The Tibetan Terrier was introduced into the UK in the 1930s, so they are a relatively new arrival here, from Tibet via India. They have never been one of the most popular breeds for the general public, I guess due in part to the grooming requirements of a TT kept in full coat, which many people cannot give the time to. The Breed standard for Tibetan Terriers is detailed on the Kennel Club website, so I will not repeat it here! We chose the breed for their looks, character, size and exercise requirements.
The history of the breed is outlined briefly on the Tibetan Terrier Association website, but in one of my many dog encyclopaedias, written by Desmond Morris, the breed is described as a herding breed, which can run over the backs of sheep when they need to. Morris quotes Juliette Cunliffe, a well-known expert in Tibetan breeds as having seen them herding sheep with her own eyes on one of her visits to Tibet. Although this certainly fits with my experience of the breed, there are some TT fans who maintain that they were kept purely as companion dogs, even in Tibet. This is certainly their role now in this country, and many people keep them almost like a toy dog, with little to do. This is when, in my opinion, any dog can become bored and/ or destructive, and I feel they thrive on doing something in partnership with their human housemates.