LEARN ABOUT GROOMING
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 www.revivalanimal.com 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.
HAIR IN FRONT OF THE EYES
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.
LITERATURE ON TIBETANS
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”.