Joint Statement by The Tibetan Terrier Association & The Tibetan Terrier Breeder & Owners Club
regarding the genetic test for Primary Lens Luxation, and its implication for breeding

We strongly recommend that all breeding stock has a known genetic status for Primary Lens Luxation

This can be determined by a DNA test offered by the Animal Health Trust or as a consequence of knowing both parents are genetically clear. 

The test can be obtained privately from the Animal Health Trust and taken to your vet where the permanent identification

is then verified by their signature, or through clinics run by the Tibetan Terrier clubs.   


Dogs which are carriers will not develop the condition.  No tested carrier TT’s have yet gone on to develop PLL. 

It is essential that carriers are only mated to genetically clear dogs.
As the offspring have the potential to be carriers we advise that the litter be tested prior to sale

   and wherever possible only the clears should be used in future breeding. It is hoped that no second generation carriers will be bred from. 


 We recommend that the genetic status of any puppies sold is fully explained to new owners. 

Carrier puppies should be sold with breeding endorsement ‘Progeny Not Eligible For Registration’.

  This endorsement should be fully explained to potential owner and a signature of acceptance obtained.

The Kennel Club logo
reproduced with kind permission from The Kennel Club
this statement was published on the Kennel Club website 2/11/09

New DNA Testing Schemes

At the request of the relevant breed clubs, the Kennel Club has recently approved official DNA testing schemes for PLL in the Tibetan Terrier and the Miniature Bull Terrier.
These tests are offered by the Animal Health Trust - further details can be obtained from www.aht.org.uk.
Copies of all future test certificates issued by the AHT will be sent directly to the Kennel Club where the test result will be added to the dog’s details on the registration
database.  This will trigger the publication of the test result in the next available Breed Records Supplement, and the result will also appear
on any new registration certificate issued for the dog and on the registration certificates of any future progeny of the dog.
For further information on this scheme please contact Professor Jeff Sampson at jeff.sampson@thekennelclub.org.uk.




The Tibetan Terrier is a very natural dog which has evolved, both naturally and by man’s selective breeding, without any exaggerations. 
In general it is a very healthy breed with a good disposition.

Like all breeds we do know of some inherited conditions which affect TT’s.  The breed is very fortunate to have recognised and accepted, some thirty years ago,

that a positive approach was required in order to reduce the incidence of these conditions to a minimum.

The Tibetan Terrier Association has a breeder’s list and the breeders on this list agree to abide by the Club’s rules and guidelines. The main ones are:

 1.   Dogs and Bitches being bred from should hold a current BVA/KC Eye Certificate, or equivalent from outside the UK.

 2.   Dogs and Bitches being bred must have had their hips X-Rayed for Hip Dysplasia and achieved a good score. The current breed average is a score of 14 (which is very good, the score can range from 0 -106, the lower the better).

The main hereditary breed abnormalities that we test for are:

      1.   PRA    abbreviation of Progressive Retina Atrophy

      2.   PLL     abbreviation of Primary Lens Luxation

      3.   HD      abbreviation of Hip Dysplasia

Another condition that can affect our breed is Neuronal Ceroid Lipofucinosis (NCL). 

Over the last 5 years there have been the following confirmed cases in respect of PRA and PLL:



2003   1
2004 2 1
2005   1
2006 2  
2007   1

When you purchase a puppy you should always ask to see the relevant eye and hip certificates for both parents. The test results are also printed on the Kennel Club registration paperwork you will receive from the breeder of your puppy.  The Tibetan Terrier Association was one of the main instigator’s in having the eye and hip results printed on the registration certificates.

Over the last 23 years there have been 57 confirmed cases of PRA & PLL. The total number of TT’s registered with the Kennel Club for the same period is 22,224.  Of course there will be cases that have not been recorded, and also many TT’s that have not been registered.

We only have the relevant paperwork for 2 cases of NCL. 

The Animal Health Trust is doing a lot of work to try and find a DNA marker for PRA and we do keep in touch with them. 

If you have any further questions please contact the breed club health sub-committee through the TTA chairman via the club web site.












The AHT would like DNA to assist in finding a marker for Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)






You could help them by providing DNA samples from TT’s affected with PRA & known carriers



A copy of the eye certificate should accompany the DNA sample.


DNA from dogs overseas can also be donated





please contact Chairman Pat Tempest for sampling kits tel: 01952 812151 or by e-mail



or you can contact the Animal Health Trust dnatesting@aht.org.uk






We are also looking for DNA from dogs diagnosed deaf by BAER testing. 



DNA from the litter mates of a deaf puppy is also required.