Euphoria Tibetans ®

Frequently Asked Questions

Edited with permission by Robin Stamm of Callisto Tibetan Terriers


Q1.What is the temperament of a Tibetan Terrier?

Q2.Are Tibetans good with children?

Q3.How do they get along with other animals?

Q4.How much exercise does a Tibetan require?

Q5.Are they easy to train?

Q6.What health problems do they have?

Q7.How big do they get?

Q8.Sounds like Tibetans are for everyone?

Q9.Are all Tibetans black and white?

Q10.Do they shed?

Q11.How much grooming do they require?

Q12.Should I get a puppy or an adult?

Q13.This will be my first Tibetan. Should I get a male or a female?

Q14.How long do they live?

Q1. What is the temperament of a Tibetan Terrier?

Tibetan Terriers are not terriers. They do not “go to ground”. They were not bred to hunt vermin. The first Tibetans were brought to England in the 1930’s by Dr. Grieg, a missionary doctor in India. Another Tibetan breed had already been established in England as a Lhasa Terrier (today’s Lhasa Apso). Hence this new Tibetan breed with longer legs, like many of the English terrier breeds, was christened the Tibetan Terrier. Many of us simply call these “little people in furry suits"... TTs. TTs, especially the girls, have a very well developed sense of “self”. Each one is a unique individual and proud of it. They can be aloof and wary with strangers. You may not immediately become a Tibetan’s best friend. One has to earn a Tibetan’s love and respect. Treat them with the love and respect and you will have a devoted companion for life!  With their family and friends they are loving and affectionate. They are extremely empathetic and uncannily in tune with their people. They are charming, perpetual two year olds. Their curiosity is endless. You have heard the old saying ”Curiosity killed the cat.”? Well it picked up a TT along the way!!!!!!! They can be a bit stubborn. If you don’t want them to do something as an adult; don’t allow them to do it as an adorable puppy. They require continuing socialization and firm, loving guidance from the day they walk into your heart. Early training is a must. Puppy Kindergarten classes are strongly recommended as a family activity as soon as possible after acquiring your puppy. Continuing with beginner’s Obedience classes is a great idea. You will be rewarded with a charming, well-behaved (well mostly, they are perpetual two year olds!) companion who will make you laugh when you are sad; keep you company when you are sick; sing and dance with you when you are happy and love you unconditionally!

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Q2. Are Tibetans good with children?

Tibetans are good with good children who are gentle and respect them. They will not endure unkind treatment stoically as a Golden Retriever or a Labrador might. Young children and dogs should always be supervised. Do not get a Tibetan because your child wants a dog and fell in love with their shaggy cuteness. Bring a Tibetan into your home only if you want to make him a member of your family.

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Q3. How do they get along with other animals?

Well-socialized Tibetans get along well with other animals. They do well with other dogs especially if they are exposed to many different dogs from an early age. They do fine with cats when they are raised with them. That is not to say that they won’t chase them occasionally just for a little exercise!

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Q4. How much exercise does a Tibetan require?

As much as you are able to give them! Tibetans are very flexible in their exercise needs. As puppies they can be very active. They love to run and jump and climb, but due to their medium size they can get enough exercise with a couple walks a day and a few laps around the coffee table in bad weather. A fenced in yard is not a necessity, but certainly nice to have. Never allow a Tibetan off leash in an unfenced area! It is a recipe for disaster. Remember how curious they are! Tibetans are very athletic and will love to join you in many activities. If you take your TT swimming, be very watchful.  Keep in mind all the hair they have, once wet it can easily weigh them down making it very difficult to swim!!!!  However, they adore snow! They will even make puppy snow angels.  You may have a hard time getting them back in the house.

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Q5. Are they easy to train?

Tibetans are smart, very smart; but they don’t always make the best obedience dogs for AKC Obedience titles. Rally is more suited to their WIIFM (What’s in it for me?) mentality. They like the more relaxed and flexible training. You need to have a good sense of humor to train a Tibetan. They bore easily with repetition (I did it twice already now teach me something else!). Positive reinforcement is the only way to train a TT. Harsh corrections will only make them more resistant to training.

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Q6. What health problems do they have?

Hip Displaysia may occur in Tibetans as well as several eye problems such as Juvenile Cataracts, Lens Luxation and Progressive Retinal Atrophy. The reputable breeder will have their dogs’ hips x-rayed to rule out hip displaysia. A certified veterinary ophthalmologist must examine eyes yearly. No breeder can guarantee a puppy to be free of hip displaysia or future eye problems, but can significantly lessen the odds by performing these examinations on all their dogs prior to breeding. Overall Tibetans are a very healthy, hearty breed.

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Q7. How big do they get?

The standard calls for a medium size dog; 14 to 17 inches high at the top of the shoulder and 18 to 30 pounds. Most fall between 20 and 25 pounds. They are a great take anywhere dog that can easily be picked up and carried by an adult if necessary.

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Q8. Sounds like Tibetans are for everyone?

Tibetans are NOT for everyone. Tibetans are not push button dogs. Just because they look like a stuffed animal does not mean you get to put them on a shelf and then take them out to play whenever you have time. Tibetans are very social and will not understand why they are being ignored; it will be viewed as a form of punishment to them.  They need socialization and training and firm, loving guidence. They need to be part of the family. They need weekly grooming, and daily walks or playtime in a fenced yard or safe area. They need some of your time every day. If this doesn’t sound unreasonable to you then I have one more drawback of allowing a Tibetan into your heart and home……. Tibetans are like potato chips. You can’t imagine just having one!!!!!!

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Q9. Are all Tibetans black and white?

Absolutely not! Tibetans come in all colors and all color combinations.  All Tibetan colors are beautiful!  Never choose your Tibetan based on the color of their coat.  Their coloring as a puppy may not be the same as their coloring as an adult.  Personality and temperament are much more important when it comes to your companion!

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Q10. Do they shed?

All dogs shed to some degree, but TTs are a double coated breed with human like hair, not fur. They do not go through a seasonal shed and they do not have a “doggy” odor. People with allergies usually do quite well with a Tibetan in the house. We have placed several puppies in households with allergy sufferers and all involved are doing well!

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Q11. How much grooming do they require?

Not as much as you may think. You do not need any expensive scissors or fancy clippers or special training to groom a TT. Up to 7 to 9 months old TTs have a soft single coat. A weekly bath and a few minutes with a soft brush plus nail cutting and ear cleaning will keep your puppy looking like a teddy bear. At about 9 months they start to “blow” their puppy coat as their adult coat and undercoat comes in. This takes 3 to 6 months. A weekly bath and thorough brushing twice a week with a slicker brush and/or a pin brush will get you through this stage. Once your TT is in adult coat, a bath and an hour of brushing weekly will keep that wonderful shaggy coat looking great. Not too big a price to pay. After all, that shaggy coat is part of what attracted you to the Tibetan in the first place! If the coat transition becomes to tough to handle a good groomer can put your puppy in an easy care “puppy cut” that will keep your TT looking like a 7 month old puppy all his life. Even when kept in a puppy cut, your TT will still require some brushing in order to keep mats from forming.  A badly matted dog will end up being shaved very close to the skin and may not look like the TT you are familiar with.

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Q12. Should I get a puppy or an adult?

It depends on your circumstances and life style. A puppy under 5 or 6 months old is a lot of work. There is housetraining, leash training, socializing, teething, multiple vet visits and 3 meals a day. If you have the time to commit; raising a puppy from 10 weeks old is a wonderful experience. If it is more than you think you can handle an older puppy or an adult may be a better choice. Breeders sometimes decide to sell a puppy over 6 months old that they had planned to keep. Expect to pay a little more for these older puppies that have had all their inoculations and a good bit of training already. From time to time older dogs retired from a breeding program may become available.

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Q13. This will be my first Tibetan. Should I get a male or a female?

In general I personally have found the males to be more easy going and affectionate. For someone who has never trained a dog before I usually recommend a male as they are not quite as opinionated as a female and are easier to train. Once you have your Tibetan neutered/spayed around 6 months of age, the sexual behaviors will not come into play. More important than the sex of your puppy is its personality and temperament. Your breeder will know their puppies’ personality and temperament and will be careful to make a good match for you. Trust your breeder to make the decision for you.

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Q14. How long do they live?

Never, never long enough,  Plan on enjoying your Tibetan for a good 13 - 18 years.  Yearly check-ups, a good quality food and a fair amount of exercise will help keep your TT in tip top health. 

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