The Tibetan Terrier comes from Tibet and has been regarded as a “lucky charm” in the region. As its country of origin is landlocked, this dog, called Tsang Apso locally, remained purebred for 2,000 years. This robust canine has been used in herding livestock, guarding property, and accompanying travellers.
This robust canine has been used in herding livestock, guarding property, and accompanying travellers.
It earned the moniker “Holy Dog of Tibet” as it is a highly valued pet among Tibetan monks and monasteries. The Tibetan Terrier was so precious to Tibetan families and monks that mistreating it is a social taboo and that it never was sold off. Instead, it was given as a gift. The first Tibetan Terriers to reach Western shores were in fact offspring of one.
An English physician, Dr A.R.H. Greig, was given a Tibetan Terrier puppy she named “Bunti.” The dog was given by a merchant to thank her for a successful operation. The canine’s name was later modified to “Bunty.”
The doctor exhibited her pet at one of the dog shows in India, where she lived in the 1920s. The judges had never seen such a dog and encouraged her to start breeding it. Dr Greig then later acquired another Tibetan Terrier named “Rajah.” In 1924, she got her first litter. The second came in the next year.
In 1926, Dr Greig brought 3 of her Tibetan Terriers to the UK. She continued to breed the dog and later won dog shows with some of those she cared for.
In 1956, a Tibetan Terrier Club was established after Constance Downey set up the Luneville Kennel in the 1950s. It was only after Dr Greig passed away in the 1970s that the breed became popular in the UK. In 2007, a Tibetan Terrier won Best in Show at the 2007 Crufts.