Tibetan Spaniel

Tibetan Spaniel

More information about this breed

Tibetan Spaniel dog puppy, Bair, 13 weeks old


  • Other names Simkhyi
  • Nicknames Tibbie
  • Country of origin Tibet
  • Weight Male 11-15 pounds (5-7 kg)
  • Female 9-13 pounds )4-6 kg)
  • Height Male 9-10 inches (23-25 cm)
  • Female 9-10 inches (23-25 cm)
  • Color All dog colours
  • Life Spam 12 – 16 years
  • Litter Size 2 to 4




The Tibetan Spaniel has a domed head that is small, in comparison to the body. It has a short blunt muzzle free of wrinkles. Teeth meet in an undershot or level bite. The nose is black. The eyes are medium but in keeping with the face and are set wide apart, these are oval in shape. The Tibetan Spaniel does not have extra skin around the eyes; this helps to tell the breed apart from the Pekingese. The ears hang down either side of the head to cheek level and are feathered with a v shape. The neck is covered in a mane of hair, which is more noticeable in the male of the breed. The Tibetan Spaniel’s front legs are a little bowed and the feet are “hare-like”. This dog has a great feathered tail that is set high and is carried over their back.


The coat is a silky double coat lying flat and is short and smooth on the face and leg fronts; it is medium in length on the body; it has feathering on the ears, toes and tail.
Tibetan Spaniels come in all colours and be solid, shaded and multi-coloured. Colours that are seen are red, fawn, gold, white, cream, black and tan, and parti. Often there are white markings on the feet.


Extremely intelligent, the Tibetan Spaniel is one of the most cat-like dog breeds. Their favorite pastime is looking out the window at the world. They will climb on the sofa, table, dresser, etc., to see what is going on outside. At the same time, they are highly affectionate and will often greet their owners by jumping into their lap and licking their face.
Tibetan Spaniels are a social breed that needs regular contact with their humans. They do not respond well to being left alone for long periods of time. Having been developed as a companion dog by Tibetan monks they are emotional and empathetic to the needs of their owners.
It is important to socialize Tibbies at an early age to a variety of people and situations. They are protective of their family. Even after socialization, they are typically aloof with strangers. If startled or uneasy, a Tibbie will express their distrust with loud alarm barking.
While utterly devoted to their family members, Tibbies are fiercely independent with a tendency to wander off and explore rather than come when called. This quality – assertive, independent, and alert – is the standard temperament required by both the AKC and FCI breed standards.

Health Issues

The Tibetan Spaniel is a generally healthy dog with a life expectancy of 13–16 years. Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) is a genetic disease that can occur in the breed (night blindness) and liver shunt can occur. Tibetan Spaniels are susceptible to allergies, and they can also experience cherry eye.



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