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Tibetan Spaniel Dog Breed Profile

Tibetan Spaniel

Other Names
Dog Group Kennel Club
Breed Classification
The Tibetan Spaniel is a member of the utility group. They were originally bred to be companions in the monasteries. Today they are still companions and are also seen in the show ring. 
Cost of Ownership
Average Food Cost
£4-7.50 per week
Feeding Requirements
A Tibbie costs around £4.00 per week to feed. 
Other Expenses
The average cost of a puppy is £400 - £500. 
Average Puppy Price
9 - 15 years
The average lifespan of a Tibbie is 13 - 15 years. 
Average Litter Size
The average number of puppies in a litter is 2 - 4. 
General Physical Description
Small, well balanced dogs, slightly longer in body than height at withers. They have a fairly short coat with longer hair on the backs of the legs and a richly plumed tail carried over the back. Males carry slightly more coat than females, both have a mane of longer hair over the shoulders.
Height Min Max
Bitch 25cm (10") 25cm (10")
Dog 25cm (10") 25cm (10")
Weight Min Max
Bitch 4kg (9lbs) 7kg (15lbs)
Dog 4kg (9lbs) 7kg (15lbs)
Size Category
Weight Height Range
Dogs and bitches should measure about 25cms and their ideal weight would be between 4 – 7 kgs. 
The Tibetan Spaniel is a healthy breed, free from serious genetic problems. However, eye testing is recommended as PRA has occurred in the breed.  
Common Ailments
Susceptibility To Illness
This old breed is thought to have originated from the Himalayan Monasteries and villages of Tibet. Their love of sitting high on viewpoints made them excellent guard dogs for these isolated monasteries. Their keen eyesight saw the approach of strangers and they would bark to warn their masters. They were much-loved companions to the monks who would place them under their flowing robes in the winter with both benefiting from the warmth created. The earliest record of the breed in the UK seems to be that of a dog been brought over in 1895 by a sailor returning from the Middle East. This little dog lived until 1908. A few breeders took an interest in the breed over the next few decades but during the first war the breed very nearly became extinct. A present of a Tibbie bitch was made to Lady Wakefield when she was visiting India and, in time, this little bitch was mated to a dog especially brought in from the Tashi-Gong Monastery in Western Tibetan. The puppies born in 1941 from this mating were subsequently brought into England in 1946. The following year a further bitch was brought in and mated to one of the original puppies brought over in 1941 and this was the foundation of the breed in England. In 1959 the number of registered had grown and the Kennel Club gave the breed Challenge Certificate status at 4 Championship Shows, a tremendous achievement! 
An intelligent breed to train as they quickly grasp what is required of them. They can sometimes be obstinate so consistent training is necessary.< 
Show Characteristics
The head should be small in relation to the body and carried proudly. The skull should be slightly domed, of moderate width and length, with a slight but defined stop. The muzzle should be medium in length, blunt with cushioning and free from wrinkles. A black nose is preferred. The oval eyes should be medium sized, dark brown, bright and expressive, set fairly well apart but still looking forward. The rims should be black. The medium-sized ears should be pendant, set fairly high and well-feathered in the adult dog. The bite should be slightly undershot but the teeth and tongue should not show when the mouth is closed. Full dentition is desirable. The neck should be moderately short, strong and well set on and be covered with a mane of longer hair, which should be more pronounced in dogs than in bitches. The front legs should have moderate bone and be slightly bowed but firm at the shoulder. The hindlegs should be well-made and strong with well let down hocks and a moderate turn of stifle. The body should be slightly longer from withers to tail than the height at the withers. The back should be level with a good spring of rib. The feet should be harelike and small and neat with feathering between the toes. Round, cat-feet are undesirable. The tail should be set high, richly plumed and carried in a gay curl over the back when in movement. When standing, it is allowed to be dropped. Movement should be quick, positive free and straight. All colours and mixture of colours are permissible. 
Country Of Origin
Famous Examples
Records Held
Overall Exercise
20 - 40 minutes per day.
This breed does not need a lot of exercise, running round the house or garden will keep them fit and healthy. However, they are ‘escape artists’ and the garden must be safe and secure. They are keen to play and participate in more exercise if given the opportunity 
Distress if Left Alone
Personal Protection
Guard Dog Suitability
Risk of Sheep Worrying
Tendency to Bark
Level of Aggression
Compatibility With Other Animals
Suitable For Children


General Character And Temperament
Alert but independent companions, Tibbies can be aloof with strangers, but are very loyal to their family and friends. They get on well children and will accept other household pets as long as introduced to them from an early age.  
Coat Length
Grooming Requirement
Once a week 
Requires Professional Groomer
The coat is fairly easy to take care of. A regular brushing should suffice. They are a completely natural breed and require no plucking, stripping or clipping. 
Tibetan Spaniels come in all colours and mixes of colour, although the most common colour is golden.  
Suffers From Allergies
Tendency to Cause Allergies

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