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Tibetan Spaniel | A breed that gave prestige

Spaniel Tibetano | Una raza que daba prestigio

Lobo Azul |

The Tibetan Spaniel is a little-known dog , but it is one of the best if we are looking for a companion dog that is somewhat different from those we see in our cities, where there are always the same breeds.

  • Size : 24 to 28 cm
  • Weight : between 4 and 7 kilos
  • Hair type : long and fine
  • Character : calm and balanced. A little shy
  • Health : good, but predisposed to several genetic diseases
  • Life expectancy : about 14 years

Origins of the Tibetan Spaniel

It seems to come from China and was already present there in the year 1100 BC in what is now this country, coming from a cross between the Pekingese , the Lhasa Apso and the Japanese spaniel.

We do not know if it really comes from these crossbreeds, but what is certain is that in bronzes dating from the 12th century BC, dogs that were very similar to this breed were represented .

The Tibetan monks enjoyed his company and his ability as a guardian, warning the mastiffs who were in charge of expelling strangers. Such was their ability that they were nicknamed "dwarf lions."

It was a dog that gave prestige, and in fact not everyone had it, but it was offered as a gift to very important people. It was an honor to be given one, which is why they were reserved for kings, the high nobility and diplomatic exchanges.

It left China well into the 19th century , arriving in England as happened with most oriental breeds, where they began to be bred and it was recognized very late by the FCI in 1961.

It took longer for the American Kennel Club to write the standard for the breed, as it did not come out until a little over a decade ago, in 2010.

Origins of the Tibetan Spaniel

Tibetan Spaniel Characteristics

This Tibetan spaniel is a small dog, the typical companion dog that does not weigh more than seven kilos and does not usually exceed 28 cm in the case of males.

It gives the impression of being a proportioned animal, which it is, with a head perhaps somewhat small compared to the rest of the body, with very short and strong legs. In fact, if we look at it from the front, we seem to see a Pekingese a little taller.

Their hair has a double layer and is long and very silky, with the particularity that males have it thicker than females. As for colors, we can see specimens with black, red, beige, cinnamon or white coats.

The tail is another of its fundamental features, since it is curved over its back and is very hairy , so it stands out quite a bit when it falls on top of its trunk and achieving a very beautiful effect.

Character of the Tibetan Spaniel

It is one of the breeds that seems to be made by and for the company, something easy to understand if we take into account that it has been doing this work for thousands of years, living with high-ranking people whom it had to please.

It has enormous loyalty towards its owner , to whom it shows its intelligence and curiosity. In addition, he is a very calm dog, so he can spend the afternoon with us lying on the couch without disturbing us while we read or watch a movie.

They are always happy and transmit this feeling to their caregivers, noticing immediately if something happens to them. Thus, they are the perfect company for people who live alone, especially if they are older.

He is not aggressive, but he does not coexist well with other dogs and they do not like loneliness at all . If they spend time alone, barking immediately appears and they may even destroy couches, bite chairs, etc., trying to calm their anxiety.

Character of the Tibetan spaniel

Education of the Tibetan Spaniel

As with almost all dogs of that size, training a Tibetan spaniel is not complicated, as they are very docile and intelligent animals, who go out of their way to care for their owners.

Thus, education is easy and they will immediately learn not to pull on the leash , to stop when their owner does, to come if called and even tricks such as playing dead, shaking hands or rolling around on the floor.

Using positive reinforcement we are going to teach him everything we want, leaving aside bad manners, shouting and negative conditioning, which will only make a dent in his character and make him fearful.

This dog's brain is always spinning, so it is a good idea to stimulate it with games at home, while at the same time we will have to work on barking, because sometimes it will have to be left alone and we don't want it to bother the neighbors .

A good idea is to leave him toys that stimulate his mind and make him think, such as dog puzzles that give him food if he solves them or the Kong, with which he can entertain himself if we have to leave the house for a while and he is left alone. .

Tibetan Spaniel Health

Their life expectancy is 14 years, normal for a small dog, and we must keep in mind that there are some diseases that are more common in this breed than in others, something that happens with all of them.

Among the most serious is the portosystemic shunt , in which the blood does not pass through the liver and is filled with toxins, which reach the nervous system and cause neurological symptoms. We can see how the animal remains fixed leaning on a wall or looks into space.

Luckily, now it is detected immediately and is solved with a surgery that is delicate, but that obtains very good results.

The eyes are also predisposed to suffer from diseases such as progressive retinal atrophy, which ends with total blindness, and a milder one that is prolapse of the third eyelid, a red lump that appears in the tear duct area and is resolved with a very simple surgery.

Patellar luxation is not rare, but this is not something that only the Tibetan spaniel suffers from , but is common to small dogs, causing lameness that can be corrected with medication.

We must not forget hernias of all kinds, which are not strange in this breed, and which should make us pay attention to symptoms such as pain when walking or strange postures, in order to go to the veterinarian.

They may seem like many diseases, but they are no more than those of any other breed, since each one has several that tend to appear more frequently.

Tibetan spaniel health

Tibetan Spaniel Care

The hair needs attention and will have to be brushed three or four times a week, a time when we will take advantage of this time to check if there are any lumps or pain in any area of ​​the body, which could indicate the appearance of a hernia.

He is usually a house dog, so he will have to be bathed if he is dirty or smells , better with a good quality shampoo intended for long-haired dogs, with conditioner that will leave his coat soft and make combing easier.

You have to be alert with your eyes and ears, cleaning them several times a week and the same with your mouth, going to the vet if you notice that there is a smell, since the teeth usually cause problems in these dogs, especially with the passage of time. years.

Moderate exercise is enough . In fact, he will settle for a short walk several times a day to relieve himself, or with short trips to the countryside, complementing his physical activity with games at home.

We must choose the feed well , something that we can consult with the veterinarian, who will recommend several brands that may be better for him, always focusing on the premium ones, those that do not have grains in their composition and only use natural products suitable for human consumption.

Adopt a Tibetan Spaniel

It is not easy to find one, since it is not a majority breed . Thus, our best option is to comb the network doing a search with their name and see if there are any up for adoption.

We can also contact associations that put Spaniels up for adoption, telling them that we are after a Tibetan spaniel and asking about it, although as we say it is difficult for one to come up for adoption.

If after a few months we cannot find one, we always have the option of buying it, knowing that the breeders we find will be true fans of the breed, as it is a very minority.

Other small dog breeds that may interest you:

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