Tibetan Spaniel (Non-Sporting Group)
The Tibetan Spaniel is a feisty and playful member of the Non-Sporting Group. Small in stature, but tall in personality, the Tibetan has a maximum height of 10 inches and weighs anywhere from 9 to 15 pounds. The body is slightly longer than it is tall, and the face of these dogs are ape-like in appearance.
The temperament of the Tibetan Spaniel is independent and stubborn, yet equally as loving and affectionate. They can be sensitive at times to loud noises and harsh yelling. Due to their small size they make excellent house dogs, enjoying both daily outings with the family or just cuddling up on the couch. The Tibetan is overly-friendly with other dogs and pets but reserved around strange people, making them dependable watchdogs that will bark at unknown individuals or intruders.
A Brief History Of The Tibetan Spaniel
The Tibetan Spaniel has been around since the Ancient times. As it name suggests, these dogs have their roots from Tibet. Their history is tied to Buddhist beliefs, interwoven with the lion as the most important symbol for Buddha. With the lion considered to be a high-respected symbol, lion-like dogs were bred and held in the highest regard.
The Lama masters considered these little lion dogs as sacred as the lion itself. The Chinese had created their own lion dogs as well, known today as the Pekingese. Various countries were often encouraged to present one another with their lion dogs, which led to interbreeding.
The absolute best breeding that went into the creation of the Tibetan Spaniel was within the monasteries. Only the smallest of specimens were encouraged and these dogs were used not only as decorative symbols, but also to alert the monastery upon approaching strangers and dangerous wolves.
The first Tibetan Spaniel made its way to England during the late 1800s but breeding these wonderful specimens in America did not start up until the 1920s. Several of the dogs were obtained by the Griegs (widely known enthusiasts of the breed) and breeding began. Unfortunately, the process took a loss when only one dog survived World War II. This Spaniel was named Skyid and just about all modern Tibetan Spaniel pedigrees are linked to Skyid.
The Tibetan Spaniel made its way to the United States in 1960. The sacred dog then gained AKC recognition in 1984. Although not as popular as most members of the AKC, this dog is highly adored by those lucky enough to own one.
Upkeep Requirements For The Tibetan Spaniel
Exercise requirements for the breed is quite minimal, with a few walks on the leash and open space indoors to run being plenty of stimulation. The Tibetan Spaniel is best suited to apartment living but also enjoys outside games with its owners. Grooming requirements for the breed consists of a thorough brushing of its moderately long coat twice weekly.
The average lifespan of the Tibetan Spaniel is between twelve and fifteen years. There are no major Health Concerns reported in the breed. Minor health issues include cataracts and patellar luxation. Rarely seen is PRA and portacaval shunt. Veterinarians suggest that Tibetan Spaniel dogs get tested for eye and knee problems.