Described as part terrier, part monkey, and part cat, The Tibetan Spaniel is independent, bold, and stubborn, but it is also sensitive and biddable.Read More
Tibetan Spaniel Overall Status
- 10 inches at the shoulder
- Playful, Bright, Self-Confident
- 9 to 15 pounds
- Life Expectancy
- 12 to 15 years or more
- Coat Color
- Black, Blue, Brown, Gray, Red, Silver, White
- Barking Level
Tibetan Spaniel Quick Factors
- Dog Friendly
- Exercise Need
- Grooming Needs
- Strangers Friendly
- Family Affectionate
Tibetan Spaniel Daily Care
Tibetan Spaniels shed lightly year round, and brushing two to three times per week will keep loose hair under control and keep the coat free from tangles or mats. They typically require a bath every six to eight weeks.
Check the Tibetan Spaniel's ears on a weekly basis for signs of infection, irritation, or wax build up. Cleanse regularly with a veterinarian-approved cleanser and cotton ball. Brush the teeth at least once per week to prevent tartar buildup and fight gum disease. Additionally, nails should be trimmed once per month if the dog does not wear the toenails down naturally.
Because of his size, Tibetan Spaniels can live pretty much anywhere. They do as well in an apartment as they would in a large estate. They make wonderful companions for seniors as they don't need a lot of daily exercise.
A daily walk and some play time will cover all his exercise needs. If you have a back yard, do not leave your Tibbie unattended. This dog needs to be with you and will be happiest when playing with you.
Tibetan Spaniels can thrive on a number of different diets, from dry kibble to raw diets. Because every dog is different, you may need to experiment with what diet works best for your dog. The Tibbie isn't an overly active dog, so be sure not to overfeed him, as it could cause obesity.
They should do well on a high-qualitydog food, whether commercially manufactured or home-prepared with your veterinarian's supervision and approval. Any diet should be appropriate to the dog's age (puppy, adult, or senior), and if feeding dry food, the breed tends to prefer a small-bite kibble.
Treatscan be an important aid in training, but giving too many can cause obesity. Learn about whichhuman foodsare safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog's weight or diet.Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.
The average life expectancy of the Tibbie is between 12 and 15 years. Health risks associated with this breed include progressive retinal atrophy,cherry eye,allergies, and a liver condition known as a portosystemic shunt.
Because of his stubborn streak, the Tibetan Spaniel can be difficult to train. For the best results, start early and establish yourself as the Alfa of the household. If your dog gets the upper hand, this will be difficult to train them out of.
For the best results, use positive training reinforcements, such as praise and treats. And keep training sessions short and interesting to hold your dog's attention. You'll be happy to learn that Tibetan Spaniels are pretty easy to house train and it is recommended that you crate train your dog.
Tibetan Spaniels are known to be vocal, alerting you to a stranger's presence. With patience and consistency, it is possible to train them to stop barking once they've alerted you to the possible threat.
Tibetan Spaniel History
Tibetan Spaniels were bred by Buddhist monks to resemble little lions, which are symbolic of Buddha. Like their cousins the Lhasa Apsos, they served as alarm dogs in Tibetan monasteries. Tibetan Spaniels were highly valued and often presented as gifts to great nobles or rulers. The many exchanges of dogs between Tibet and China mean that the Tibetan Spaniel likely shares a common ancestry with breeds such as thePekingese, theJapanese Chin, and theShih Tzu.
British travelers and missionaries brought some of the dogs to the West in the late 19th century and early 20th century. They include Mrs. McLaren Morris, who brought the first Tibetan Spaniel to England; Sir Edward and Lady Wakefield, who bred several litters; and Colonel and Mrs. Hawkins, who brought a pair of the Wakefields' dogs to England in 1941. Agnes R. H. Greig, who is also associated with theTibetan Terrier, sent several to her mother in Britain, but only one from the breeding program survived World War II.
The dogs didn't get much attention in the United States until the 1960s when a litter was bred from a pair imported from Tibet. Trinity Lutheran Church sexton Leo Kearns is credited with popularizing the dogs after his litter was snatched up by his parishioners in New Haven, Conn. He imported more Tibetan Spaniels from Britain, and others became interested in the dogs. The Tibetan Spaniel Club of America was formed in 1971, and the American Kennel Club recognized the breed in 1984. Tibbies rank 104th among the dogs registered by the AKC.