Tibetan Terrier Info & Tibetan Terrier Breeders
The Tibetan Terrier is a medium-size breed of dog originated in Tibet. Despite its name, it is not a member of the terrier group. The breed acquired its name from European travelers who first encountered the breed due to its resemblance to terriers. The Tibetan name for the breed, Tsang Apso, roughly translates to "shaggy or bearded (apso) dog, from the province of Tsang". Some old travelers' accounts give the name Dokhi Apso or "outdoor" Apso, indicating a working dog which lives outdoors.
Bred and raised in monasteries by lamas over 2000 years ago, Tibetan Terriers were kept as good luck charms, mascots, watchdogs, and companions. In addition to herding sheep, they were also used to retrieve articles that fell below mountain sides.
Known as the "Holy Dogs of Tibet", they were never sold but only given as gifts by monks to promote good fortune. As such, the early history of the breed is linked to only a handful of foundation dogs. Recent DNA analysis has concluded that the Tibetan Terrier is descended from the most ancient dog breeds.
The temperament has been one of the most attractive aspects of the breed since it was first established. They are amiable and affectionate family dogs, sensitive to their owners and gentle with older children if properly introduced. As is fitting a dog formerly used as a watch dog, they tend to be reserved around strangers, but should never be aggressive nor shy with them. Though not prone to excessive barking, the Tibetan Terrier has an assertive bark.
Suitable for apartment living, the Tibetan is still an energetic and surprisingly strong dog, and needs regular exercise. The energy level of the Tibetan is moderate to high and its general nature is happy, active, lively, intelligent and agile. As a result, they are well suited for dog sports such as agility. They are steadfast, determined, and clever, which can lead to them being stubborn. Tibetan Terriers are usually charming and loyal. Some dogs of this breed can often be jealous, which can make it hard to live with another pet.
The Tibetan Terrier can compete in dog agility trials, obedience, rally obedience, showmanship, flyball, tracking, and even herding events. Herding instincts and trainability can be measured at noncompetitive herding tests. Tibetan Terriers that exhibit basic herding instincts can be trained to compete in herding trials.