Frisky, Bright, Warm
Spaniel is a misnomer for the breed, dating to the French term for a companion dog. Natives of Tibetan monasteries, Tibbies were called “little lions” and garnered prestige by the association with sacred lions of the area.
The Tibetan Spaniel can be found depicted in early Eastern art, dating as early as 1100 BC and on some carved jade pieces from 1644 AD.
These lively little dogs are willing companions and guard dogs who prefer high “perches” as befits their time as lookouts in the monasteries, warning the monks and their protective Tibetan Mastiffs of approaching intruders.
Official Standard of the Tibetan Spaniel
Tibetan Spaniel Club of America
General Appearance: Should be small, active and alert. The outline should give a well balanced appearance, slightly longer in body than the height at withers. Fault – Coarseness of type.
Size, Proportion, Substance: Size – Height about 10 inches. Proportion – Body slightly longer from the point of shoulder to root of tail than the height at withers. Substance – Weight 9 to 15 pounds being ideal. Faults – Long bodied or low to ground; leggy or square.
Head: Small in proportion to body and proudly carried, giving an impression of quality. Masculine in dogs but free from coarseness. Eyes dark brown in color, oval in shape, bright and expressive, of medium size set fairly well apart but forward looking, giving an apelike expression. Eye rims black. Faults – Large full eyes; light eyes; mean expression, blue eyes, or eyes with blue marks. Ears medium size, pendant, well feathered in the adult and set fairly high. They may have a slight lift from the skull, but should not fly. Large, heavy, low set ears are not typical. Skull slightly domed, moderate width and length. Faults – Very domed or flat wide skull. Stop moderately defined. Medium length of muzzle, blunt with cushioning, free from wrinkle. The chin should show some depth and width. Faults – Accentuated stop; long, plain down face, without stop; broad flat muzzle; pointed, weak or wrinkled muzzle. Black nose preferred. Faults – Liver or putty-colored pigmentation. Mouth ideally slightly undershot, the upper incisors fitting neatly inside and touching the lower incisors. Teeth should be evenly placed and the lower jaw wide between the canine tusks. A level mouth is permissible, providing there is sufficient width and depth of chin to preserve the blunt appearance of the muzzle. Teeth should not show when mouth is closed. Faults – Overshot mouth; protruding tongue. A bite that is so severely undershot, that the lower teeth are exposed.
Neck, Topline, Body: Neck moderately short, strong and well set on. Level back. Well ribbed with good depth. Tail set high, richly plumed and carried in a gay curl over the back when moving. Should not be penalized for dropping tail when standing.
Forequarters: Shoulders well placed and firm. When viewed from the front, the bones of the forearms are slightly bowed to allow the front feet to fall beneath the shoulders. Moderate bone. Faults – Extremely bowed or straight forearms, as viewed from front. Dewclaws may be removed. Feet – Small, hare foot. Fault – Cat feet.
Hindquarters: Well made and strong. Stifle well developed, showing moderate angulation. Hocks well let down and straight when viewed from behind. Faults – Straight stifle; cow hocks. Dewclaws may be removed. Feet as in front.
Coat: Double coat, silky in texture, smooth on face and front of legs, of moderate length on body, but lying rather flat. Ears and back of forelegs nicely feathered, tail and buttocks well furnished with longer hair. Neck covered with a mane or “shawl” of longer hair which is more pronounced in dogs than bitches. Feathering on toes, often extending beyond the feet. Should not be over-coated and bitches tend to carry less coat and mane than dogs. Presentation – In the show ring it is essential the Tibetan Spaniel be presented in an unaltered condition with the coat lying naturally with no teasing, parting or stylizing of the hair. Specimens where the coat has been altered by trimming, clipping, or by artificial means shall be so severely penalized as to be effectively eliminated from competition. Dogs with such a long coat that there is no rectangle of daylight showing beneath, or so profuse that it obstructs the natural outline, are to be severely penalized. Whiskers are not to be removed. Hair growing between the pads on the underside of the feet may be trimmed for safety and cleanliness. Feathering on toes must not be trimmed.
Color: All colors, and mixtures of colors allowed.
Gait: Quick moving, straight, free, positive.
Temperament: Gay and assertive, highly intelligent, aloof with strangers. Fault – Nervousness.
Approved May 11, 2010 Effective July 28, 2010
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