Tibetan Spaniel

Lifestyle Needs

Tibetan Spaniel

The Tibetan Spaniel is one of the Toy companion breeds.  A very cute and pert little dog with a cheerful temperament and plenty of energy.  He will want to join in with games and will enjoy his daily exercsie.  Despite his small size, he is generally a robust little dog.  His coat, as described in the breed standard is, ‘ silky in texture, smooth on face and front of legs, moderate in length….. Undercoat fine and dense.’  The Tibetan Spaniel will need frequent grooming to keep his coat clean and tangle free.

Genetic Diversity
(Known as Coefficient of Inbreeding: 'COI'. It should be as low as possible.)

The UK Kennel Club breed average COI is 15.2% - See 'A Beginners Guide to COI'

Gene Pool Size
(Known as Effective Population Size: 'EPS')


EPS is a measure of how many individuals are contributing genetically to a breed population. It is a measure of the size of the gene pool in a breed. Lower than 100 is considered critical by conservationists and below 50 brings a breed close to extinction. For more information see the Kennel Club article.

Health and Welfare Problems due to Conformation
(Body shape and physical characteristics)

The long and silky coat may harbour dust, dirt and debris if not groomed on a daily basis.

Similarly, ear infections are possible because of the excessive hair around the ears

BVA/KC Health Schemes: www.bva.co.uk/chs

  • Hip dysplasia:  breed mean score 12 (parents should be lower) Note: very few Tibetan Spaniels are hip scored as the breed club feel it is unnecessary.
  • Eye disease:  Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) (annual testing)

Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) : No EBVs are currently available for this breed

DNA Tests Available
DogWellNet and IPFD Harmonisation of Genetic Testing for Dogs (HGTD)

  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA 3)

Availability of a DNA test does not mean that it is always necessary or even desirable for breeders to use this test.

Other Breed-Specific Health Screening Schemes

  • Bitches not to produce more than 5 litters in their lifetime
  • Bitches not to produce more than one litter within a 12 month period

Ask the breeder to show you the certificates for the above tests/screening for both parents. If any of the above tests have not been considered necessary by the breeder (and there may be good reasons), ask her to explain why.

Other Diseases Reported
(For which there are currently no genetic or screening tests for sire or dam)

  • Entropion
  • Distichiasis
  • Patellar luxation
  • Intervertebral disc disease (IVDD)

Ask the breeder about the medical history of the parents, grandparents and great grandparents. Consider carefully whether to purchase a puppy if some of these or other diseases are in the family line.

Ask about the breeder’s policy in cases of serious genetic diseases occurring to your puppy in later life. Good breeders will request to be informed of such events in order to improve future breeding decisions.

You are strongly advised to buy from a breeder who uses (or is prepared to use) the AWF Puppy Contract and Puppy Information Pack (PIP):  www.puppycontract.org.uk

The breeder should also be familiar with the CFSG/DBRG Code of Practice for Dog Breeding

Or the Kennel Club’s Assured Breeders Scheme Standard and Guidance:
Standard PDF | Guidance PDF

Breed Health Information