The Tibetan Spaniel is used to doing its own thing. Its role as a watch dog for Buddhist monks gave it a certain leeway and independence in making judgments as to when to alert the guard dogs. It was left mostly to its own devices and not really trained, and as such, it really isn't suitable for obedience training now.
This small dog has the stubbornness of a mule. Its intelligence and sensitivity also make it easily bored with repetition and obedience training. In order to deal with the inbred stubbornness and independence the dog needs to be very well socialized. It must want to please its owner and it is up to you to figure out how to bring that out in the dog.
These dogs do have sensitivity unlike other dogs. They appear to respond to an owner's moods. They will seek to bring solace to any member of their family that appears upset or depressed. They are very playful and even seem to have a sense of humor at times. You can use this sensitivity to help you get over their stubbornness and independence. The trick is to connect with the dog so that it is only too happy to please you.
One thing this dog does not respond well to is teasing and abuse. If it thinks you are treating it unfairly you can expect the stubbornness aspect to triple. They may decide to "forget" their housetraining to make a point, or simply ignore you and show their displeasure this way. In this way, they are much more like cats than dogs.
Even though difficult to train by methodical practices, you can housetrain them using a crate. They are basically clean creatures and do not like to mess themselves. So, if you are trying to housetrain them, use the crate method and they will pick up quickly what areas are safe to use for their business.
While you are trying to connect and train them to behave properly in your home, do not leave them alone. They are very prone to separation anxiety. They will sulk when you get back and you will have to start over from square one with their training. They are making sure that you know they did not like it that you left them home alone.
A Tibetan Spaniel that has constant companionship and is handled in a respectful manner will exhibit a very affectionate and caring persona. The more it bonds with its owners the better the chances of overcoming its innate tendency to be stubborn and demand its own will. In a contest of wills, this dog easily wins and will frustrate the most exacting of control freaks. It just simply won't behave it isn't happy and feels cared for and respected.