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Breed history

Simply Tibby


Experts in the origin of dogs-Asiatic have the opinion that tibby is less or more long-distance reflex of an ancestor of all small Tibetans and Asians dogs: Pekinese, Shih-Tzu, Lhasa-apso, Mops. This predication is exemplified by many geographical, historical, sociological, and even political arguments. Their opinion is that tibby became also the model for Japan-china through the journey from Tibet to South Korea and Japan, because in VIII. century it was the shortest way from political reasons. It is know that in last century tibbys were bred in famous Tibetans selection clans as home pets and the smallest-the most beautiful were given as a gift to the lamasery. Here they helped as the guardians of monastery thanks to their watchfulness, vigilance and temperament in contrast to strong best sleepy mastiffs. At the end of XIX. century Tibet was founded by the British. And they met many funny, small dogs living with friars and because of their quite important function tibbys were called the prayers dogs. In Lamaism there is this opinion that prayer can be written on a caster and put in a special praying-wheel. When the wheel is being turned, the prayer is being sent to the heaven. As many times you turn the wheel that many times you send the prayer. It is faster and simplier then repeating the prayer. This practical way of praying made the dogs from monastery learn how to turn the wheel. According to the kynologists interested in the origin of breeds in Tibet, tibbis were lucky not to be adapted to the artificial and even grotesque forms because of the religious and economic reasons. People did not know bonsai or Pekinese. Dogs were not bred only in sovereign castles but also in houses of all ranks of the population. This is the reason why it is in China hard to find the ancestor of Pekinese. In Tibet tibby was extended like dachshund in Germany and existed in many local varieties. In that time one of this variety was called as Bhutan Spaniels(British called him as a Spaniel although it had nothing to with hunt gift. For English officers every dog with silk hair and downcast ears was a Spaniel because on the British Island they knew no other dog.)


From Tibet to Europe

Estimate when tibby´s were brought to Europe is very difficult. Some tibby´s lovers recall on Marco Polo and dogs from the Silky Way, other more pragmatic ones choose dogs brought from Japan and China by Jesuits in XVII. and XVIII. century. The first mention about the Spanish Tibetans comes from the XIX. century when dogs were brought on the Islands by Mrs. McLaren . This lady showed them on the Cruft show in 1898. Six years later colonel Bailey´s dog brought on the Islands. And after him many others. During the inter war years this breed was getting very popular and several famous breeding stations were registered. First tibbys traveled over the Atlantic Ocean and on the continent. In 1934 the British kennel Club set the first standard and the number of registered dogs was over 100. But unfortunately this successful breed was almost ended by the epidemic of distemper. And by the Second World War. Those who survived could be counted on the fingers of one hand.


Current state

In 1946 lady Wakefield came back from India with two tibbys-dog male Lama and female Dolma. A year later dog male Garpon and female Potala came also from India. All Tibetans Spaniels granted by kynological clubs come from this line and from one bred of the dog Skyid (these times not estimated as the representative of this breed). Accurate reconstruction of the breed caused that tibbys where again showed in the Great Britain-already in 1958 sixty of them were performed and since then the popularity is growing. Big credit has the Kennel Club, which in 1959 set new standard. In the 60´s Tibby swam over La Manche and overpowered especially Scandinavia. They are also popular in Finland and Sweden for their happiness, vitality and naturality. Tibbys are also perfect for the town life. They to play-mini agility, obedience, dog dancing.


Look and character

Not too tall, easy maintenance of hair and total high immunity makes them a great man companion. Tibby is not a toy or a hysterical dog as many armchair dogs. On the other hand as the standard says tibby is very proud and self-confident. All literature insists on their strong relationship with man especially with the head of his kennel. It is false to think tibby is the couch dog. It is necessary to realize this watchful and playful dog is the happiest to guard the house. Everyone with experience can tell than tibby prefers higher places from where he can control the whole surrounding and barks when visitors, cats or strange dogs come. It is good know that tibby can be excessively proud. In Uli Gelbrich´s book is written, he has a connatural sense of justice and can be easily displeased when being unjustly punished. Owner with respect of his character can be sure of his friendship, tibby will give him everything back. It is unbelievable how this dog can change according to our access. Not any other dog in bad hands would be so disobedient and difficult to handle. Tibby will gladly work with his owner if he recognizes him as a head of his kennel. It is necessary to realize tibby will still try hard for primacy in his kennel and will move the range as far as he can. Inexperienced breeders will complain tibby ignores them, does not listen. This is the way he behaves to people he subordinated . But if we give him enough of space and set him the limits, he will become the kindest dog in the world.


In conclusion ...

When we rate the look of Tibetan Spaniels we have to remember the basic rule of British or Finland breeders : all comparison with Pekinese or Japan-china are false. It is not proper to focus in fang truncation, rounded skull, convex eyes, too long hair and duck walk. Dog should look happy, skilled and have everything under control.