Four Tibetan Terriers of different colors pose on a patio
Chapman with three of her puppies: Jones, Jimmy, & Sherman

How big are Tibetan Terriers?

Tibetan Terriers normally weigh 18-24 pounds, though some have weights outside this range.  They are typically between 14 and 17 inches tall, measured at the withers (shoulders).

What colors are Tibetan Terriers?

One of the best parts of the breed is that (almost) anything goes! Tibetan Terriers vary widely in color, including black, gold, white, brown, and tricolor.  The only color you won’t normally find is chocolate.

I caution you not to get too hung up on color, though. Tibetan Terrier coats change throughout their lives.  A pure white puppy may turn into a cream adult, and your black beauty might age into a beautiful silver.

How much grooming do Tibetan Terriers require?

Tibetan Terriers have hair, not fur, and that means they require regular grooming.  A Tibetan Terrier in full coat needs to brushed several times a week, and bathed and dried frequently.  However, most people choose to keep their TTs clipped.  While a clipped coat still needs to be brushed, it requires less maintenance.

Do Tibetan Terriers shed?

TTs are considered a non-shedding breed.  Realistically, though, they shed hair the same way you do.  That means you will still find it in your home and on your clothes, but they do not shed like a beagle, lab, or golden.

What is a Tibetan Terrier's lifespan?

TTs normally live 12-16 years–which is never long enough.

Are Tibetan Terriers good with kids?

Like most breeds, it depends. TTs are independent and may prefer a calmer house. However, Tibetan Terriers and respectful kids are a great mix.

How much exercise do Tibetan Terriers need?

Tibetans, like most puppies, need lots of exercise, socialization, and mental stimulation, and if you don’t provide it, they will make their own fun.  For the sake of your home and belongings, keep them busy and tired.
Once adults, TTs will adjust to your home’s activity level. If you want to take a three-mile hike, they’re in; if you want to binge-watch a series all Sunday afternoon, they’ll game for that too.  But they’ll always enjoy and appreciate daily walks and getting out of the house.

Are Tibetan Terriers easy to train?

Easy? No.  Possible? Of course, but it will require more creativity and persistence than with the more biddable breeds.

Are Tibetan Terriers from Tibet? Are they Terriers?

Yes, TTs are from Tibet, where they were kept as good luck charms, mascots, watchdogs, herding dogs, and companions–by some accounts, going back thousands of years. The Tibetan name for the breed is Tsang Apso or Dokhi Apso.

However, TTs are not actually terriers; that is, they aren’t bred  to “go to ground” after critters, nor do they share the “terrier” attitude.  Tibetan Terriers are actually in the AKC Non-Sporting Group.

Why should I buy from a breeder?

When you buy from a responsible breeder, you are buying puppies raised in homes by people who love them and are dedicated to their health. You also support the preservation of the breed, as breeders like me adhere to the breed standard and support research dedicating to eliminating genetic conditions. But most importantly, you get lifetime support.  If you have a question at any time during the life of your pet, you can contact me.  And if you should ever need to find a new home for your pet, I will be there – including taking your dog back into my home.  No dog I breed should ever be in a shelter or rescue.

If you prefer to adopt a Tibetan Terrier, there are occasionally Tibetan Terriers available for adoption from the TTCA rescue program.

Are puppy parents health tested? Do they have titles?

Every dog considered for breeding will have eyes certified every year and hips certified at age 2. Genetic testing is completed for NCL, PLL, and two forms of PRA; that information is used to ensure that no affected puppies will be produced. All puppies have BAER (brainstem auditory evoked response) testing done before leaving for their new homes.

Each breeding dog will have an AKC Championship (earned with wins over other TTs) to show that it meets the breed standard.

How are Sugarfoot puppies raised?

Puppies are born in a spare bedroom ten feet from my own.  The mother dog, or dam, feeds and cleans and cleans up after the babies for the first couple of weeks while I mostly cuddle, watch, and marvel at them.  When their eyes open and they start moving around more, they come out into the whole house, where they experience all the sights, sounds, and smells of everyday life while I continue to cuddle, watch and marvel. Eventually the dam hands off clean-up and feeding duties to me, and after eight weeks puppies join their new families and start their new lives.

How can I get a puppy from you?

Breeding is not my full-time job, but I have litters occasionally.  My puppies are normally spoken for before they are born or while they are just a few weeks old.  If you are interested, get in touch and let’s chat!

Are puppies AKC registered?

Puppies can be registered on Limited Registration with AKC.  Puppies not destined for showing will have a spay-neuter contract.

I only want a pet; why do AKC titles matter?

Titles show that, in the opinion of judges who are educated by the breed club, we’re breeding to standard.  Without this scrutiny, we will see the breed change and I love it too much to let that happen.

What is the worst thing about a Tibetan Terrier?

Dingleberries.  Also, it’s hard to stop at one.

More questions?

A Tibetan Terrier with snowflakes on her face