≡ Menu

Let’s Talk About the Tibetan Terrier Temperament and What You Must Know About This Dog Breed

Two Tibetan Terrier Dogs | DogTemperament.com

The Tibetan Terrier temperament is perfect for people who are looking for a medium-size dog who is mostly calm, yet playful and lively when he wants to be.

Despite his name, the Tibetan Terrier is not a Terrier, although he does resemble members of the Terrier group.

Tibetan Terriers, known as the “Holy Dog of Tibet,” have a very long history and have become valued pets over the years. Other names for this dog include the Bhutan Terrier, Bhutanese Dog, Dhoki, and Lhasa Terrier.

Tibetan Terrier Temperament and Personality

If you are considering a Tibetan Terrier, you should be prepared for an energetic and strong dog who needs regular exercise.


The Tibetan Terrier temperament makes him a clever and determined dog. In fact, he can be downright stubborn at times, so I highly recommend early training – the earlier the better.

Photo of Tibetan Terrier In Snow


The Tibetan Terrier is one of those dogs who suffer from separation anxiety if you leave him alone for too long. It is, therefore, best if someone is home with him most of the time.


The loving, gentle and loyal Tibetan Terrier temperament makes him a desirable family pet.

He loves to spend time with his family, whether he’s playing games together with them or curling up with them by the fire.


The Tibetan Terrier makes for an okay watchdog in that he is not aggressive with strangers, but he can act reserved around people he doesn’t know. You probably wouldn’t want this dog as a guard dog, though.

If left unchecked, his sensitive nature can morph into timidity or an overactive suspicion of everyone he meets. The best way to combat this is to introduce him to as many people and animals as possible from the get-go to help him become more comfortable with both.


As for other pets in the house, the Tibetan Terrier should get along with them due to his affectionate nature.

In fact, he may get so comfortable with them that he bosses them around! You can train him out of this, though.

He’s a Barker

The Tibetan Terrier is one of those dogs who loves to hear himself bark. He’ll bark when it matters, and he’ll bark when it doesn’t, from a person approaching the house to a leaf skittering past your window.

With a bit of work, you can train him to understand that he shouldn’t use his bark lightly and that there’s always a time and a place for barking.

A Brief History of the Tibetan Terrier

Tibetan Terriers descended from ancient breeds, however, Tibet’s geographic isolation kept them as purebreds for over 2,000 years!

Photo of Tibetan Terrier Lying Outdoors

The Buddhist monks who raised Tibetan Terriers thousands of years ago believed that they brought good fortune to those who owned them.

The monks considered these dogs to be holy, and so they gave them away as “good luck” gifts. The recipients of these dogs used them for herding purposes and prized them as both companions and watchdogs.

How Do You Train a Tibetan Terrier?

Tibetan Terriers are intelligent dogs who take well to training if you do it right. For instance, stick to more positive training methods, like affection, play and treats to teach the dog obedience.

Negative training methods do not usually work with Lhasa Terrier dog breeds and can even make matters worse. As for bad behaviors you can train them out of, you can curb their natural suspiciousness of strangers and stubbornness, so long as you are persistent and consistent.

Helpful Dog Training Resource:

For help with training your Tibetan Terrier dog, you should take a look at The Online Dog Trainer by Doggy Dan. Doggy Dan is an expert Dog Trainer based in New Zealand. His online resource contains Hundreds of Excellent Dog Training Videos that will take you step-by-step through the process of developing a healthy, happy well-behaved dog.

The Tibetan Terrier Appearance

Adult Tibetan Terriers are between 14 and 16 inches tall, and they weigh between 18 and 31 lbs. at a healthy weight.

As for colors, the Lhasa Terrier comes in black, white, grey, tricolor, piebald, golden, or brindle. So, you certainly have a rainbow to choose from when it comes to this breed!

How Do You Groom a Tibetan Terrier?

Two Adorable Tibetan Terrier Dogs SittingNext To Each Other | DogTemperament.com

The Tibetan Terrier has a shaggy coat with an undercoat of wool – that’s right, wool. His coat acts as a kind of insulation and is resistant to moisture.

Interestingly, while you might think this kind of coat would send you into a sneezing frenzy if you’re an allergy sufferer, he is actually what you might consider “hypoallergenic.”

What this means is that you will have less of a reaction to him, thanks to the fact that he has less dander than other dogs and hair, rather than fur.

I advise you to get him a puppy cut, which will allow him to be better able to enjoy outdoor activities.

However, if you keep his coat long, then you will have the opportunity to bond with him by regularly grooming him. 

This will work to strengthen the bond between you two.

The Health of a Tibetan Terrier

The average lifespan of a Tibetan Terrier is 15-16 years, according to the American Kennel Club. That’s a long time for a dog! You’ll have a companion for a long time in this little guy.

Tibetan Terriers are generally a healthy breed, but veterinarians have found geriatric heart murmurs, cataracts and cancer in older dogs.

A responsible Tibetan Terrier dog breeder will screen for such issues as:

Note:  If you agree that your dog's health should be just as much of a priority as your own, then grab a copy of The Ultimate Guide to Dog Health. Your Tibetan Terrier friend will thank you for it.


Here are some other considerations for proper caring of your Tibetan Terrier:


Tibetan Terriers are an energetic breed. However, some of these dogs may have a stronger drive for exercise than others.

The best way to find a Lhasa Terrier who is a good match for you physically is to work with a breeder. A breeder knows her pack, so she’ll be able to match you up with a pup who works best for you.

She’ll pick a pup for you who prefers more strenuous activity if that’s more your style, or one who’s more laid back if that’s a better match for you.

Tibetan Terriers tend to do well in small condos and apartments, so long as they receive their daily exercise.

They particularly enjoy walks and exercising outdoors with their owners. In fact, they’d much rather do things with their owners than by themselves, so throwing them outside with a ball in the backyard just isn’t going to cut it.


Feed your Tibetan Terrier a high-quality diet of homemade or commercial dog food that adequately provides for his nutritional needs.

If you choose to feed him commercial dog food, protein should be the first ingredient on the label. . It should also have all the vitamins, minerals, fatty acids and carbs necessary for providing your dog with a healthy diet

Top Tibetan Terrier Mixes

If you loved yourself a good mixed breed dog, there are a few Tibetan Terrier mixes out there who are sure to please, including the:

Finding the Perfect Tibetan Terrier Puppy

Pack of 4 Tibetan Terrier Dogs | DogTemperament.com

Looking for a Tibetan Terrier puppy?

If so, you have two options.

  1. You could pay top dollar to an AKC-certified breeder who specializes in Tibetan Terriers.
  2. Or you could go online to find rescue a Tibetan Terriers puppy or adult dog who is up for adoption.

Fair warning: this breed is in high demand, so be prepared to put your name on a waiting list.

Tibetan Terrier puppies for sale can be located online through sources like Puppy Find.

This site offers a convenient means to select a puppy through photographs and detailed descriptions.

How Much is a Tibetan Terrier Puppy?

The price of a Tibetan Terrier puppy ranges from a low of $1,300 to a high of $2,500.

This assumes you are adopting from a reputable Lhasa Terrier breeder. If not, the price could be much lower (and you end up with a sick or aggressive dog), or much higher (and the breeder rips you off).

Some of the factors that can affect the price of a Tibetan Terrier include:

  • The breeder’s location
  • The breeder’s reputation
  • The puppy’s lineage
  • The size of the litter the puppy comes from
  • The popularity of the breed you’re looking for
  • Whether the dog has any training or socialization experience

Tibetan Terrier Breeders

Photo of Tibetan Terrier With Ball

A little research will provide you with the names of AKC (American Kennel Club)-certified breeders. While some will offer to ship the puppy to you, stick with those who require you to visit the site to acquire the dog.

Many breeders still have the dog’s champion parents, so you watch them interact with the pup before committing to the purchase.

You can learn a lot by how the pup interacts with his parents, as well as how the breeder handles it. For instance, if the parents are aggressive, the pup may be, too – especially if the breeder does nothing to correct the behavior.

Websites like PetPremium.com list thousands of dog breeders in the United States. You can search the site by city or zip code to find Tibetan Terriers in particular.

The breeder listing will tell you the location of the breeder and the breeder’s contact information.

Other sites, like Doggies.com, provide background information about the breeder, as well as the location, contact information, and photos of the breeder’s available dogs.

Tibetan Terrier Rescue and Adoption

The internet is an excellent source of information for Tibetan Terriers who are up for rescue and adoption.

Rescued and adopted dogs can save you money, and you will give an unwanted dog a home. Everyone wins!

You may also luck out in that you find a dog who, since he has already lived in a home, knows very well that he has to go outside to do his business.

This is one of the many perks of adopting an older dog. Plus, along with his proclivity to outgrow destructive behavior, like chewing, he may also refrain from engaging in obscene behavior, like excessive barking.

Photo of Tibetan Terrier In Grass And Half Snow

Tibetan Terrier Rescue

Sites like Petfinder.com provide photos and information about Dhokis who are available for rescue nationwide.

Listings range from Providence, Rhode Island on the East Coast to Marina Del Rey, California in the West.

Sites like these will provide you with pertinent information about the organization and the backstory of the rescue dog if known.

Sometimes, if volunteers spot a dog on the side of the road, there’s no way to know his history. Their priority is to get him a good home, so long as he passes the test insofar as being able to live with, ideally, humans and possibly even other pets.

These sites may also offer general information about the breed, should there be additional information you require that you cannot find here.

Tibetan Terrier Adoption

Websites like AdoptaPet.com list the available Tibetan Terriers for adoption across the nation. You may see listings for Tibetan Terriers in your area, provided any are available when you search.

You can search by size, color, age, and gender. And if you don’t find any at first, don’t give up. Keep searching – you never know when one may pop up at a shelter.

Adoptapet.com in particular is a pet-saving service funded by well-known companies like Petco, Purina, and Bayer.

A Final Word about Tibetan Terriers

To put things in perspective, the Tibetan Terrier temperament is an adaptable one, which makes him a great family dog. This dog is powerfully built and medium-sized, with an abundant coat that requires frequent grooming.

The breed can be a good choice for people who suffer from allergies. This is because he has hair, rather than fur, and less dander than other breeds, so he’s less likely to cause a reaction.

Tibetan Terriers can adapt well to apartment living. They also make excellent watchdogs and loving companions.

He is a clever dog but, like most clever dogs, this intelligence can turn into stubbornness. Remain vigilant and reward him when he does well, and you’ll see improvements in his behavior in no time.