|Country of origin
|Classification and breed standards
||Group 9 Section 5 #231
||Group 1 (Toys)
||Group 6 - Non-Sporting Dogs
|Not recognized by any major kennel club
|This breed of dog is
Tibetan Spaniels are a breed of small, highly intelligent dogs
originating in the
Himalayan mountains of Tibet.
This breed is not a true
Spaniel; its breeding and role differs quite a bit (Spaniels are
gun dogs.) Tibbies,
as they are often called, make excellent housepets for all people, including
families with small children.
Should be small, active and alert. The outline should give a well balanced
appearance, slightly longer in body than the height at withers.Size Height about
10 inches. Body slightly longer from the point of shoulder to root of tail than
the height at withers. Weight 9-15 pounds being ideal.
Joyful and assertive, highly intelligent, aloof with strangers
Small monastery dogs, thought to be early representatives of the Tibetan
Spaniel, loyally trailed behind their Lama masters and came to be regarded as
"little Lions", thus giving them great value and prestige. The practice of
sending the dogs as gifts to the palaces of China and other Buddhist countries
grew significantly, and in reciprocity more "lion dogs" were presented back to
Tibet, continuing until as late as 1908. Through exchange of Tibetan Spaniels
between palaces and monasteries, the breed is likely to have common ancestors
with a number of the Oriental breeds, including the Havanese Chin and the
Village-bred Tibetan Spaniels varied greatly in size and type, and the
smaller puppies were usually given as gifts to the monasteries. In turn, these
smaller dogs used in the monastery breeding programs were probably combined with
the more elegant Tibetan Spaniel-type dogs brought from China. Those bred closer
to the Chinese borders were characterized by shorter muzzles,
Not only was the Tibetan Spaniel prized as a pet and companion, it was
considered a very useful animal by all classes of Tibetans. During the day, the
dogs would sit on top of the monastery walls keeping a steady watch over the
countryside below. Their keen eye and ability to see great distances, as well as
their persistent barking, made them exceptionally good watchdogs.
The first authenticated reference we find to Tibetan Spaniels in this country
is a litter born out of two imported dogs from a Tibetan monastery in 1965. In
January 1971, the Tibetan Spaniel Club of America was formed with 14 charter
members. After a period in the Miscellaneous classes, the Tibetan Spaniel was
accepted for AKC registration and became eligible to compete as a Non-Sporting
breed effective January 1, 1984.
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