Why the Tibetan Spaniel May Not be the Right Breed for You
Tibetan Spaniels are a wonderful breed, but they are not the dog for everyone. In order to be a good companion and member of the family, they need more work than many breeds. It is always important that you socialize and train any dog, but with a Tibetan Spaniel, it is particularly important to begin the socialization at an early age.
- Tibbies are dogs of high intelligence and are extremely independent. They generally do not do well in obedience or in agility or other organized activities. However, there are exceptions. Some Tibetan Spaniels have done quite well in the obedience and agility ring.
- You may never walk your Tibbie off leash as they tend to run off.
- Your Tibbie will not come when called. It wants to explore. As one Tibbie owner once said, "Oh, Tibbies want to be with you, it is just that if they don't see any good reason to come when called, they won't."
- Tibbies do not adapt well to being outside dogs. They must be integrated into the family.
- Tibbies are highly protective of their family and their property. They will bark at any and all strangers, including other dogs that may pass by.
- Your Tibbie may not listen to you when you tell him or her that it is "OK". They know better than you do.
- Although Tibbies are extremely independent, they are also extremely sensitive to your moods and to the moods and emotions of any of the family members. Tibbies may not wish to be present when you are disciplining your children. Do not fight in front of your Tibbie - they will become very upset.
- Tibetan Spaniels have been raised for thousands of year to serve as lookouts, lying on the high monastery walls and barking, warning the monks and larger Tibetan Mastiffs whenever anything approached. You should socialize your Tibbie by taking it to town or playgrounds where they can meet others people and animals.
- Tibbies like to climb on top of the sofa or a table. They like to be able to look out the window (like a cat) and see what is going on outside. If you don't want a dog to climb on your furniture, then the Tibetan Spaniel is not for you.
- Tibbies are highly intelligent and therefore are easily bored. If left to their own devices, they may chew up your favorite shoe.
- While Tibbies do not shed profusely, at least once a year (and in some cases twice), they do blow their coats — when they shed their entire undercoat in the space of four to six weeks, this can present a problem unless you have a very good vacuum cleaner.
- One of the Tibbie's glories is its coat. Be prepared to groom them. While they are blowing their coat, be prepared to work on their coat almost every day.
- Tibetan Spaniels adore their owners. Many Tibbies show their affection by licking your face or jumping in their owners' laps. So if you don't want a dog who licks or wants to be loved, then the Tibetan Spaniel is not the right breed for you.
- Some Tibbies can be picky eaters. Tibbies should be fed a good quality dog food.
- Tibetan Spaniels have been known to be sensitive to some types of anesthesia. Please check the health section of this site for more information.
In short, if you want an obedient dog, a dog that you can walk off leash, a dog that will come when called, the Tibbie is not the dog for you. Please think carefully before you fall in love with a beautiful, adorable Tibetan Spaniel puppy. It is a highly intelligent animal that will bond very closely with you, but it will not be your obedient servant, and it will be convinced (perhaps correctly) that in most circumstances it knows better than you.