The Tibetan Spaniel is independent, bold, and stubborn, but is also sensitive and biddable. He has a happy attitude, enjoying games and outings with his family. He also enjoys snoozes next to his special person. He is an exceptionally enjoyable and fastidious house dog. He is amiable with other dogs and animals, but reserved with strangers.
Tibetan Spaniel Dog Care
The Tibbie's exercise needs are minimal, but daily. His needs can be met by games inside the house or yard, or with a short walk on leash. This breed is suited for apartment life and should not live outside. His coat needs brushing and combing twice weekly.
Tibetan Spaniel Dog Health
Major concerns: none
Minor concerns: patellar luxation
Occasionally seen: PRA
Suggested tests: knee, eye
Life span: 12-15 years
Interested in the history of the Tibetan Spaniel dog breed?
The Tibetan Spaniel's history is interwoven with the Buddhist beliefs of Tibet. The Lamaist form of Buddhism regarded the lion as an important symbol, as it was said to follow Buddha like a dog. The little lionlike dogs that followed their Lama masters were regarded as symbols of the sacred lion and were thus highly valued. The Chinese also cultivated a lion dog, the Pekingese, and dogs from each country were often presented between countries, encouraging some interbreeding between the Tibetan and Chinese dogs. Although breeding occurred in the villages, the best breedings were products of the monasteries, which usually bred only the smallest specimens. The little dogs served more than a decorative purpose; they perched on the monastery walls and sounded the alarm when strangers or wolves approached. They also served as prayer dogs, turning the prayer wheels by means of small treadmills. Although the first Tibby came to England in the late 1800s, no concerted breeding program was attempted until the 1920s, when the Griegs (known for promoting the Tibetan Spaniel) obtained several specimens. Only one of their dogs, Skyid, survived World War II, but his descendents can be found in modern pedigrees. The start of most Western Tibbies dates from around 1940, when several dogs came to England by way of an English couple living in Sikkim. It wasn't until the 1960s that the breed came to America, and only in 1984 did it receive AKC recognition. This sacred dog has been slow to garner fanciers, but is worshiped by those who have adopted him.