Tibetan Spaniel

The Tibetan Spaniel is a small lapdog which comes from Tibet, more specifically the Himalayan mountain region. They have a similar descent to the Pug, Lhasa Apso, Shih Tzu, Pekingese and the Japanese Chin. Although the breed is called a spaniel it is actually not properly classed as a spaniel as it is not a gun dog. It may be that this name came about because the dog tends to resemble the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.


This breed reaches a height of 22 cm and normally has a weight of between 4 kg and 7 kg. This breed has a head which is domed and small compared to the rest of the body. It has a short muzzle and the teeth normally have an undershot or a level bite. The nose is always black on this breed. This breed has a relatively skin free eye which differentiates it markedly from the Pekingese. The ears tend to droop downward and have hair on them. The Tibetan's coat has two layers as would be expected of a breed which comes from the cold mountains. The breed comes in many different shades and can either be solid coloured or multi coloured.


This breed is very active and smart. They are independent and can act on their own. Even going so far as to do tricks such as opening of doors. They do feel a need to please their master. They tend to need good training as otherwise they can be strong willed and will not necessarily come when asked. They do tend to bark if they see a stranger so this makes them pretty good watchdogs. Although these dogs can be happy in a household with children it is important that the play time with the children be supervised as even though this is a small do it can still bite.

Grooming and care

This dogs love to play games and burn energy that way, so do need regularly moderate exercise outside, they don't need too much exercise though, and they can thrive in an apartment. It is a potentially good dog for someone who is older and cannot cope with the higher exercise demands of older breeds. Regularly grooming with this dog is a must with its long coat it needs a good brushing to stop getting tangled up.


This breed lives between 12 to 15 years. The two major issues which occur with higher incidence in this breed are progressive retinal atrophy. This is where the dog will effectively become blind, though the dog will be in no pain. There is currently no cure for this, but dogs can generally cope quite well with the blindness. It is possible to spot the early onset of this disease as first the dog will lose its ability to navigate in the dark, the dog will tend to show a marked reluctance to move from light places into dark. This breed can also suffer from a liver shunt, this is where there is an abnormal vessel that lets blood go around the liver rather than through it. This means that the blood will not be being cleaned appropriately. The signs of this disease vary as the size of the shunt can vary, but generally the disease will show when the dog is a puppy and it will fail to grow. Other signs include low weight gain, depression, seizures, vomiting, balance problems as well as other signs. Best to consult with a vet if in doubt.