Tibetan Spaniels were held in high regard and often given as gifts among the Tibetan nobility. This regal air is still common in modern Tibetan Spaniels, who believe themselves to be royalty, and expect their families to treat them as nobility and not helpless lap dogs. They were also used as watchdogs for Tibetan Monks, taking their place on top of the high walls surrounding the monastery and sounding the alarm that intruders were on the horizon. Tibetan Spaniels make excellent companions for older people who have the time to devote all of their attention to their dog, as this breed demands a lot of attention. They adore their immediate family but are wary of strangers, which makes them excellent little watchdogs. They are better with small children than other tiny breeds, and often consider themselves to be the kids' nanny, supervising their activities and keeping a watchful eye on them. Tibetan Spaniels have been compared to cats – they are graceful, enjoy a good nap and like to perch on the highest possible location in the house to be able to keep an eye on things.
Tibetan Spaniels are adaptable to all sorts of living arrangements. They are small enough to enjoy apartment life, but are just as happy in a sprawling estate. They do not require a lot of vigorous activity in order to maintain health, a daily walk and some play time will meet their needs. Do not simply leave your Tibetan Spaniels to their own devices in the back yard. These dogs crave companionship and prefer that playtime be interactive.
Tibetan Spaniels can be difficult to train. You must begin early to establish leadership and a chain of command with you at t the top. Trying to train this breed when they have established themselves as the leader of the pack is almost always futile. Food is an excellent motivator, as is lots of excited praise. Keep sessions short and vary the activities in order to hold his interest.
It can be easy to shelter a Tibetan Spaniel. They are tiny and people love to carry them and tote them around in purses. You must walk a fine line, though. Over-sheltered Tibetans can become very high strung. It is important to give your dog plenty of independence. Let him walk on a leash rather than tote him around in a bag and socialize him around people and other animals so that he knows how to greet and be greeted with proper manners. Like all small dogs, the Tibetan Spaniel prefers to be greeted at his own level. Ask guests to crouch down before just swooping in on the dog, as he will become startled and defensive.
Separation Anxiety is common in this people-loving breed. Tibetans love people and hate being left alone for long periods of time. People who work long hours can expect to come home to a dog that is anxious, who has probably chewed your personal belongings, driven the neighbors nuts with incessant barking and may have relieved himself on the rug. They are best suited for retirees or families where there is a stay at home parent who can be his constant companion.