THOUGHTS ON EVALUATING TIBETAN TERRIERS
By Gary & Susan Carr Salishan Tibetan Terriers
T he Tibetan Terrier breed has been in exis- tence for over two thou- sand years. Coming from a di ffi cult part of the world, a ff ected by extremes in climate, the dogs survived because of nature’s design. Tibetan Terriers are a strong, agile, compact and powerful medium sized breed. Th ey are in balance, with no one feature superseding any other. Nothing should be exaggerated. Th ey are a natural breed without man made attributes. As with almost any other breed, Tibet- an Terriers are examined on the table and judged on the ground. When you stand back and look at them on the table, you should look for squareness and balance, with all parts in moderation. Th ey come in many colors and markings, with all being equally acceptable and correct. Before examination, think of the essential characteristics that make this breed unique: 1. A strong, compact and agile body. 2. Unusual large, fl at feet. 3. Profuse double coat. 4. A fall of hair over the eyes and a notice- able cheekbone curve (zygomatic arch). 5. Moderate size, with the average dog ranging from 15 to 16 inches at the withers. Approach the Tibetan Terrier from the front. Lift the fall so that they can look out and aren’t startled by a quick reach in. Dark eyes with fi lled eye rims are fairly wide set. Th e ears are pendant with v-shaped leathers. A fi lled black nose is desirable. Th e cheekbones curve without bulging, but you should feel the zygomat- ic arch. Th e distance from the eye to the
tip of the nose equals the distance from the eye to the occipital bone. Th ere is a distinct but not exaggerated stop in front of the eye. Th e standard allows the Tibet- an Terrier to have a tight scissors bite, a level bite, a reverse scissors bite, or even a slightly undershot bite. Feel with your hands as you examine the Tibetan Terrier—profuse coat may hide the actual structure. Some fore chest is desirable. Forelegs are straight and strong, and the distance from the withers to the elbow equals the distance from the elbow to the ground. Th e Tibetan Terrier foot is unique, and is a primary identifying characteristic of the breed. Large and rounded, the foot is e ff ectively fl at, but never splayed. Feel that there is little or no arch. Th e Tibetan Terrier must stand well down on his pads, not up on his toes. Th e foot is fl exible and has strong, thick pads. Th e neck should have a graceful arch and should blend smoothly into well laid back shoulders. Th e upper arm is angled back so that the dog stands well over his feet. Th e mature dog is well ribbed up and the brisket extends to the top of the elbow. Th e length of the body from the point of shoulder to the root of tail equals the height at the withers. Th is allows the dogs to have room to turn quickly and move with fl exibility. Th e back is level with a slight arch of muscling rising over the loin. Th e tail is set on high and carried in a curve over the back. Moderate angulation in the rear is typical and should be in balance with the angulation of the forequarters. Th e hind- quarters are muscular and strong with well bent sti fl es, and the hocks are well let down. With the rear pasterns perpendicu-
lar to the ground, the toes will be on a line directly under the point of buttocks. Feel the Tibetan Terriers distinctive double coat, which may be straight or wavy. Correct grooming is required by the Standard. Sculpturing, scissoring, stripping and shaving are totally contrary to breed type and each is a serious fault as de fi ned by the Standard. Th ey are a coated breed, not a coat breed designed by man. Th e Tibetan Terrier should be shown naturally, clean and brushed. Th e Tibetan Terrier judged on the ground must move freely and e ff ortlessly, with a characteristic lightness and spring to its step. When viewed from the front or rear, the forelegs and hind legs travel in the same plane, with no evidence of crabbing. Seen from the side there is good extension in balance with powerful rear drive. Th e back remains steady as the dog moves—the back pads of the fl at foot striking the ground fi rst, and the weight rolling smoothly forward. Th e Standard contains no disquali fi ca- tions. Remember both in structure and in function the Tibetan Terrier remains very much the mountain dog of Tibet. BIO Tibetan Terriers have decorated the Carr’s lives for thirty five years. They have both been honored to have judged their National Specialty. Gary also co-wrote and was the illustrator of the “Illustrated Guide To The Tibetan Terrier.” Susan is a past president of the Tibetan Terrier Club of America. Together they have bred and/or owned over three hundred Tibetan Terrier champions, with seven generations of Group I winners and Best In Show.
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