While the Tibetan Spaniel goes by this name, and as the Tibbie for short, it is not actually a Spaniel, either in appearance or in role. Spaniels look different from the Tibetan Spaniel and are used as active gun dogs. This isn’t the case with the Tibetan Spaniel. Instead, they are most often kept as companion dogs. Some people believe that they were named this way because of a comparison to Spaniel lapdogs that no longer hunt, like the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. The other part of the name is correct though, as the Tibetan Spaniel does indeed come from Tibet. Tibetan Spaniels have been around for a long time and were companion dogs to monks in monasteries in Tibet. They are said to descend from the Lhasa Apso, Pug, Shih Tzu, Japanese Chin and Pekingese dog breeds.
Tibetan Spaniels are very small and light. They usually weight between 4 and 7 kilograms. They have an average height of around 25 centimetres. Tibetan Spaniels have a long, straight outer coat with a thick under coat that keeps them warm. Their coat is especially long on the tail and on their chest. They have shorter, floppy ears that hang down at the side of their head. Unlike most dogs, the Tibetan Spaniel doesn’t have any set colours. However, they almost always have a black nose and brown eyes. It is considered a fault in kennel clubs if the Tibetan Spaniel’s nose or eyes are of different colours than these.