The Tibetan Spaniel is basically a very healthy breed. The main thing to check when buying a puppy is whether both parents have had their eyes examined in the previous 12 months by an Kennel Club Approved Eye Specialist and whether both parents have been DNA tested for PRA3.
Please be prepared to wait for your puppy, as Tibetan Spaniels are not always readily available. To find out who has Tibetan Spaniel puppies, you can look on the Kennel Club web site under "Find A Puppy" and also contact any of the Tibetan Spaniel Breed Club Secretaries who may well know where there are some. BUT please note that not everyone who breeds bothers to make sure the litter's parents have been DNA tested - see above - or that the parents hold certificates to state they have had their eyes checked within the last 18 months and that they were free from PRA when examined.
You are likely to be paying a large sum of money for your puppy which hopefully will be your friend and companion for upwards of the next 12-16 years. Surely it is worth taking time and trouble to make sure your investment is as healthy as possible?
You can ask the breeder when the parents were last eye tested by a Kennel Club/British Veterinary Association approved eye specialist, or you can ask for the parents Kennel Club registered names and look on the Kennel Club web site under Health tests, The results of these sometimes take a few months to come through, so ask the breeder if you are unable to find the parents recorded as being examined or DNA tested recently. www.thekennelclub.org.uk/media/391727/tibspanielpraclears.pdf
MALE OR FEMALE?
Many people are put off having a male puppy, because they think bitches are more affectionate. This is not necessarily so. Bitches are affectionate, but a male dog on it's own as a companion can be very loving indeed and in general, the males seem to be far more concerned for their human owner than the bitches.
A male puppy, brought up correctly with sensible discipline,(just as important that bitches are trained sensibly too),
can become very close to their owner/family and some really seem to sense their owner's every mood.
Bitches also make good companions, it is a matter for personal choice.
WOULD MY TIBETAN SPANIEL BE HEALTHIER OR HAPPIER IF I BRED FROM HIM/HER?
The answer to that question is definitely ,"No"! There is no evidence that bitches need a litter to make them healthy.
In spite of the fact that they may be difficult to obtain at times, Tibetan Spaniel puppies are not always easy to find suitable homes for. Their arrogant, determined nature means that people who want a well behaved dog who is really very obedient are unlikely to be happy with this breed. Also the public in general do not know of Tibetan Spaniels and for this reason, you might have to keep the puppies for several months.This is expensive in terms of feeding them and in terms of the vast amount of time several growing puppies need from you as you ought to socialise and lead train them.
Male dogs are usually happier if they are not used for breeding, unless they are very successful in the show ring, they are very unlikely to ever have much demand for their services and once they have mated a bitch, most will want to do so again and again.
OBTAINING AN ADULT TIBETAN SPANIEL
Sadly, Tibetan Spaniels sometimes have to be re-homed, mostly through no fault fo their own in any way. People become ill and can not cope, families lose their houses because of redundancy etc. The Tibetan Spaniel Association keeps a register of both Tibetan Spaniels needing new homes and of people wishing to give a home to one. Breeders are expected to be responsible for stock they have bred, but sometimes people unable to keep their dog, cannot remember where they got it from or who bred it and have lost all the papers they got with it. Often it is an elderly Tibetan Spaniel which needs a loving understand home where it still can give years of love and companionship. Bridget Croucher, the Secretary of The TIbetan Spaniel Association,works to rescue our breed and her phone number is 01792 470417.