Tibetan Spaniel

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9-15 lbs
8-11"
Tibet
Tibbie
Highly independent and sweet, the Tibetan Spaniel was originally bred by Buddhist monks in Tibet. The breed resembles a lion which was considered an important symbol in Buddhism. While its appearance resembles a Pekingese, the Tibetan Spaniel has a slightly longer face without the extra skin. Its body is longer than it is tall in height and the domed head is small when in proportion to its body. The muzzle of this breed is of medium length and without wrinkles. The eyes are dark and set well apart and this attractive dog has a double-coat that is silky and flat. With a feathered tail that is set high and carried over its back, the Tibetan Spaniel has a neck that is covered with a longish mane. The original purpose of this loyal dog was to serve as a watchdog and as a companion. Due to the nature of its bark, it made for an effective watchdog and alerted its owners to any dangers. Regular grooming is recommended for coat upkeep, such as daily brushing and combing to remove mats. This breed is considered to have moderate energy and it is important to maintain its mental and physical stimulation to prevent boredom.
Purpose
watchdog, companion
Date of Origin
ancient times
Ancestry
pekingese, pug, japanese chin

Tibetan Spaniel Health

Average Size
Height: 8-11 inches Weight: 9-15 lbs
Height: 8-11 inches Weight: 9-15 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Entropion
Minor Concerns
  • Usually A Very Healthy Breed
Occasional Diagnoses
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy
  • Patellar Luxation
Occasional Tests
  • Eye
  • Knee
  • X-Rays
  • Eye Examination
  • Physical Examination

Tibetan Spaniel Breed History

The Tibetan Spaniel originated from Tibet, hence the breed name. The exact time of origin for the Tibetan Spaniel is unknown but there is some documentation to indicate that the breed has been around since 1100 BC. It is often believed that the Tibetan Spaniels were given as gifts to houses of royalty and because of this, the dog gained a following. The Tibetan Spaniel was regarded as the “little lion” which placed great value on the breed. Its ancestors are said to have been developed from the Pekingese, the Pug, and the Japanese Chin. It is also said that the Tibetan and Chinese dogs were interbred at some point. The original purpose of this brave and alert canine was to guard the monasteries and prevent intruders from invading the land. The breed would sit on high walls and would bark at strangers or wolves on the outside. Their ability to see great distances made them excellent watchdogs. The Tibetan Spaniel was also known as the prayer dog since it would run on a treadmill to turn a prayer wheel. In the 1890s, the Tibetan Spaniel appeared in England but was not bred until the 1920s. Dr. Agnes R. H. Greig is credited with obtaining several dogs in order to promote what would become known as the modern-day Tibetan Spaniel. In the 1960s, the Tibetan Spaniel arrived in the United States. The first Tibetan Spaniel born in the U.S. was parented by two previously imported dogs from a Tibetan monastery. In 1971, the Tibetan Spaniel Club of America was founded with 14 charter members. In 1984, the Tibetan Spaniel was officially recognized by the AKC. 

Tibetan Spaniel Breed Appearance

The Tibetan Spaniel is longer than it is tall. It has a small head and a short muzzle with ears containing long tufts of hair. The eyes of this spunky breed are set apart which may create for an odd look, but to some this is an endearing feature. Its tail is long and feathery. Its paws contain hair growing between the toes. Adorned with a double coat with a silky texture of thin density, it is not considered water repellent but can be beautiful, coming in a combination of black, black and tan, cream, gold, red, sable, silver-sable, and white with parti-color or white markings. The head of the Tibetan Spaniel is small in proportion to its body. Its eyes are dark brown in color and oval-shaped giving this dog expressions that are impressionable. This affectionate dog has ears that are medium-sized and pendant, with a skull that is slightly domed and of moderate length and width. Its teeth are evenly placed. This Spaniel is built with a moderately short neck, strong, and well-set. The shoulders are well-placed and firm; the hindquarters are strong and well-developed. These features allow for an agile gait that is quick-moving and positive.

Eye Color Possibilities
Brown
Nose Color Possibilities
Black
Coat Color Possibilities
Sable
Red
Cream
White
Black
Coat Length
Short Medium Long
Coat Density
Sparse Normal Dense
Coat Texture
Straight Wiry Wavy Curly Corded

Tibetan Spaniel Breed Maintenance

The Tibetan Spaniel is not hypoallergenic and does shed moderately. In order to help with shedding upkeep, it is important to brush your dog daily as well as comb through the coat. This will help prevent knots and mats. Bathing your dog should be limited to every 6 to 8 weeks as necessary, as more frequent baths will lead to overproduction of oils in the skin. Ears should be wiped and cleaned weekly to prevent buildup of earwax. The Tibetan Spaniel does not have any significant smells. Its activity level is considered of moderate energy so it is important to provide proper exercise such as walks or playtime in a yard. Apartment living is suitable as long as it is accompanied by enough mental and physical stimulation to keep this energetic canine happy. The Tibetan Spaniel is known for barking frequently if training is not introduced. The Tibetan Spaniel would be able to live in either an urban or rural environment and can thrive in both hot and cold climates due to its double coat. There is no specific diet for the Tibetan Spaniel.

Brushes for Tibetan Spaniel
Pin Brush
Comb
Nail Clipper
Brushing Frequency
Daily Weekly Monthly

Tibetan Spaniel Temperament

The Tibetan Spaniel is considered a friendly and affectionate companion. This spirited dog is also fiercely independent in the field and loves to be able to watch over its family while also running around its environment. The Tibetan Spaniel will welcome family members and enjoy the presence of children. The Tibetan Spaniel may need to be trained to accept friendly strangers as it may bark at intruders it deems a danger. Very charming and trusting with familiar people, this breed also makes an effective watchdog and will inform its family of any incoming strangers. The Tibetan Spaniel would need training to be able to accept other animals and to tolerate unfamiliar pets. The Tibetan Spaniel is considered to be of medium energy and might be stubborn for training. An intelligent animal, this Spaniel requires patience and time in order to excel at obedience. 

Activity Level
Low Medium High
Rec. Walk Mileage Per Week
6 miles
Minutes of Activity Per Day
30 minutes

Tibetan Spaniel Food Consumption

Cups Per Day
0.7 cups
Daily Cost
$0.9 - $1
Monthly Cost
$25 - $30

Tibetan Spaniel Height & Weight

6 Months
Height: 5 inches Weight: 8 lbs
Height: 5 inches Weight: 8 lbs
12 Months
Height: 9 inches Weight: 10 lbs
Height: 9 inches Weight: 10 lbs
18 Months
Height: 9 inches Weight: 12 lbs
Height: 9 inches Weight: 12 lbs

Tibetan Spaniel Owner Experiences