The Tibetan Spaniel is primarily a companion dog breed that originated in the mountainous regions of Tibet. Even though they have a “Spaniel” part of the name, these dogs were never bred for hunting or flushing game. They are lovely family pets and watchdogs that will alert you about anyone or anything approaching your home.
The Tibetan Spaniel is devoted and affectionate towards everyone in their family and these dogs hate being left alone. If you happen to leave them alone, make sure you leave them with enough toys so they don’t get bored or develop separation anxiety.
8-10 in (21-25 cm)
9-15 lb (4-7 kg)
The history of the Tibetan Spaniel dates back thousands of years. This is believed to be one of the oldest dog breeds from that area. Tibetan monks bred dogs that had lion-like appearances and features. Those Tibetan monks were Buddhists and Buddhists believe that a lion is a symbol of Buddha’s triumph over the evil spirits and forces. Naturally, lion-like dogs became extremely popular.
The Tibetan Spaniel’s main job was to alert the monks about anyone approaching the monastery. These dogs were also bred by common villagers and gifted to the monks as a sign of admiration and appreciation. The Tibetan Spaniel could not be bought, it could only be given as a gift and they were mostly given to noblemen from the surrounding countries like China or Japan.
A genetic study has proved that the Tibetan Spaniel is closely related to the Japanese Chin and the Pekingese in a way that they all share the same ancestors. In 1965, the first Tibetan Spaniel litter was born in the USA from a pair of Tibetan Spaniels that were imported directly from Tibet.
Dog Breed Characteristics
The Tibetan Spaniel is a small dog breed that was bred to be a companion and a family pet. They are well-balanced even though they are slightly longer than they are tall. Their head is small in proportion to their bodies and their eyes are oval, expressive, and usually dark brown in color. Their tail is usually carried over their backs.
This dog has a double coat that was developed as a necessity for enduring an extremely cold Tibetan climate. They have a longer, protective, and harsher outer coat, and a thick, soft, and wooly undercoat that kept them well isolated from the extreme cold. These dogs are allowed to come in all colors and color variations.
Tibetan Spaniel standards
- Group 9 Companion and Toy Dogs. Section 5 Tibetan breeds
- height - 10 in (25 cm)
- weight - 9-15 lbs (4 - 7 kg)
- date of acceptance - 8/22/1961
- Non-Sporting Group
- height - 10 in (25 cm)
- weight - 9-15 lbs (4 - 7 kg)
- year of acceptance - 1983
Tibetan Spaniels has a silky double coat that requires regular brushing to keep the dog looking good. They shed a little year-round and twice a year they will blow their coat when daily brushing is required.
Tibetan Spaniel coat colors:
- all colors, mixes of color are allowed
They will also need other basic care; brush their teeth at least three times a week. Check their ears for signs of infection and redness, bathe them regularly, and trim their nails if they don’t wear them down naturally.
Tibetan spaniels don’t require many daily activities to be happy. A few daily walks will be enough to keep these dogs satisfied, although they can be an excellent partner for jogging.
Tibetan Spaniel temperament
The best possible way to describe a Tibetan Spaniels temperament would be - trusting towards its family and distrustful towards strangers. The Tibetan Spaniels are extremely affectionate and lovable toward their families, but as a watchdog breed, they have a “bred-in” distrust towards strangers. You can be sure that these dogs will alert you about anyone or anything that is out of the ordinary, so it would be a good idea to teach your dog to stop barking on command.
Training and socialization
When deciding on what type of Tibetan Spaniel training method you should use, keep in mind that these dogs do not react well to harsh training methods. These dogs can become shy and scared if you use fear or pain as a training method. Instead, use positive reinforcement and loads of treats and food. That way your Tibetan Spaniel will remain interested in training because it can see a clear benefit for himself.
Like any other dog breed, the Tibetan Spaniel needs early socialization. They are watchdogs and have a natural tendency to bark and let you know if anything out of the ordinary is happening, so it is a great idea to start socializing them as early as possible. That way your Tibetan Spaniel puppy will learn the difference between what they need to bark about, and what is not a threat and they do not need to bark.
Expose your Tibetan Spaniel puppy to different sights, sounds, dogs, situations, and people. You will ensure the best possible start for your puppy and help them develop in a stable, well-behaved dog
Early socialization and proper training can teach them to behave even when children are around. Because of their small size children could easily hurt the dog so you must be very careful when you let them play.
Children should never be left alone with any dog, no matter what breed it might be. You should make sure that your children understand how to approach dogs of this breed and understand how to interact and play with them properly.
These dogs can get along well with other dogs and can enjoy their company. Generally, the Tibetan Spaniel is a great pet to have if you already have other pets at home. They are extremely friendly and love having company, so your Tibetan Spaniel won’t mind other pets.
The Tibetan Spaniel is generally considered a healthy breed, but they are prone to some health issues and concerns like any other dog breed. These dogs have an average lifespan of 12-15 years.
When getting any breed, the breeder must show you health tests that they have done for their breeding dogs. Dogs must be adequately tested because taking a chance and hoping that the puppy’s parents are healthy is a risk no one should ever take. Only healthy dogs should be bred because that is the only way to assure that bloodlines will remain healthy and without any problems. Health problems associated with this breed are;
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy - Group of diseases that affect the retina and cause it to deteriorate over time.
- Patellar luxation
If this breed is a good fit for you and/or your family, make sure that you find a registered and reputable Tibetan Spaniel breeder that can provide you with a great dog that will be physically and mentally healthy. Ask the breeder to show you the health certificates of his breeding dogs and if you can try and see what the puppy’s parents look like.
Buying a dog from such a breeder will provide you with a healthy puppy who will not have health and temperament problems. These dogs became very popular, and many unethical and bad breeders started to breed these dogs to earn money without worrying about puppy health, temperament, and well-being.
If you are unsure whether this is the breed for you, check out this FREE GUIDE that will help you decide which dog breed is right for you.
World Dog Finder team