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Tibetan Spaniel

 

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.

 

AKC RecognizedY
Breed's original pastimeCompanion
OriginTibet
Breed groupNon-Sporting
Average lifespan12-15 years
SizeSmall
Bark factorModerate
AKC Ranking106
FamilyScenthound, pointer
Date of originAncient times
Original function Ratting, companion
Today's functionCompanion
Average size of maleHeight: 10 Weight: 9-15
Average size of femaleHeight: 10 Weight: 9-15

 

Other nameNone
Energy level Medium energy
Exercise needs Low
Playfullness Moderately playful
Affection level Moderately affectionate
Friendliness toward other dogs Very Friendly
Friendliness toward other pets Very Friendly
Friendliness toward strangersShy
Ease of training Moderately easy to train
Watchdog ability High
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.

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