Puppy Buyers Guide
Training your Puppy
Tibetan Terrier Books
History of the Breed








Puppy Buyers Guide        

This “Puppy Buyer Guide” serves to provide information to the new buyer, including
useful medical information and the guarantee that are provided as part of the purchase.
It serves as the contract between the new purchaser and Hunter’s Run Tibetans for the
purchase your Tibetan terrier puppy.


       The Tibetan terrier was originally brought over from Tibet into India in the late 1920’s.
They were considered by the Tibetans to be good luck dogs and may even have come from the “lost valley” – a legendary place in Tibetan history. They were kept by both the
Buddhist monks and the common people and were sometimes used to herd animals. For the most part, however, their function was that of “companion dog.” Because they were
considered by the Tibetans to be “luck bringers,” they were never sold like other
livestock. Rather, they were given away as gifts to friends or to other individuals who
were owed favors. From India, the first Tibetan Terriers were taken back to England and
became popular there. They were not imported into the United States until 1957.

        The Tibetan terrier became an AKC recognized breed in 1972. Fewer than 1000 are born in the United States each year. The overall appearance is that of a miniature “Old English Sheepdog.” Tibetans can be any color – there are no preferred colors or markings. They have excellent temperaments—the breed is very good with children and normally gets along well with other dogs. Tibetans want to be with people. An adult Tibetan terrier will be 14-17 inches at the shoulder and weigh 18 to 30 pounds. The coat is long, but they do not shed. As a breed, Tibetans have very few health or genetic problems and normally live a long time. They are the only breed of dog with flat feet – also known as  “snow shoe feet” – which enables them to walk on high or steep surfaces without slipping.




            Hunter’s Run guarantees the health of its puppies. Puppy buyers have 10 days in which to take their new puppy to a veterinarian for a medical examination. Puppies that are found by the veterinarian to have significant medical problems may be returned for (1) a full refund or (2) a replacement puppy. A written statement from the veterinarian, which explains the exact nature of the problem and its long-term significance to the health of the pet, should be provided by the buyer when the puppy is returned. 



            1. General immunity shots:  Puppies receive some protection from life threatening diseases from their mothers. Vaccinations will normally not be able to override the protection puppies receive from their mothers. However, this maternal immunity fades, as the puppy gets older. Doctors are not certain of the exact date when the mother’s immunity ceases to be effective. However, most estimates are that the maternal immunity needs to be supplemented by vaccinations between 8 weeks and 16 weeks. As a result, a series of general immunity shots should be given to new puppies during the time period that the mother’s immunity is most likely to cease protecting the puppy. Depending on when the puppy was purchased, some or all of these shots may have already been given to the puppy


            These general immunity shots protect against parvovirus, distemper, corona virus, Para influenza, adenovirus and hepatitis. The 12 and 16-week shots may also protect against leptospirosis. Because veterinarians are not certain when a puppy loses its maternal protection, all three of these shots are important to the long-term health of the puppy. It is not sufficient to merely give the 8-week shot or the 12-week shot. If the mother’s immunity was still working in the puppy, these two shots may have provided no protection. The puppy should receive an annual booster shot every year. This is given one year after the date of the last general immunity shot.

            2. Rabies shots: The first rabies shot is given at 16 weeks. This initial rabies shot lasts for one year. The second rabies shot is given one year after the first. This shot is good for three years, except in states that are under rabies quarantine. In rabies quarantine states, rabies shots should be given on an annual basis. In non-quarantine states, rabies shots should be updated every three years.



            Hunter’s Run Tibetans begins worming the puppies when they are 2-3 weeks old. Puppies have been wormed several times before they go to their new homes. We use Strongid for the first few doses and then Drontal for the final worming before they go to their new homes


“TEENAGER” TIBETANS                                       

On occasion we receive a telephone call from new owners about Tibetan puppies biting in their “teenager period” from about four to six months. In these cases the Tibetans are nipping when they play or when they are displeased about being corrected. While this is very normal Tibetan behavior, you must correct it like you would similar behavior in a two-year old child. When the Tibetan uses its mouth inappropriately in this manner, you should firmly grab its muzzle and hold it shut for about ten seconds sternly and say “no bite, no bite.” Each time they display the inappropriate behavior you must correct them. If you believe in allowing dogs to kiss you (like I do), after correcting the puppy by holding its muzzle I put the puppy up to my face and say “kisses, kisses.” I then allow the puppy to lick my face. I am showing the puppy that this is the correct use of his mouth, not biting.



            Hunter’s Run has found that Tibetan Terriers do better on food that has a higher percentage of fat. The higher fat diet keeps the coat and skin from getting dry. Dry skin can cause itching and more sever reactions to flea or other bug bites. Our puppies are fed all natural puppy food with no wheat, corn, soy, preservatives, or food coloring,  Breeders choice, Solid Gold, Taste of the Wild, Wellness, Innova are all natural brands. There are some others as well just look in the all natural section of the pet store. High quality dry foods that do not need to be supplemented with canned food or with table scraps. If dry hair or skin is prevalent, you can also add a small amount of olive oil to the food to improve coat quality.


            We have found that heavy weighted dog bowls work better with Tibetan puppies because it is more difficult for the to overturn the bowl. The bowl can be ceramic or heavy plastic. Tibetan puppies frequently like to play in their water bowls and "dig out" all the water with their paws. You can counteract this with a two-piece bowl called a "watering hole" -- this bowl has a normal bowl base and a cover, which fits over the top of the base with a smaller hole in it. The hole is just large enough for the puppy's mouth--but not its feet. This prevents the puppy from spilling the water. The food can be served dry or mixed with a small amount of water. Water will weigh the food down in the bowl--making it less likely that the puppy will spread it all over the kitchen. Puppies should be allowed to eat all that they want. When they have stopped eating, remove the bowl and serve it again later. Puppies should be fed at least twice a day until they are 6 months old. Once you know they are mature enough in their potty training you can leave the bowl down all day and they will just graze - usually this is done after 9 months of age. 




     Puppies should be bathed frequently to get them used to being groomed. As a minimum, they should be bathed every two weeks in the early stage of their life. This will make bathing and grooming a much less traumatic experience for the puppy and the owner when the Tibetan reached maturity.

 We recommend you purchase the following products for grooming

 --  “Pin” brush with metal pins: This is a wooden brush with “metal bristles.”  Select the brush with the longest pins.  The pins should not have rubber tips at the ends; the rubber tips prevent the brush from reaching all the way down to the skin.


--  Metal comb: This looks like a regular comb but it is made out of metal. The metal allows you to comb all the way down to the skin. It should be about the size of a large “people” comb. The best ones have wider teeth on one half and finer teeth on the other half.


--  Slicker brush. This is a brush with many fine metal pins in it. The slicker brush is normally plastic. It will frequently have a curved head with a handle. The pins on the brush will be very fine. These brushes can be used to remove mats if the dog is very matted. Universal is a well know manufacturer of slicker brushes.


Unfortunately, the best shampoos and conditioners for Tibetans cannot be found in the local pet stores. They can however, be ordered directly over the phone or from catalogues. I recommend these because they are less drying to the Tibetan coat. They were developed by professional dog handlers for long coated dogs and they really do make a difference.

We recommend Revival Animal Health for your pet products, they are the most reasonably priced. Order online at or call 1800-786-4751


--  Coat Handler— It reduces matting and is also excellent for removing mats from dogs that are badly matted. It can be ordered from “The Breeders Edge” catalogue (1800-322-5500).

Comb and Brush out all mattes/knots before bathing. Shampoos are much easier to apply if they have been diluted first. You should pour some shampoo in a bowl and dilute it with water. Apply the mixture to the Tibetan with and scrub. Be sure that the shampoo is rinsed off well. Most frequently the Tibetan should be shampooed twice to remove all of the dirt and grease.    

After Shampooing, you should use a rinse or conditioner. Comb the conditioner into the hair with a metal comb, making sure that all of the tangles are removed from the coat. Rinse out the conditioner and towel of the excess water.

You should use a hand held dryer to blow the puppy dry. Brush the coat with a metal pin brush as you dry. Be sure to brush out all the mats or tangles. It is important to practice this while the puppy is still young. It will make it much easier to groom the Tibetan when it gets older.

        As with any dog that doesn’t shed, the dog’s coat will mat if it is not brushed. To prevent matting, the brushing must be done in such a manner that all of the tangles are removed all the way down to the skin. Brushing merely the topcoat will not be sufficient. A metal pin brush with long pins and a metal comb are needed to untangle the hair near the skin. It is important to comb out the coat anytime it gets wet, even if just from the rain. The coat is much more likely to mat if left to dry without being combed through.

        If the Tibetan is matted, you can use the metal pin brush and or matt rake to work out the mats with a minimum coat loss. You should attempt to remove mats as soon as you notice them. The longer they remain in the coat, the bigger they will get and the more difficult they will be to remove. It is much easier to remove mats if the coat is clean.

Tibetans go through their first major coat change at about one year old. The coat is much more likely to mat at that time as the old baby coat falls out and is replaced by the newer adult coat. The Tibetan does not get his full adult coat until about three years of age. Grooming problems are significantly reduced after that time.



The Tibetan’s fingernails will also need to be clipped. This can be done with a “people” fingernail clipper when the Tibetan is young. Once the fingernails thicken, dog nail clippers work more effectively. Veterinarians or groomers will also clip nails. Like humans, Tibetans have both a pink part that is the main body of the nail and a white tip at the end. It is only the white tip that should be clipped. The nail looks pink because it contains blood.  If this part is clipped the nail will bleed just as it will on a human. The bleeding can be stopped with cornstarch, “crazy glue”, or a pet product calls “Kwik stop.” On the leg near the foot your puppy has a dew claw this needs to be clipped the same as the other nails.


The hair in a Tibetan’s ears also needs to be removed, due to the fact the Tibetan does not shed; the dirt and oil can collect in the ears and cause ear infections. Removing the hair allows air to get into the ears and reduces the possibility of ear infections. Removing ear hair is most easily accomplished with a pet product known as “ear powder”. It can be purchased through the catalogues or in the pet store. It allows you to firmly grip the hair in the ear with your fingers or tweezers and pull it out.


If the Tibetan consistently scratches his ears or shakes his head, he might have an ear infection. The inner ear will appear to be dark brown with a greasy wax buildup. This can be caused by bacterial yeast or ear mites. You can clean out the ears with a cotton swab and a medicated ear cleaner. Ear cleaner can be purchased from the veterinarian or from pet supply catalogues. You will also need to treat the puppy’s ears with medicine. The medicine can be obtained from your veterinarian and they should examine the ear for proper treatment. If the ear infection persists try switching dog foods with different protein source.



            Sometimes the hair in front of the Tibetan terrier’s eyes will become so thick that it will be difficult for him to see. When this occurs, the Tibetan will sometimes walk into walls or act unsure of themselves. While most of the doggie groomers would merely reach for the clippers, here are several alternatives to having the hair so dramatically cut back: (1) Use a small rubber band to tie back some of the hair on the forehead. However, some Tibetans do not like this will repeatedly try to remove the rubber bands. (2) Cut the hair on the bridge of the muzzle that is right in front of the eyes. Use a sharp scissors to cut the hair diagonally, inward toward the center. “Show” puppies should not have their hair cut in this fashion, since it is against the standard. (3) Use a thinning scissors to thin some of the hair that falls down over the eyes.



            Many oriental dogs – including Tibetan Terriers – historically have had teeth related problems. These problems include “late dentition”, in which the baby teeth do not erupt until the 8th to the 16th week; missing teeth; or poor bites. While in an ideal world a perfect bite is always preferable, teeth problems are one of the few problems associated with this breed. There have been many Tibetan Terriers who have become champions even with misplaced teeth or less than perfect bites. Teeth are not considered to be as important in judging as the structural soundness or temperament of the dog.  

            Tibetans also sometimes experience “retained baby teeth.” In this instance, the baby teeth remain as the adult teeth grow in next to them. When this occurs, it is usually alongside the adult “canine” teeth. If the baby teeth do not fall out after an extended period of time, they might have to be removed by a veterinarian.

            The adult teeth should be in by 5-6 months, although 7-8 months is not uncommon. In teeth that have delayed eruption, the full adult will sometimes not come in until they are 15 months old. Sometimes when the teeth come in at this late stage it will result in teeth that are not perfectly aligned or are completely missing. There is no way to predict when a puppy is young whether or not this will occur. This situation occurs in show quality dogs as well as in pets.



            Many veterinarians have never seen a Tibetan terrier. Ask you vet whether he or she sees any Tibetans in their practice. If the vet is unfamiliar with Tibetans, inform him that Tibetans are sometimes extremely sensitive to anesthesia. Also for teeth cleanings or hip x-rays tranquilizers can be used instead of an anesthetic. Vets should begin with half the recommended dose for the weight of the Tibetan when first using anesthesia. There have been many Tibetans that could not be revived after the use of too much anesthesia, even when it was administered for a simple procedure such as teeth cleaning.



            The AKC form given to you when you purchase a puppy or mailed to you , is what you use to register your new puppy. The litter has been registered with the AKC as a group. The form should be mailed to the AKC along with a check for $20.  The AKC will mail the official registration certificate to you. You can also request and official AKC pedigree for the puppy at the same time for an additional $20.



            We are big believers in the benefits of using a cage or a crate to “potty” train your puppy. The use of a crate helps them to learn bladder and bowel control. This type of training progresses more quickly because the area used in training is smaller. Dogs are basically wolves and the cage is like their den. They do not want to foul their den if they can avoid it.

            The puppy should be placed in the crate when you cannot watch it to see when it needs to be taken outside. This would include times when you go to work, at night for sleeping, or when you have other agendas where you cannot pay attention to the puppy. When you are ready to interact with the puppy again, you should immediately place the puppy outside in the area you want to train the puppy to go. You should carry the puppy outside. In many cases, the puppy will not be able to go that far without having to go.         

        The crate should not be too big, because the puppy can go to the bathroom at one end and pretend that it isn’t there. We also recommend that you put a towel or bath mat in the crate to absorb any “mistakes” that the puppy may make and to keep the puppy clean.

        We also train our dogs to a specific word that they associate with going out to use the bathroom. Every time you take the puppy out to go you should use this word. Some people use sleigh bells hung from the back door to accomplish the same goal. They ring the bell each time they take the dog out and soon the dog learns to ring the bell himself to indicate that he needs to go outside.

        It is also important to remember that dogs are “creatures of habit.” If you take the puppy outside to go to the bathroom every weekday morning at 7:00 A.M. – but fail to follow this schedule on weekends – this is most likely when you will have problems. Puppies will also become accustomed to going to the bathroom on a specific surface area. Puppies trained to go on the grass will look for grass, while puppies trained to go on mulch will look for mulch. Consistency is extremely important in house training the puppy.



            There are not that many books on Tibetan terriers. The “bible” on the breed was written by Jane Reif. It is called “The Tibetan Terrier Book.” It can be ordered through Borders bookstores or directly from the author in Connecticut—6 Yellow Pine, Middleton, Connecticut 06457. Jane’s phone number is 860-247-7302.



            There are many excellent dog toys. The ones we recommend are:


            -- Budda-bones, thousands of pieces of string knotted into the shape of a bone. These are good for the teeth.


            -- Kong: a beehive shaped rubber toy that bounces strangely when you throw it.


            -- Squeaky toys: if you decide that you want to purchase a squeaky toy, but the ones made for human babies in the baby department. Because they must conform to consumer product safety regulations, the plastic is tougher and the squeaky is more difficult to remove. Dog squeaky toys can be easily torn apart and the plastic and the squeaker can be swallowed. In addition, the baby products are usually less expensive.


            -- Fleece toys; many of these have squeakies. They can be washed in the washing machine – but the squeaky will frequently no longer work after it has been washed.


            -- Tennis balls; always an old favorite. These are excellent for teaching a Tibetan to “fetch”.






 Training you Puppy


* Housebreaking your Tibetan Terrier
* Training your Tibetan Terrier & making it obedient
* Teaching the basic commands to your Tibetan Terrier

If done properly, housebreaking your Tibetan Terrier does not have to be as much of a hassle as some owners make it to be.

Your Tibetan Terrier is a creature of habit.  If it is taught where you want it to eliminate, and you control its food and water intake to regulate when it will eliminate, you will have a happy relationship
relatively free of accidents.

The biggest mistake made by Tibetan Terrier owners is inconsistency. It is important that you first choose the method of housebreaking appropriate for you and your pet and secondly stick with it. We know of many Tibetan Terrier owners who are impatient or inconsistent when housebreaking their pets.  The end result is a pet that is never fully housebroken. 

So, remember the three P’s - persistence, patience and praise, and you are guaranteed success.

Here are the 3 methods you can use to housetrain your
Tibetan Terrier: The Paper Method, Crate Training, and Litter Pan Method

The Paper Method (only in limited situations and only for a limited time) - The paper method seems to work better with a puppy than with an adult Tibetan Terrier, although it can be used on both.

    To begin housetraining your pup with the paper method, first you must choose a location where your puppy will be staying until housetrained.

    Make sure the room is puppy proofed and that elimination on the floor in this area will not cause
permanent damage to your home.

    A bathroom or small kitchen is usually a good place for this.

    Once you have chosen an area, cover the entire floor with newspaper.

    If you have a young puppy, it will eliminate much more often than when it is older. So, just be prepared for many messes in the beginning.

    In the beginning, it is important to replace the paper as soon as possible after the elimination has occurred.

    This helps your puppy establish the area as its own, and it will help you get a better idea of where it
favors doing its business.

    As your puppy eliminates throughout the day, it may go in several different areas of the room.
But, as it gets a little more used to its room, it will choose a certain area where it prefers to eliminate.

    When its preferred area for elimination is established, begin removing the paper from the rest of the room, only covering the area it uses.

    Make sure you leave its papered area large enough so that it does not miss the paper.
If it misses the paper, the area is too small and you need to add more paper.

    When it uses its papered area, praise it.  The more your puppy associates a reward with its choice of the paper instead of the linoleum, the quicker your puppy will be trained.

    After it has established that it will use the papered area instead of the floor, begin moving the paper
towards the area (presumably somewhere outside your house) where you want it to go when fully trained.

    The paper should only be moved a little at a time towards this location. If moving the paper confuses your puppy, you may only be able to move about one inch per day, until the paper reaches its final destination.

    Once your puppy understands that it is to eliminate only on the paper, and you have been able to move towards the area where it will eventually go outside, monitoring its habits will be much easier.

    Once the paper is completely removed, it will go to that area automatically and sniff or turn circles,
letting you know it has to go out.

Crate Training - Crate training can be used on both a puppy and an adult Tibetan Terrier and is probably the most effective and efficient way to housetrain your pet.

    No Tibetan Terrier will want to eliminate in a place it considers to be its own and therefore, unless left in its crate for too long, it will not eliminate in its crate.

    Once every hour, place your Tibetan Terrier on a leash and walk it in the area where you want it to go potty.

    If it has not gone in five minutes, return it to its crate for another hour.

    After another hour goes by, the dog that did not go last time will most likely go this time.

    When it does go, be sure and praise it profusely and return it to its crate. The excitement in your voice when you are praising it will help it better understand that THIS is the place you want it to go.

    Once that is established, it will do its best to make you happy by eliminating in its designated area.

    Once you feel it understands where it is to go to potty, you may lessen its crate time, and begin opening up its area to more than just its crate.

    Be sure and open up its area a little at a time so it clearly establishes the larger area as “its area”,
increasing the desire to keep its area clean.

    Eventually, you will be able to open up your entire home, but this is only after a lot of time has been
spent training and proof that it understands. 

Litter Pan Method - This method will have the best chance of success with a young puppy but an older Tibetan Terrier may be able to litter train with success as well.

    Similar to paper training, litter box training begins in a confined area such as a bathroom or kitchen.

    Although you may be able to use a traditional cat litter box for this purpose, pet supply stores do sell doggy litter boxes. They are shaped a little different and are a bit larger than the traditional kitty box.
    Also available are special litters and papers that should eventually be used in the box.

    Like paper training, the beginning stages have paper lining the entire floor of the room.  You continually change any soiled paper until the puppy chooses a place on the floor it likes to eliminate.

    Once the puppy has eliminated in an area about the size of a litter pan for approximately two weeks, place a litter pan on the floor and paper inside the litter pan.

    When it goes and does its business inside the litter box, make sure to praise it profusely. It has got to
establish this is the correct behavior before it will be comfortable with it.

    Once it is used to the litter box with the paper, you may begin the change to doggy litter if desired.  As time goes on, you may add additional litter until eventually the paper is gone and only litter remains.

    If you choose this method, you must clean the litter box every time your Tibetan Terrier eliminates. It will not go in a dirty box.  Failure to consistently clean the litter box will result in your puppy reverting back to the floor.

Follow any of the above 3 methods consistently, and you should soon have a fully house-trained Tibetan Terrier!


The key to success in training your Tibetan Terrier is understanding the psychology of your pet - i.e. how its mind works, and then incorporating that with proven training techniques and a few training aids.

Remember, your Tibetan Terrier is not a human and therefore does not think or react as a human would. Also, your pet does not verbally communicate with humans and you should not think that it does.

It may recognize the word "out" and associate it with going outside, but that is only because it is a common action that occurs consistently before it goes outside.

If you change the verbal word you use to communicate with your Tibetan Terrier along the way, your pet will no longer understand what you want.  It is important that whatever word you choose to give a command, you stick with that same word each and every time, without the least alteration.

Also, before you can even begin training your Tibetan Terrier, your must establish that you are the "Master" and your Tibetan Terrier is the "Follower".

Remember, the Tibetan Terrier has an inherent trait that makes it a social animal, needing a dominance subordination hierarchy. You must establish that you are the leader of its pack before you will be successful with any type of training. This is called "social reinforcement". In nature the mother teaches her puppies and establishes her dominance during play times. If the puppy challenges her or misbehaves the mother picks the puppy up by the scruff of the neck and gives it a shake then holds it down with her paws once the puppy becomes compliant she will lick and love the puppy. Puppies that challenge your dominance by biting, barking aggressively or fighting to get away from you should be similarly trained: give it a shake by the scruff then hold it down until it becomes compliant, then love your puppy.

The following items will help you establish that leadership role in the life of your Tibetan Terrier:

i) Do not compromise with your Tibetan Terrier. For example, if you want it to perform a desired behavior, don't just give up and walk away when it does not perform.
Instead, use some type of reinforcement to show it that its behavior was not correct, such as withholding the treat or toy.

ii) You should always initiate interaction with your Tibetan Terrier and terminate the interaction with your Tibetan Terrier rather than the other way round.

iii) Avoid tending to your pet's every desire. Rewards should only be given for desired behavior, and should never be given just like that.

iv) When you are spending time with your Tibetan Terrier, pet, talk and touch it often. This will help establish the trust needed to truly set you forth as the leader.

Obedience Training Styles

Just like housebreaking, when you are training your Tibetan Terrier, the key thing is consistency. You need to pick a training style that is suitable for you and your Tibetan Terrier and stick with it.

The two most popular types of obedience training are leash and collar training and reward training.

This is a short overview of these techniques.

In the leash and collar type of training, the leash is used in the beginning as the tool to teach the correct behavior, then once the behavior is learned, the leash is only used to correct unwanted behavior.

A mistake often made by the novice owner with this type of training is they forget the leash is used only as a tool.

Often a novice owner will abuse the leash to nag at the Tibetan Terrier. This defeats the purpose of the leash. The leash must be used only to get the Tibetan Terrier to obey. It is used to establish the leadership role between master and pet, but to be successful in training, the Tibetan Terrier must understand the command with or without the leash and you must be able to utilize any tool at hand to solicit the correct behavior from your pet, not just a leash.

Reward training usually incorporates food rewards or a reward that is associated with getting food. The associated award could be the command "Good". Many owners now use a clicker as an associated reward.

A secret to making the reward trained Tibetan Terrier reliable is working the pet around distractions in its environment and teaching proper socialization.

If you only train your Tibetan Terrier in the house, it will not be used to extra stimuli. The well trained
Tibetan Terrier, then exposed to unfamiliar people, may not respond as desired. When reward training, it is important you train both inside and outside your home to make sure your Tibetan Terrier is exposed to as much stimuli as possible.

Another important tool in communication between you and your Tibetan Terrier is the tone of your voice when delivering a command.

The command "Good" will have a more positive tone. The excitement in your voice will be picked up by the Tibetan Terrier and it will eventually associate it with the feelings of acceptance for that response to the previous command.

The word "No" will have a more forceful tone, usually associated with a negative response, such as a stern tug on the leash if leash training. The Tibetan Terrier will eventually establish that tone as an indication for an undesired response to your command.

As you move on in your training, the tone will be as important to the Tibetan Terrier as the command itself.

Also frequently overlooked by the novice owner is body language. Once you get to know your pet better, you will understand its meaning behind specific body motions.

An owner who really understands his/her Tibetan Terrier will see even the slightest head movement in certain situations and understand exactly what it means. This enables the owner to give a command prior to a behavior occurring.



Before we begin instructions for individual commands, it is important that you understand the pitfalls to avoid and tips for success when teaching the basic commands to your Tibetan Terrier.

* Always use your pet's name when speaking to it. This will increase its attention to you when calling it or giving it a command.

* When you give a command, enforce it. Do not repeat the command over and over again. If it does not respond to the command, manipulate its body into the command position if appropriate. Never give a command if you do not intend to enforce it. You will lose credibility with your Tibetan Terrier by doing this.

* Always reinforce desired behavior. Reinforcement does not always have to be a treat. Your touch and voice can be enough reinforcement to help the Tibetan Terrier understand it did what you desired.

* Never reinforce undesired behavior. No matter how they tilt their head or make you feel bad, never
reinforce the undesired behavior. Remember, your Tibetan Terrier is also learning how to manipulate you. If it does not perform the desired command, it is imperative that you ignore it, then try again in a few minutes. Eventually, it will respond to your command because of its born-in desire to please you.

* Never punish desirable behavior. Many owners do not realize that when their Tibetan Terrier performs the desired action, such as going to the bathroom outside, and then the owner immediately walks away, they are punishing their Tibetan Terrier by ignoring them. Stay with your
Tibetan Terrier after the desired behavior is performed. Make sure it understands that what it did was good and you are happy before leaving it.

* A trick for success is keeping your Tibetan Terrier interested. Remember, a Tibetan Terrier will only learn if it is having fun. Know when to quit when training. Trying to do too much too soon will mentally exhaust the Tibetan Terrier and it will be much harder to train.

We'll now discuss 2 of the basic commands that you should teach your Tibetan Terrier. 




Teaching your Tibetan Terrier to come is one of the most important commands it will ever learn.

It is also a command that will take a lot of time to successfully learn.

Begin by waiting until your Tibetan Terrier is already approaching you, then when two to three feet away, use your pet's name along with the command "COME" ("SCOUT COME"). Always use the name of your Tibetan Terrier first before you use the command.

When the Tibetan Terrier gets to you, praise it. You should repeat this exercise as often as you can for several months.

As your Tibetan Terrier begins to associate "COME" with a good thing, you can gradually increase the distance.

If your Tibetan Terrier does not come, then it has not yet made the association of the word to the action. Give it time, it will eventually understand.

The key to success with this command is for your Tibetan Terrier to always associate the command "COME" with a good thing.

A common mistake made by novice handlers is they use a firm tone with the command causing the Tibetan Terrier to associate fear with the command. If a Tibetan Terrier fears you, its instinct will be to run away instead of coming near.

NEVER chase your Tibetan Terrier when using the command "COME". This is a sure way to teach your Tibetan Terrier that "COME" is a bad thing.

Once you believe your Tibetan Terrier understands the command, begin to reinforce it.

Put a lead on your pet's collar and allow the Tibetan Terrier to run around with the lead dragging behind. Gently pick up the lead, without the Tibetan Terrier noticing and say "SCOUT COME". If your Tibetan Terrier does not come, then gently pull the lead forcing it to come. Repeat this test often.

Another exercise to test the "COME" command is having a family member walk the Tibetan Terrier, on a leash, away from you. Give the command "SCOUT COME" and see if the Tibetan Terrier comes. Repeat the command if it does not come the first time. If it does not come the second time, give a third command, but this time have the family member walk the Tibetan Terrier towards you until it reaches
you. Be sure and give the Tibetan Terrier a lot of praise when it reaches you, even if the command was performed with assistance.


This command is used to tell your Tibetan Terrier that it should not touch an item with its mouth or paws.

It can be taught by containing the Tibetan Terrier in a controlled environment with only a few items that may distract it.

As soon as it reaches for one of the items, use the command "OFF", i.e. "SCOUT OFF". Praise it when it leaves the item alone.

Eventually you can begin to walk it around and use the command "OFF" in a larger area.

It will eventually understands that this means to leave the item alone when the command is used.

It is an especially nice command to utilize when your Tibetan Terrier may be getting into a dangerous situation by touching something that could potentially hurt it.






(See also Tibetan Terrier Club of America Publications)

Calmenson, Stephanie, ROSIE, A VISITING DOG'S STORY, 1994,  Clarion Books; New York. (47 pp, $15.95 - a children's book about a real Tibetan Terrier and how she became a therapy dog working with physically challenged children and the elderly)

Cunliffe, Juliette. TIBETAN TERRIER,  2001, Interpret Publishing;  Surrey, England.  (a general book on the breed with history, characteristics and basic care information written by a well known British writer and judge who has special interest in Tibetan breeds, although she writes about and judges many breeds.  Many lovely color photos – including several of my Belle’s relatives - by British dog photographer Carol Ann Johnson.)  Best price and fastest delivery if ordered on the internet from

Daniels-Moulin, Marie Paule, Le Terrier Du Tibet . (Note: This book is written in French and can be ordered the French site for Amazon at

Hess, Lilo, THE GOOD LUCK DOG. Charles Scribner's Sons; New York. (a children's story containing accurate breed information)

Johnson, T. L. DOGS OF THE LOST VALLEY: THE TIBETAN TERRIER. 1984. Goldthorn Press, Ltd.; Bilston, England.

Keleman, Anne. THE TIBETAN TERRIER. 1994. TFH Publications (KWIK Series); Jersey City, N.J. (192 pp, many photos and illustrations. (The author has shown and bred Tibetans since the late 1960's)

Legl-Jacobsson, Elisabeth. EAST ASIATIC BREEDS. 1978. Tryck Produktion; Sweden.

Manuel, Emmie. YOUR GUIDE TO THE TIBETAN TERRIER. 1984. Ballinger Rawlings; Watford, Hertfordshire, England.

Mulliner, Angela. THE TIBETAN TERRIER. 1977. Holywell Press; Oxford, England. Two volumes contain much historical information about the breed’s foundation, including copies of letters from Dr. Greig, and about Tibet. A very valuable reference set though they are thin volumes.  Out of print and Angela, one of the first breeders and one of the first to promote open health records, passed away in 2002. 

Murphy, Alice. HOW TO RAISE AND TRAIN A TIBETAN TERRIER. 1964. T.F.H. Publications,  Inc., Jersey City, NJ. (out of print)

Reif, Jane.  THE TIBETAN TERRIER BOOK. 1984. Southfarm Press. (Paperback.  Now out of print.  It was available directly from author at 6 Yellow Pine, Middletown, CT 06457) (~$19.95) (Mrs. Reif has owned - and used to show and breed - and written about Tibetans since the early 1970's.)

Reif, Jane.  THE TIBETAN TERRIER BOOK (Second Edition). 1996. Southfarm Press. (Available directly from author at 6 Yellow Pine, Middletown, CT 06457) (~$40.00) (This is a hardback with color photos).

Reif, Jane. REFLECTIONS ON THE TIBETAN TERRIER (1988) and REFLECTIONS ON THE TIBETAN TERRIER II (1995) (Collection of articles written for AKC GAZETTE column) (contact author at above address)

    TIBETAN TERRIER CHAMPIONS 1973-86. Camino Publications. (919 Incline Way #20, Call Box #17, Incline Village, NV 89450



Avedon, John F. IN EXILE FROM THE LAND OF SNOWS. (a scenic description of Tibet prior to Chinese invasion of Oct. 1950)

Barber, Noel. FROM THE LAND OF LOST CONTENT; The Dalai Lama's FIGHT FOR TIBET. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1970.

Bell, C.A. TIBET, PAST AND PRESENT.  New York, NY: Krishna Press (Division of Gordon Press), 1924.

Booz, Elizabeth. TIBET. Lincolnwood, IL: National Textbook, 1987.

Chogyam Trungpa. BORN IN TIBET. Boston, MA: Shambhala Publications, 1985.

Dalai Lama. MY LAND AND PEOPLE. New York, NY: Potala, 1983.

David-Neel, Alexandra. MAGIC AND MYSTERY IN TIBET. NY, NY: Dover, 1971.

Ekvall, Robert B.. TIBETAN SKYLINES. NY, NY: Farrar, Straus & Young, 1952.

Harrer. Heinrich (translated by Richard Graves). SEVEN YEARS IN TIBET. NY, NY: E. P. Dutton & Co., 1959.

Holdich, Thomas. TIBET, THE MYSTERIOUS. NY, NY: Apt Books, 1983.

TIBET. Garden City Park, NY: Avery Publications, 1988.

Norbu, Thubten Jigme (as told to Heinrich Harrar). TIBET IS MY COUNTRY; THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF THUBTEN JIGME NORBU, BROTHER OF THE DALAI LAMA. NY, NY: E.P. Dutton & Co. Inc, 1961.

Norbu, Thubten Jigme and Turnbull, Colin, M. TIBET: AN ACCOUNT OF THE HISTORY, THE RELIGION & THE PEOPLE OF TIBET. NY, NY: Simon & Shuster, 1968.

Normanton, Simon. TIBET: THE LOST CIVILIZATION.  NY, NY: State Mutual Book & Periodical Services, 1987.

Shen-Liu. TIBET AND THE TIBETANS, Hippocrene Books, 1973.

Snellgrove/Richardson. CULTURAL HISTORY OF TIBET, Boston, MA: Shambhala Publications, 19??.

Taring, Mrs. Rinchen Dolma. DAUGHTER OF TIBET (only autobiography written in English by a Tibetan woman).  London: Camelot Press, 1970.



Arden, Darlene.  ANGEL MEMORIAL ANIMAL HOSPITAL BOOK OF WELLNESS & PREVENTIVE CARE FOR DOGS.  A preventive care program for all puppy and dog owners. Too often dog owners wait until a pet is ill before seeking veterinary advice. The importance of implementing a program that prevents illness from occurring is key to a happy, healthy pet. Topics covered include: * Dentistry, grooming and nutrition * Emergencies, surgery, first aid, and vaccinations * Training and behavior * Caring for middle-aged and advanced-aged dogs. Angel's unique preventive care handouts and brochure pages are also included, creating a total-care program for dogs. This is an excellent all-around, written-for-the-owner vet book that breeders should certainly recommend or consider providing to puppy buyers!

Dunbar, Ian. AFTER YOU GET YOUR PUPPY.  (Video) The success of your relationship depends on you teaching your puppy the rules and regulations of domestic living.  AFTER YOU GET YOUR PUPPY focuses on your puppy's next three developmental deadlines. The clock is still ticking and you only have three months to get a lot of things done. Learn how to best socialize your puppy. The most important priority is reliable bite inhibition before it is eighteen weeks old. The most enjoyable priority is to accustom your well-socialized, soft-mouthed puppy to the world at large, thus assuring that it remains well-socialized and soft-mouthed. From household manners to the world at large, Ian Dunbar will show you how to best begin your life-long relationship with your dog. (Paperback, 157 pages)

Dunbar, Ian. SIRIUS PUPPY TRAINING. (Video) Emphasizing family participation, this video instructs owners how to teach their puppy basic obedience commands such as "come", "sit", "heel", and "stay". Through daily handling and gentle exercises, your puppy can also be taught to overcome biting, barking, and housetraining behavioral problems. (VHS, 90 minutes)

Pryor, Karen. DON'T SHOOT THE DOG!  The Laws of Learning in the real world. "Whatever the task, whether keeping a four-year-old quiet in public, housebreaking a puppy, coaching a team, or memorizing a poem, it will go fast, and better, and be more fun, if you know how to use reinforcement."   Karen Pryor clearly explains the underlying principles of behavioral training and through numerous fascinating examples reveals how this art can be applied to virtually any common situation. And best of all, she tells how to do it without yelling, threats, force, punishment, guilt trips---or shooting the dog. (Paperback, 202 Pages)

Pryor, Karen. KAREN PRYOR'S CLICKER TRAINING START-UP KIT. Published by Sunshine Press. Includes instruction booklet, 2 clickers, a copy of Don't Shoot The Dog News, and an instruction sheet for getting started with the clicker.  $16.95.  Available from many bookstores or from her website ( or from DogWise ( )

Pryor, Karen.  PUPPY LOVE: RAISE YOUR DOG THE CLICKER WAY (Video, 30 minutes - $24.95 from same sources as above)

Rutherford, Clarice & Neil, David.  HOW TO RAISE A PUPPY YOU CAN LIVE WITH Did you know that if certain things aren't taught to a puppy in the first twelve weeks of life, it will be much more difficult for him to learn? In this book you'll learn in easy-to-understand language just how a puppy's body and mind develop and what you can do to help him develop in the right way. You will find the 186 pages of this book invaluable in your puppy training. Many breeders make this book required reading for their puppy buyers. (Paperback, 186 pages)

Shojai, Amy D. THE FIRST AID COMPANION FOR DOGS & CATS. Published by Rodale Press.  A  very concise, easy to follow guide book that tells you what you may be dealing with and if it is likely to be an emergency or could wait until the vet’s office opens.

St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center, DOGS WILL BE DOGS .  A simple, effective audio guide to solving common dog behavior problems.  Written and produced by St. Hubert's Animal Welfare Center and its nationally acclaimed Dog Training School, this easy to understand audio series covers such topics as digging, barking, body language, jumping, chewing housebreaking and more on 2 cassette tapes with a total run-time of  2 ½ hours and includes a 14 page booklet on training.  Even gives the dog's point of view!  (As a side note, there are several St. Hubert’s instructors with Tibetan breeds – Tibetan Terriers and Lhasa Apsos.)







Tibet Dogs

The very first show for Tibetan breeds with Tibetan judges, was held the 11th of April 1970 in New Delhi.
The five judges, who all has breed and owned Tibetan dogs in Tibet, made definitions and comments on the breeds, and a booklet, "A brief account on Tibetan dogs", was given out on the show by the Apso Committee, Tibet House, New Delhi.

There are 3 types of Tibetan Dogs * companion dogs  * mastiffs  * shakhis

There are 5 different classes

Apso - a soft haired fluffy breed

Jemtse Apso - "Jemtse" means "cut". Known by us as the Tibetan Spaniel

Ursu apso - wirehaired dog with a thick, short coat and a great amount of  beard

Goh-Khi - that small so it could be in a Chinese bowl. This dog is also known as the sleeve dog, when it was kept in the long sleeves. The word "goh" means eagle, when there were people who believed that these very small dogs could be found in eagle's nests.

Gyakhi - the Pekingese.

The Shih Tzu shall be included in the Apso class. They descend from Apso's given as a gift to Yuan and the Manchurian emperors. "Shih" is the Chinese word for "Tibetan", and "Tzu" means class.

There are no prayer dog.
These companion dogs was taught different tricks like sitting on back legs and waving with front legs

Jemtse apso.JPG (27890 bytes) Tibetan Spaniel in Tibet, in late 1920
Together with the living God in the Beliamiao monastery

Apso.JPG (28882 bytes) Apso in New Delhi 1970


There were 3 different types

Dhokhi - a "sleek" type. Known by us as Tibetan Mastiff

Dhokhi Apso - a soft haired, fluffy mastiff. Known by us as Tibetan Terrier

Jemtse Apso Dhokhi - with a shorter coat. I think this is what we call Kyi Apso

Dhokhi means "outdoor dog". Symbolic they were also called "Gosung Dhokhi - the guardian at the gate".
They should be unfeared by their hearts and have a terrifying bark. They were just as popular among the aristocracy as among nomads. Often they had to fight wild animals that tried to steal sheep. They can sleep under the snow and keep warm.

Dhokhi.JPG (34499 bytes) Tibetan Mastiffs in Tibet, late 1920

Snappy.JPG (22822 bytes) Caravan-Tibetan Terrier bitch, with her puppy
The litter was born in Tibet at Christmas day 1927. There were 7 puppies in the litter. The first was born outdoors in the snow, but the others inside in the tent.

Kyi ApsoJPG.JPG (26379 bytes) Khyi Apso (USA), with a yak collar
Do you want to see more of this rare breed go to here


Shakhi, also called Congkhi

The hunting-, guard- and herding dog.
They are smooth haired, has a lighter and longer body, are high on legs and has a well curled tail. The white ones are preferred.

There are two different types of shakhi. The only thing that part them is the ears, one has standing ears when the other has hanging ears.

The Shakhi was a guard dog that was used as a sheepdog like the Dhokhi. They were intelligent and sensitive, and could manage traveling with caravans etc.
The herdsmen were very dependent on their dogs in many ways. They took the sheep out in the morning, guarded them during the days and warned for slightest danger from wild animals, which were scared away. Then they took the sheep back home in the evening.
A Shakhi could separate the sheep of the owner from other sheep.

The Shakhi was not that much used for hunting. Only some nomad tribes were due to the religion allowed to hunt. The religion, Lamaism (Buddhism) do not allow any killing.

ShakhiJPG.JPG (20207 bytes) Shakhis in Tibet, late 1920


Tib.JPG (15638 bytes)  Tib.båthund.JPG (6896 bytes) 
Boat made of yak skins, traveling on the
Tsang-Po in 1956

Tib.nomad.JPG (25874 bytes) Tibetans traveling, 1956

Tib. munkar.JPG (35950 bytes) Monks in the monastery of Tashilumpo, 1956
Dogs in the left corner