The Tibetan Spaniel's Origins and History Source: Wikipedia. Country/Region of Origin: Tibet Original purpose: watchdogs Name: also known as Tibbie Historical notes: The Tibetan Spaniel dogs are not true Spaniels. Spaniels are gun dogs which they are not. They were known as monastery dogs. They would sit on top of the monastery walls and keep watch for anyone coming and would bark if someone came. They were often presented as gifts to China and other Buddhist countries.