Featured Breed : Tibetan Spaniel
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Tibetan Spaniel

Life Span: 12 to 15 years

Litter Size: 3 to 6

Country of Origin: Tibet

Size: The Tibetan Spaniels are small, well-balanced dogs measuring about 10 inches at the shoulder. They weigh between 9 and 15 pounds and are alert and intelligent.

Coat: The Tibetan Spaniel has a very silky double coat, and it is very smooth on their face and the front of the legs. They have a very long coat on their body. The ears, tail, and the backs of their forelegs have an even longer hair. A long mane surrounds the neck. The coat can be of any color or a variety of colors.

Character: The Tibbies can be very affectionate with their family and aloof toward strangers due to their heritage. They bark a lot to ensure that their family is being warned. But their aloofness usually doesn’t end up in being aggressive. They can also sense people’s moods and feelings. Although intelligent, they can be independent thinkers and would “disobey” your command. Early socialization and “pack leader” mentality should be establish so that they will grow and mature to be a well-rounded dog.

Appearance: The Tibetan Spaniels have a double coat with lots of colors and mixtures. The soft undercoat is used for warming them, and the long, silky outer coat, which just lies flat. They have feathered ears that are set high on their heads, a richly plumped tail that conveniently rolls back, and their eyes are dark brown. A typical mature Tibbie may reach up to 10 inches tall at the shoulders, and they could weigh approximately 9 to 15 pounds.

History: The Tibetan Spaniel, also known as “Tibbies” were originally bred from the Himalayan mountains of Tibet some 2,000 years ago. Bred to be as monastery dogs, they are loyally trailed behind their Lama Masters, who regard them as “Little Lions” due to the breed’s resemblance with the Chinese guardian lions. Before 1908, it was common practice for different monasteries to send dogs as gifts. As a result, the Tibetan Spaniel could likely have a common ancestry with other Oriental breeds such as the Japanese Chin and Pekingese.
By 1890s, the Tibbies reached the European continent and were being bread in the UK. The first Tibbies in the US came from a litter born out of two imported dogs from a Tibetan monastery in 1965. The Tibetan Spaniel was officially registered by the American Kennel Club to compete as a Non-Sporting breed effective January 1, 1984.


Health Issues: This breed is well known to live longer than the average dog breed. But with poor nutrition, and inactive lifestyle, they could contract some diseases such as allergies, dysplasia, portosystemic shunt, and progressive nephropathy. As they mature, they also get diseases similar to humans.

Temperament: One of the best features of the Tibetan Spaniel is their keen sight makes them an excellent watchdogs, barking to warn intruders and alert the family. The Tibbies will bark non-stop when being approached by strangers. They could also be stubborn at times. Ensure that the “pack leader” mentality has been established to prevent the dog’s ego from increasing.

Care: If you are planning to adopt a Tibetan Spaniel, you may need to prepare yourself. This breed is not a matter to be treated lightly. This dog will be your companion for life if you treat them well and with respect they deserve. The Tibbies are very active small dogs and happy dogs. When caring for this excellent breed, they should have plenty of exercises and be given the right diet.

Training: Due to the intelligent and aristocratic in nature, the Tibbies are sometimes difficult to train. To be able to train them with ease, they should be exposed to it early in their lives. The “pack leader” mentality should be establish with the dog owner at the top. Training a dog with a “pack leader” mentality in mind is sometimes futile. When training, use positive reinforcement such us giving them doggie treats is always a good idea. Keep the sessions short and vary the activities to keep them interest.

Activity: Although the Tibetan Spaniel does not require extensive activities to maintain their health, they should get the minimum in order for them to be happy. Walking them would be sufficient enough, but playing with them not only provides them the exercise they need, it also keeps them happy. The Tibbies prefer companionship, and playtime for them should be interactive.

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