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Tibetan Spaniel  Information


Description of the Tibetan Spaniel Breed

Tibetan spaniels are small dogs weighing between nine and fifteen pounds and standing up to ten inches high.  They are shorter than they are long, with a small, slightly rounded head, blunt, short, strong muzzle and a small overbite.  Their nose is black and their dark brown oval eyes are expressive.  Curled over the Tibetan spaniels back is a plumed tail and feathering on the back of its legs and ears.  Their medium length double coat is flat, silky, and soft, with a longer mane.  The Tibetan spaniels coat can be solid, shaded or colored and come in a variety of shades of black, white, red, fawn, cream, gold, and black and tan.   

Temperament of the Tibetan Spaniel

The Tibetan spaniel is a very independent, perky, trusting, smart little dog that, while aloof with people they do not know, are loving, protective and sweet with family members.  Tibetan spaniels are not a yappy dog but they do make very good watchdogs, as they will bark at anything unusual including intruders and strangers.  Some are little willful and stubborn at times and a little difficult to train but they are a wonderful family member that loves to play and climb. 

Grooming & Shedding for a Tibetan Spaniel

Their beautiful silky, long coat requires regular grooming to keep it looking healthy and keep it from matting.  Although the Tibetan spaniel is an average shedder, their coat does shed in clumps once a year.  Comb and brush them two or three times a week and give the Tibetan spaniel a bath when needed.  Keep the hair trimmed on its feet between the pads.  Additional maintenance includes cleaning its teeth, ears, and trimming the nails.  Because the Tibetan spaniels coat comes out in clumps once a year, they require extra brushing and combing during this time.    

History of the Tibetan Spaniel Breed

Originating in Tibet, many believe the Tibetan spaniel has the blood of the Japanese spaniel or chin, the pug, and the Pekingese running through its veins.  Buddhist monks bred the Tibetan spaniel and considered them a sacred religious symbol.  Sitting atop the wall in monasteries, these dogs worked as watch dogs by alerting the monks when wolves or strangers approached.  It was not until the 1890s that Tibetan spaniels first appeared in England and breeding did not start until the nineteen twenties by the Griegs.  In the 1960s, the Tibetan spaniel arrived in the United States and then recognized in 1984 by the American Kennel Club.

Health Issues for the Tibetan Spaniel

  • Major Concerns: none
  • Minor Concerns: patellar luxation
  • Occasionally seen: progressive retinal atrophy (PRA)
  • Suggested tests: knee, eye


Characteristics of the Tibetan Spaniel


10 inches (51cm)


9-15 pounds (4.1-6.8 kg)


12-14 years







Young Children


Need exercise space

No –regular walking is required

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