Bisben Dog Breed Information, Images, Characteristics, Health

Basic Information - Bisben for Sale

Working dogs
Height Male:
50 - 76 cm19 - 30 inches
Height Female:
48 - 74 cm18 - 30 inches
Weight Male:
18 - 55 kg39 - 122 pounds
Weight Female:
16 - 52 kg35 - 115 pounds
Life Span:
12 - 15 Years
Litter Size:
4 - 10
Other Names:
Bisben Sheepdog, Bisben Shepherd, Himalayan Bisben, Himalayan Bisben Sheepdog, Himalayan Bisben Shepherd, Himalayan Sheepdog, Himalayan Shepherd, Indian Sheepdog, and Indian Shepherd
Colors Available:
jet black, either solidly or with white markings on the feet and chest. Other commonly seen colors are tan, tricolor, and “wolf-color,” which probably means grey, brown, black, and/or various shades of sable.
long, wiry, coarse, harsh
Aggressive, Courageous, Energetic, Independent, Intelligent, Stubborn
Low Maintenance
Kids Friendly:
New Owners Friendly:

History - Bisben for Sale

There is a lot of mystery surrounding this large herding dog said to come out of the Himalaya Mountains of Asia. The belief is that sheepdogs were crossed with wolves toward the end of the 18th century, but his origin is basically unknown. They are both herding dogs and guard dogs. Others theorize that rather than a wolf, the breed arose from the Mastif family. Still others claim that the Bisben is not a breed at all but rather a “landrace”. A landrace is an animal group that is only found to exist in the local area or is bred locally for a specific reason, while a breed is developed intentionally and from a select purebred with pedigree. The Bisben may be a landrace since it is very popular in India but hardly known anywhere else. What is known is that the Brisben was in existence at the end of the 1700’s and its job was to protect and herd livestock. There are three main theories about the origin of the Bisben. They are, in no particular order:

1. The Bisben was developed by mixing several different Himalayan and Indian Sheepdogs with wolves. The wolf population in the Himalayas and in India live in very close proximity to dogs and people and this population is quite large. These Tibetan and Indian wolves are known to be smaller, more comfortable with people and less aggressive than wolves from other parts of the world.

2. The Bisben was developed by mixing local sheep herding dogs with the Tibetan Mastiff. This gave the breed its protective nature and its large size according to this theory.

3. The Bisben was developed by mixing local dogs with the ones the British, Portuguese and French imported to the India subcontinent.

There is a fourth theory as well and it combines all three of these, supposing that the Bisben is a product of crossing local dogs with wolves, Tibetan Mastiffs and European dogs.

Regardless of their origins, the Bisben grew into one of the most respected animals in the Southern Himalayas. Their assistance to the shepherds of the area was unquestioned and irreplaceable. They were touch enough to herd flocks of goats or sheep across several treacherous and unstable mountain passes. The environment in which these dogs worked when herding is one of the harshest environments on the face of the earth. Temperatures were dangerously cold, altitudes dangerously high and the terrain just plain dangerous. Many deadly large predators live there as well. This included tigers, Asiatic black bears, golden eagles, Himalayan brown bears, snow leopards, fox, dholes, wolves, and small cats. The Bisben had to be able to fight off all of these predators. In addition to these herding and protecting duties, the Bisben was also known throughout the region as an excellent hunting dog. They are capable to this day of hunting large prey such as antelope or deer. They are equally comfortable hunting alone or in a pack. He has grown into one of the most popular hunting dogs in all of India.

The Himalayas, being so rugged and treacherous, were inaccessible to most of India for many centuries and the Brisben was unknown as well. Through the British imperialist expansion across all of the Indian subcontinent, the lowlands people were connected to the highlands and mountain people for the first time. This also meant that the Brisben was no longer unknown. The entire country began to appreciate the dog for its protection and herding of livestock, as well as a companion animal who would protect its owner and family as well. As India continues to grow the popularity of the Brisben grows as well and its numbers increase regularly. The breed, if it is a breed, remains an Indian secret. They have migrated to the countries around India, but their number are small. It is only in India that they are revered and prosper. They are not present in any great numbers in Europe, North America, Japan, or most of Asia.

Whether or not the Bisben becomes a recognized breed depends upon those who own and fancy them. Most Bisbens are bred to only other Bisbens in an effort to purify the breed. However, few dogs have pedigrees and the practice of breeding the Brisben to other breeds and mixed breed to acquire specific characteristics continues to this day. It is unlikely that the Bisben will ever be a purebred dog. It is quite variable in how it looks depending upon what the breeding line of the individual dog actually is. Does it look like a wolf? Does it look like a larger version of a local or European dog? There will always be these questions around the Bisben. Is it a breed or a landrace?

Description - Bisben for Sale

As mentioned in the previous section the appearance of the Brisban can vary greatly from one dog to another based on the individual dogs’ ancestry. Breed or landrace, the Brisban breeding line is not very pure. Therefore, appearance can vary greatly from what is described here and there is no standard by which to measure the Brisban. Most are distinctly large animals, being as tall as the European mountain dogs – the Newfoundland or the Bernese Mountain Dog, Swiss Mountain Dog. St. Bernard and Great Pyrenees. Reports are that it is perhaps the largest dog in India. At least it is one of the largest dogs in India. The Bisben is said by some to be a large, bulky, husky dog while others claim it to be tall and athletic, leaner than the Mastiff bred. Again, there is disagreement on the size and shape of the Bisben’s head with some claiming it is massively square like a Mastiff while others say the head is long and like that of a wolf not a Mastiff. The long hair of the Bisben and its confusing heritage may be the cause. They are most often black but might also be found to be tricolor, tan and “wolf-color” or brown, grey, shades of sable and black. No matter how it looks, this is a dog that was designed to work in the harshest conditions known and their physical appearance should make that abundantly clear.

Health Problems - Bisben for Sale

Because he is not a purebred and is probably a land range, there have not been a lot of health studies done and written up on the Brisban. It is believed that the Bisben is for all practical purposes a healthy working dog. As long as the breeding practices are not compromised it should remain a healthy line. It is bred for temperament and work not for appearance and showmanship. Some problems that plague large dogs have been noted in the Bisben. These conditions include hip and elbow dysplasia; optical issues such as Entropion, Ectropion and cataracts; ear infections; and Demadex and Demodectic mange. Most of these conditions can be tested for either in DNA or early in a pup’s life and should be tested for by the breeder before a puppy is sold

Caring The Pet - Bisben for Sale

The Bisben is a large working dog that needs a lot of calories if you are keeping him busy. Do not let him get overweight. The Bisben should not be free fed but rather given two controlled portion meals per day.

Health issues

As previously mentioned, the Bison was developed with the harshest of conditions in mind and long hours of hard work. It is a healthy breed that is however prone to any of the issues that any large dog is prone to including dysplasia and mange and well as optical issues.

Exercise and games

The Bisben needs a lot of exercise as the breed is developed for hard work. Walks are essential but if you have more than one dog, pack walks are even better and pack time at the dog park or in a fenced yard is great. The Bison was bred to hunt in packs as well as alone and they love to play in packs. In any respect they need at least an hour of strong exercise daily. If they don’t get enough exercise, they can become aggressive, destructive and fearful. This could result in destructive activity, barking and excess excitability. They are not very happy in the city and thrive in the countryside.

Characteristics - Bisben for Sale

The Bisben was so important to the people of the Indian subcontinent because of her temperament. He is a loyal, productive and courageous worker who took care of her flocks, her family and her pack. They are devoted to their family and if raised with children will care for them as well. He is suspicious of strangers. They are territorial and great watchdogs. They can take on any large challenger if need be to protect what they consider to be theirs. They can be highly dog aggressive and must be socialized as a puppy. Do not mix them with strange, unknown animals as the Bisben might attempt to kill them. If he sees them as his “pack” he will love and protect them, but not if he does not know them. Take as much time as you need to introduce him to a new animal and do not leave them unsupervised. They are not easy to train as they are stubborn, intelligent, want to be dominant and is a problem solver. If he doesn’t want to learn something forget it – he won’t. You can still train them. It just takes time and patience.

Comparison with other breeds

  1. Bisben vs English Bulldog - Breed Comparison
  2. Bisben vs German Shepherd - Breed Comparison
  3. Bisben vs Golden Retriever - Breed Comparison
  4. Bisben vs Labrador Retriever - Breed Comparison
  5. Bisben vs West Highland White Terrier - Breed Comparison
  6. Bisben vs French Bulldog - Breed Comparison
  7. Bisben vs Beagle - Breed Comparison
  8. Bisben vs Yorkshire Terrier - Breed Comparison
  9. Bisben vs Poodle - Breed Comparison
  10. Bisben vs Rottweiler - Breed Comparison
  11. Bisben vs Boxer - Breed Comparison
  12. Bisben vs English Pointer - Breed Comparison
  13. Bisben vs Siberian Husky - Breed Comparison
  14. Bisben vs Doberman Pinscher - Breed Comparison
  15. Bisben vs American Bully - Breed Comparison
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  17. Bisben vs Affenpinscher - Breed Comparison
  18. Bisben vs Afghan Hound - Breed Comparison
  19. Bisben vs Aidi - Breed Comparison
  20. Bisben vs Airedale Terrier - Breed Comparison
  21. Bisben vs Akbash Dog - Breed Comparison
  22. Bisben vs Akita - Breed Comparison
  23. Bisben vs Africanis - Breed Comparison
  24. Bisben vs Askal - Breed Comparison
  25. Bisben vs Atlas Terrier - Breed Comparison
  26. Bisben vs Aussie Poo - Breed Comparison
  27. Bisben vs Artois Hound - Breed Comparison
  28. Bisben vs Ariegeois - Breed Comparison
  29. Bisben vs Anglo-Francais de Petite Venerie - Breed Comparison
  30. Bisben vs Aussie Doodles - Breed Comparison
  31. Bisben vs Austrailian Blue Heeler - Breed Comparison
  32. Bisben vs Australian Kelpie - Breed Comparison
  33. Bisben vs Australian Bulldog - Breed Comparison
  34. Bisben vs Australian Red Heeler - Breed Comparison
  35. Bisben vs Australian Cattle Dog - Breed Comparison
  36. Bisben vs Australian Shepherd - Breed Comparison
  37. Bisben vs Alano Espanol - Breed Comparison
  38. Bisben vs Alopekis - Breed Comparison
  39. Bisben vs Alpine Dachsbracke - Breed Comparison
  40. Bisben vs American Bulldog - Breed Comparison
  41. Bisben vs Australian Collie - Breed Comparison
  42. Bisben vs Australian Silky Terrier - Breed Comparison
  43. Bisben vs Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog - Breed Comparison
  44. Bisben vs Antebellum Bulldog - Breed Comparison
  45. Bisben vs Australian Terrier - Breed Comparison
  46. Bisben vs American Cocker Spaniel - Breed Comparison
  47. Bisben vs American English Coonhound - Breed Comparison
  48. Bisben vs Austrian Black and Tan Hound - Breed Comparison
  49. Bisben vs American Eskimo Dog - Breed Comparison
  50. Bisben vs Bakharwal Dog - Breed Comparison