Origin and Purpose
The Tibetan Terrier was bred for centuries in the monasteries in the high Himalayas where they were loved and used by the monks and lamas as mascots, good luck charms and watchdogs. The dense coat allowed survival in the extreme climatic conditions. The compact size and unique foot structure permitted movement over snow and terrain inaccessible to man.
A profusely coated dog of sturdy build, square in proportion, with the tail curled over the back. The facial hair covers the eyes and muzzle, providing protection from the elements. The large round feet, with no discernible arch, produce a snowshoe effect while providing traction for traversing and climbing in extreme terrain.
The Tibetan Terrier is intelligent, sensitive, loyal, devoted and affectionate. The breed may be reserved but extreme shyness is a fault.
Height 14-16 inches (35-41 cm). Weight 18-30 lb. (8-14 kg). The weight must be proportionate to the height, maintaining a sturdy, compact build.
Coat and Colour
Double coat. The undercoat, fine wool. The topcoat profuse, fine, but not silky or woolly, either straight or wavy. The coat is long but should not hang to the ground. Any colour or combination of colours including white.
Head Skull of medium length and width, not coarse, slightly domed, narrowing slightly from ear to eye, there shall be a distinct but not exaggerated stop. The cheekbones curved but not overdeveloped so as to bulge. The length from the eye to tip of the nose should be equal to that from the eye to the occiput. Muzzle: The jaws between the canines should form a distinct curve. The lower jaw should carry a small but not over- exaggerated amount of beard. The head should be well furnished with long hair falling forward over the eyes. Nose black. Mouth a tight scissors bite, a tight reverse scissors bite or a level bite are equally acceptable. A slight undershot bite is acceptable. Eyes: Large, dark, neither prominent nor sunken; should be set fairly wide apart. Eyelids dark. Ears pendant, not too close to the head, V-shaped, not too large; heavily feathered.
The neck is well set on the shoulders, slightly arched, and carried erect.
Shoulders sloping, strongly muscled, flat and well laid back. The forelegs should be straight when viewed from front or side. In motion the elbows should move close to the body and parallel to the line of travel. Pasterns are short and slightly sloping. Feet should turn neither in nor out and must be large, round, and heavily furnished with hair between the toes and pads. The dog should stand well down on his pads, the foot has no arch.
Compact and powerful. Length from point of shoulder to root of tail equal to height at withers. Well ribbed up. Loin slightly arched.
Strongly muscled, in balance with the forequarters. Thighs broad with well-bent stifles. Hocks well let down, turning neither in nor out. Both front and hind feet are structurally the same.
Medium in length, set on fairly high and carried in a gay curl over the back. Very well feathered. There is often a kink near the tip.
When in motion the legs and feet should move parallel to the line of travel with the hind legs tracking the fore. A dog with the correct foot moves with elasticity and drive indicating great agility and endurance.
Extreme shyness; weak, snipey foreface; overshot or very undershot bite or wry mouth; lack of double coat in adults.