Is the Tibetan Spaniel the Right Dog Breed for You?

by PetCloud / Breed Search / 13 Jul 2020

Tibetan Spaniel

A revered watchdog and loyal companion, the Tibetan Spaniel is a keenly alert and affectionate dog that hails from the mountains of Tibet. As popular Tibetan offerings to foreign dignitaries like ambassadors, the Tibetan Spaniel has now charmed its way to Australia. Learn all you need to know about this Asian dog breed here. 


Breed Snapshot: 

  • Size: Weight: 4.1-6.8 kg. Height: 25cm
  • Coat: Silky double coat that comes in a wide range of shades including cream, tan, red, fawn, and black.
  • Energy: Medium energy. They require about 30 minutes of exercise per day.
  • Lifespan: 13-16 years
  • Country of Origin: Tibet / China
  • Breed Type: Spaniel
  • Other Names: Tibby, Tibbies
  • Great Breed for: Apartment dwellers, families, homes with multiple dogs 


What Is a Tibetan Spaniel?

The Tibetan Spaniel breed shares a common ancestry with the Pekingese of China and the Japanese Chin of Japan. It was bred in Tibet--specifically in Buddhist monasteries where they were trained to keep watch and alert the lamas or monks of any visitors or intruders. An ancient breed with a somewhat lion-like appearance, the dogs became revered for their watchdog prowess and companionable personalities. 

Today, Tibetan Spaniels are somewhat rare to find around the globe, but they are increasingly in demand for their friendly temperament and intelligence. With their families, these dogs tend to be playful and affectionate but are reasonably cautious around strangers.  


What Do Tibetan Spaniels Look Like?

As mentioned, Tibetan Spaniels feature a lion-like appearance owing to their slightly pushed in nose and mane-like coat that comes in a wide range of colors. These dogs feature a domed head, compact build, and wide-set oval eyes. It sports V-shaped feathered ears and a high-set feathered tail. Handsome and relatively agile, these are small but have big personalities. 


What Makes the Tibetan Spaniel Special?

The Tibetan Spaniel is an excellent companion dog as it does not care to be alone for too long and enjoys life with its family. When properly socialized this dog enjoys life in homes with other dogs. Because it can be a bit rambunctious, it tends to do better in homes with older children. Since the Tibetan Spaniel does not need a lot of exercise, it is a good breed choice for apartment living. Although it isn't known for its excessive barking, it will provide watchdog duties and is quick to alert its owners if something is amiss. 


How Often Do I Need to Groom My Tibetan Spaniel?

The Tibetan Spaniel sheds a few times a year, so it's important to brush its hair every other day to remove loose hairs and prevent any matting from occurring. Bathing may be required every 6 to 8 weeks--more or less depending on their needs. Don't neglect their dental care and be sure to trim their nails on a monthly basis. 


How Often Should I Walk My Tibetan Spaniel Dog?

This companion breed enjoys playing outdoors so long as its owner is around. It does not require a lot of exercise though. It should have at least 30 minutes of daily exercise. A couple short walks or time in the backyard should suffice.  


How Do I Train Tibetan Spaniel?

Tibetan Spaniels can be slightly stubborn so it's important to begin training right away using positive reinforcement techniques. Pet Cloud features dog training classes in blocks of six-week, one-hour sessions with registered trainers. An experienced trainer will visit your house or apartment and use positive reinforcement techniques as recommended by the RSPCA to teach your Tibetan Spaniel puppy.  


Quickfire Tibetan Spaniel Questions: 

Can I leave my Tibetan Spaniel alone during the day?


Tibetan Spaniels are somewhat dependent. Ideally, they are happiest when someone is home with them. On the other hand, they can be trained and helped to grow accustomed to their owner's absence during the day, but it may take some time and practice. Discuss this with your trainer if you work long hours away from home. 


Are Tibetan Spaniels barkers?

Tibetan Spaniels may be prone to excessive barking, especially if they're nervous and left alone for long periods. Their natural watchdog capabilities mean they're frequently on the alert. When they find something to sound the alarm over--and they frequently do--they will vocalize their dismay. 


Are Tibetan Spaniels prone to health risks I should know about?

Like many breeds today, the Tibetan Spaniel is prone to some health conditions. These include progressive renal atrophy and patellar luxation. The best way to reduce the chances of obtaining a dog in poor health is to contact reputable breeders who do not engage in over breeding practices that heighten the risk for health problems. 


Where can I get a Tibetan Spaniel Dog?

If you're open to rescuing and adopting a Tibetan Spaniel dog, check with your local rescue agencies. You may be able to find a dog who simply needs the right living situation and companion. With the right setting and owners, this breed is likely to thrive. Check out the RSPCA's adoption guide to see if this is the ideal solution for you. If you want to purchase your Tibetan Spaniel from a reputable breeder, be sure to use this guide for finding the right breeder from the RSPCA. 



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