The Tibetan Spaniel is from Tibet where they were originally kept as small guard and watch dogs for the Tibetan monasteries. The exact age of the breed is unknown, but there is speculation based on historical artifacts that the breed could be well over 1000 years old. This breed was cherished and highly valued, and they were commonly given, and exchanged, between royal families as gifts.
The average life expectancy of the Tibbie is between 12 and 15 years. Health risks associated with this breed include progressive retinal atrophy, cherry eye, allergies, and a liver condition known as portosystemic shunt.