According to legend, the Tibetan Terrier originated in the Lost Valley of Tibet. They are known to have been in existence for more than two thousand years. Called the Holy Dogs of Tibet, they were raised in the monasteries by the lamas or priests. While they were not worshipped as the name Holy Dog might appear to indicate, they were much respected as luck bringers; and thus were highly valued in their native land. In addition to being considered luck bringers, and perhaps because of this, Tibetan Terriers were used as guard dogs for caravans and as protection for travelers. The Tibetan Terrier is not a vicious dog. His value as a guard dog stemmed from the fact that no Tibetan person would harm one of these "Holy Dogs" or anything the dog protected. Tibetan Terriers became so highly prized that the dogs were hidden from strangers and the owners denied all knowledge of their existence. They were awarded as gifts (never sold) to those who performed a great service or earned the gratitude of the Tibetan people. Other information indicates that the Tibetan Terrier may have been used as a herding dog or retriever of lost articles that would occasionally fall down the moutainside into a crevice. The breed is sure-footed and has powerful jumping capabilities and this, coupled with it's keen sense of smell, would make it well suited for such activities.
The Tibetan Terrier was first established in India and England by Dr. Agnes R. H. Greig, an English doctor, who recieved a puppy as a gift from a Tibetan nobleman and formed the great Lamleh Kennel in England were she continued raising the breed until her death in 1972. It is from the early dogs of Dr. Greig that most of the Tibetan Terriers of the western world are descended.
In 1956 the first "official" Tibetan Terrier was imported into the USA by Dr. and Mrs. Murphy of Great Falls, Virginia and the following year a mate was imported for her. Alice Murphy continued to breed her Tibetan Terriers at her Kalai Kennel until her death in March 1976. Alice Murphy's tireless efforts to promote her beloved breed in the United States and Canada led to the organization of the Tibetan Terrier Club of America and having the breed recognized by the AKC and granted the privilege of participation in AKC licensed shows in 1963. The breed was granted regular show classification in the Non-Sporting Group at AKC show on October 3, 1973. Since that time the Tibetan Terrier, though one of the rarer AKC recognized breeds, has become increasingly well known for it's most outstanding characteristic -- an exceptional companion to man.
No one really "owns" a Tibetan Terrier. They are charming little dogs with engaging personalities. The Tibetan Terrier is happy and fun loving, although he may appear more dignified in public than at home. Tibetans are curious and very intelligent. They make good obedience dogs but must be handled gently because they learn quickly and are easily bored with the repitition that is sometimes involved with obedience training.
Tibetans are very loving and devoted to their masters and family and try very hard to please. Your home is his castle. Everything becomes his own; the house, the yard, and especially the car. He loves to travel (due to his heritage?). Because they possess exceptional intelligence and keen sense of hearing and smell, they can quickly adapt to just about any lifestyle.
Small enough to live comfortably and healthfully in a city apartment, yet sturdy enough to withstand the rigors of rural existence, the Tibetan Terrier's size, as well as it's temperament, make the breed eminently well suited for it's role as a modern day companion dog. He is not a dog to sit in the backyard, although he adapts to your schedule. He loves companionship, both animal and human. He is a born clown and traffic stopper.
The Tibetan Terrier was and is today, a true companion dog, devoted to family and home.Tibetan people called them "Little People" and raised them in very close association with people for thousands of years. They should be treated today as family members, as they have always been.
Truly fortunate is the family to which a Tibetan Terrier belongs....
The Tibetan Terrier evolved over many centuries, surviving in Tibet's extreme climate and difficult terrain. The breed developed a protective double coat, compact size, unique foot construction, and great agility. The Tibetan Terrier served as a steadfast, devoted companion in all of his owner's endeavors.
General Appearance - The Tibetan Terrier is a medium sized dog, profusely coated, of powerful build, and square in proportion. A fall of hair covers the eyes and foreface. The well feathered tail curls up and falls forward over the back. The feet are large, flat and round in shape producing a snowshoe effect that provides traction. The Tibetan Terrier is well balanced and capable of both strong and efficent movement.
The Tibetan Terrier is shown as naturally as possible.