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Like other dogs bred to live and work in Tibetan monasteries, the little Tibetan Spaniel makes an excellent watchdog. He loves to announce visitors and fastidiously keeps track of the happenings in his home.
Tibetan Spaniels love nothing more than to spend their days showering their owners with adoration and protection. Their lovely coats will need frequent brushing, and they hate to feel neglected, but with the proper amount of attention and care, they make devoted, loving family companions.
Tibetan Spaniels are gentle, affectionate dogs. They love spending time in the company of their owners and feeling as if they are the center of attention in their household. These small Spaniels take their responsibility as watch dogs seriously, however. They are adoring of their owners and devoted to protecting them, which makes them naturally suspicious of strangers. Because they have a tendency to insert themselves into whatever activity is going on around them, Tibetan Spaniels do not like to be left alone for extended periods of time. If they feel they are being neglected, they will resort to loud, frequent barking. Part of what makes these perceptive pups such good watchdogs is that they have a keen sensitivity toward human emotions. Tibetan Spaniels respond to the mood of their owners and are sensitive to anger and loud noises. As a result, they will sulk at length when they — or one of their owner's children — is disciplined.
Tibetan Spaniels are used to being the little dog in the family. Originally, they lived in palaces with Tibetan Mastiffs, Lhasa Apsos and Tibetan Terriers, so they are very comfortable living and playing with other dogs. Indoors, they are relaxed and happy. They enjoy curling up next to other people or dogs, and they especially enjoy roosting up high on the backs of furniture or on windowsills.
Tibetan Spaniels have a beautifully colored flat, silky coat. Their tail is plumed and curls over the back. The coat's defining feature is the "shawl" or mane of silky, smooth hair that is even more pronounced on males than on females. Their hair is longer and smooth on the legs and face with feathered hair between the toes. The coat comes in most solid colors, and is commonly found in variations of black, tan, honey, cream and brown.
The Tibetan Spaniel sheds periodically throughout the year, but his silky coat comes out in clumps once a year. During this time, Tibetan Spaniels need extra help to keep their coats clean, silky and free of mats. Daily brushing with a slicker brush or a small shedding rake will help remove the dead undercoat and keep clumps of dead hair from forming mats and tangles.
With preparation, perseverance and a positive attitude, bathing can become a fun and fulfilling part of the regular grooming cycle, while helping your dog avoid many diseases and infections.
Breeds with combination coats should be bathed seasonally, or about every three months. Naturally, it can be done more often if needed. The coat should end up fresh smelling, with no loose or shedding hair. First give the dog a good brushing to remove dead hair and mats. Place a rubber mat in the tub to provide secure footing and fill the tub with three to four inches of lukewarm water. Use a spray hose, pitcher or unbreakable cup to wet the dog, taking caution to avoid getting water in the eyes, ears and nose. Massage in pet shampoo, saving the head for last. Immediately rinse thoroughly, starting with the head to prevent soap from dripping into the eyes. Towel dry. Coat should be fresh smelling, with no loose or shedding hair.
You may also need to use a clipper to remove any mats or clumps of hair that cannot be brushed or picked out. Trimming or clipping the feathered hair around your Tibetan Spaniel's small, rabbit-like paws will help him stay comfortable on long walks.
Many dog owners are apprehensive about trimming their dog’s nails because they are nervous about cutting into the quick. But with the right conditioning and careful cutting, nail clipping can be a simple, stress-free activity for you and your dog.
Provide your dog with plenty of positive reinforcement and even treats to help associate nail clipping with a positive experience. As you start to clip, gently press on your dog’s paws to help him become accustomed to the feeling of having his nails clipped. Then, work gradually, shaving down just a thin portion of the nail at first to make sure you don’t reach the quick. Clip one nail, reward your dog with a treat, and stop to give him some positive reinforcement before moving on. Gradually increase the number of nails you clip in one sitting to help your dog get used to the process. Never trim extremely long nails down to a short nail in one sitting, because this is an excellent way to accidently quick the dog’s nail. Instead, work gradually, shaving small portions of your dog’s nails off each time.
You can tell if you’re getting close to the quick by the texture of your dog’s nail. The nail is hard closer to the surface and becomes softer as you get closer to the quick. If your dog’s nail starts to feel softer, that’s a good indication that you’re getting close to the quick.
Not all breeds and coat styles require routine trimming in and around the eyes and ears but all should undergo regular inspection and cleaning around these sensitive areas. Doing so will help prevent the development of infections that could seriously damage these amazing organs.
It is always important to routinely clean your dog's eyes and ears, and examine for potential infections. Small dogs, like Dachshunds, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Papillions and Japanese Chins, and dogs with hanging ears like the Saluki, have sensitive ears that need to be checked weekly for infection and cleaned with a cotton ball. Gently wipe a cotton ball moistened with mineral oil, olive oil or witch hazel in your dog's ear, being careful to avoid the ear canal. Never use a Q-Tip, which could cause damage to the inner ear if your dog suddenly shakes or jerks his head. Bushy hair growth within the ear can be thinned with tweezers or blunt scissors. Use a small trimmer to trim excess hair around the eyes, ears and face. Small dogs like Papillions and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are prone to developing tear stains around their eyes, so clean around their eyes with a cotton ball or soft cloth and use a small trimmer to trim excess hair around their eyes.
Many owners do not realize how important it is to brush your pet’s teeth on a regular basis. Some dogs are prone to dental problems and sensitive teeth, especially small dogs with tiny teeth and dogs with special diets. These problems can be easily combatted with frequent brushing.
Cavities are rare with dogs but gum disease caused by tartar buildup is not, which is why they require regular brushing with toothpaste and a toothbrush formulated specifically for dogs. While daily brushing is ideal, doing so on a weekly basis will be a big help in avoiding the need to bring your dog to a veterinarian for a cleaning, which usually has to be done under sedation.