The Tibetan Terrier is a medium-sized, squarely proportioned dog that looks more like a sheepdog than like a terrier. Height at the withers of more than 17 in. or less than 14 in. is considered a fault. The double coat protects the entire dog, even falling in front of the dark, widely spaced eyes. The fine outer coat can be straight or wavy. The undercoat is soft and woolly. The coat should be long, but should not touch the ground. Any color (or combination of colors), including white, is acceptable in this breed. The Tibetan Terrier does not shed seasonally, but will drop some hair if kept in full coat. The tail is heavily furnished and carried over and on the back. The heavily feathered ears hang pendant, falling not too close to the head. The nose is black. The lower jaw is slightly bearded. The desirable mouth is a tight scissors bite or a tight reversed scissors bite (the inner surface of the lower teeth touches the outer surface of the upper teeth). The topline is level. This breed's unique large flat feet, well- furnished with hair, produce a snowshoe effect that provides traction and flotation in snow. The Tibetan Terrier has great agility and endurance.
Originally bred by Tibetan monks, the Tibetan Terrier is an ancient contributor to many other Tibetan breeds. The breed was considered to be lucky and dogs were often given as gifts, but never sold. Dr. A.R.H. Grieg was responsible for the breed's introduction to the West. She was given several dogs, the first by a grateful patient, and then by the Dalai Lama himself. She later established a Tibetan Terrier kennel in England. The "terrier" part of the breed name is a misnomer, as the dog is in no part a terrier. It was given the name simply because it was of terrier size. In the United States, the Tibetan Terrier is primarily a pet and companion.
Sweet, gentle, and loving. Lively and fun. Can be willful. Devoted to the family, but wary of strangers. Some are good guard dogs.