I raise Tibetan Terrier puppies in my home with my family helping out. My daughter, Mei, has been at every birth since she was 3 years old! Her sibling Kate, was also around for much of the action too. Everyone takes off their shoes and washes up before they play with the ‘babies’...we don’t want to introduce too many new germs into their environment even though nursing does immunize them fairly well we don’t take any chances. At first we hold them frequently as in the early stages their sense of smell is working and a gentle touch is important for them too. Everyone has to sit on the floor when they hold puppies because even at this stage they are wiggly! By 13 days their eyes and ears are open and although they still cannot walk they are moving around to find mom and vocalize if they can’t get to her. Holding puppies is still happening and as they get bigger and more aware of their surroundings they are even more fun to snuggle with for everyone.
When they are about 5 weeks old I begin feeding them raw food, pieces of chicken thighs with the bone in..they gnaw on it and pull off pieces they gobble down! I'll discuss in more detail how I feed the pups when families come to meet the puppies.
We live in a very rural part of Vermont, about 15 minutes from Montpelier in the center of the state. It’s often quiet here and they have lots of time to romp and play with one another here on our land. So after they’ve had their shots I take them into town and we walk all over so they can meet new people, new dogs and hear cars and church bells and smell all the city smells. Because they have siblings right next to them they are a little braver and can put up with the almost overwhelming sights and sounds they are experiencing the first time they visit. As they get a little older we go into town more often, sometimes on Saturdays for the Farmer’s Market as it’s closing to be there when the crowds are waning. As you can imagine we only get about 2 feet before we are stopped and people want to pet and cuddle the puppies. We try to take only 3 at a time as it’s almost impossible to walk very many young puppies on leashes!
We raise our puppies using the "puppy culture" protocols (PuppyCulture.com). This includes, but is not limited to, early neurological stimulation (ENS), startle recovery, problem solving, socialization and enrichment, early litter training etc. We have found that it develops confident, well balanced dogs!My thoughts on socialization are that pups should meet 100 dogs and 100 people in the first 8-16 weeks of their lives. Proper socialization at this time in their lives makes a huge difference in how the puppy will react to situations later with its new family. It’s as important as the nourishing food we give them. I do my best to accomplish this with every litter. However, having written this, I want to say that it’s also up to the new family to continue introducing the puppy to different situations in a good way. If there is a puppy class near you I would recommend you start there as it’s usually a good way to get a new pup acclimated to other puppies and new smells, etc. Kids are usually welcome at these classes so it’s good to have them learning things right along with the pup! Early commands (sit, down, stay and come) are taught and you will feel more comfortable training your puppy. I know that dog parks are very popular but my advice is to use caution here. Ease your new puppy into situations where dogs are not leashed and you don’t know if they are friendly or will scare your pup with their exuberance.
Most of all have fun with your TT puppy...they are an engaging bunch and will quickly work their way into your hearts and family routines! We love to hear how all the puppies are doing so please send news and photos when you can.
The Tibetan Terrier originally came from the Himalayan country of Tibet, an isolated region north of India. According to legend, the breed was raised primarily by the lamas in monasteries and was kept purebred for over 2,000 years.
These shaggy dogs were known as “the Holy Dogs of Tibet.” They were treasured by the lamas, who kept them as companions, good luck charms, mascots, and watchdogs. There is also evidence that TTs were used to herd as well as to retrieve articles that tumbled down the steep rocky mountains into crevices. The breed is very sure-footed, and they are powerful jumpers: they would be well suited for such tasks. They were never sold but were given as gifts to promote good fortune as a mark of great respect. The Tibetan Terrier is NOT a true terrier.
The Tibetan Terrier is a medium sized, shaggy, square dog, measuring 14-17 inches from shoulder to ground and weighing from 18 to 30 pounds. An average sized dog is 15-16 inches in height and weighs 20 to 24 pounds. Surprisingly agile, the Tibetan Terrier is powerful and sure-footed in movement, as capable of surviving in rough terrain here as he was in his native Tibet.
The breed has a double coat. The inner coat is fine, similar to cashmere. The outer coat may be almost straight or wavy. It is neither silky nor curly.
Tibetan Terriers should have a heavy fall of hair over the eyes and face to protect them from the elements. The breed should also have a lovely plumed tail carried over the back. In addition to the breed’s square, compact look, other important characteristics include large, almost flat feet suitable for traction on rough ground, a good rib spring and superb balance. All this is accompanied by strong reach of the front legs and strong drive in the rear.
The color of the Tibetan is merely a matter of choice and accessibility. All colors are equal in the breed, and the range is wide: from pure white to jet black, with goldens, silvers, brindles, fawns, parti-colors and tri-colors. The Tibetan Terrier was never bred for color, since it was considered more important to breed for sturdy good health, loving temperament, and correct type (the “look” of the breed).
Because the Tibetan Terrier has a profuse, often thick, double coat, the breed must be brushed, combed and bathed on a regular basis. If this is done consistently, it can be enjoyable for both dog and owner. Tibetan Terrier coats are NOT low maintenance!
The temperament of the Tibetan Terrier can be compared to that of an intelligent, loving, slightly mischievous child. Completely devoted to his or her people (or person), the Tibetan becomes a member of the family very quickly. The breed loves to travel and experience new places, preferably with you nearby. Perhaps the chief characteristic of the breed is its sensitivity to the moods and conditions of its owner and/or family. This factor, combined with its innate intelligence and devotion, makes the Tibetan Terrier a remarkable companion for LIFE. Even in old age, there is a delightful childlike quality about the breed that most find endearing. They are merry companions.
The Tibetan Terrier Club of America recommends spaying or neutering your dog not destined for the breed ring. Please discuss this with your own veterinarian to decide which is the best course of action to take regarding neutering. Our vet's opinion? Waiting at least a year is most optimal for your dog's bone structure. Hormones play an important part in your dog's development and to stop their production prematurely is not advised. We also recommend that you stay in contact with your breeder for guidance and to answer any questions you might have regarding the training and health of your new addition. Keeping your Tibetan active and a part of your life will guarantee a lifetime of devotion and love.
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