All texts on the Tibetan Terrier
refer to the part that Dr Greig had in introducing the breed
to the world. She was a doctor who lived in India for a time
and acquired a puppy from a patient she treated in 1922. Tibetan
Terriers were never sold in those days but were given as gifts.
The pup was called 'Bunti' which later become 'Bunty'.
So much was Dr. Greig taken
with the breed that she requested to show Bunty
at Indias Delhi Dog Show. As the judges had never seen
a dog such as this before, they suggested that she obtained
a mate and produce 3 generations to see if the dog bred true.
After acquiring a male from Tibet called Rajah,
her first litter of Tibetan Terriers were born on Christmas
Day 1924 in India. A repeat mating saw a second litter born
on July 25th
In 1926 Dr. Greig returned
home to England with three Tibetan Terriers, Bunty,
Chota Tuka (a bitch from the first litter) and Ja-Haz,
a male from the second litter. In 1927, in England, Bunty
was mated to her son, Ja-Haz and the first litter
of Tibetan Terriers were born in England. Dr.Grieg returned
to India and took with her a male pup from this litter called
Mr Binks. He became the first TT World Champion
winning 4 Challenge Certificates.
On one of her trips back to
England Dr. Greig showed a Tibetan Terrier at the famous London
based Crufts Dog Show. Thoombay of Ladkok was
a handsome white dog that had been born in a Tibetan Monastery.
He eventually became the first Tibetan Terrier English Champion
at the tender age of 10!
From the 1930s Dr Greig,
now back in England, developed the breed along with her mother
under the affixes of Lamleh and Ladkok. They caused some controversy,
some say, by sending much of their best stock abroad which,
it is claimed, held back the Tibetan Terriers progress
in the UK. Although she was instrumental in the gaining of
Kennel Club recognition for the breed, she was at the same
time vehemently opposed to the glamour side of
dog showing. Her idea of a Tibetan Terrier was that of a working
dog with a short rugged coat in keeping with this profile
and this is how she showed hers. Dr Greig died in 1972 and
so missed the surge in popularity that the breed was about
Following the Second World
War, a Tibetan Terrier Club was formed in 1956 and a prominent
breeder at the time was Constance Downey who founded the Luneville
Kennel. The kennel prospered through the 50s and 60s but the
breeds popularity did not improve significantly until
the 70s. Breeders such as Hedley and Sally Kerman and Paul
and Janet Catania, whose kennels were Tsangpo and Ritashi respectively,
began to get the breed noticed around this period.
Many recognise the next stage
as being instigated by Terry Young and Paul Stanton who showed
and presented their dogs in a new fashion mostly copied today.
They showed a dog, Dokham Cavarodossi Of Tintavon, bred by
Graham & Eleanor Newell and brought the breed much fame.
The dogs litter sister, Dokham La Calisto, owned and
shown by Ken & Betty Rawlings of the Antartica Kennel,
also achieved much success. The Tibetan Terrier was now a
show dog capable of taking on his contemporaries and beating
Since those days the breed
has been in mostly good hands. There are now two breed clubs
in the UK who encourage the practice of only using breeding
stock that carries Kennel Club/BVA approved eye and hip certificates.
Both clubs have lists of approved breeders and hold seminars
and activities to help educate and support those who have
the best interests of the breed at heart. The incidences of
PRA (Progressive Retina Atrophy) and PLL (Primary Lens Luxation)
are negligible. In 2008, the Breed Mean Reading (BMR) BVA Hip
Score for Tibetan Terriers in the UK was given as 12. Breeders
in the UK deserve credit for their part in achieving this
score which compares favourably with most breeds and is better
than many. Those same breeders of course will be striving
hard to improve on these readings.
Since those awakening days
of the 70s, various kennels have come about to cater for the
increased popularity of the breed and some still achieve success
today. Anyone interested in such matters need only study results
in shows, research catalogues or read previously referred
to texts to get an idea of past and present successful kennels.
At club events, members are free to study the clubs
archives at their leisure. Another incredible resource is
the on-line Tibetan
Terrier Database created by Pat Nelson.
It is contentious to produce
a list of prominent dogs of the past as all lists vary but
the list could include in addition to those previously mentioned,
in no particular order and certainly not exhaustive, Ch Hardacre
Black Bell, Ch Hardacre Auro, Ch Dolby of Alilah, Ch Alilah
Konkeah of Araki, Ch Willowbrae Willow, Ch Hotang Heruka of
Willowbrae, Ch Dokham Fasolt of Jemecs, Ch Araki Fressia Assets,
Ch Acquisitor of Araki at Tuckles, Ch Veronys Super Trouper.
Perhaps the breed achieved the
ultimate accolade in 2007 and firmly cemented its place
in the dog world, if there was ever a doubt, when the Crufts
BIS Winner was declared as Araki Fabulous Willy. From its
humble beginnings in far off Tibet, The Tibetan Terrier has
certainly come a long way. His undoubted charisma is guaranteed
to make his journey last for some time to come.