So you wish to own a Tibetan Spaniel?
Tibetan Spaniels are addictive; be warned once hooked on this breed you are likely to acquire more. They are small, easy to care for, do not require enormous amounts of grooming, are generally very healthy and live to a ripe old age (15/16 is quite normal).
However they do think they are a very big dog in a small dog’s body and are not afraid of anything.
If you are considering acquiring a dog remember it is a long term commitment, particularly so for the Tibetan Spaniel. When buying a companion for a child do think first who’ll care for the dog when the child becomes an adult and moves on.
So you’ve decided on a Tibbie. Go and see some at home with their family in their normal surroundings. Ask questions and observe them at play and at rest – would they fit in with your household and ways. A Tibbie needs a securely fenced garden. They can and will climb or dig their way out of the average fenced garden. They are also inveterate diggers so if you are ‘garden proud’ be warned. Tibbies are independent by nature and very inquisitive. They must always be on a collar and lead in the street and some cannot be trusted to return when off the lead in fields or open areas. It is wise to invest in a flexi lead – your dog will not be deprived by not having “off lead” exercise and you’ll be happier going home when you want to, accompanied by your dog! Tibbies and can will walk for miles, scrambling over the roughest terrain, however, if it is a very wet day they will be equally happy sat at home by the fire. They are people dogs, needing human companionship and the opportunity to share and influence the lives of their owners.
An adult Tibbie will need thorough grooming twice weekly, there is no trimming or clipping required.
If you have decided a Tibbie is for you then you will have many years of fun and mischief from this adorable breed.
However if you require a dog that is instantly obedient or that can be kept as a kennel dog do not have a Tibetan Spaniel.
Buying a puppy
Before buying a puppy contact one of the breed clubs for names of responsible breeders in your area. Tibetan Spaniels do not grow on trees and you may have to wait and then travel to get your puppy.
Make sure you see the puppy with its mother. Make sure she is well kept, happy and healthy. Make sure your puppy has clear bright eyes and is alert, however do allow some time for the puppy to get used to strangers. You may also be able to see the father if he lives on the premises. Your pup should be fully vaccinated, KC registered and be accompanied by a pedigree and a diet sheet. Responsible breeders will wish to keep in touch and have progress reports on the pups well being. They will also normally be willing to take the puppy back should any insoluble problems arise.
Do not be offended if the breeder asks lots of questions about you and your lifestyle they are only trying to ensure they find the right home to care for one of their puppies.
Older dogs are sometimes available having been ‘run on’ for show purposes and then either not making the grade or simply disliking the show ring. Your club contact may know of some like this.
The rescue service exists to help Tibetan Spaniels who need rehoming through bereavement, incapacity or sometimes through incompatibility/neglect.
They are often older and will need special care and attention. Some may need extra veterinary care and it is vitally important when taking on a rescue to do so for it’s life. Remember it’s been let down once, don’t do it again.
Your contact club will be able to put you in touch with a rescue representative but remember these dogs come without pedigree and are not suitable for breeding. Rescue is not a cheap way of acquiring a Tibetan Spaniel.