Bisben vs West Highland White Terrier - Breed Comparison

Bisben is originated from India but West Highland White Terrier is originated from United Kingdom. Bisben may grow 46 cm / 19 inches higher than West Highland White Terrier. Bisben may weigh 45 kg / 100 pounds more than West Highland White Terrier. Both Bisben and West Highland White Terrier has almost same life span. Bisben may have more litter size than West Highland White Terrier. Bisben requires Low maintenance. But West Highland White Terrier requires High maintenance

Basic Information

Group:
Working dog
Terrier dog
Origin:
India
United Kingdom
Height Male:
50 - 76 cm
19 - 30 inches
25 - 30 cm
9 - 12 inches
Height Female:
48 - 74 cm
18 - 30 inches
23 - 28 cm
9 - 12 inches
Weight Male:
18 - 55 kg
39 - 122 pounds
7 - 10 kg
15 - 23 pounds
Weight Female:
16 - 52 kg
35 - 115 pounds
6 - 7 kg
13 - 16 pounds
Life Span:
12 - 15 Years
12 - 16 Years
Litter Size:
4 - 10
3 - 7
Size:
Giant dog
Small dog
Other Names:
Bisben Sheepdog, Bisben Shepherd, Himalayan Bisben, Himalayan Bisben Sheepdog, Himalayan Bisben Shepherd, Himalayan Sheepdog, Himalayan Shepherd, Indian Sheepdog, and Indian Shepherd
Westie or Westy
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.
White
Coat:
long, wiry, coarse, harsh
‎Double
Shedding:
Minimal
Minimal
Temperament:
Aggressive, Courageous, Energetic, Independent, Intelligent, Stubborn
Affectionate, Alert, Cheerful, Courageous, Friendly, Independent
Grooming:
Low maintenance
High maintenance
Trainability:
Easy
Moderate
Hypoallergenic:
No
Yes
Kids Friendly:
No
Yes
New Owners Friendly:
No
Yes

History

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?

west highland white terrierThe West highland white terrier originated from Poltalloch in Scotland. So they were initially called as Poltalloch terrier and after that they were called as Roseneath terrier. They were initially used for hunting fox, badger, otter and in killing the vermin like rats.

The breed history says that Colonel Malcolm of Poltalloch was the reason for the Westie's white colour. This is because in 19th centuryhe went for hunting with his dogs and accidentally he shot his dog as its colour was as fox. So he decided to breed only white colour dogs.

Description

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.

west highland white terrier puppyThe Westie can be said as that a small dog having the talents of the big dog. They are very popular for their obedience. They are also working as therapy dogs and also some in search and rescue teams. The home having Westie will have fun always and be enthusiastic. They will suit them for country or city living, but they like to live with their family. They are well suitable for apartment living, but some training should be given to them for not barking. They can stay in home when you are at work. Westie can be taken to travel, whether it may be long vacation or a short visit.

They are quick learners and so training them is not difficult. Mistakes of them can be corrected patiently since they don't like harsh activities against them. Westie will definitely bark when he sees something or hear different sounds. He will bark on seeing visitors or even other dogs. Sometimes they will bark for very silly things but when given appropriate training in their young stage, they can bark only for alerts.

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

west highland white terrier dogItchy skin and pyoderma are common in terriers. Skin diseases such as Seborrhea and epidermal dysplasia are also found in them.

Hair fall

Westies have possibilities of getting yeast infections in skin[Malassezia Dermatitis] and due to that hair loss will be more.

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.

Feeding the puppy

west highland white terrier puppiesThe puppy should be fed 3 to 4 times per day as it requires a considerable amount for their growth. Cooked chicken breast and turkey are best for them and also vegetables should be given to them. Beef and chicken should be kept a limit as it will lead to itchy skin and allergies.

Feeding the adult

The preferable food for the Westie is home cooked. The home food will only contain all the essential nutrients for the Westie.

Points for Good Health

Eventhough the Westie is suitable for apartment living it is recommended to have a daily walk for him to be active and refreshing.

Games and Exercises

They should be made to play for atleast 30 minutes per day for their health as to not gain overweight. Grown up children can play with them as they like it.

Characteristics

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.

Children friendliness

west highland white terrier dogsThe Westie is friendly with children but not all the time. So some care should be taken while they are near children.

Special talents

They like to chase rodents like rabbits as they are interested in hunting.

Adaptability

They are suitable for apartment living unless they are left alone for a very long time. They love cold weather more than hot.

Learning ability

They can be trained by giving some extra efforts.

Comparison with other breeds

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