This breed has a history that dates back thousands of years. They come from Tibet and were used by Monks as companions and watchdogs. The Monks thought that the breed resembled a lion and as a result they were classed as guardians of the Monastery. They were only allowed to be bred in the Monasteries, and the monks always chose the smallest dogs for the next generation. It was only in the 1940s that a breeding program outside of Asia was started. They are quite a rare breed.
The Tibetian Spaniel is a happy and friendly little breed. They make for great watchdogs and will warn you of any potential threats. As is the case with many other breeds, they like to be up high and have a good view of what’s going on around them. They love their families and usually want nothing more than to cuddle with them on the couch and sleep the day away. They get along well with children, other pets and dogs. They are usually wary and reserved when around strangers, though it is incredibly rare for them to become aggressive. They aren’t a particularly yappy dog and will only bark when they feel the need to. They have a love for human contact and will want to spend all of their time by your side, they make for good lap dogs. They suffer from separation anxiety if left alone for too long, this can lead to destructive behaviour and in general this breed is better suited for a household in which someone is always (or at least most of the time) present.
Training this breed is a slight challenge. They are very intelligent dogs, but with this comes stubbornness. Training will take time and effort, a king and consistent approach has to be taken. Their stubborn ways overrule their desire to please you, they will only do something if they feel it will be beneficial for them. They will learn best when given lots of affection and some treats in return. All this being said,this is still a wonderful breed which is very in touch with its owners emotions, coming to offer support if they feel that you are down or sad. They dislike any conflicts and will hide away if there is any shouting going on in the house. Recall can be problematic and it is best if they are walked on a leash or in a secure area from which they can't escape. They don’t need much exercise, but will still need a daily walk - even if it is just around the block. They are a very clean dog and rarely let themselves get too dirty.
Their smooth coats will need brushing a few times per week. Regular bathing isn’t needed as they keep themselves clean and don’t really suffer from doggy odour. They are generally healthy, though Patellar Luxation and cataract can sometimes be seen.
The Tibetian Spaniel is a lively yet sensitive breed. They form very close bonds with their family and want to be a part of every family activity. They are reserved around strangers, often avoiding them all together. Early socialisation is needed. They get on well with new dogs.
Health problems that may affect Tibetan Mastiffs include canine hip dysplasia (CHD), elbow dysplasia, bone disease, eyelid problems, bloat and epilepsy.
- Status: Common
- Life Expectancy: 10 - 14 years
- Weight: 105 - 180 lbs
- Height: 24 - 26"
- Rare: No
- Coat: Medium
- Grooming Requirements: More than once per week
- Town or Country: Either
- Minimum Home Size: Large House
- Minimum Garden Size: Small to Medium Garden
- Breed Type: Working Dog
- Size: Giant
- Energy Level: Low
- Exercise Required: Up to 1 hour
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