The Tibetan Terrier AKC Standard

The Tibetan Terrier developed over the ages, surviving the harsh climate and tough terrain of Tibet. The breed evolved a protective double coat, a small body, a distinct foot design, and exceptional agility. In all of his owner’s activities, the Tibetan Terrier was a loyal and devoted friend.

Breed Specification:

Overall Appearance

The Tibetan Terrier is a medium-sized dog with a thick coat, a strong body, and square proportions. A hair fall covers the eyes and foreface. The tail coils up and drapes forward over the back of the bird. The feet are broad, flat, and spherical, creating a snowshoe impression for traction. The Tibetan Terrier is a well-balanced breed that can move quickly and efficiently. The Tibetan Terrier is shown in the most natural way imaginable.


  • Skull

Medium-length skull, neither wide nor coarse. The distance between the eye and the tip of the nose is equal to the distance between the eye and the occiput. From ear to eye, the skull narrows somewhat. It is not domed, but it is also not completely flat between the ears. Long hair falls forward over the eyes and foreface, adorning the head. The cheekbones are curved but not overdeveloped to the point of bulging.

  • Muzzle

A tiny bit of beard grows on the lower jaw.

  • Stop

There is a clearly defined stop, although it is not overstated.

  • Nose


  • Teeth

White, robust, and perfectly spaced teeth The jaws have a pronounced curvature between the canines. A level bite, a tight scissors bite, or a tight reverse scissors bite are all appropriate. It is fine to have a little undershot bite.

  • Eyes

Large, somewhat wide-spaced eyes that are dark brown and may look black in hue, neither prominent nor sunken. The rims of the eyes are black in hue.

  • Ears

The pendant falls near to the head and is highly feathered with a “V” shaped leather that is proportional to the head.

  • Faults

Muzzle is weak and pointed. Any color other than black for the nose. A wry mouth, an overshot bite, or a significantly undershot bite. The Head is long and thin. There is no fall across the eyes and foreface.

Body and Neck

  • Neck

Neck length should be appropriate to the body and head.

  • Body

Square, compact, and powerful, capable of both speed and endurance.

  • Topline

In motion, the back is level.

  • Chest

Extensively furnished. In a mature Tibetan Terrier, the brisket stretches to the top of the elbow.

  • Ribs

The body is heavily ribbed yet never cloddy or coarse. The rib cage is not overly large across the chest and narrows somewhat at the sides to allow the forelegs to operate freely.

  • Loin

A little arched.

  • Tail

Medium length, highly supplied, placed on pretty high and falls forward over the back, with the ability to curl to either side. There might be a kink at the end.


  • Shoulder

Shoulders are sloping, highly muscled, and nicely positioned.

  • Legs

When seen from the front, they are straight and robust. Richly equipped. The vertical distance between the withers and the elbows matches the horizontal distance between the elbows and the ground.

  • Feet

The Tibetan Terrier’s feet are unlike any other dog’s. They have a big, flat, spherical form that creates a snowshoe effect that gives traction. The pads are thick and substantial. They have a lot of hair between their toes and pads. For health reasons, hair between the toes and pads should be clipped level with the bottom of the pads. The dog should be standing on its paws.

  • Dewclaws

May be removed.


  • Legs

Legs are well provided, with properly bent stifles and hind legs that are somewhat longer than forelegs. Thighs are wide and strongly muscled.

  • Hocks

Low set and do not turn in or out.

  • Feet

Identical to forefeet.

  • Dewclaws

May be removed.


Double coat. The undercoat is woolly and velvety. The outer coat is dense and fine, yet it is never silky or woolly. It might be wavy or straight. Although the coat is long, it should not hang on the ground. When standing on a hard surface, a spot of light should be seen underneath the dog. Puppy coats are shorter, single, and generally have a softer feel than adult coats. Over the neck and back, a natural portion is often present. Adults lack a second coat, which is a flaw.

  • Fault

Sculpturing, scissoring, stripping, or shaving go completely against breed type and are major flaws.


The breed accepts any hue or mix of colors, even white. There are no suggested colors or color combinations.


The Tibetan Terrier has a free, easy stride with strong reach in front and suppleness in the back that allows for a complete extension. When gaiting, the rear legs should not travel inside or outside the front legs but should go on the same track as the front legs, approaching single tracking when the dog moves at a rapid trot. The dog with the proper foot and limb architecture moves with suppleness and drive, showing that the dog is capable of both agility and endurance.


The average weight is 20 to 24 pounds, however, it may vary from 18 to 30 pounds. The weight-to-height ratio is significantly more essential than the particular weight, and it should depict a well-balanced square dog. Dogs are about 15 to 16 inches tall, with bitches being somewhat shorter. The length is equivalent to the height measured from the highest point of the withers to the ground when measured from the point of shoulder to the root of the tail. Faults—Any height more than 17 inches or less than 14 inches.


The Tibetan Terrier is a breed that is very clever, sensitive, loyal, loving, and affectionate. The breed might be wary or reserved.

  • Deficiency

Extreme shyness.

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