How to Groom a Tibetan Terrier

A pet clip makes grooming much easier if you are not competing in conformation shows with your Tibetan terrier.
Tibetan Terrier image by wickenden1974 from

The Tibetan terrier, an ancient breed, originated in the Lost Valley of Tibet. The breed’s name is deceptive in that the Tibetan terrier is not a terrier, neither is it descended from terriers in any way. Rather, it was called a “terrier” due to its size, which was considered terrier-like. The Tibetan terrier’s protective double coat developed due to the harsh weather in its country of origin. Just like any other dog with a profuse coat, the Tibetan terrier needs regular grooming to remain attractive and free of knots.

Brushing Out

Step 1

Start with one of your dog’s legs, at the ankle. Mist the area that you will be grooming, working moisture into the coat as needed. Use the pin brush to brush the hair back against the grain. If you need to remove a lot of undercoat and the coat is free of knots, use the slicker brush to brush the hair against the grain. Remove any knots or mats you encounter with the wide teeth of your metal greyhound comb or with the dematter.

Step 2

Comb the hair with the grain, in the direction of the coat growth. Begin combing the hair back into place using the wide-tooth end of the comb first, followed by the narrow-tooth end. Complete each leg in turn in this manner. If you are fortunate enough to have your dog lying on one side, finish grooming the legs and body on one side before moving on to the next.

Step 3

Start grooming your dog’s body at the point of her chest, using the same technique that you used for the legs. Once you finish one area, move back toward the dog’s rear instead of moving up toward its shoulder. Once you have finished one “row” of hair, you can then move your grooming efforts up your dog’s side, starting at the front as before. This process is called “line grooming” or “layering.”

Step 4

Use your comb to part your dog’s facial hair and to smooth it into place. Comb the hair on your dog’s ears, taking care to remove any knots from behind them.

Step 5

Scissor any stray hairs away from your dog’s feet, as needed. If your dog has hair growing across her pads, trim it back so that her feet can grip the floor as she walks. Do not trim any other part of your dog’s coat, as it is intended to remain natural in appearance.


Step 1

Gather all bathing supplies and put them within easy reach of the tub in which you will be bathing your Tibetan terrier. If using your bathtub, place the supplies on the floor or on a shelf, not on the side of the tub.

Step 2

Dilute the shampoo as directed on the bottle. Many shampoos recommend using about 4 ounces to a gallon of water, creating a solution that lacks much in way of body. If that is the case with your shampoo, consider adding a natural bathing sponge to your bath equipment. A sponge will absorb very thin shampoo and permit you to distribute it evenly over your dog’s body.

Step 3

Wet the coat thoroughly with warm, not hot, water. Pat Hastings, AKC judge and former professional handler, recommends that you only use “free-flowing water,” because “water shooting out of any kind of nozzle can twist and damage hair on a coated dog.” If you must use a sprayer of any kind, use a gentle spray, applying the water in the direction of the hair growth.

Step 4

Pour the shampoo in your hand or onto a sponge before applying it to the coat. Apply the shampoo to the hair, not to the skin, and distribute it evenly along the dog’s body.

Step 5

Gently work the shampoo throughout the dog’s coat, using your fingers and not your nails. Do not scrub your Tibetan terrier’s coat. If you feel compelled to scrub, use your sponge to distribute the shampoo and to work it into the coat.

Step 6

Rinse the shampoo from the coat using the same technique used to wet the hair. Repeat the shampooing process, if needed.

Step 7

Apply a generous amount of conditioner to the coat. Work it through the dog’s coat as you did the shampoo. Rinse until the water runs clear of any conditioner. Your dog’s coat may retain a slightly slick or greasy feel even if all of the conditioner has been removed.

Step 8

Remove your dog from the tub. Pat the coat with the towel to remove excess moisture

Step 9

Brush your dog dry. If you choose to use a hair dryer, use only the lowest heat setting and blow the coat in the direction opposite the hair growth.


  • Rub cornstarch or talcum powder into hair that has picked up twigs or other debris, to loosen it without cutting it.

  • Allow your dog to shake excess water from his coat to discover where it parts naturally.

Items You Will Need

  • Spray bottle filled with water
  • Slicker brush
  • Pin brush
  • Metal greyhound comb
  • Dematting comb (optional)
  • Cornstarch or talcum powder
  • Dog shampoo
  • Natural sponge
  • Dog conditioner
  • Towel
  • Hair dryer (optional)
  • Blunt-tipped scissors


Photo Credits

  • Tibetan Terrier image by wickenden1974 from