Bisben vs Bohemian Shepherd - Breed Comparison | MyDogBreeds

Bisben is originated from India but Bohemian Shepherd is originated from Czech Republic. Bisben may grow 20 cm / 8 inches higher than Bohemian Shepherd. Bisben may weigh 30 kg / 67 pounds more than Bohemian Shepherd. Both Bisben and Bohemian Shepherd has almost same life span. Bisben may have more litter size than Bohemian Shepherd. Bisben requires Low maintenance. But Bohemian Shepherd requires Moderate maintenance

Basic Information

Working dog
Herding dogs
Czech Republic
Height Male:
50 - 76 cm
19 - 30 inches
48 - 56 cm
18 - 23 inches
Height Female:
48 - 74 cm
18 - 30 inches
46 - 56 cm
18 - 23 inches
Weight Male:
18 - 55 kg
39 - 122 pounds
16 - 25 kg
35 - 56 pounds
Weight Female:
16 - 52 kg
35 - 115 pounds
14 - 25 kg
30 - 56 pounds
Life Span:
12 - 15 Years
9 - 13 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
Chodský pes, Czech Sheepdog, Bohemian Herder
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.
Black and Tan
long, wiry, coarse, harsh
Long, dense and straight
Aggressive, Courageous, Energetic, Independent, Intelligent, Stubborn
Affectionate, Alert, Cheerful, Courageous, Curious, Energetic, Friendly, Gentle, Independent, Intelligent, Lively, Loving, Loyal, Outgoing, Playful, Protective, Responsive, Social, Sweet
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?

Known as the Chodský pes or the Chodenhund, the Bohemian Shepherd is native to the Czech Republic and is a herding breed. Like many other old dog breeds, nothing is 100% certain about is history. This is thought to be because the breed was developed centuries before the keeping of records. It is certain however, that the breed developed in the south-western portion of the Kingdom of Bohemia, which is now part of the Czech Republic.

It is believed the Bohemian Shepherd came from herding dogs such as the Pinscher/Schnauzer, Spitzen or even a dog/wolf hybrid. It was in November 1991, that the Bohemian Shepherd Lover’s Club was founded. Many Bohemian Shepherd breeders have been registered and today the breed has earned the reputation for being a superb family dog. The dog has also been granted recognition with the Czech National Kennel Club.


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.

The medium sized Bohemian Shepherd looks much like a combination between the Collie and German Shepherd. He is 48-55 cm in height and weighs about 15-25 kg. The Bohemian Shepherd has a thick, long coat which is black and tan in color and with an undercoat, allowing him to cope in icy weather conditions. His well proportioned body is muscular and compact with a long bushy tail and erect ears.


The Bohemian Shepherd makes a wonderful family pet, becoming very attached to his human family. He has a good reputation with children too and will get on well with other pets in the home. He is so amicable that he makes a good pet choice for those looking to own a dog for the first time.

He is intelligent and alert and also protective of his family, making him an excellent guard dog. He is easily trainable, and just like with any other dogs, will require training and socialization.

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

Breeding organizations are continually trying to minimize the diseases within limited-gene-pool dog breeds. While the Bohemian Shepherd is a generally health breed, there are diseases that are more common with the Bohemian Shepherd and which you need to be aware of -

Hip Dysplasia

This is a painful disease – a problem with the formation of the hips – where the dog can develop arthritis and even become lame.


This is a condition where gas gets trapped in the stomach of your pet, so that he swells up, sometimes causing the stomach to twist. This is an emergency for your pet and it is extremely painful. Nobody really knows the cause, but when the gas is trapped inside the stomach, the bloated stomach of your pet requires you getting to the vet as quickly as you can.

Eye Conditions

Look out for Progressive Retinal Atrophy known as PRA . This is a group of degenerative diseases that affect the photoreceptor cells where the cells deteriorate and can result in blindness with your pet. Fortunately it isn’t a painful condition.

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.

Keep Him Exercised and Busy

The Bohemian Shepherd is an energetic breed and will need to be exercised regularly. He’ll love to run alongside your bike on your cycling trips or you can take him on a long walk. Having said that, he is an easy going dog and can adapt to city- and country life, but if it’s city life, you can’t leave him cooped up in a small yard and think that will suffice. He has a personality that longs to be part of the family.


Your Bohemian Shepherd is a moderate shedder in spite of his thick beautiful coat. The coat will certainly need a good brushing at least twice a week to get rid of that loose hair. Not only that, your social Bohemian Shepherd will love the closeness to you that the brushing brings.

Keep his nails short and his teeth brushed at least 2 or 3 times a week to ensure there is no plaque build up. There are special toothbrushes and toothpastes made for dogs. Don’t use human toothpaste as the ingredients will be harmful to your pet.

Feeding Time

Your Bohemian Shepherd, after one year of age, will eat one or two bowls of food a day. You’ll be able to tell what suits your dog, because the amount will eat about 2 to 4 cups of a good quality dry dog food a day, split into at least two meals. The amount can vary depending on its health, build, age, activity level and metabolism. Make sure it has access to water at all times and that it is changed as often as possible.


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.

Playful by nature, friendly, gentle and co-operative, your Bohemian Shepherd will make a wonderful pet and he is a real social character, loving to spend lots of time with his human family. With minimal health conditions and without requiring much maintenance, he is an adaptable dog and will easily settle into city- or country living, so long as he is given regular exercise and attention.

He is courageous and intelligent and also makes an excellent guard-dog. With so much going for this beautiful dog, he simply makes a loyal, loving and devoted family pet.

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