10" (25 cm) 9-15 lb (4-7 kg) Silky outercoat. Fine dense undercoat. All colours and combinations acceptable.
The Tibetan Spaniel is not a true spaniel but shares ancestry with other Oriental lap dogs such as Pekingese, Shih Tzu and Lhasa Apso. Tibetan monks kept them as watchdogs and companions. Legend suggests Tibetan Spaniels were trained to turn the monks’ prayer wheels. Considered lucky, the dogs were never sold, and very rarely given as gifts. Though one or two may have left the monasteries before the 20th century, the first Tibetan Spaniels to come to Great Britain and catch the public’s eye were brought by medical missionaries in the 1920s. Plainer than other types of lap dog, they didn’t gain much of a following at first. But interest grew in England after the Second World War, when they became firmly established as show dogs and pets. Tibetan Spaniels came to North America in the mid-1960s and were finally recognized in 1983.
A born watchdog, the Tibetan Spaniel loves to find a high place to watch for strangers and warn his family. He is very attached to his owners, but at the same time independent in nature. Playful and very intelligent, the Tibetan Spaniel gets much of his exercise playing games with his people. Lots of socialization is important to accustom him to different people and places.