Bisben vs Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog - Breed Comparison

Bisben is originated from India but Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog is originated from Australia. Bisben may grow 25 cm / 10 inches higher than Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog. Bisben may weigh 32 kg / 71 pounds more than Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog. Both Bisben and Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog has same life span. Bisben may have more litter size than Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog. Bisben requires Low maintenance. But Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog requires Moderate maintenance

Basic Information

Working dog
Herding dogs
Height Male:
50 - 76 cm
19 - 30 inches
46 - 51 cm
18 - 21 inches
Height Female:
48 - 74 cm
18 - 30 inches
43 - 48 cm
16 - 19 inches
Weight Male:
18 - 55 kg
39 - 122 pounds
16 - 23 kg
35 - 51 pounds
Weight Female:
16 - 52 kg
35 - 115 pounds
43 - 50 kg
94 - 111 pounds
Life Span:
12 - 15 Years
12 - 15 Years
Litter Size:
4 - 10
4 - 6
Giant dog
Medium dog
Other Names:
Bisben Sheepdog, Bisben Shepherd, Himalayan Bisben, Himalayan Bisben Sheepdog, Himalayan Bisben Shepherd, Himalayan Sheepdog, Himalayan Shepherd, Indian Sheepdog, and Indian Shepherd
Stumpy, Stumpy Tail
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.
speckled red- or speckled blue.
long, wiry, coarse, harsh
short to medium length, dense and straight
Moderate, Seasonal
Aggressive, Courageous, Energetic, Independent, Intelligent, Stubborn
Affectionate, Alert, Cheerful, Courageous, Energetic, Friendly, Independent, Intelligent, Lively, Loving, Loyal, Outgoing, Playful, Protective, Responsive, Social, Territorial
Low maintenance
Moderate maintenance
Kids Friendly:
New Owners Friendly:


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?

There is quite a bit of mystery surrounding the origin of the Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog. The breed was developed as a working dog to herd sheep and cattle, but there are quite a few theories about the development of the breed. It is agreed however, that the dog was developed in Australia and came about from crossing the Australian Dingo and British herding dogs.

Perhaps the most popular theory for the origin of the Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog is that the breed was developed by a man named Timmins, sheep drover and a cattle operating in New South Wales during the colonial period. Whatever the dog’s origins, it was in 1996 that the United Kennel Club, the 2nd largest dog registry in the world and the United States, granted full recognition to the Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog as a member of the Herding Group. The breed’s name was changed to the Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog in 2002. Today he remains almost exclusively a tail-less working dog.


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.

Naturally Tail-less

An interesting fact about the Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog is that he is naturally tail-less so no tail docking has been required for this naturally bobtailed dog. He is medium-sized to large-sized with his most distinctive feature being the lack of a tail. The coat of the dog is short to medium length, dense and straight. Another interesting aspect is that the coat color is a speckled blue or speckled red.

A Well Proportioned Dog

Height of the dog is 46–51 centimetres at the withers the dog is normally squarely proportioned with long legs and pricked ears. The dog has no exaggerated features and what you see is what you get – a plain, hard-working dog which is fit and muscular. He is equally long from chest to rump as he is from the ground to the shoulder.

The muzzle of the dog is of average length, but fairly broad and the nose is always black. The dog is intelligent, alert and also mischievous and he makes a good pet. With proper socialization, he’ll get on well with children they know and who treat them with kindness. He is alert and makes a very good watchdog, being fairly territorial.

Health Problems

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

The Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog is regarded as being an extremely healthy breed, and the average life expectancy of this breed is at least 14 to 15 years and older.

They don’t suffer with many genetically inherited conditions, but they are susceptible to

  1. hip dysplasia
  2. progressive retinal atrophy (PRA)
  3. cataracts

Caring The Pet

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.

The beauty about the Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog is that he is low to moderate maintenance. He will require a good weekly brushing as he can shed quite a bit when the season’s change and his new coat comes in. He is hypoallergenic.


Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog puppies will need 4 bowls of food over a 24 hour period Puppies from 6 months on can have 2 bowls a day. Speak to your vet about the best foods for your dog and ensure fresh, cool water is constantly available to your pet.

Don’t just feed your dog pellets continuously – mix in some raw meat and some cooked chicken and rice for variety and to ensure a shiny, glossy coat.

Plenty of Exercise

The Stumpy is a hugely energetic dog and he will become bored and frustrated if he doesn’t get plenty of exercise and games. Ball throwing, swimming, long walks and a run in the park will be important for the Stumpy that doesn’t live on a farm. Leaving him alone without exercise will lead to anti-social behaviour such as continuous barking, digging and chewing.

Vet Checks

Take your Stumpy to the vet if you suspect health problems. Certainly, when you buy a puppy, make sure that he has all his vaccinations. There are certain health problems that are more common in the Australian Cattle dog and you want to do whatever it takes to ensure your dog steers clear of them.


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.

The Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog is a hardy dog, capable of hardships that would take its toll on other dog breeds. He is a wonderful athlete and if you’ve got him working with your livestock, he’ll tirelessly perform his duties – small wonder he is so valued in the Australian cattle industry.

Your Partner in Adventure

If you’re looking for a robust breed who will have all the energy needed to accompany you on all your adventures, he won’t disappoint. He is amazingly capable and always willing.

Caution with Small Children and other Pets

He’s a family dog and will be loving, devoted and loyal. Care should be taken with him around small children and other pets as he’s not to comfortable around them and he doesn’t tolerate strangers too well either. Train him and socialize him and you’ll have an amazing friend for life.

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