History and origin: An ancient breed native to Tibet and may be over 2000 years old. Bred for centuries by the Buddhist monks and lived in the monasteries. They were highly regarded as companions, were excellent bed warmers in this rather inhospitable climate, and served as guardians, alerting by barking. The dogs were gifted back and forth to other Buddhist countries and likely have the Japanese Chin, Lhasa Apso and Pekingese as ancestors. Often called ‘little lion dogs’ (lions were sacred to the Buddhist monks) and so the golden coat hues were preferred by the monks. Not a spaniel at all as we think of hunting and gun dogs but a French term for spaniel from the Middle Ages, Epagnuel, translated which means companion or comfort dog. Recognized by AKC in 1983.
General Appearance: small breed, short legs, moderate bone, rectangular in bodily shape, long tail carried over back, drop ears, eyes dark brown medium size, oval shaped, rather short neck, level back, black nose, feet are hare shaped(longer toes) Size: height 10 inches weight 9-15 pounds.
Coat and Colour: double coated, silky body coat of moderate length lies flat, Smooth on face and fronts of legs. Tail is generously coated and plumes over back. Ears and backs of legs well feathered. Toes are feathered with hair extending beyond toes. Does shed but does not matt. Coat is not trimmed. Regular brushing encouraged. Common colours are red, gold, cream, black/tan, black, sable, parti
Feeding: Quality kibble fed dry, once or twice daily
Training and Obedience: an intelligent adaptive little breed but stubborn and independent. Not a good choice for the dog sport enthusiast. Need companionship so do not thrive well as a kennel dog. Can do well in nose sports training.
Activity: very active for their size. Walks must be on leash or plenty of exercise in a fenced yard for running and playing. They will climb on furniture to be able to watch out the window as their heritage suggests in the monasteries. Equally at home in a large house or apartment. Long lived and hardy. Healthy breed.
Temperament: Affectionately known as Tibbies, they are sensitive, sweet and charming. They do very well in a family unit and are good with other dogs and children. Alert, spirited, energetic, but also a calm cuddler. Excellent family pet.