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Tibetan Spaniel


Tibetan SpanielTibetan Spaniel


General Description:



Nine to fifteen pounds, approximately 10 inches at the shoulder.



Majority are a sable color, ranging from light/dark blonde to red. Sable refers to an overlay of black which can occur throughout the dogs coat or only on portions of the dog such as shoulders, tips of ears and tail. Many other colors are available but alittle rarer to find: all black, black and tan, red, and parti-color. All are acceptable colors.


Energy Level:

Breed is happy to go for a mile walk with you or lay on the couch and read a book with you. However, their energy level is directly related to how much curiosity is at work. They are very bright and curious so investigate everything. Minimal space is required for exercise but they do enjoy a nice walk daily or a fast run around the yard.


Life expectancy:

15-16 years.



Not recommended for children under 2 due to the dogs small size and potential for injury to the dog. Also, even a small dog will protect itself if a small child is hurting it. Recommend if small children (under the age of 5) are in household, adult supervision is required at all times. Especially good companion for older children and older adults.


Other animals:

Generally gets along well with all other animals including cats. However, the majority of Tibetan Spaniels are quite fearless and due to this attitude, are not afraid of large animals and they may be injured by playing with large breeds. Extreme caution should be used in adding this to a family situation where there is a large breed of dog.



High percentage of Tibbies are successful at agility or therapy work.



Normal amount of shedding which goes on all year rather than peaking at specific periods of time, a thorough weekly brushing with a bath every couple of months will control this fairly well. No professional grooming (clipping or stripping) is required since the natural coat is desirable.



The Tibetan Spaniel is a relatively healthy breed with only one documented hereditary problem (Premature Retinal Atrophy) PRA and this condition has not occurred at a high rate in the United States population. However, the breeder should be able to provide copies of eye exams on the parents. Additionally, there can be back and knee problems if as a puppy and adult they are left unsupervised and allowed to jump from furniture backs, stairs, etc. Which they will do, much like a cat would, if not discouraged by the owner.


Best with:

Those who appreciate an independent personality and quick thinking companion. People who like cats (many behaviors are catlike), are willing to provide the time for a close personal relationship with a dog, will consistently maintain control of the dog outside the home or have a dog proof fenced yard and are willing to be "ruled" by a Tibbie.


Not for:

Those who don't appreciate self-thinkers, or expect a dog to always do as it's told. Although there are a number that have done well in obedience they are generally too independent by nature. Although independent, they bond closely with their family thus this breed doesn't do well if separated from it's family such as frequent kenneling/boarding or extended periods of being left alone.



Bright and inquisitive, affectionate, low maintenance in relation to coat care, housebreaks fairly quickly, small enough to travel with easily. Typically owners will refer to them as "big dogs in a small body" since they are quite sturdy and not prone to be nervous like some small dogs. Not what you would call "yappy" dogs but they do "alert" you by barking like a guard dog would.



Cannot be trusted off lead for a number of reasons. First they are not afraid of anything so will approach things that are dangerous, such as large animals or machinery. Second, they are contrary about coming to you when you call and most will play " you can't catch me" if given half a chance. A high percentage of them are serious escape artists and can escape through a very small opening. Generally not diggers but can both dig and climb if things look interesting on the other side of the fence.


Further Information:

Breed Details

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