Tibetan Spaniel

The Tibetan Spaniel is a breed of assertive, small, intelligent dogs originating in the Himalayan mountains of Tibet. They share ancestry with the Pekingese, Japanese Chin, Shih Tzu, Lhasa Apso, and Pug. This breed is not a true Spaniel; its breeding and role differs quite a bit (Spaniels are gun dogs.) The name Spaniel may have been given due to its resemblance to the bred-down lapdog versions of the hunting Spaniels, such as the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.

Tibetan Spaniel Appearance

The Tibetan Spaniel has a domed head that is small, in comparison to the body. It has a short blunt muzzle. Teeth meet in an undershot or level bite. The nose is black. The eyes are medium but in keeping with the face and are set wide apart, these are oval in shape. The Tibetan Spaniel does not have extra skin around the eyes and this helps to tell the breed apart from the Pekingese. The ears hang down either side of the head to cheek level and are feathered. The neck is covered in a mane of hair, which is more noticeable in the dog of the breed. The Tibetan Spaniel front legs are a little bowed and the feet are hare-like. This dog has a great feathered tail that is set high and is carried over their back. The coat is a silky double coat lying flat and is short and smooth on the face and leg fronts, it is medium in length on the body and has feathering on the ears, toes and tail. The Tibetan Spaniel dog can come in all colours and be solid, shaded and multi- coloured. Colour's that is seen is red, fawn, gold, white, cream, black and tan, black often there is white markings on the feet. The Tibetan Spaniels' life expectancy is 12-15 years. This breed grows to 10 inches and the weight is 9-15 pounds.

Tibetan Spaniel Temperament

The Tibetan Spaniel is a reliable little watchdog and lapdog. They are active, alert, lively, happy, and intelligent. They can be independent thinkers, and have been known to open doors and purses. They like to please you but they also like to do things their own way.They are especially reluctant to come when you call them, so they do best walking on lead or playing in a fenced-in area. While they are friendly and outgoing with their families, they are aloof with strangers, and will bark if anyone approaches the home. Yet, they are not prone to yap unnecessarily. Mostly, they like to lie around all day peering out the window, and they will often climb up onto the back of the sofa or the dining room table to get the best vantage point. Tibbies only need moderate exercise. A daily walk will satisfy. They do well with children, but interactions should be supervised. They do well with other dogs and animals. They are famous for being able to understand and respond to your moods and feelings. Some recommend that you don't fight in front of your Tibbie, as he will become the most upset of anyone involved. They love to give kisses by licking your face and they love to cuddle up in your lap. They can live anywhere, in a mansion, or an apartment. The Tibetan Spaniel will want to spend time with his family. They do very well with children and like to play with them. They are good companions for older people, because they require only small amounts of exercise that can be released by playing games in the house.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy

Progressive retinal atrophy is a problem with this breed. The disease is an inherited form of blindness in dogs that occurs in two forms: generalized PRA and central PRA. Generalized PRA is primarily a photoreceptor disease and is the form found in Tibetan Spaniels. The clinical signs have been observed between 1½ and 4 years, but as late at seven years. The disease is painless and affected dogs become completely blind. Currently there is no treatment, but affected dogs generally adapt well to their progressive blindness.

The earliest clinical sign of progressive retinal atrophy is "night blindness." The dog cannot see well in a dimly lit room or at dusk. The dog will show a reluctance to move from a lighted area into darker surroundings. The night blindness develops progressively into complete blindness. The British institution Animal Health Trust (AHT) is at present intensively researching PRA in Tibetans Spaniels, aiming to isolate the responsible gene.

Liver Shunt - Portosystemic Shunt

A portosystemic shunt is an abnormal vessel that allows blood to bypass the liver, one of the body's filters, so that it is not cleansed. This condition is often referred to as a "liver shunt".

Most shunts cause recognizable symptoms by the time a dog is a young adult but are occasionally diagnosed only later in life. Since the severity of the condition can vary widely depending on how much blood flow is diverted past the liver it is possible for a lot of variation in clinical signs and time of onset. Often, this condition is recognized after a puppy fails to grow, allowing early diagnosis. Signs of portosystemic shunts include poor weight gain, sensitivity to sedatives (especially diazepam), depression, pushing the head against a solid object, seizures, weakness, salivation, vomiting, poor appetite, increased drinking and urinating, balance problems and frequent urinary tract disease or early onset of bladder stones. A dramatic increase of these signs after eating is a strong supportive sign of a portosystemic shunt.

Other Issues

Like many breeds of dog, Tibetan Spaniels are susceptible to allergies. They also tend to experience "cherry eye", a prolapsed third eyelid. The shape of a Tibetan Spaniel's face makes them prone to "weeping eye".

Top 100 Pets Sites on Top100Add.com - Add your Site, Boost Your Traffic! Dog Topsite The Puppy Network Top Dog Sites
List your site in the Hot Vs Not web directory You can find other related resources in the Pets Directory