The Tibetan Pug is a cross between the Pug and the Tibetan Spaniel, which is, strictly speaking, not a spaniel type but a separate breed in itself. Small and animated, the Tibetan Pug is valued as a pet and companion, and is considered ideal for older owners.
The Pug and the Tibetan Spaniel, or Tibbie, share bloodlines and origins. Both were first known in China and Tibet, and were favored lap dogs of royalty and sentinels of holy places. They are both considered "lion dogs" or "foo" dogs, resembling statues which are found outside temples and palaces. Modern DNA tests have suggested that their lineage goes more back at least 10 thousand years, and is one of the more ancient lines of dog breeds. They were the provenance of the privileged, and were never bought or traded; they were presented or given as gifts, and it was this by eventual practice of giving gifts to monarchs that the breeds reached and became popular in Europe as well.
The Tibetan Pug can be in solid colors, most common are fawn, black, silver, and apricot. Other color patterns may appear and are acceptable. A dark or black head will typically come from the Pug parent.
The Pug has a single coat with short, shiny fur, while the Tibbie has a double coat that is long and silky on top, with a dense and fine undercoat. A mane of longer fur will be more pronounced on male Tibbies. The Tibetan Pug will take after either parent.
The Tibetan Pug is dog of which nothing more is demanded except that it be loving, friendly, and lively. This does not limit the dog's abilities, however; its natural protectiveness can be channeled into watching out for strangers. It is a cuddly and a licker, and is happiest when being showered with attention and affection by its owner. Its activity requirements do not amount to much, and so it is perfect for more sedate lifestyles or older people. It will be bold and forward with everyone in the household, and sees itself as the equal of even bigger dogs. The Tibetan Pug is also a socially sensitive animal, and will act according to moods and emotions it picks up from people or situations. This sensitivity, while making the Tibetan Pug a great companion, also makes it vulnerable to harsh actions or words.
A longer coat will require more frequent brushing than a short coat, which needs one every week or so. Frequent bathing is not recommended, as this can strip away the coat's natural oils and also dry out the skin.
Constant socialization will ensure the Tibetan Pug does not grow up too fearful or too aggressive. Exposed to different people, animals, and situations, the Tibetan Pug will have a well-rounded personality that allows it to remain steady and tolerant even in new surroundings. Alert and naturally with good eyesight, the Tibetan Pug can be trained to raise an alarm at strangers or unusual circumstances. Being intelligent and assertive, however, the Tibetan Pug will sometimes have a mind of its own, and ignore given commands. The owner will need to exercise patience and constantly reinforce desired behavior with rewards.
The Tibetan Pug will not need to be exercised vigorously. A short walk or run daily, or a good romp in a fenced yard, will be enough for this small dog.