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The Tibetan Spaniel, also called as Tibbie, is a breed of small, charming dog that originated in Tibet. It belongs to the non-sporting breed family which is a diverse group of canines notable for their sturdy built, unique appearance, and distinct personality. Tibetan Spaniels were originally bred to become reliable watchdogs, and have been recently used to become engaging family companions. Their silky double coat short, smooth, and lies flat on their body. Males have a more prominent mane that covers their neck. They also have a feathering between the toes. Tibbies come in all coat colors: may it be solid, shaded, or multi-colored. The most common patterns include red, fawn, cream, gold, black, white, and a combo of black and tan.
Height and Weight
Both the male and female members of the Tibetan Spaniel breed normally have a height of 10 in at the withers, and weigh between 9 to 15 lbs.
Tibetan Spaniels, in general, are cheerful, clever, and alert dogs. They make fair family companions which are very independent and capable of becoming good watchdogs. The breed is not yappy, but may bark readily at intruders and strange noises. Tibbies are capable of moving very quickly. They get along well with other dogs and household animals. Nonetheless, these lapdogs can be quite difficult to train. Lack of human leadership makes Tibetan Spaniels over-protective, unreliable with children, and aloof with strangers. Handlers have to be firm yet calm at disciplining them. Confidence and consistency are also necessary to train these little fellows properly. Otherwise, Tibbies will develop Small Dog Syndrome which would be manifested by the pets’ tendency to become stubborn and dog aggressive.
Tibetan Spaniels do not require a lot of grooming care, although their coat may need to be brushed on a regular basis. They are considered to be an average shedder.
Tibetan Spaniels are typically susceptible to heat stroke and a few respiratory problems. They are also known to be plagued with some eye defects such as progressive retinal atrophy, as well as a condition called the liver shunt. Nevertheless, with proper care, nutrition, and exercise, the breed can live for as long as 12 to 15 years.
Members of the Tibetan Spaniel breed generally make excellent apartment dogs. They are fairly inactive indoors, and would do just fine even without access to a yard. The breed requires a moderate amount of daily exercise. Taking them out for long walks or a simple romp within the yard can already make these cute little fellows happy.
I rescued my Tibbie, Sha’ah, from our local animal shelter. She was malnourished, her nails over grown, had poop caked in her underbelly hair, smelled like an out-house and is blind. Even with all that she had a wonderful personality! The shelter gave her to me wrapped in a sheet because she was so nasty! She got 2 baths at home and, after a good meal, she fell asleep with her head on my shoulder. At the vet it was discovered she was dying of an internal infection (thus the smell) and had to have emergency surgery with special precautions due to her poor condition (you could count all her bones) including 5 teeth pulled because the infection had gotten to them. Her cataracts have caused permanent damage to her eyes even though the vet believed she was only 5-years old. Eventually her eyes will have to be removed completely. Right now she can still see differences in extreme light and dark and some movements. She is healthy now and loves to go for long walks. She’s my precious little girl and queen of the house now! Her life may be shortened by the abuse she endured but it will be a good life now that I have her!