Deciding to Adopt a Tibetan Spaniel.
Tibetan Spaniels are a small, lively VERY intelligent little dog. They are very family-orientated and are convinced that the family is there to placate every whim of the tibbie.
Although they thrive on the attention of their families, they can be, however, aloof with strangers. They have been described as 50% terrier, 50% monkey and 50% cat. They are very clean dogs, requiring very little grooming. They do like to perch on high spots, like the back of sofas, and survey their domain.
Bred to be watch/companion dogs, they do bark when there is a reason to bark, but they are not “yapping” dogs. We have learned that when a tibbie barks, pay attention. These are a long-lived breed with few genetic issues. Making a commitment to own a Tibbie should be seen as a long-term commitment.
How to Adopt
If you are interested in adopting a Tibbie from a TSCA member breeder, see the Breeder Code of Ethics and Breeder’s Directory. For more information and help finding a breeder, contact Breeder Referral.
If you are interested in giving a rescue Tibetan Spaniel a forever home, please see our Rescue site for information on how to find out about Tibbies available for adoption and how to apply to adopt a rescue Tibbie.
Disadvantages To Owning A Tibbie
These are very smart dogs. Although they can learn anything you want to teach them, they are NOT obedient. NEVER let your tibbie off leash, no matter how well they come to you when you call them in the backyard.
Some tibbies can be “poop” eaters. Some males will “lift their legs” in the house. Tibbies are NOT an outdoor dog. They want and need to be in the center of the family. If you do not want a dog that is going to sit on your furniture, or sleep on your bed, this is not the breed for you.
Some tibbies will be dog aggressive, i.e. they will bark frantically at strange dogs. Some of them will actually try to get a large dog (the larger the better) but most of them are smart enough to wait for backup.
Tibbies do shed, usually about twice a year. They do tend to mat at this time, so daily brushing and combing is needed. Good, vigorous brushing and a bath usually takes quick care of this.
Tibbies have been known to have sensitivity to anesthetic and should NEVER be pre-sedated. Simply stated, if you want an obedient dog that will come to you when called and that you can take for walks off leash, THIS BREED IS NOT FOR YOU! However, if you are able to laugh, enjoy a joke, want a highly intelligent dog that will bond to you and your family, and that will be ALWAYS RIGHT, you are a candidate for a Tibetan Spaniel.
It should be noted that the dogs that come to us for rescue have unknown backgrounds, for the most part. Some of these dogs have not been socialized, have not had good health care, and may have behavior and health issues, to include: not being housebroken, shyness, not being leash trained, and biting issues, just to mention a few. These issues are not restricted to rescued Tibetan Spaniels, but can be found in any dog rescued.
Spaying/Neutering Your Pet
All Tibetan Spaniels placed through our rescue program are spayed/neutered. It is estimated by the Humane Society of the United States that over 3,000,000 animals are euthanized each year in shelters.
In addition to preventing overpopulation and too many animals euthanized a year due to shelter crowding, there are serious other reasons to have the procedure done.
Obviously, a spayed female cannot have a litter. She will not have every stray male in the neighborhood sitting on her doorstep or jumping into her back yard to visit her while she is in season. Additionally, you have to deal with spotting during her heat and false pregnancies, which become more common as pet gets older. Mammary tumors can occur.
The incidence of such tumors in a spayed female is less than 1% versus higher than 50% in intact females over the age of 5. Uterine infections, which increase with age in unsprayed females, can be life-threatening. Spayed females do not have tumors/cancer of the ovaries or uterus.
An unspayed female also can become very stressed when she is in season. In most females, heat periods occur twice a year, and last about three weeks each. During heat, the female can be more irritable and nervous than usual and may even become aggressive.
Males even benefit more than females by being neutered. An unneutered male can detect a female in heat miles away. Responding to the overwhelming urge to reproduce, your male can become nervous and irritable, can pick fights with other dogs or become ill and depressed. Many will try to dig out of yards or look for others way to escape such as jumping a fence. They can start “marking” your home, including your favorite piece of furniture. They can “ride” unsuitable objects (like your child’s leg).
Prostate enlargement occurs in at least 60% of unneutered dogs 5 years and older. Additionally, prostate tumors and infections are common, along with tumors of the testicles, penis and anal area. Perineal hernia can occur in unneutered males (rupture of the posterior abdominal wall). Simply by spaying/neutering your pet you can increase his or lifespan by perhaps years.
The procedure does NOT make your pet fat and lazy. Too much food and not enough exercise will do that. It is NOT better to let your female have one litter. Medical evidence indicates just the opposite. In fact, the evidence shows that females spayed before their first heat are typically healthier. Many veterinarians now sterilize dogs and cats as young as eight weeks of age.
Your children do NOT need to experience the “miracle of birth.” Most females give birth in the wee hours of the morning so it is doubtful your child would even be awake to witness it. If your kids want to watch an animal giving birth, let them watch PBS or Discovery Channel, etc. Just because your pet is purebred and you paid a lot of money for the dog, does not mean it should be reproducing.
At least one in every four pets bought into shelters in the United States are purebred. Spaying/Neutering does not affect your dog’s personality. That is formed more by genetics and environment then sex hormones. Neutering your male will not make him feel like less of a male. Nor does neutering your male dog make his male owner less of a man. Pets don’t have any concept of sexual identity or ego. Neutering will not change a pet’s basic personality. He doesn’t suffer any kind of emotional reaction or identity crisis when neutered.
Yes, we know your dog is special and you think the world will be a better place if you populated it with his/her puppies. However, while your dog may be a great pet, that doesn’t mean her offspring will be a carbon copy. Professional animal breeders who follow generations of bloodlines can’t guarantee they will get just what they want out of a particular litter. A pet owner’s chances are even slimmer. In fact, an entire litter of puppies or kittens might receive all of a pet’s (and her mate’s) worst characteristics.
You may think you will be able to find great homes for all the puppies and you may find homes for all of your pet’s litter. But each home you find means one less home for the dogs and cats in shelters who need good homes. Also, in less than one year’s time, each of your pet’s offspring may have his or her own litter, adding even more animals to the population. The problem of pet overpopulation is created and perpetuated one litter at a time.