Text Box:

Norman & Carolyn Herbel

Max Spears with

Ch. Elmac’s Junichi

Best of Breed Westminster Kennel Club 1990/1991

Carmen has also shown many of these breeds to group wins and championships having started at an early age by finishing her first home bred champion at the age of ten, a Cairn Terrier by the name of Ch. Cadehe's Avenger. Carmen went on to many wins in Junior Showmanship including number one Junior All Systems and Junior Sportsman of the Year in 1972. Carmen was very successful in Junior Showmanship at Westminster also having reached the finals all six years she qualified and placed second in 1972 under Julia Gasow. Carmen is currently a Registered Nurse working as an Administrator of Home Health.  

Kent & Lori Herbel

Mark and Lacey Herbel Syzemore

Kelli Herbel

Max & Carmen Herbel Spears

Text Box: Click here to return to 
Top of Page

Pictured is Liv, a Tabu LA Lhasa Apso.

Sophia Mount

Carmen Herbel Spears

with BIS Ch. Tibet of Cornwallis ROM****

See our CKCS web site: www.tabuxpcavaliers.com

See our CKCS web site:


Norman and Carolyn Herbel

Norman and Carolyn Herbel, native-born Kansans spent many years on their Oklahoma ranch and have successfully raised animals most of their lives. Unfortunately, Norman passed away in 2008; however, Carolyn and family continue the family tradition of breeding and raising champion dogs. Norman and Carolyn acquired their first registered dog, a German Shepherd named Tabu, in 1957.  The name, Tabu, has become celebrated as the kennel prefix for many champion Lhasa Apsos, English Setters, Cairn Terriers, Japanese Chins, Tibetan Terriers, and Smooth Fox Terriers.

Tabu XP Farms

About Us . . . a family tradition

Max and Carmen Herbel Spears

Max and Carmen Herbel Spears have been involved in dog activities since Carmen was born and Max joined the family in 1978.

Kent & Lori Herbel

              and daughters, Lacey & Kelli

Kent and Lori have been raising and training dogs together since 1979. Their emphasis is on producing a quality stockdog for ranch  or  trial work. They work with all herding breeds on their training facility in western Oklahoma.  They currently travel approximately 60,000 miles per

year competing, judging, instinct testing and instructing at clinics throughout the U.S. In 2001, they owned and handled four of the top ten Advanced AKC Border Collies, based on dogs defeated.  Kent and Lori's daughters are already third-generation dog handlers carrying on with the family tradition.


To learn more about their champion stockdog operation, click on www.xpranch.com

Lacey trials in both AKC and USBCHA herding events. She has trained and trialed successfully at the Advanced level in AKC, and has won classes in both the Ranch and Open Ranch level at the Border Collie trials. In 2003, she won both High and Reserve High in Trial at the BCSA National Specialty. She has shown in conformation and junior showmanship, and has worked for numerous professional handlers at the dog shows. She trains on a daily basis at the XP Ranch and has her own clients.  Lacey was married to Mark Syzemore in November 2004.

Kelli, 18, truly enjoys showing in conformation and has also worked for several professional handlers, traveling to shows from Canada to Texas, and from the east coast to the west coast. She is currently enrolled as a freshman at

Southwestern Oklahoma State University and also works for Dr. Mark Hoffman at the Animal Hospital of Weatherford. Kelli has put an HT on her Border Collie, XP Stitch. She and her Australian Cattle Dog, Hidee, won top junior honors at the very first Junior Achievement Challenge sponsored by Onofrio Dog Shows and the AKC in 1998.

Nancy Clarke Plunkett of Greencastle, Pennsylvania has been involved with Tabu and the Herbels since 1969.  She and Carmen were schoolmates and she also worked at the Herbel’s kennel in Pennsylvania.  This employment developed into a lifetime involvement with Lhasa Apsos and a permanent relationship with the Herbel family.  She and her husband, Jim, operate Tabu PA.


Nancy is the author of the book,

A New Owner’s Guide to Lhasa Apsos.

Nancy & Jim Plunkett of Tabu PA



Nancy & Jim Plunkett

Sophia Mount of Tabu LA

    email: sophiatabula@yahoo.com

Sophia Mount of Lake Charles Louisiana has been breeding straight Hamilton Tabu Lhasa Apsos since the age of 13 when she saved her money and purchased Ch. Tabu's CL Face Value as a young dog. She researched the breed at length and decided to set her goals on breeding what she considered to be the true Apso. During her high school years she managed to show and nearly finish “Face”, finally having his last major won with Carmen Herbel-Spears, while also becoming an All American High School Softball Pitcher whose team was Louisiana State Champions.

Sophia attended Louisiana State University on a softball scholarship. There she obtained her masters in education and coaching, and during her time at LSU they were finalist in the Softball World Series. Now Sophy shares her time with her students, gives private pitching lessons, clinics, and finally has begun her Lhasa Apso breeding program in earnest under the Tabu LA prefix. As a part of the Tabu family she has finished four champions already, one of which is home bred, and has several very promising young dogs on the circuit and wonderful puppies waiting in the wings.



Max has been successful in winning groups, finishing or specializing many champions in numerous breeds including Lhasa Apsos, Japanese Chin, Australian Cattle Dogs, Smooth Fox Terriers, Tibetan Terriers, Chow Chow just to name a few. In addition Max showed the Westminster back to back Breed winner Japanese Chin Ch. Elmac's Junichi in 1990 and 1991, and Multiple BISS Ch. Tabu's CL Sierra of El Tut CGC. He has shown numerous nationally ranked Champions and remains very successful in the show ring with our Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.

Tabu XP Home

Our Philosophy

About Us

Tribute to Norman Herbel

Current Highlights

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels


Lhasa Apso page 1

Lhasa Apsos page 2

Lhasa Apsos page 3

German Shepherds

Border Collies

Other Tabu Champion Dogs

XP Herbel Herefords

Norman and Carolyn are the authors of two books:

· The Complete Lhasa Apso, 1979,

· The New Complete Lhasa Apso, 1992.


Carolyn is the author of a third book:

· The Lhasa Apso; An Owners Guide to a Happy Healthy Pet (Happy Healthy Pet), 2002.

Great Grandmother Carolyn with Warren Syzemore holding one of the new Cavalier Puppies.

The History of the

XP Brand

In 1957 Norman Herbel entered his first year of college, and about that time his father had a face brand on his commercial Herefords, which he used for many years.  That brand was C2 on the right cheek.  The brand came to an unhappy ending when the USDA decided to mark bangs or better known as bangers (those animals with Brucellosis) with a brand on the right  cheek.


Norman and his brother, Clayton, needed a new brand and come up with an idea for a brand.  Norman wanted to make a statement about Jesus Christ so he started looking in the Bible and found just the scripture he was looking for that said something to the effect that "all the cattle on a thousand hills are His". Norman, Clayton, and the brand registry came up with what was the first brand of a much tighter XP than the current brand. The original brand was used by Clayton on the right hip for several years. 


When we purchased the electric branding iron to replace the fire-branding iron they expanded the P by placing it further away from the X.  That was in the late 1970's and it has been on horses in Oklahoma and cattle in many states.  We purchased a special place at the American Hereford Association wall of fame so the brand would honor and glorify our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.


Clayton continued to use and register and the brand while Norman and his family were in Pennsylvania. Norman says, “One of the most touching things I have ever experienced was to be reunited with the XP brand in 1975.”