Tibetan Terrier Breed Standard
As published by the American Kennel Club
The Tibetan Terrier evolved over many centuries, surviving in
Tibet's extreme climate and difficult terrain. The breed developed a protective
double coat, compact size, unique foot construction, and great agility. The
Tibetan Terrier served as a steadfast, devoted companion in all of his owner's
The Tibetan Terrier is a medium-sized dog, profusely coated, of powerful build,
and square in proportion. A fall of hair covers the eyes and foreface. The
well-feathered tail curls up and falls forward over the back. The feet are
large, flat, and round in shape producing a snowshoe effect that provides
traction. The Tibetan Terrier is well balanced and capable of both strong and
efficient movement. The Tibetan Terrier is shown as naturally as possible.
Skull--Medium length neither broad nor
coarse. The length from the eye to the tip of the nose is equal to the length
from eye to the occiput. The skull narrows slightly from ear to eye. It is not
domed but not absolutely flat between the ears. The head is well furnished with
long hair, falling forward over the eyes and foreface. The cheekbones are curved
but not so overdeveloped as to bulge. Muzzle--The lower jaw has a
small amount of beard. Stop--There is marked stop but not
exaggerated. Nose--Black. Teeth--White, strong and
evenly placed. There is a distinct curve in the jaws between the canines. A
tight scissors bite, a tight reverse scissors bite or a level bite are equally
acceptable. A slightly undershot bite is acceptable.
Eyes-- Large, set fairly wide apart, dark brown and may appear
black in color, neither prominent nor sunken. Eye rims are dark in color.
Ears--Pendant, falling not too close to the head, heavily feathered with
a "V" shaped leather proportionate to the head.
Faults--Weak pointed muzzle. Any color other than a black nose.
Overshot bite or a very undershot bite or a wry mouth. Long narrow head. Lack of
fall over the eyes and foreface.
Neck and Body
Neck-- Length proportionate to the body and head. Body--Compact,
square and strong, capable of both speed and endurance. Topline--The
back is level in motion. Chest--Heavily furnished. The brisket
extends downward to the top of the elbow in the mature Tibetan Terrier.
Ribs--The body is well ribbed up and never cloddy or coarse. The rib
cage is not too wide across the chest and narrows slightly to permit the
forelegs to work free at the sides. Loin--Slightly arched.
Tail--Medium length, heavily furnished, set on fairly high and falls
forward over the back, may curl to either side. There may be a kink near the
Shoulders--Sloping, well muscled and well laid back. Legs--Straight
and strong when viewed from the front. Heavily furnished. The vertical distance
from the withers to the elbow equals the distance from the elbows to the ground.
Feet--The feet of the Tibetan Terrier are unique in form among
dogs. They are large, flat, and round in shape producing a snowshoe effect that
provides traction. The pads are thick and strong. They are heavily furnished
with hair between the toes and pads. Hair between the toes and pads may be
trimmed level with the underside of the pads for health reasons. The dog should
stand well down on its pads. Dewclaws--May be removed.
Legs--Well furnished, with well bent stifles and the hind legs are
slightly longer than the forelegs. Thighs--Relatively broad and
well muscled. Hocks--Low set and turn neither in nor out.
Feet--Same as forefeet. Dewclaws May be removed.
Double coat. Undercoat is soft and woolly. Outer coat is profuse and fine but
never silky or woolly. May be wavy or straight. Coat is long but should not hang
to the ground. When standing on a hard surface an area of light should be seen
under the dog. The coat of puppies is shorter, single and often has a softer
texture than that of adults. A natural part is often present over the neck and
back. Fault--Lack of double coat in adults. Sculpturing,
scissoring, stripping or shaving are totally contrary to breed type and are
Any color or combination of colors including white are acceptable to the
breed. There are no preferred colors or combinations of colors.
The Tibetan Terrier has a free, effortless stride with good reach in front
and flexibility in the rear allowing full extension. When gaiting the hind legs
should go neither inside nor outside the front legs but should move on the same
track approaching single tracking when the dog is moved at a fast trot. The dog
with the correct foot and leg construction moves with elasticity and drive
indicating that the dog is capable of great agility as well as endurance.
Average weight is 20 to 24 pounds, but the weight range may be 18 to 30 pounds.
Proportion of weight to height is far more important than specific weight and
should reflect a well-balanced square dog. The average height in dogs is 15 to
16 inches, bitches slightly smaller. The length, measured from the point of
shoulder to the root of tail, is equal to the height measured from the highest
point of the withers to the ground. Faults--Any height above 17
inches or below 14 inches.
The Tibetan Terrier is highly intelligent, sensitive, loyal, devoted and
affectionate. The breed may be cautious or reserved. Fault--Extreme
Approved March 10, 1987