Tibetan Spaniel

With a blunt muzzle and big expressive eyes, a “lion’s mane” around the neck, and a plumed tail elegantly curving over the back, they’re distinctly Tibetan. But are they spaniels? No, not in the Western sense, like Cockers or Cavaliers. Instead, Tibetan Spaniels recall the ancient traditions that produced Pekes, Pugs, Lhasas, and other unmistakably Asian breeds. Tibetan Spaniels stand about 10 inches at the shoulder; they move quickly and with purpose. They’re seen in coats of many colors and combinations.

  • Personality: Self-confident, bright, loving, and playful
  • Energy Level: Very Active; Tibbies, though not frantic little yappers, are frisky and curious
  • Good with Children: Yes
  • Good with other Dogs: With Supervision
  • Shedding: Seasonal
  • Grooming: Occasional
  • Trainability: Responds Well
  • Height: 10 inches
  • Weight: 9-15 pounds
  • Life Expectancy: 12-15 years
  • Barking Level: Quiet

meet theTibetan Spaniel

Did you know?

The ancestors of the Tibetan Spaniel lived in the monasteries with Buddhist monks and were called "little Lions," giving them great value and prestige (lions were sacred).

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at aGlance

theBreed Standard

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  • General Appearance

    Should be small, active and alert. The outline should give a well balanced appearance, slightly longer in body than the height at withers. Fault - Coarseness of type.

  • Head

    Small in proportion to body and proudly carried, giving an impression of quality. Masculine in dogs but free from coarseness. Eyes dark brown in color, oval in shape, bright and expressive, of medium size set fairly well apart but forward looking, giving an apelike expression. Eye rims black. Faults - Large full eyes; light eyes; mean expression, blue eyes, or eyes with blue marks. Ears medium size, pendant, well feathered in the adult and set fairly high. They may have a slight lift from the skull, but should not fly. Large, heavy, low set ears are not typical. 

  • Body

    Neck moderately short, strong and well set on. Level back. Well ribbed with good depth. Tail set high, richly plumed and carried in a gay curl over the back when moving. Should not be penalized for dropping tail when standing.

  • Forequarters

    Shoulders well placed and firm. When viewed from the front, the bones of the forearms are slightly bowed to allow the front feet to fall beneath the shoulders. Moderate bone. Faults - Extremely bowed or straight forearms, as viewed from front. Dewclaws may be removed. Feet - Small, hare footFault - Cat feet.


  • Coat

    Double coat, silky in texture, smooth on face and front of legs, of moderate length on body, but lying rather flat. Ears and back of forelegs nicely feathered, tail and buttocks well furnished with longer hair. Neck covered with a mane or "shawl" of longer hair which is more pronounced in dogs than bitches. Feathering on toes, often extending beyond the feet. Should not be over-coated and bitches tend to carry less coat and mane than dogs.

  • Hindquarters

    Well made and strong. Stifle well developed, showing moderate angulation. Hocks well let down and straight when viewed from behind. Faults - Straight stifle; cow hocks. Dewclaws may be removed. Feet as in front.





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