Tibetan Spaniel Dog Breed Information - All About Dogs

Tibetan Spaniel

Tibetan Spaniel



The Tibetan Spaniel (also referred to as Tibbie) is an ancient breed, which was bred in the Himalayas over 2,000 years ago. For many years, Tibetan Spaniels have been living only in local Buddhist monasteries. These dogs were given as gifts to royal families and other notables. In monasteries, the Tibetan Spaniel played the role of an observer. His job was to warn about the monks if anyone approached the monastery. The Tibetan Spaniel was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1983.

Height: 9-10 inches  Weight: 9-15 pounds  Lifespan: 12-15 years


The Tibetan Spaniel is a very rare, primitive breed. This little dog is very active and agile. Because of his original appearance and exotic Oriental charm, the Tibbie was said to resemble a little lion. Tibetan Spaniels are great companion dogs. Comparable Breeds: The Pekingese and Japanese Chin.


The Tibetan Spaniel is a very smart dog, deeply devoted to his family. This breed usually enjoys interacting with people and is very sensitive to human moods. Tibetan Spaniels get along well with teenagers and other pets. However, these dogs do not like strangers, and they have a tendency to show aggression towards them. The Tibbie is usually an alert watchdog, and he will immediately warn the owner of possible danger.

Coat / Care:

The Tibetan Spaniel has a two-layered coat. The outer layer is soft, silky and medium in length. The inner layer is thick and soft, protecting the dog from very low and very high temperatures. The hair on the tail, ears and rear surface of the legs is longer than the other parts of the body. Also, the Tibbie is adorned with a luxurious collar on the neck. Tibetan Spaniels vary on color, from white to black (pale yellow, cream, red, gold and black and tan). These dogs shed twice a year, and they only change the undercoat. This breed must be brushed at least once a week, paying special attention to the ears, which often form mats. It is recommended to periodically bathe a Tibetan Spaniel. It is very important to use a mild shampoo, that will wash away all the dirt but will not dry up the dog’s skin.

Health Problems:

The Tibetan Spaniel is generally healthy dog breed, but like all breeds, they can be prone to allergies, patellar luxation, hip dysplasia, various eye diseases. Additionally, this breed is intolerant to anesthesia. The Tibetan Spaniel has a life expectancy of 12 to 15 years.

Weight / Height

The male Tibetan Spaniel dog breed’s height is around 9 – 10 inches and weighs around 9 and 15 pounds. Female Tibetan Spaniel dogs can reach a size from 9 – 10 inches and weighs between 9 and 15 pounds.


Tibetan Spaniels are very intelligent, yet independent and stubborn. These dogs think they know best and are not very fond of rules and discipline. The Tibetan Spaniel is always eager to please his master’s wishes and so will try for the attention of the owner. This dog breed needs early socialization. Since the Tibbie is very sensitive, he should be treated with patience and love. Moreover, Tibetan Spaniels are stimulated by positive reinforcement, especially food reward and play.


Tibetan Spaniels love to play outdoors. These dogs need daily walks and runs to stay healthy and fit. The Tibbie can bear living in an apartment, provided that he exercises sufficiently. Still, this breed feels best in a small, fenced yard. The Tibetan Spaniel should not be left alone for long because he tends to behave destructively. Make sure to keep your dog leashed.

Photo credit: Eva Bartáková/Flickr

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