Pekingese vs Tibetan Spaniel : Promising Comparison of 2 Dog Breeds

By Alberto Roy

Updated on:

There’s are no right or wrong ways to discover new dogs as potential pets. The key is finding a dog breed that’s compatible with your living accommodations, capacity for care, and schedule. Today we are looking at two dog breeds – Pekingese vs Tibetan Spaniel. Both these dogs are relatively small, active, and highly alert.

More importantly, they’ve been bred as companion dogs for centuries. Both Pekingese and Tibetan Spaniels have gained a lot of traction as family pets. Both promise unwavering companionship. But, which one will suit you better as a dog parent? Let’s explore the key characteristics of Pekingese vs Tibetan Spaniel dogs.

Pekingese vs Tibetan Spaniel

Pekingese vs Tibetan Spaniel

Basic Pekingese vs Tibetan Spaniel Dog Breed Info


Pekingese dogs are native to China, where they were bred as companion dogs, mostly in aristocratic families. They’re famous for their “lion-esque” appearance and strong-mindedness.

They are intelligent, independent, and regal in terms of personality. However, given their centuries-old history of being treated like royalty, they can be a bit stubborn.

Pekingese dogs tolerate strangers and other animals. But, when they’re not around family, their temperament is very “cat-like.”

Leave them alone, and these cute, strong-minded dogs will come seeking your attention. Pekingese is technically a “toy breed.” But, unlike most toy breeds, their characteristics are similar to larger breed dogs.

  • Breed Type: Purebred, Toy Breed
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Average Lifespan: 12 to 15 years
  • Country of Origin: China
  • Year of Origin: 20 BC (approximately)

Tibetan Spaniel

It’s common to see Tibetan spaniels in monasteries alongside monks, lamas, and other things you find in Tibet. Hailing from the towering Himalayan Mountains, Tibetan Spaniel dogs were bred as watchdogs.

Now, they’re more similar to companion dogs. But, don’t be surprised if your Tibetan spaniel climbs up high perches in your house and acts as a security-guard.

Surprisingly, Tibetan spaniels are not aggressive at all. They’re super-loving and loyal, especially towards their owners, and will do whatever they can to make them happy.

However, owners must earn the trust of Tibetan spaniels via training. They can act anxious and defensive in front of strangers.

  • Breed Type: Purebred, Guard dog, or watchdog
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Average Lifespan: 12 to 15 years
  • Country of Origin: Tibet
  • Year of Origin: 500 BC (approximately)

History of Pekingese Vs Tibetan Spaniel


The Pekingese dog breed has an ancient history, dating back to China’s Buddhist imperial era in 20 BC.

These dogs were revered in ancient China for their resemblance to lions. Since lions were considered holy in Lamaism (a branch of Buddhism), breeding Pekingese dogs was common practice in ancient China.

After multiple centuries of customized breeding programs, the Pekingese breed now has one of the most striking appearances.

They were bred to serve as protective watchdogs for noblemen who liked to stuff them in their sleeves. That’s why modern-day Pekingese dogs are so small.

They were brought to England in 1860 after the British military defeated Beijing’s imperial forces. Queen Victoria fell in love with this breed.

Since then, English and American breeders have made Pekingese dogs popular worldwide.

Tibetan Spaniel

The history of the Tibetan Spaniel is much deeper than the Pekingese breed. Tibetan Spaniels were bred by monks who used them as alarm systems in high, desolate mountains. These small canines have retained their alert nature.

Between 100-200 BC, Tibetan Spaniels could be found inside monasteries, royal families, and in the homes of commoners.

In the 19th century, European voyagers exploring the Himalayas came across these watchdogs.

They’ve made their way from Asia to Europe, the United States, and other parts of the world since then.

Characteristics of Pekingese Vs Tibetan Spaniel


  • Personality: Pekingese dogs were bred as companion dogs, so they’re wired to be loyal and affectionate to their owners. Their personality is ideal for small, loving families where rough play or intense exercises aren’t part of the daily activities. Pekingese dogs are also strong-willed and never hesitant to communicate their feelings – positive or negative.
  • Intelligence:Pekingese are intelligent. They know their own minds and can be very stubborn in certain situations. However, their intelligence makes them good watchdogs. Whenever they suspect danger, they become extremely vocal.
  • Appearance:Pekingese dogs are famous for their “lion-like” coats that come in fawn, red, brown, and cream colors. However, these coats require weekly maintenance. To maintain the regal appearance of your Pekingese, you’ll have to brush their coats 3-4 days a week. Occasional baths and trims are also important. Pekingese dogs shed seasonally.
  • Physical Traits: Pekingese dogs need daily activities to stay healthy – physically and mentally. But, they don’t require 30-minute or 1-hour jogs – 20-30 minutes of daily walking is sufficient to drain their built-up energy. Their coats also make them good for cold weather. During the summers, they require AC cooling. Giving them ice packs on sunny outdoor trips to keep their coats cool is also a good idea.
  • Distinctive Traits:Pekingese puppies are famous for their distinctive strut. Their rolling gaits oscillate softly from one side to the other when they walk. Unlike most small and fluffy dogs, the Pekingese has a stocky build. Thanks to these unique looks (and their genetic intelligence), these regal dogs are often crowd favorites at dog shows.

Tibetan Spaniel 

  • Personality:Tibetan spaniels serve as the perfect pets for calm, peaceful Tibetan monks because they are highly adaptable. They’re generally “happy” dogs and highly affectionate to family members. Their playful, sociable, and adaptable personality makes them a great fit for first-time dog owners.
  • Intelligence:Tibetan spaniels were bred to guard monasteries and rich households in ancient Tibet. They’ve retained these sharp senses over the years. “Tibbies” are always observing their surroundings. They’re alert to gentle sounds like someone approaching the front door. Tibetan spaniel puppies are fast learners. Two to three weeks of puppy training classes are sufficient for them to teach new cues and positive reinforcement techniques.
  • Appearance: Tibetan spaniels are adorable. If you’re in luck, you can get one with a white or silver sable coat. However, the tan golden-colored coat (the most popular coat color for this breed) is equally eye-catching. Tibetan spaniels also have short noses, floppy ears, and brown, oval-shaped eyes. Their wispy, feathered coats require weekly brushing and washing.
  • Physical Traits:Tibetan spaniels are petite and weigh between 9 to 15 pounds. They can easily fit inside small, high-rise apartments. Unlike brachycephalic breeds like bulldogs, pugs, etc., their noses aren’t too flat. Hence, breathing issues aren’t serious threats. Overall, Tibetan spaniels have relatively small statures, which make them family-friendly. But, children must be careful not to step on these mini, high-energy dogs. They require daily playtime, walks, and enjoy the occasional scent work.
  • Distinctive Traits:The classic plumed tail of Tibetan spaniels is something no other dog has. When Tibetan spaniels walk, these plumed tails bounce up and down. They also have triangular ears which point downward when they’re walking.

Growth Chart, Height, Weight 

Pekingese Growth Chart

  • Average Weight: 8 to 10 pounds (or 3.6 to 4.5 kilograms)
  • Average Height: 6 to 9 inches (or 30.4 to 45 centimeters)
  • Grooming Requirements: Professional-level grooming is required from a young age to keep their coats in good condition.
  • Shedding Level: Moderate, seasonal shedding.
  • Full Growth: Like most toy breeds, the Pekingese reach adult sizes in less than 9 to 12 months. After this period, they stop growing.

Key Developmental Milestones of Pekingese

  • 1 Week: Eyes open
  • 2 Weeks: Start walking
  • 2 Months: Can be separated from mother/siblings; ready to socialize, receive house-training, and eat solid foods
  • 3 Months: Can be dewormed, vaccinated, and taken on runs for exercising.
  • 6 Months: “Adolescent” period, typified by increased disobedience, displays of independence, and stubbornness.
  • 9 Months: Post 9 months, Pekingese dogs achieve sexual maturity. The diets of most Pekingese dogs above this age consist of only chewable, adult food.

Once Pekingese dogs are a year old, they achieve full reproductive maturity. Female Pekingese may experience heat cycles before this age (8 to 9 months). Like most tiny pooches, the Pekingese matures physically quicker than larger canines.

Tibetan Spaniel Growth Chart

  • Average Weight: 12 pounds (or 4.1 to 6.8 kilograms)
  • Average Height: 10 to 12 inches (or 25 centimeters)
  • Grooming Requirements: No professional grooming is required for pups or adults.
  • Shedding Level: None; minimal in old age.
  • Full Growth:Like in most toy-sized breeds, the key developmental stages in Tibetan Spaniel spans 14 to 16 months. They’ll steadily grow in height, length, and weight for the first 6 to 7 months. Once they become “adolescents” at about five months of age, they stop growing rapidly.

Key Developmental Milestones of Tibetan Spaniels  

  • 1 Week: Eyes and ears open
  • 2 Weeks: Starts walking, running
  • 2 Months: Can be separated from mother/siblings; ready to socialize, receive house training, and eat solid foods.
  • 3 to 4 Months: Ready for deworming, vaccinations, and physical exercises.
  • 5 Months:Teenage begins as their adult coats start growing in. Tibetan Spaniels also tend to act stubborn, fearless and highly social during this stage.
  • 8 to 10 Months: Adulthood or sexual maturity. They achieve their full adult heights and weights. Diets mainly consist of solid, adult foods. Ready for intense exercise regimens.

Pros and Cons of Pekingese


  • Smart
  • Affectionate
  • Loyal
  • Adaptable to apartment life
  • Playful
  • No serious exercise requirements
  • Adaptable to other pets (especially with cats)
  • Alert
  • Social


  • Stubborn
  • Not hypoallergenic
  • Weekly grooming requirements
  • Housetraining is difficult, especially with innately stubborn puppies
  • Loud – barks frequently and snores
  • Accident-prone near small children (can be stepped on)
  • Sheds abundantly during shedding seasons
  • Potential health issues and disease risks

Pros and Cons of Tibetan Spaniel


  • Social
  • Friendly
  • Alert
  • Popular in homes across the globe
  • No serious exercise needs
  • Friendly with other pets
  • Loves cuddling, being carried, and treats


  • Wired to climb high spaces, hence injury-prone
  • Loud barks
  • Not hypoallergenic
  • Can be apprehensive amidst strangers
  • Not big enough to be an effective guard dog
  • Coat blowouts can occur every few years
  • Demands attention

Health Issues of Pekingese Vs Tibetan Spaniel

Generally speaking, both the Pekingese and the Tibetan Spaniel are fairly healthy breeds. But, they are prone to some specific health risks.

Pekingese dogs can face the following health issues –

  • Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome (breathing difficulties)
  • Keratoconjunctivitis sicca (chronic dry eyes)
  • Patellar Luxation (kneecap dislocation)
  • Intervertebral Disc Disease (rupture of spinal discs)

Tibetan Spaniel

  • Patellar Luxation (kneecap dislocation)
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (eye disorders that cause blindness in old age)

How to Take Care of Pekingese and Tibetan Spaniels?

Overall, both Pekingese and Tibetan Spaniel puppies don’t require too much exercise. An hour of daily walking (after they become adults) is crucial to maintaining their behavior.

  • Maintaining Pekingese dogs is slightly more challenging as they shed and drool more frequently than Tibetan spaniels.
  • Neither breed is hypoallergenic, so if you have dog allergies, don’t get either.
  • Both types of dogs have delicate stomachs. Certain food items may make them gassy.
  • Wet, home-prepared foods along with dry kibble (about 200 calories per meal) form the ideal diet for adult Pekingese and Tibetan Spaniels.

Final Take : Both breeds are great for first-time owners living in small apartments. But, if you want less grooming and medical responsibilities, the Tibetan Spaniel breed is slightly better.

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