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Tibetan Spaniel

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Physical Characteristics


Breed Group:

Non-sporting/Toy/Companion Dogs


9 – 15 pounds


Around 10 inches


Tibetan Spaniel comes in all shades, including solid colors and combinations of colors.


The Tibetan Spaniel has medium length double coat and a plumed tail. Regular combing of the long featherings and occasional brushing are sufficient to maintain a healthy coat.



The Tibetan Spaniel is not a true spaniel, since spaniels are by nature gun dogs. Tibetan Spaniels came from peaceful Tibetan monasteries, and as a result they have retained the calm and reserved nature of their ancestors. Not a boisterous breed like some other toy breeds, the Tibetan Spaniel can be a great single person’s companion or a family pet. Despite the small size, Tibetan Spaniels have a mind of their own and are full of personalities.

Country of Origin:



In their native land, Tibetan Spaniels were watchdogs of the monastery, where they calmly perched on the rooftop to keep an eye on intruders. They were cherished by their Lama masters, and were sent as gifts to other monasteries and Buddhist countries. They were being bred in England as early as the 1890s, and the first Tibetan Spaniels in America were imported in the 1960s. Because of their recent introduction into the western world, they remain a relatively rare breed.


Tibetan Spaniels are often given the nickname “tibbies.”


Tibetan Spaniels are intelligent, cheerful, but very independent. Because of their ancestry as watchdogs, they are aloof around strangers. They have rather cat-like mannerisms, and while they do understand their owners’ commands they often choose not to come when they are called. However, they do enjoy human companionship and thrive on love and attention.



Tibetan Spaniels are easy to housebreak, and they can be easily taught the basic rules of the house. However, because of their independent and willful nature, Tibetan Spaniels may not perform well in obedience training. They are also very sensitive to their owners’ moods, so harsh treatments and disciplining should be avoided.


Tibetan Spaniels only need small amount of exercise. Brisk walks twice a day, plus some play sessions, are all they need to stay healthy. They can get bored and become destructive, which can be prevented by providing them with plenty of toys.


Tibetan Spaniels are intelligent little dogs that can provide excellent companionship. They are generally quiet and well-behaved, and therefore are well-suited as apartment pets. They do shed or “blow” their undercoat at least once a year, during which the coat needs to be maintained more frequently.


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