10 Things You Didn’t Know about the Tibetan Terrier

The Tibetan Terrier is a medium-sized breed that is well-suited for a wide range of roles. As a result, interested individuals should make sure to check out its characteristics to see whether it would make a suitable canine companion for them or not. Something that is particularly true for those who have been charmed by the breed’s bearded appearance. Here are 10 things that you may or may not have known about the Tibetan Terrier:

1. Called the Tsang Apso

Sometimes, the English names of breeds are translated from other languages. Other times, not so much. In the case of the Tibetan Terrier, its Tibetan name is Tsang Apso, which translates to something along the lines of either a bearded dog or a shaggy dog from a traditional Tibetan province called Ü-Tsang.

2. Sometimes Called the Dokhi Apso

With that said, it is interesting to note that there are some earlier sources that call the Tibetan Terrier the Dokhi Apso. The Dokhi in Dokhi Apso means “outdoor,” which says much about the intended role of the breed.

3. Hasn’t Seen Much Mixing

The Tibetan Terrier is one of those breeds that are so old that it came into existence through a semi-natural process of becoming better and better-suited for the circumstances in it found itself rather than deliberate development. However, it is interesting to note that it hasn’t seen much mixing with other breeds over the course of its existence because Tibet is so isolated.

4. Seen as Lucky Charms

It is said that the Tibetans put a high value on the Tibetan Terrier, so much so that they saw members of the breed as lucky charms. Due to this, it was frowned upon for their owners to sell Tibetan Terriers, though giving them out as gifts was considered to be much more acceptable.

5. First Dog Given to an European in the 1920s

A Dr. A.R.H. Greig was the first European person to receive a Tibetan Terrier, which happened in 1922 when she managed to perform a successful operation for one of her Tibetan patients. Later, she managed to get her hands on a second Tibetan Terrier, with the result that she soon started breeding Tibetan Terriers.

6. Friendly

One of the reasons that the Tibetan Terrier can make an excellent canine companion is their friendliness for their family members. However, it should be mentioned that Tibetan Terriers were often used as guard dogs, meaning that they tend to be much more reserved when it comes to strangers. Fortunately, they aren’t one of the guard dog breeds that are prone to excessive aggression when meeting people that they don’t know.

7. Stubborn

On a related note, Tibetan Terriers saw extensive use as herders as well. As a result, it is common for them to possess a stubborn mind-set because the breed needed an independent mind to handle the duties and responsibilities entrusted to it. Be warned that Tibetan Terriers can be manipulative as well, meaning that they are not necessarily a good choice for newbie dog owners.

8. Needs Positive Training Methods

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Tibetan Terriers don’t react well to negative training methods. Their stubborn mindset will encourage them to just shrug off such training methods. Even worse, it might actually cause them to rebel when treated in such a manner.

9. Can Be Huge Mess-Makers

Tibetan Terriers can be very, very messy. This is because a lot of their owners like to leave them with long hair, which can pick up a lot of mud, snow, and who knows what else within a very short period of time. Something that is particularly problematic because Tibetan Terriers are strong, energetic dogs that should be spending a fair amount of time outdoor to maintain an optimal state of health. Suffice to say that when these factors are put together, this means that a Tibetan Terrier can make a huge mess even without intending to do so.

10. Not a Terrier

Despite the name, Tibetan Terriers are not considered to be real terriers, which are breeds that started out as hunters of vermin but have managed to make a successful transition to canine companions for the most part. Instead, they are just named thus because earlier Europeans thought that they looked like terriers, thus resulting a somewhat misleading name.


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