Holy cow — er, dog! Like their furry relatives, Lhasa Apsos, Tibetan Spaniels got their start guarding Buddhist monasteries. These lion-faced sentries perched themselves atop monastery walls and barked as strangers or predators approached. “Tibbies,” as they're known to their fans, also walked on small treadmills to turn prayer wheels. More than watchdogs, the Tibetan Spaniels were active parts of the monks' daily practice.
These days, most Tibbies act as canine companions to their beloved people. Some also work as therapy dogs.
Originally from Tibet, this small-sized and medium-energy breed can grow to between 9-15 pounds and lives an average of 12-15 years. The breed is recognized by the American Kennel Club and classified as a member of the Non-Sporting group.
|Breed's original pastime||Companion|
|Average lifespan||12-15 years|
|Date of origin||Ancient times|
|Original function||Ratting, companion|
|Average size of male||Height: 10 Weight: 9-15|
|Average size of female||Height: 10 Weight: 9-15|
|Energy level||Medium energy|
|Affection level||Moderately affectionate|
|Friendliness toward other dogs||Very Friendly|
|Friendliness toward other pets||Very Friendly|
|Friendliness toward strangers||Shy|
|Ease of training||Moderately easy to train|
|Protection ability||Moderately protective|
|Grooming needs||Moderate maintenance|
|Cold tolerance||Medium tolerance|
|Heat tolerance||Low tolerance|
BEHAVIOR & TRAINING
WHAT IS A TIBETAN SPANIEL'S PERSONALITY?
Tibetan Spaniels are confident, playful, and loving little dogs. This breed bonds closely with their chosen people. While most are suspicious of strangers — after all, they were bred as guard dogs — Tibbies usually get along fairly well with other dogs.
WHAT IS TIBETAN SPANIEL BEHAVIOR LIKE?
This is a very active breed, full of curiosity and friskiness. For small dogs, however, Tibetan Spaniel are not especially bark-y. They're alert, quick, and determined. They won't need to walk for hours every day, but they'll appreciate the physical and mental stimulation of outside walks or romps.
Though most live in private homes instead of monasteries these days, Tibetan Spaniels still like to find a high place from which to survey their domestic domains.
HOW EASY IS IT TO TRAIN A TIBETAN SPANIEL?
Bright and biddable, the Tibetan Spaniel responds well to training. Be patient and consistent, and reward good behaviors with treats, praise, and play.
This smarty-paws definitely knows her own mind, however. Because her recall is not reliable, she's not a great candidate for off-leash play outside a well-fenced area.
CARE & HEALTH
HOW MUCH DO TIBETAN SPANIELS SHED AND WHAT ARE THEIR GROOMING NEEDS?
Tibetan Spaniels are seasonal shedders who require occasional grooming. Their double coats are long and silky, and will need weekly brushing to prevent mats and tangles.
WHAT HEALTH PROBLEMS DO TIBETAN SPANIELS HAVE?
As a breed, Tibetan Spaniels are generally healthy. Some are susceptible to slipping kneecaps or eye disease.