Tibetan Spaniel

Tibetan Spaniel

10 July 2023

Let’s talk about… Tibetan Spaniels: what are they?

  • Tibetan Spaniels, also known as Tibbies, are an ancient and charming breed that originated in Tibet.
  • Despite their name, they are not actually spaniels but are classified as a separate breed.
  • They were highly regarded in Tibetan monasteries and served as companions and watchdogs, which can mean they enjoy a good bark.
  • Tibetan Spaniels are small-sized dogs with a sturdy build.
  • On average, they are between 25-28 cm in height and weigh between 4.5-7.3kg kg.
  • They have a life expectancy of around 12-15 years.
Tibetan Spaniel  Exercise Needs: 3/4 Grooming Ease: 3/5 Trainability 4/5

What is the temperament of Tibetan Spaniels like?

  • Tibetan Spaniels have a delightful temperament that is often described as affectionate, intelligent, and independent.
  • They form strong bonds with their families and enjoy spending time with their loved ones.
  • While they are generally friendly, they can be reserved or aloof with strangers. Early socialisation is crucial to help them feel more comfortable and confident in various social situations.
  • These little dogs have a calm and observant nature, making them excellent watchdogs. They will alert their owners to any unusual sounds or visitors.
  • Tibetan Spaniels are known for their intelligence, which can sometimes translate into stubbornness.
Chester, the Tibetan Spaniel

How much exercise do Tibetan Spaniels need?

  • Tibetan Spaniels have moderate exercise needs and generally require around 30 minutes to 1 hour of exercise per day.
  • They enjoy daily walks, play sessions, and mentally stimulating activities. Despite their small size, they have a moderate energy level and appreciate opportunities to explore and sniff their surroundings.
  • When it comes to Tibetan Spaniel puppies, their exercise needs are slightly different. It's important to avoid excessive exercise that could strain their developing bodies.
  • Short and controlled play sessions in a safe and secure environment are suitable for puppies.
  • As they grow, the exercise duration can gradually increase and full adult exercise levels can generally be reached around 12 to 18 months of age.
  • Your vet can advise on the individual exercise needs for your Tibbie.
Loki, the Tibetan Spaniel

Do Tibetan Spaniels require grooming?

  • Tibetan Spaniels have a beautiful double coat that consists of a soft, dense undercoat and a longer, silky outer coat.
  • Their coat comes in various colours, including shades of gold, cream, red, and sable.
  • While they are not heavy shedders, their coat requires regular grooming to keep it in good condition.
  • Tibetan Spaniels should be brushed at least once or twice a week to remove loose hair and prevent matting. Pay special attention to areas such as behind the ears, under the legs, and around the tail.
  • Regular brushing helps maintain the coat's natural oils and keeps it looking neat and tidy. Additionally, they may require occasional baths to keep them clean and fresh.
  • A professional groomer can also help you keep your Tibetan Spaniel looking their best.
  • Like any dog, regular tooth brushing with a dog-specific toothpaste twice daily is ideal. If you can’t manage that often, just do it as often as you can.
Sammy, the Tibetan Spaniel

Are Tibetan Spaniels easy to train?

  • Tibetan Spaniels are intelligent dogs and are generally eager to please their owners, which can make them relatively easy to train.
  • However, they can also exhibit independent and strong-willed behaviours at times.
  • Consistent and positive training methods work best with this breed.
  • Early socialisation is important to expose them to different people, animals, and environments, helping them develop into well-rounded and confident dogs.
  • Positive reinforcement techniques such as treats, praise, and rewards are effective in motivating them during training sessions.
  • Keep the training sessions interesting and varied to prevent boredom.
  • It's worth noting that individual Tibetan Spaniels may have their own unique personality traits and may require additional patience and tailored training approaches.
Yeti, the Tibetan Spaniel

What do Tibetan Spaniels eat?

  • To keep your Tibetan Spaniel healthy and well-nourished, it's important to provide them with a balanced and nutritious diet twice daily. High-quality small breed dog food that is appropriate for their age, size, and activity level is recommended. It's best to consult with your veterinarian for specific dietary recommendations based on your Tibetan Spaniel's needs.
  • For Tibetan Spaniel puppies, it's important to feed them a specially formulated puppy food that supports a small dog’s growth and development, 3-4 times a day until they are 6 months old, when you can reduce it to twice daily.
  • It's crucial to provide them with appropriate puppy food until they reach around 10-12 months of age. Your veterinarian can guide you on the transition to adult dog food and the appropriate timing for your specific puppy.

Are Tibetan Spaniels healthy?

Tibetan Spaniels are generally a healthy breed, but like all dogs, they may be prone to certain health conditions. Some health concerns that can affect Tibetan Spaniels include:

Bones and Joints

  • Hip Dysplasia - a condition where the thigh bone and pelvis do not sit together properly at the hip joint, which can lead to discomfort and arthritis
  • Luxating patella - this is when a dog’s kneecap moves out of where it should normally be


  • Distichiasis - when extra hairs grow on the inside of the eyelid and rub on the surface of the eye
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) - this is when the retina of the eye breaks down, leading to blindness

Obesity - Abnormal or excessive fat accumulation leading to secondary health concerns.

This list is by no means comprehensive, if you have any concerns about the health of your dog, or if you want to discuss further if a Tibetan Spaniel is right for you, consult with your vet.

BorrowMyDoggy loves Tibetan Spaniels

BorrowMyDoggy has 148 Tibetan Spaniel members.

Information on this page should never replace advice given by your veterinarian.  Potential health issues presented are given as a guide only and are not meant to be comprehensive.  If you ever have any concerns about your dog’s health contact your local vet.

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Tibetan Spaniel

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