Basics of Dog Breed: Tibetan spaniel

Posted on January 05 2019

Basics of Dog Breed: Tibetan spaniel

The Tibetan Spaniel is a small dog, but of well proportioned construction. Its proud appearance and its harmonious silhouette give it a very appreciated elegance.

Race history

If attributed to Great Britain, the race of the Tibetan Spaniel has its origins, as its name indicates, in the mountainous regions of Tibet. The ancestors of the Tibetan Spaniel appeared 2 millennia ago , along with Lhasa Apso , Shih Tzu and Pekingese, among others. This dog has long accompanied the Buddhist monks in their temples, warning their masters and their defense counterparts (mainly Tibetan Mastiffs ) of the slightest intrusion.

Although he is called a spaniel, he has neither the qualities nor the heritage of a hunting dog. He has always served as a pet dog and alert. The first representatives of the breed to be brought to England arrived at the end of the 19th century . In the United States, Tibetan Spaniels began to be adopted in the 1960s, and the national breed club was founded in 1971. 13 years later, it was recognized by the American Kennel Club. In the meantime, on August 22, 1961, it is the International Cynological Federation (FCI) that grants it its definitive.

Physical characteristics

Its hair: silky, lying down, flat, of medium length, shorter on the face and the anterior part of the limbs. Presence of fringes on the posterior part of the forelegs. The hair and the mane are less provided in the female.
Its color: all colors, shades and combinations are allowed.
Its head: small in relation to the body, the proud port. The skull is slightly domed, of medium width and length. The stop is light, but marked.
Its ears: medium in size, tied high, well trimmed with fringes and dangling.
Its eyes:  oval, dark brown in color, medium size, well spread, directed forward, expressive and vivacious.
Its body: writable in a rectangle, the length being slightly greater than the height at the withers. The neck is moderately short, strong, covered with a mane (more pronounced in the male than in the female). The back is straight and the ribs are well bent.
Its tail: high attachment, carried gaily, forming a loop on the back when the dog is in action and trimmed with abundant hair.

Behavior with others

The Tibetan Spaniel is a dog full of confidence and very intelligent . Active and awake , he shares his joie de vivre with family members, to whom he shows great loyalty, but while maintaining a certain independence. Naturally reserved for foreigners , he is a pretty good warning dog, warning his masters of any suspicious intrusion.


The education and socialization of the Tibetan Spaniel must be started at an early age. He needs as much firmness as play to learn the basic orders, to become familiar with the rules and to understand the limits not to be crossed.

Living conditions

The Tibetan Spaniel is an indoor dog that adapts perfectly to a city ​​lifestyle , apartment. The possibility of enjoying a fenced garden suits him as well, but he must always be able to benefit from a shelter in the face of bad weather conditions.


The Tibetan Spaniel is a rustic dog with good health. However, the breed is predisposed to a number of diseases, including the risk of patellar uplift, generalized retinal atrophy, urinary stones, and persistence of the pupillary membrane.

Maintenance and hygiene

The Tibetan Spaniel remains subject to 2 seasonal moults per year. During the latter, it is likely to lose hair abundantly. Apart from molting, its maintenance is not very restrictive, but it must be done regularly.

It is recommended to brush the dog once a week outside moulting periods and daily during moults. Particular attention should be paid to the level of  hygiene inside the hanging ears to prevent possible infections. A bath  can be given every 3 or 4 months , but it does not need to be mowed.

Physical activity

If the Tibetan Spaniel is not a particularly sporty dog, he nevertheless needs to enjoy daily walks for his physical, psychic and emotional balance.

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