This breed looks a little like a miniature lion, a prized animal to the Buddast Monks that propagated the breed. Tibetan Spaniels love to interact with people and watch over their kingdom from high perches. They are very cat like in this aspect and like to lay on tables, the back of the couch, or any location where they can be elevated and watch. Tibbies do well in agility trials due to their athletic abilities. This breed is very alert and watchful, friendly with family members, but aloof to strangers. These highly intelligent dogs are easily trained; however, they do can also be stubborn. At times, they will not follow a command, simply because they think you really don’t mean it or it is not what they want to do at the time. Tibetan Spaniels are very intuitive and sensitive. Training them requires positive reinforcement and rewards. They are very affectionate toward family members and prefer to be with a person at all time. Tibbies do not do well if left alone for long periods of time. They will love and protect children, but playing with children could result in injury to the dog. They also accept other pets and dogs well, so this is a good choice for the multi pet family.
Tibetan Spaniels shed all year, so brushing the dog weekly or more frequently is recommended. While they have a double coat, and have long fur, they do not shed excessively. Occasionally a bath is needed, but no more frequently than every couple month. Tibbies are healthy dogs that live about 12 to 15 years. Because of their protruding eyes, they do have a tendency to get tear stains. This is mostly cosmetic and not a health problem. These are true house dogs, they do not tolerate cold or hot weather, and prefer to cuddle on the couch with you. Typically, Tibetan Spaniels are about 10 inches tall and weigh about 9 to 15 pounds. They make good apartment dogs; however, they do bark. Training your dog not to bark may or may not be successful, so if you live where noise is not tolerated, this breed could be a problem. These little dogs are very affectionate and will display this by jumping up in your lap and licking your face. Fortunately, they are small! Exercise requirements for the breed are minimal. Taking the dog for a walk, on a leash, once a day is usually sufficient. Also, plan on playing some indoor games, this will also help with the activity level. Playing with the dog is a great way to interact with the animal and have some fun at the same time.
Tibbies personality is assertive, but not aggressive. They are very watchful and alert to their surroundings, which makes them a good watch dog. As with many watch dogs, they will alert you to potential threats by barking. This can become an annoying trait, so it is best to teach the dog to be quiet after you have acknowledged the alert. This may or may not work, as your Tibetan Spaniel may decide that you really need to know about this threat. Remember they are assertive! Remember that the breed likes to watch from higher locations, so plan your furniture arrangements accordingly. Making sure the nails of the Tibbie are short enough not to damage furniture is very important. Interaction and contact with humans is one of the primary goals of the breed, so be prepared to have a constant companion and a dog that will be on your chairs and couch with you.