Tibetan Spaniel was bred on the walls of Tibetan monasteries. Known for its silky coat and “lion’s mane”, it is often compared to a cat.
Due to the independent nature and extraordinary agility, the Tibetan spaniel is often compared to a cat. It is not unusual to find him sitting on the back of a sofa, chair or another high place, closely watching the surroundings. The Tibetan Spaniel must have a perfect view of what is happening nearby. However, don’t be fooled by its small size. Although only about 25 centimeters high, the alert Tibetan spaniel – affectionately also called Tibbie – will always gladly stand guard to alert its guardian of an intruder near the house. In appearance, however, it does not resemble a typical spaniel, such as a cocker or cavalier, but it’s closer to a pekingese.
He has a strong bond with his household members. When he doesn’t watch over his family, he becomes an ideal and friendly companion. There is nothing better for him than lounging on his master’s lap or sleeping in bed with him – he will want to be as close to the man as possible. He doesn’t like long separation from his guardian. In dealing with strangers, he is restrained and approaches them with undisguised reserve until … he knows them closer.
The Tibetan Spaniel is an intelligent dog that can be taught a lot, but only with the right approach, praise and good treats. However, he is also stubborn and sensitive – he hates the raised tone of voice. Tibbie has good contact with children and other animals. It is important, however, that the little dog should be socialized from an early age.
The Tibetan Spaniel does not like to be bored. It may then exhibit destructive behavior, such as excessive barking. This is not a typical volcano of energy, but he loves being out as often as possible. He will gladly accompany his guardian during long walks, especially if they are interesting for him, filled with fun.
The Tibetan Spaniel is alert – always ready to alert the guardian of an impending intruder whom he can spot from a long distance. He is a great guardian of the family, and thanks to his agility and climbing skills, he will try to find the highest place to sit to observe the surroundings. After all, it is not without reason that he is said to have something from a cat. Tibbie is not only a smart dog, but also a smart dog who will do anything to get what he wants.
Training and education
You should start training and socializing a Tibetan spaniel the very day you bring him home. Do not wait until the puppy is 6 months old, because a sweet toddler can grow into a manipulative stubborn animal that you will have problems with. In turn, further training with a dog, which was not required from a small thing, will be a challenge. Also, do not think that with such a small size of the Tibetan spaniel you can skip the study of basic obedience.
Tibbie is an intelligent dog who learns new things quickly. It is more likely to participate in training if it is conducted in the form of fun. In raising a Tibetan spaniel, be gentle as well as firm. The dog of this breed is sensitive by nature. That is why it tolerates the harsh tone badly, but it responds very well to trainings conducted with positive methods. It is also better to acquire knowledge if it has several short training sessions during the day, rather than one long one. Due to the fact that Tibbie is very attached to the household, you need to teach him to stay alone at home from the very beginning. Otherwise, he may develop separation anxiety.
Early socialization is a must for this breed of dog. For a Tibetan spaniel to become a sociable, confident and balanced dog, it must meet new places, people and other animals from puppy age. If he is brought up with a cat, he will live in harmony with him. Tibbie, however, will not hesitate to chase the cat he will meet on a walk – he will just do it. As a precaution, be careful when there are smaller animals near the spaniel.
Who is this race for?
The Tibetan Spaniel is a perfect dog for people who like walking. With short paws and a fairly flat mouth, he is not a dream jogging companion. Tibbie is a good choice for seniors, singles, and families where children are a bit older and know how to deal with a small dog. It will easily fit in both a small apartment and a house with a garden.
Although you do not have to have a lot of experience in raising dogs, when choosing this breed, you should clearly establish the rules of living together with the animal. In addition, in caring for tibbie, you need to show not only firmness and consistency, but also – or perhaps above all – tenderness, so as not to offend this sensitive stubborn.
Advantages and disadvantages
Tibetan spaniel – what is it like? Learn its pros and cons!
he can be independent and stubborn, so he can cause problems during training
barks a lot
requires a lot of attention
he can easily be offended
loyal, loving and funny
does not require a lot of traffic
good choice for the first dog
easily adapts to different conditions
friendly towards children
Tibetan spaniels are widely recognized as a healthy breed. However, they have a predisposition to inherit certain diseases. Some dogs may be prone to progressive retinal atrophy and cherry eye (prolapse of the third eyelid gland). Some Tibetan spaniels may also have allergies or patellar dislocation.
The diet of a Tibetan spaniel – like any dog - should consist of high-quality food. Nutrition should be adapted to the age of the animal as well as its activity. Treats are a must-have element in tibbie training. However, you can not overdo it with their number, because due to the small size of the dog, they can quickly lead to obesity. In addition, the Tibetan spaniel is not a very active dog, so you need to be careful about what you eat and do not overfeed it.
Although the long coat of the Tibetan spaniel requires regular care, it is not that demanding. It’s enough to brush it properly twice a week. It is worth spending more time behind the ears that tend to tarnish. Tibbie hair does not require trimming, except for the hair between the toes. The Tibetan Spaniel molts twice a year – during this time it should be brushed often, even daily.
When it comes to caring for a Tibetan spaniel, you should also remember to trim your claws (when necessary), regularly check the condition of your teeth and ears.
For combing a Tibetan spaniel, it’s best to use a hard and natural bristle brush. You will need a long rope for walks. As for toys, all that are suitable for small dogs will work.
Tibetan spaniels were bred by Buddhist monks because they resembled little lions, which are a symbol of Buddha. Like their lhasa apso cousins, they served as guardians in the monasteries and were to protect against looting. Tibetan spaniels were highly valued and were often given to aristocrats or rulers. Such exchanges between Tibet and China meant that this breed probably has a common origin with Pekingese, Japanese China and shih tzu.
British travelers and missionaries brought several dogs of this breed to the West at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. The first Tibetan spaniel brought to England Mrs. McLaren Morris. Agnes RH Greig, who is associated with Tibetan terriers, brought several Tibetan spaniels to her mother in Britain, but only one of the dogs from her breeding program survived World War II.
Dogs of this breed were not given much attention in the United States – until the 1960s, when the litter was bred from a pair imported from Tibet. Church breeders from the Lutheran church are responsible for the popularization of the breed – tibbie puppies he bred to him were distributed among parishioners in New Haven, Connecticut. He was importing a few more spaniels from Great Britain and more and more people became interested in this breed. The American Tibetan Spaniel Club was created in 1971, and the American Kennel Club recognized the breed in 1983.
Tibetan Spaniel – Group IX FCI, Section 5, Model No. 231
Country of origin: Tibet
Size: approx. 25 cm
Coat: delicate and dense undercoat, smooth and silky ground coat, abundant feathers on the ears and back of the forelegs, tail covered with longer hair
Ointment: all colors are allowed
Maturity: approx. 12 months
Lifespan: 12-15 years
Weather resistance: moderate
The ancestors of the Tibetan spaniel lived in monasteries with Buddhist monks. They were called “little lions” there. Due to the fact that lions in Buddhism were considered sacred, it gave these dogs incredible prestige. An important task of the Tibetan spaniels was to observe the surroundings of the monasteries. They sat at the top of the monastery walls and barked as soon as the intruder approached. As Tibetan spaniel began to gain respect, dogs of this breed were increasingly sent to Chinese palaces and other Buddhist countries as a gift.
The Tibetan Spaniel is one of the three national Tibetan breeds, belonging to the group of “sandwiches” (along with lasha apso and Tibetan terrier). Tibbie has no common ancestors with traditional breeds of spaniels, most of which have been bred as hunting dogs. The misleading term – in this case the spaniel – comes from the French word epagnuel, which in the Middle Ages referred to a companion dog.
Tibetan spaniel appears in ancient Eastern art dated 1100 BC. This means that the breed is at least 3000 years old.