence and stability in his temperament. The Tibetan Terrier will usually bark to raise an alarm, and is cautious around strangers, making him an effective watchdog. He is small and doesn't like to be handled roughly, so he is best around older, more gentle children. When it comes to other pets, the Tibetan Terrier will be generally accepting, if a little bossy. These dogs are keen diggers in some cases, so those with gardens that are their pride and joy may want to think twice before opting for this breed. All in all, the Tibetan Terrier makes for a loving and loyal companion as well as an entertaining and devoted pet.
Although the grooming requirements for the Tibetan Terrier are quite high as an adolescent, they do require less maintenance as they grow older. You should brush the coat several times a week to keep it in good condition, and you may wish to consider trimming the coat every 4-6 weeks or so. The hair around the bottom should be trimmed regularly for hygiene reasons. The ears should be checked for cleanliness and dryness regularly in order to reduce the chances of infection. The Tibetan Terrier is a low shedder, and may be suitable for those with allergies.
The Tibetan Terrier was almost completely unknown in the West until the 1920s, when a British surgeon in India was given a female of the breed as a gift for saving the life of a local woman. His colleagues had never seen a dog like the Tibetan before, and after the surgeon entered the rare breed in an Indian dog show, the judges made a special effort to acquire a male of the species from Tibet. After the dogs had been breeding for several generations, the surgeon--one Agnes Greig--retired to England to begin breeding the dogs full-time, popularizing the breed in the West.
Yet although the Tibetan Terrier remained unknown in the West for a great deal of time, the dog has a long history in the East as a temple dog, a herder, and a companion for the monks of various disciplines. The Tibetan Terrier was never sold to anyone, and the only way to get one of the dogs for yourself was as a gift from one of the monks or another grateful owner--a gift just like the one that finally brought the Tibetan Terrier to the Western world.
The intelligence of Tibetan Terriers makes them an ideal breed for training--if the trainer knows what he or she is doing. Intelligence, after all, cuts both ways--it makes it easier for the dog to learn how to do certain tricks or perform certain acts of obedience, but it also makes it easier for the dog to learn how to train its trainer in return.
Because of this fierce intelligence, you'll have to keep two things in mind when training a Tibetan Terrier. The first is to never use negative methods of training: spray bottles, unpleasant odors, harsh language, and certainly not rolled-up newspapers. Tibetan Terriers will simply ignore you or rebel against the negative methods of training without modifying their behavior in the slightest. Instead, use positive methods of training--treats, affection, play--in order to convince them to solve the obedience puzzles or tricks you set for them. To a curious Tibetan Terrier, the work of solving puzzles is in many ways its own reward--but it certainly doesn't hurt to provide the dog with a more immediate reward as well.
You'll also have to keep completely consistent while training your dog. Make sure that they understand exactly what they have to do in order to be rewarded, and don't let them "sweet-talk" you into giving them a reward without doing the expected work. Remember, the Tibetan Terrier loves puzzles, and the behavior of his or her trainer--the one who gives him or her treats, after all--is one of the most useful puzzles the dog has to solve. Keep your behavior consistent, set the dog achievable objectives every day, and be prepared to spend the necessary time so that the dog can master specific pieces of training.
The life expectancy of the Tibetan Terrier is around 12-15 years, and there are a number of health problems to look out for with this breed. This includes luxating patella, cataracts, thyroid problems, vWD, HD, and PRA. The parents of the Tibetan Terrier puppy should have OFA and CERF certificates.