Due to the geographically isolated location of Tibet, Tibetan Terriers were kept purebred for over 2000 years. Monks and families referred to the ancient breed as “the little people”, for they were highly valued as companions who were eager to assist in protecting properties and flocks.[Source]
DNA analysis placed the ancestors of today’s Shih Tzu breed in the group of “ancient” breeds indicating “close genetic relationship to wolves”.Another branch coming down from the “Kitchen Midden Dog” gave rise to the Papillon and Long-haired Chihuahua and yet another “Kitchen Midden Dog” branch to the Pug and Shih Tzu. It is also said that the breed originated in China, hence the name “Lion Dog”, in 800BC.[Source]
It is thought that the toy spaniels that eventually became the King Charles Spaniel originated in the Far East, primarily Japan. They may share a common ancestry with the Pekingese and Japanese Chin. Toy spaniels were given as gifts to European royalty.