The Tibetan Spaniel is a long lived breed and it will normally live between 9 and 15 years with some animals living longer than that
A healthy bitch can have up to 3 pups.
Herding, AKC Non-Sporting
CKC, FCI, AKC, ANKC, NKC, NZKC, APRI, ACR
The Tibetan Spaniel comes in all colors and mixes of color, although the most common color is golden.
Minimum-9 inches Maximum-10 inches
Minimum-10 pounds Maximum-15 pounds
Minimum-9 inches Maximum-10 inches
Minimum-9 pounds Maximum-15 pounds
The Tibetan Spaniel is best suited as an indoor pet. The breed does not make a good kennel dog and because of its size it should not be left outdoors as a rule. The breed is an indoor pet but it does enjoy being outside for play and exercise. It should not be left in an unfenced yard or unchained as it will roam off. It should also be noted that some animals of this breed will happily climb over a chain link fence, so care must be taken when it is left unattended.
Because of its size and temperament it makes a wonderful pet for apartment dwellings.
To the untrained eye, the Tibetan Spaniel may look like a Pekingese. There is some evidence that the two breeds were interbred at one time and this accounts for their close similarity in appearance. The main difference between the two breeds is that the Tibetan Spaniel has a longer face with no extra skin around its eyes. The coat is less thick than the Pekinese and the coat itself will lay flat. The coat is considered to be of medium length.
The Tibetan Spaniel is longer than it is tall with the top of the head being somewhat rounded. The muzzle of this breed is blunted and stronger than the Pekinese. The Tibetan Spaniel has oval eyes that are dark brown. The nose is black when the animal is in good health.
The soft, silky ears are often feathered and will hang down to the sides of the head.
For most animals of this breed the mane is of longer hair length than the hair on the back. The tail is often plumed and will curl over the back of the animal. They are colorful animals and come in many shades including fawn, red, black, tan, and other colors. It should be noted, however, they can also be solid colored. When solid colored, they are usually golden.
They are very affectionate animals and will happily play with people that they know and trust.
The Tibetan Spaniel has a double coat that is silky in texture, smooth on face and front of legs, and of moderate length on the body. Bitches tend to carry less coat and mane than males.
The Tibetan Spaniel started out as small monastery dogs in Tibet, China. They were once known as the "little Lions" and were so highly regarded that they were given as gifts to the royal palaces of China. The breed is likely to have common ancestors with a number of the Oriental breeds, including the Japanese Chin and the Pekingese.
The monks of Tibet sometimes used the Tibetan Spaniels as watchdogs, as the animals would bark with the approach of strangers to the monasteries. Because of their dispositions the animals were much loved and revered.
The early Tibetan Spaniels sat on the high walls of the monasteries and this love of heights has not been lost through the ages.
By the 1890's the Tibetan Spaniels were being bred in the United Kingdom. It was not until 1965 that the first authenticated reference to Tibetan Spaniels in the United States is found. This was a litter born out of two imported dogs from a Tibetan monastery.
By January 1971, the Tibetan Spaniel Club of America was formed with 14 charter members. After a period in the Miscellaneous classes, the Tibetan Spaniel was accepted for AKC registration and became eligible to compete as a Non-Sporting breed effective January 1, 1984.
The Tibetan Spaniel is a happy and very intelligent breed. The animal will bond with family members and other pets that may be in the home as long as the introduction is started early in its life. The breed is often considered assertive and can be somewhat aloof with strangers who enter the home. This aloofness will fade as the animal begins to know and trust the new arrival to the home. It is not uncommon for a Tibetan Spaniel to become a bit jealous if a new baby is brought into the home. This, too, will fade as time goes by and the pet realizes that it is still a member of the family.
Tibetan Spaniels make fine house pets especially for the elderly and those families that may have small children. Tibbies, as they are often called, love to be held and make good lap dogs. They enjoy attention and love to be involved with the family or single owner. It should be noted, however, that they do have an independent spirit and they can be very willful at times. This can make them a bit hard to train in the usual sense of the word.
Most Tibetan Spaniels will bark to announce the arrival of strangers. They can make good watchdogs, but they do not bark excessively or without cause. Likewise, they not enjoy loud, sudden noise and may become skittish if this happens too often.
When treated properly they can become very affectionate toward their owners. They can also become very devoted and loyal. For the most part, they do not like being surprised or suddenly grabbed. The Tibetan Spaniels are very sensitive animals will often understand and respond to your moods and feelings.
While Tibbies are not guard dogs and should never show signs of aggression or bite, they do, as mentioned above, make fairly good watchdogs and will alert you to any unusual event or arrival. They do this by barking and this is one of their historical attributes.
When they are healthy and feel good, they are neither nervous nor hyper but rather have a calm attitude and personality. This calm personality is one of the benefits that they have for elderly owners who may not be able to run after them or look in on them as they would have to do with more nervous types of animals.
Owners should be aware that they love any high lookout such as a window sill. Because of their calm and affectionate nature they enjoy being close to humans and will happily go to bed with you or sit next to you.
Tibetan Spaniels have very good hearing, keen sight, and good scenting powers. They are very long lived and are not given to early aging or much illness.
In general, the Tibetan Spaniel is a very healthy breed and does not contract illness or disease as some breeds tend to do. When properly cared for the breed will remain healthy for years.
Of the more common afflictions that all breeds are susceptible to the Tibetan Spaniel may contract:
It is recommended that you have eyes checked regularly.
Grooming for a Tibetan Spaniel is easy, and is, in fact, one of the easiest breeds to keep groomed. The breed is considered an average shedder but once a year it will shed in clumps. This is normal and should not cause alarm. During its shedding season the owner should brush the animal as usual.
During the non-shedding season it is fine to brush the animal once a week. The coat is fairly easy to take care of and a regular brushing should suffice. They are a completely natural breed and require no plucking, stripping, or clipping of the coat.
The teeth need to be kept clean as well. If the owner is not able to perform this grooming task, a pet salon should be used. Proper dental care is extremely important as it helps your pet to keep its teeth for as long as possible.
Special care should be taken when cleaning your pet's ears. For general cleaning, you can use baby oil and a cotton ball. Take special care to not go too far into the ear as you could damage the ear drum. It is best to gently wipe around the outer ear and remove any debris that you may find.
In the event that you should notice your dog is scratching its ears more often than usual or shaking its head vigorously, you should take the dog to the vet as this may be an indication of ear infection.
You should also trim your pet's nails once a week or so to prevent overgrowth. This is very easy to do. You will need a pair of animal nail clippers that can be found in most pet stores. Only trim the top portion of the nail and do not over cut into the nail.
The hair between the pads of the feet should be trimmed when it becomes long.
Baths should be given only when needed.
New dog owners can take a class on how to properly perform these tasks at most pet grooming salons. The tools and brushes needed for grooming the Tibetan Spaniel are readily available and affordable at most pet stores.
While the Tibetan Spaniel is a small breed it can be energetic. In addition to the usual playfulness it will exhibit while indoors, it also loves to be taken on walks. The breed will gladly play with children in the backyard and it loves to run and be happy while out of doors. When walking or playing with your Tibetan Spaniel outside you should be aware of larger animals that may be in the area. The Tibetan Spaniel does not have good self-protection skills or means of protecting itself from more aggressive animals.
For exercise purposes, it is considered a Medium Level breed. It will enjoy hearty workouts but they should not be overly taxing to the animal. In general, a healthy animal will enjoy about 20 to 40 minutes of fun exercise before it tires out or loses interest.
General obedience training is highly recommended for this breed and should begin at an early age. The Tibetan Spaniel, because of its rather willful nature, is not known as one of the more trainable breeds. This does not mean that they are bad dogs, but they are hard to train and often owners become frustrated over the lack of progress.
They are, however, very good house pets and can be house trained with ease. Because they are not overly aggressive they do not especially need training for this as some larger dogs do. The Tibetan Spaniel rarely, if ever, bites. They are, by nature, playful and friendly, although they do tend to be stand offish with strangers to the home.
It is entirely possible to train the breed to do simple tasks such as sit. But the more entertaining tricks might pose a challenge to the owner. There are some books especially written for this breed that may be of use to the training owner, but, again, do not get your hopes up too high.
General obedience classes can be used to help the animal retain some of the basics of good manners. These classes are often taught by trained professionals who know the breed and how to interact with them for better results. Many of these classes take a week or less to complete.
Many owners simply decide that the breed is what it is and that is one of its endearing charms.