Tibetan Spaniel

Breed History

Tibetan Spaniel is small dog with a lion’s mane on their neck and large eyes. Showing close ties and association with the Buddhist monks from thousands of years ago.

There is a lot of legend and myth surrounding the origins of the Tibetan Spaniel. Coming from the Himalayan Mountains they are one of the few dogs to come from the region.

Other breeds from the area are the Tibetan Mastiff and the Tibetan Terrier. All have the same story of protecting the monks but in different capacities.

For example, Mastiffs would fend off the bigger animals and provide muscle while the smaller dogs would alert quicker to someone’s presence serving as an internal alarm.

Isolation in the Himalayan Mountains would happen for a very long time. These dogs would not become exports for a long time after they existed first serving as a gift that could not be purchased.

Mostly rich and elite members of society in other countries would bare these gifts from the monks. Close to the 20th century they would start to sell and be an export to western countries.

Late entry into the United States would be the result of the later registration for such an ancient breed. Nonetheless they have been given papers from England in 1898 so they still have a long line of full blood dogs.


In 1984, they would receive registration from the American Kennel Club. Different than the other Spaniels, who are sporting group dogs, they still bare the name.

Ranks in top 110 in popularity and they will most likely stay around this range. After four decades the needle hasn’t been on the move like it should be and they are showing slow signs of growth.

Non-Sporting Group is the group they are in for the most part and they are not universally known as a Sporting breed or Gun Dog Spaniel. More like a dog that has the name Spaniel without the characteristics.

Here are the different kennel clubs and their breed standards for this breed.


Male Height: 10 inches

Female Height: 10 inches

Male Weight: 12-15 pounds

Female Weight: 9-12 pounds

Litter Size

5 puppies are the average litter size for the Tibetan Spaniel. Breeders should be aware of how many puppies to expect. Caring for the puppies for a minimum of eight weeks before selling them to a responsible owner is the best practice.


  • Black – and tan
  • Cream
  • Gold
  • Red
  • Sable
  • White
  • Parti-Color
  • White Markings


$1,000-$2,000 is the average price for a Tibetan Spaniel. Prices vary depending on location, currency, supply, demand, and other factors that affect cost.

Registration will cost more than dogs without papers. Tracking the bloodline from their first registration until they come home with you is the type of exhaustive work kennel clubs have done.

Without papers is due to one, or both, of the puppy’s parents not being able to receive papers. Most likely this is due to crossbreeding.


Taking the dog on a long run or walk before you start the grooming process or drop them off with a professional groomer will be the best practice. Calming the mind and physically giving them an outlet can release any bad energy before you start the process.

  1. Brushing
  2. Combing
  3. Bathing
  4. Ears
  5. Nails
  6. Professional Help

Double coat dogs have a higher maintenance grooming schedule than dogs with single coats. Brush the coat at least once per week but multiple times a week is ideal.

Comb the coat multiple times per week as well. In addition, use a different brush and comb during the two heavy shedding seasons for excess hair removal.

Bathe the dog after long runs and walks of at least an hour. Using a leash will help communicate exactly where you want the dog to sit or stand at. Dropping the leash after a while will be the final stage to training them to take it off and have the same behavior.

Cleaning the ears should happen once a week to avoid infection. Scratching the ears, shaking the heads, and developing an odor in the area are signs that the dog has an infection.

Trimming the nails should happen during walking and running the dog, which we recommend. If you don’t exercise the dog, which we don’t recommend, cut them with clippers or hire a professional.

Professional help is a recommendation.

Life Span

12-14 years is the average lifespan for a Tibetan Spaniel. A long time for any dog to live and owners should be aware of the time commitment when choosing this breed. Great dog you should consider adopting due to their long lifespan.

Health Issues

Patella Luxation – kneecaps are a huge issue for the small dog community and owners should be aware of the signs and symptoms. Partial or complete dislocation can occur at any time. Limping, favoring, or not wanting to exercise for short periods are signs that they dog should get an x-ray to determine their knee status.

Eye Examinations – little dogs have issues with cherry eye, cataracts, and glaucoma. Many more issues can arise and by the time the dog is 24 months you should be taking them to get an eye exam. After the first examination you will need to bring them annually until they are seven or eight years of age.

Breed Group

Proud members of the Non-Sporting. You won’t see the name Spaniel a lot in this category but because they are always in the Sporting Group. Dogs in this group don’t have much in common.

Whenever it is hard to determine where to put the dog this is one of the miscellaneous groups who don’t have the same jobs, characteristics, or anything connecting them to one another.

Here are the most popular Non-Sporting Dogs.

Exercise Needs

Tibetan Spaniel needs a lot of exercise and they need it daily. Many owners have a question about how much exercise, and we will answer how much to give today.

Under exercising a dog is dangerous and can possibly lead to aggression if left unchecked. Long before they get to this point, they will start to show signs.

Dogs that are whining, barking excessively, biting, nipping, digging, and other problems are signs that the dog is begging for exercise and using their own free time to conduct it.

Over excitement, hard tail wagging, running hard, jumping and others are more behavior that tell you the dog need more exercise.

Walking to the mailbox, putting them in the backyard, and taking them to the bathroom doesn’t work. You will still see signs that the dog isn’t getting enough exercise.

Here is a basic recommendation we would give a client

Morning: Hour (run, walk or treadmill)

Evening: 30 mins (run, walk or treadmill)

Younger dogs need a lot more runs and multiple session exercise days. Whenever owners get this simple step right the dog is a joy to have around.

Adult dogs, around three years old, are going to show a strong decline in energy levels. At this point exercising one time a day will start to become all they can handle.

Senior dogs will need a walk once every other day or however much to keep them calm. Apply exercise lightly because they may need a walk once every other day.


  1. Exercise program
  2. Commands
  3. Socialization
  4. Corrections

Every training program should be built on a solid foundation and no foundation is more solid than daily exercise. Taking the dog from no exercise to one a day will get you 365 hours of exercise in one year. Doing this will dramatically change the way the dog acts and interacts. Stronger cases may need 1.5 hours to two hours a day. Again, at this clip we are looking at possibly 730 hours of exercise in one year. Behavior of the dog will change at some point you just have to stick with it.

Commands will be a necessity to control the dog on and off leash. Repetition will be your best friend and show you the best way to train the dog. After a few days the dog should know the command. Taking them into different environments with the same command should happen at some point. Treats, toy and life rewards should all be a part of your toolbox.

Socialize the dog after a long exercise session preferable a run. Before vet visits, dog parks, car rides and any other social event make sure the dog experience some type of exhaust beforehand. Right state of mind is important so that the dog can socialize in a normal manner. Wild dogs, wolves, or any four-legged animal would exercise all day long in reality.

Correct the dog verbally, on or off leash. Timing is the best thing to learn and the best timing is before they do something bad. Not during or after the fact catch them thinking about it or moving towards performing the act. Then make the dog sit or lay afterwards just like the mother dog would do.

Do Tibetan Spaniels Bark A lot?

No, any dog that isn’t getting enough outlet will result to behaviors like barking a lot. When the dog starts exercising a lot then they start barking a lot less. Use the exercise method to change the way the dog uses their free time. They can either be resting and recovering for the next exercise session or they will be barking to try to exercise themselves.

Additional Resources