Tibetan Spaniel vs Pekingese

Tibetan Spaniel vs Pekingese

The Tibetan Spaniel and Pekingese dog breeds are often confused with one another. They are both compact, strong-willed dogs that have distinct ‘smushed’ muzzles and ‘lion-like manes. Today, we will be discussing four main differences between the Tibetan Spaniel and Pekingese dog breeds. Before we get into their differences, let’s discuss some breed-specific traits starting with the Tibetan Spaniel.

Tibetan Spaniel

The Tibetan Spaniel originated in Tibet and was bred specifically for sentinel work on the walls of Tibetan monasteries. This breed is best known for its beautiful, silky, flat coat and mane of fur around its neck.

When it comes to personality, this breed is known for forming a very tight bond with its human owner. The Tibetan Spaniel is also known for being distinctively happy, assertive, intelligent, playful and independent. Some of their physical characteristics are its blunt muzzle, large eyes and cute, curly tail. They measure in at around 10 inches from shoulder to toe and can be found in a variety of coats and color combinations.

There exist breed-specific health concerns for the Tibetan Spaniel like congenital deafness, epilepsy and several eye diseases including retinal dysplasia. They usually weigh in between 9-15 pounds and have a life expectancy of 12-15 years.


Now let’s discuss the Pekingese dog breed. The Pekingese dog breed is slightly smaller than the Tibetan Spaniel, weighing in at around 14 pounds and measuring 6-9 inches from shoulder to toe. This breed was created for the ruling classes of ancient China. They are known for their loyalty, unique ‘rolling’ gait feature, and the ability to serve as alert and handy watchdogs. All of these characteristics are wrapped up in a compact and stocky-sized package.

The Pekingese is well-known for its ‘lion-like mane, just like the one the Tibetan Spaniel sports and is cause for confusion when it comes to differentiating the two breeds from one another. However, the Pekingese breed differs from the Tibetan Spaniel when it comes to their royal ancestry.

This breed comes from a long line of dogs that were bred to live in palaces in China and other Buddhist countries. No wonder their personalities are so charming and known for having very tight bonds with their owners. It should be noted that the Pekingese can tolerate kids, but are not the best with kids, as any random and sudden playing or roughhousing may cause the animal stress and make them act out.

The Pekingese dog breed has a distinctive, opinionated, aggressive, stubborn, and affectionate temperament. This breed requires daily exercise, enjoys being outdoors and their thick, profuse coat allows them to withstand cold temperatures. The Pekingese have minor health issues like an elongated soft palate and have on average, a lifespan of 12-14 years.

Now lets get into the notable differences between the Tibetan Spaniel and Pekingese. We will list the differences between the two breeds by category for your convenience. We will discuss how the two dog breeds differ when it comes to their: Origin, Physical Differences, Personalities, and Activity Levels.

Tibetan Spaniel vs. Pekingese


  • Pekingese originates from China around the year 20BC
  • Tibetan Spaniel originates from Tibet around the year 500BC

Physical Differences

  • The coat of the Tibetan Spaniel is notably more profuse than the Pekingese and its coat should be brushed more often
  • Tibetan Spaniel has a slightly larger face
  • Pekingese has extra folds of skin around its as, whereas the Tibetan Spaniel does not
  • Tibetan Spaniel tends to weigh more than the Pekingese
  • Tibetan Spaniel has on average, a longer life-span than the Pekingese breed
  • Tibetan Spaniel has more serious health concerns than the Pekingese breed


  • Tibetan Spaniel is slightly friendlier than the Pekingese
  • Tibetan Spaniel is more pet friendly
  • Tibetan Spaniel is more stranger friendly

Activity Level

  • Tibetan Spaniel doesn’t require as much activity as the Pekingese and is okay for apartment living
  • Tibetan Spaniel is 4mph faster than the Pekingese, clocking in at 16mph

That covers most of the distinct characteristics of each bred and notable differences between the Tibetan Spaniel and Pekingese dog breeds. Hopefully now, armed with breed specific information, you will be able to spot the difference between the two and make a well-informed decision if you are currently looking to add either of these beautiful dog breeds to adopt into your family.


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