Tibetan Terrier: good luck charm
The Lamas who bred the Tibetan Terriers in their monasteries 2000 years ago considered the dogs to be good luck charms. These dogs were also thought of as the “Holy dogs of Tibet” and served as companions, mascots, and watchdogs as well as good luck charms. They were also used for herding and for retrieving things that at time fell down the mountains. According to the American Kennel Club (AKC) they are medium size, powerfully built, agile and hardy dogs able to “withstand the extreme climate and difficult terrain” of Tibet. Their large round flat feet act like snowshoes they can get traction in heavy snow, according to the AKC. They also have a protective double coat and hair over the face protects them from the harsh climate.
This is an ancient breed that contributed to other Tibetan breeds such as the Shi-Tau, the Lhasa Apso, Tibetan Spaniel., according to dogsbreedinfo.com. Although the monks would not sell these dogs they would give them as gifts. One such gift, according to hat website, was in the 1920’s to Dr. A.R.H. Greig of England of England who worked in India for the Women’s Medical Service of India, was given two dogs, one from the Dalai Lama because she saved a life. She started a Tibetan terrier kennel in England. The breed was started in the United States by Dr. Henry and Mrs. Alice Murphy or great Falls, Virginia who imported Tibetan Terriers into the U.S. in 1956. The AKC started registering them in 1973. They are classified as herding, non-sporting dogs.
Like the Tibetan Mastiff is not a mastiff, the Tibetan Terrier is not really a terrier. According to the Tibetan terrier Club of America, the dogs are called terriers because breeds of this size were often classified as terriers in England where the dogs were first introduced to the western world.” Wikipedia relates that they are not in the “terrier group”. They got the terrier name from European travelers because the dogs reminded them of terriers back home. The Tibetan name for the dog is Tsang Apso, which means something similar to shaggy or bearded dog.
Tibetan terriers are:
- · Medium size
- · Squarely proportioned
- · Have medium head with moderate slope
- · Have Black nose
- · Tail well feathered curling over back
- · Height 14-17 inches
- · Weight: 18-30lbs
- · Lifespan 12-17 years
- · Need a lot of grooming
These dogs, which are sometimes called the Holy dog of Tibet, looks like a miniaturized Old English Sheepdog, according to Wikipedia. They can be almost any color except liver or chocolate. Although they are not really terriers they are about the size of a terrier. They are an intelligent and intelligent dog, a bit mischievous and is sensitive to its owner’s moods but might be reserved around strangers. according to the AKC.
The Tibetan terrier is and independent and active dog and should have a positive, patient approach to training and regular exercise.
- · Non-sporting group
- · Recognized by AKC in 1973
- · Companion, multipurpose utility dog
This is a dog that needs the owner to be a strong pack leader. If they do not feel that the owner is the leader they will tend toward barking and other signs of insecure behavior. According to the dogbreedinfo.com, they may not be trustworthy with small children under those circumstances.
If the owners are not the strong leaders some dogs will feel they have to be the leaders and will then be in conflict trying to be the leader of the pack. This is often the cause of behaviors that people find undesirable.
© 2012 Don A. Hoglund