Tibetan Spaniel general features, temperament, health

Tibetan Spaniel dog breed photo

FCI # 231, Origin: Tibet (Great Britain), Group 9.5 Companion and Toy Dogs. Tibetan breeds.

Height: 10 in, Weight: 9-15 pounds

Grooming: Medium, Shedding: Medium, Coat: Fine silky coat of medium length.

Color: any color, sometimes with white markings on the paws.

Ease of training: Medium, Energy level: Medium, Span of life: 12-15 years.

Breed: The Tibetan Spaniel is a small and active dog. His homeland - Tibet, the mysterious country of barren land, often called "the roof of the world." Tibetan dogs, like people, always had to survive in the conditions of extreme temperature changes, an unusually bright sun and high altitudes, as the most populated areas are located at an altitude of 3200-5000 meters.

There are many Tibetan breeds common in the Himalayan region, but in the Western world are known only Lhasa Apso, Tibetan Terrier, Tibetan Mastiff and, of course, the Tibetan Spaniel. Shi-Tzu - another popular breed with the Tibetan roots, but in fact it is the Chinese-Tibetan breed, Lhasa Apso's sister.

For many centuries Tibetan Spaniels lived in monasteries, but the first written mention of the breed dates back only to 639 year. It is important to note that in terms of Buddhists all living beings reincarnate, and their souls after death, move to other beings (humans, animals, even plants and stones). Buddhists believe that a dog in a past life could be a human or may be this dog will be a human in the next life. Therefore, they never kill dogs.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama XIII owned several Tibetan Spaniels, but the dogs of this breed were not "sacred", as some believe, and lived not only in monasteries with monks. Tibetan Spaniels were also pretty often a family companions. In both: the monastery, and in the houses these dogs were valued and as guardians, and as "bed warmers". They were also accompanying their owners during the trade missions or pilgrimages.

Tibetan Spaniel dog breeds

There is a version, that the Tibetan Spaniel "earned" his living by working as a "prayer dog" - he was turning the sacred drums, and thus he became a mediator in the prayers of monks. Prayers were written on parchment and placed in a drum. These small monastery dogs were trained to rotate the drums, thereby calling the spirits (and simultaneously obtaining the full remission of their own sins).

You may often hear the question: what breed has appeared before: Pekingese (Chinese breed) or the Tibetan Spaniel? Modern dog experts believe that after all the Tibetan Spaniels are the ancestors of other breeds, particularly those close to them - like Pekingese, Japanese Chin and English Toy Spaniels. The residents of China claimed that it was in the opposite - the Chinese dogs were the ancestors of the Tibetan Spaniel. As the saying goes, everyone pulls the blanket over himself.

For the first time a Tibetan Spaniel was introduced to the Western world by Mrs. McLaren Morrison, who imported the breed to Britain in 1880. In 1895, she mentioned about her dog Yezo, which became the first dog of this breed, exhibited at the Crufts Dog Show - one of the most prestigious dog shows in the world (held in England since 1891) in 1898. In addition, in 1895, from Yezo and the female named Sikkim, there was born the first officially recorded litter of the Tibetan Spaniels.

Mrs. McLaren Morrison also wrote that she saw a beautiful Tibetan Spaniels in her trip to the Tibet. According to her, closer acquaintance with the breed would guarantee it's popularity in England, along with Pekingese and Japanese Chin. She wrote that in Tibet, people appreciate their local breeds and they recognize the Tibetan Spaniel as a separate breed. Mrs Morrison met a few types of their color: black, black with white spots, white with black spots and black and tan. She notes that Tibetan Spaniels "do not jump, do not dance and do not run under the feet of his owner" which differs them from the dogs of other Tibetan breeds of a small and medium size. On the contrary, she calls them the "King Charles" of the East - decorative lap dog, whose feathered legs are designed to rest on the silk cushions.

The First World War destroyed the plans for the breeding of all breeds, including the Tibetan Spaniel, which in Britain was almost entirely lost.

Fortunately, despite their small numbers, the breed did not disappear. To restore the breed there was needed some "fresh blood". Before the Second World War in Britain there was a small number of Tibetan Spaniels, some of which were even exhibited at Crufts in the years 1929-1939. Some of them belonged to Dr. Nancy Greig, who worked as a doctor in India, and she was sending to her mother to England the Tibetan Spaniels, Tibetan Terriers and Lhasa Apso.

Until the early 1930's there was a lot of confusion in distinguishing between some Tibetan breeds and their Chinese-Tibetan cousin Shi-Tzu. Dogs were exhibited together in the same classes, which caused the most heated debates, especially about the differences between the Lhasa Apso and the Shi-Tzu. Breeding of these dogs in those days was held sometimes by a very different people, so the controversy over the appearance of the dogs for a long time were not abated.

Dr. Nancy Greig, who was breeding not only the Tibetan Spaniel, but also the Lhasa Apso, made suggestions about the position of the ears of Tibetan Spaniels - she suggested, that the erect ears should be permissible. This led to a prolonged and heated debates, ending with  the decision that "the ear near the head itself should be slightly raised."

In 1934, in order to accurately distinguish between the breeds, there was created the Association of Tibetan breeds, which adopted the standards on such breeds as the Tibetan Spaniel, Lhasa Apso, Tibetan Terrier and Tibetan Mastiff. The same Association recognized the Shi-Tzu as a separate breed.

The Second World War brought a lot of changes not only in the lives of people across Europe, but also in the lives of their pets. At the beginning of the war all Dog Shows and other exhibitions had been temporarily stopped. During this war, not all the owners managed to keep their pets.

It is assumed that only one representative of the breed Tibetan Spaniel was able to survive the war. It was Skaid - relatively big red dog, which belonged to Mrs. O. Seybin.

Tibetan Spaniel dog breed photo

Today, many owners of the Tibetan Spaniel, tracing the pedigrees of their dogs may find that Skaid was the ancestor of their favorites. Important role in the restoration of the breed in the postwar years in Britain has played Lady Wakefield. In 1938 she was presented with the female Tibetan Spaniel, whose name was Mighivuli. She herself was born in Lahora, while her parents were born in Western Tibet. Several times she was mated with a male from the monastery of Tashi Gong - and her puppies became "a new wave" of Tibetan Spaniels in Europe. Gradually, the breed became interesting for more and more dog lovers.

With the emergence of a male named Doghouse Dream in 1966, was founded the beginning of this breed in the United States. And already in 1971 there was created the American Tibetan Spaniel Club, founded by Mr. Kern.

After 13 years, in 1984, the American Kennel Club recognized the Tibetan Spaniel as a separate breed. Now in the U.S. the Tibetan Spaniel is one of the most popular breeds.

General Features: Externally, the Tibetan Spaniel is a small sized dog of a bit extended format, with a short snout, convex skull and a slightly protruding lower jaw. The height of the adult Tibetan Spaniel at the withers is typically about 27 cm for males and about 24 cm for females, weight - 4 to 7 kg. This dog is characterized by curved front legs and well feathered tail, which he keeps as a ring on the back.

Standrd does not impose any restrictions on the color of the Tibetan Spaniel, his coat can be colored in almost any shades and combinations.

Temperament: The Tibetan Spaniel is well known as a very smart and extremely intelligent  dog. And what else can be a dog that for centuries served at the monastery of world wisdom and spiritual science? Today the Tibetan Spaniel  is, first of all, a wonderful family dog, a pleasant companion and friend, but once - long time ago - this dog lived mostly in the monasteries and he was a permanent participant of the religious mysteries. In particular, the main mission of this dog was spinning the so-called "prayer drum" - this simple ritual is meant to communicate with the spirits and cleanse the soul of prayer.

Of course, the main treasure of the Tibetan Spaniel is his luxurious coat - a lush, silky to the touch, with thick undercoat, and with the rich feathering around the neck and on the ears and paws. Of course, purchasing such a dog, you should realize that his coat will sure take time and attention, but caring for the Tibetan Spaniel's coat is not so complicated - it is only necessary every day to brush it with the special brush, which you can get from any pet-shop or professional groomer.

The Tibetan Spaniel is a smart, active and funny creature, in most of the cases absolutely free from aggression and perfectly manageable. This dog is very attached to his master and family, but beware, that your Tibetan Spaniel will be reserved with the strangers. In matters of education of this dog it is important to consider that the excessive strictness is not going to his advantage. Tibetan Spaniel is a quite independent creature, that can not be deprived of personal space and a right to have his own opinion.

It is very easy to keep this dog in the apartment, because he is quite unpretentious and feels great in the urban environments. It is only important to give your Tibetan Spaniel enough exercises and outdoor activities.

Perhaps it will surprise you, but the Tibetan Spaniel has a strong guarding instinct and can perform pretty well some functions of a watch dog.Of course, it is unlikely that he could pose a serious threat to the physical health of the attacker, but he is quite capable of menacing stranger to warn of impending trouble if he did not leave the territory. Moreover, which is also important, a Tibetan Spaniel never barks for nothing.

Health problems: Some Tibetan Spaniels are prone to allergies. Respiratory problems also may be an issue.

Do You Want to Get This Dog Breed for Free ?