The Tibetan Spaniel

The Tibetan Spaniel has been recognized in early Eastern art that dates all the way back to 1100 BC. Tibs weren’t your average guard dogs. They were referred to as “little lions” and were prized possessions of Tibetan monasteries. They sat on the monastery walls keeping watch over the countryside and would let out a bark if they saw danger approaching. Tibs were also given as gifts!

The Tibetan Spaniel was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1983.

Sizing up

  • Weight: 9 to 15 lbs.
  • Height: 10 inches
  • Coat: Silky double coat
  • Color: Black, black and tan, cream, gold, red, sable, silver sable, and white
  • Life expectancy: 12 to 15 years

What’s the Tibetan Spaniel like?
The Tibetan Spaniel is an intelligent, loving, independent little dog who will dart off after anything that’s not on a leash. Tibs don’t require that much exercise but can’t be on the couch all the time either. They’re equally as happy to take a walk as they are with a rest and it's important that you find a balance. 

The Tibetan Spaniel can be pretty stubborn, especially when it comes to training, which is why you’ll want to start the day you bring him home. Always be firm and consistent with your positive reinforcements during training sessions.

Grooming your Tib is synch! To keep his coat looking clean you’ll just need to brush or comb it a couple times a week to remove dead hair or mats.

The Tibetan Spaniel is generally a healthy breed with a few concerns to watch for:



  • When an eyelid is inverted causing an eyelash to irritate the eye

Retinal dysplasia

  • A hereditary disease caused by folds or clumps in the retinal tissue

Progressive retinal atrophy

  • An eye condition that essentially worsens over time and could lead to loss of vision

Takeaway Points

  • The Tibetan Spaniel would make a great pet for a family with older children.
  • The Tibetan Spaniel can adapt to any style of living: apartment, suburbs, etc.
  • The Tibetan Spaniel is not suitable for someone who is away from the home for long periods of time.
  • The Tibetan Spaniel should always be kept on a leash unless in an safe, enclosed area.