Tibetan Spaniels: the most honest dog breed review you'll ever find about Tibetan Spaniel temperament, personality, and behavior.

DOG BOOKS by Michele Welton

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Tibetan Spaniel dog breed

Tibetan Spaniel Temperament: What's Good About 'Em, What's Bad About 'Em

Tibetan Spaniel Temperament, Personality, Behavior, Traits, and Characteristics, by Michele Welton. Copyright © 2000-2017


With his independent nature and quick agility, the Tibetan Spaniel has been compared to a cat.

Lively and playful, yet also calm and laid-back, this good-natured dog is easy to live with. He fits into an apartment or an estate with equal contentment. All he asks for in the way of exercise are daily walks and occasional romps in a safe enclosed area.

Tibetan Spaniels are family-oriented: they love to play games with their own people, are sensitive to moods and feelings, and do not like to be left alone for long periods of time.

They are agile, sure-footed climbers (can often be found perched on the windowsill or the high back of a chair, looking out the window) and clever problem-solvers who often rely on their dexterity to get what they want. For example, they will use their paws to pry open a cabinet door.

Most Tibetan Spaniels are conservative with strangers and don't like being swooped down on by people they don't know. Early socialization is important to develop a confident, outgoing temperament. Most are friendly with other animals.

Though stubborn and self-reliant, the Tibetan Spaniel is also sensitive; obedience training should utilize food and praise.


If you want a dog who...

  • Is small and sturdy, with a short face and large expressive eyes
  • Has a thick coat that comes in a variety of colors
  • Is sensible and easy to live with -- sometimes lively and playful, sometimes calm and laidback
  • Needs only moderate exercise
  • Makes a good watchdog but is not aggressive with people
  • Is usually fine with other pets

A Tibetan Spaniel may be right for you.


If you don't want to deal with...

  • Suspiciousness or timidity when not socialized enough
  • Stubbornness (mind of his own)
  • Regular brushing and combing
  • Shedding

A Tibetan Spaniel may not be right for you.

Keep in mind that the inheritance of temperament is less predictable than the inheritance of physical traits such as size or shedding. Temperament and behavior are also shaped by raising and training.

More traits and characteristics of the Tibetan Spaniel

If I was considering a Tibetan Spaniel, I would be most concerned about...

  1. Providing enough socialization. Standoffish by nature, Tibetan Spaniels need extensive exposure to people and to unusual sights and sounds so that their natural caution doesn't become suspiciousness or shyness.
  2. Stubbornness. Tibetan Spaniels have an independent mind of their own. Many Tibetan Spaniels are stubborn and manipulative. You must show them, through absolute consistency, that you mean what you say.

    In other words, you must teach your Tibetan Spaniel to respect you. A dog who respects you will do what you say and will stop what he's doing when you tell him "No." Read more about Tibetan Spaniel Training.

  3. Grooming and shedding. To keep their lovely coat free of mats and tangles, Tibetan Spaniels require regular brushing and combing. And be aware, they shed a good deal.
  4. Finding one. The Tibetan Spaniel is not common in the United States. Whether you want a Tibetan Spaniel puppy or an adult dog, you should expect to go on a waiting list.

To help you train and care for your dog

book cover To learn more about training your dog to be calm and well-behaved, my dog training book is Teach Your Dog 100 English Words. It's a unique Vocabulary and Respect Training Program that will teach your dog to listen to you and do whatever you ask.

book cover My dog buying guide, Dog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams, will teach you everything you need to know about finding a good-tempered, healthy dog.

book cover My dog health care book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy, shows you how to help your dog live a longer life while avoiding health problems and unnecessary veterinary expenses.

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