Cairn Terrier vs Bisben - Breed Comparison | MyDogBreeds

Cairn Terrier is originated from United Kingdom but Bisben is originated from India. Cairn Terrier may grow 43 cm / 16 inches shorter than Bisben. Cairn Terrier may weigh 47 kg / 103 pounds lesser than Bisben. Both Cairn Terrier and Bisben has same life span. Both Cairn Terrier and Bisben has same litter size. Both Cairn Terrier and Bisben requires Low maintenance.

Basic Information

Group:
Terrier dog
Working dog
Origin:
United Kingdom
India
Height Male:
25 - 33 cm
9 - 13 inches
50 - 76 cm
19 - 30 inches
Height Female:
23 - 33 cm
9 - 13 inches
48 - 74 cm
18 - 30 inches
Weight Male:
5 - 8 kg
11 - 18 pounds
18 - 55 kg
39 - 122 pounds
Weight Female:
5 - 8 kg
11 - 18 pounds
16 - 52 kg
35 - 115 pounds
Life Span:
12 - 15 Years
12 - 15 Years
Litter Size:
2 - 10
4 - 10
Size:
Small dog
Giant dog
Other Names:
Cairn, Toto Dog
Bisben Sheepdog, Bisben Shepherd, Himalayan Bisben, Himalayan Bisben Sheepdog, Himalayan Bisben Shepherd, Himalayan Sheepdog, Himalayan Shepherd, Indian Sheepdog, and Indian Shepherd
Colors Available:
Black, Brindle, Cream, Wheaten, Red, Grey
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.
Coat:
Medium length and wiry
long, wiry, coarse, harsh
Shedding:
Minimal
Minimal
Temperament:
Affectionate, Alert, Cheerful, Courageous, Curious, Energetic, Friendly, Independent, Intelligent, Lively, Loving, Loyal, Outgoing, Playful, Responsive, Social, Stubborn, Territorial
Aggressive, Courageous, Energetic, Independent, Intelligent, Stubborn
Grooming:
Low maintenance
Low maintenance
Trainability:
Easy
Easy
Hypoallergenic:
Yes
No
Kids Friendly:
Yes
No
New Owners Friendly:
Yes
No

History

The Cairn Terrier originates in the Scottish Highlands. This feisty little dog was given the name Cairn, as he used to hunt prey between the Scottish cairns. At first the dog was grouped as a ‘Skye Terrier’way back in the 1900s with the Scottish and West Highland White Terrier. Then the different breeds began to be bred separately.

The name Cairn Terrier didn’t appear in print till 1887. It was in 1912 that the Kennel Club of the United Kingdom recognized the Cairn Terrier.

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

Temperament:

The small sturdily built working Terrier is intelligent and courageous. Bright-eyed, he is small and active and he just loves to work- and party hard with his human family. You’ll see if you’ve got a ball you want to throw for him, his tail is quivering in anticipation and his ears are erect and alert to any noise. He is smart, independent and courageous.

Coat of Many Colors:

The Cairn Terrier has a tough, weather-resistant coat that can be any color but not white. He has a waterproof double coat – the outer one being wiry while the undercoat is soft. You’ll find the coat in man colours such as grey, black, red and brindle with dark points on the ears and muzzle.

The interesting thing with a Cairn is that when you get a puppy, you can’t be sure what color he will end up being as it changes over the years. The ears are fox-like, small and erect, and the natural medium-to-short tail is held straight out.

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

The Cairn Terrier is a robust little dog, and with good care can reach 14 years of age and even older. However, with every dog breed there are some health concerns particular to that breed. With your Cairn Terrier look out for a disease known as Globoid cell leukodystrophy (GCL).

Globoid cell leukodystrophy (GCL)

Known also as Krabbe Disease, Globoid cell leukodystrophy (GLD) is a rare but fatal disease. It is caused by a mutation on the dog’s DNA. There is abnormal processing of an enzyme needed for the production of myelin, a substance that protects the nerves in the brain and spinal cord. The dog is weak, it has tremors and isn’t co-ordinated. The Cairn Terrier is a breed of dog more susceptible to GCL.

Bone and joint diseases

Your Cairn Terrier may well suffer with joint diseases. These diseases, such as luxating patella which is about loose knee joints, and hip dysplasia which is a degenerative hip disease, can cause plenty of pain and discomfort for your pet.

Eye Diseases

Glaucoma is an eye disease where there is pressure on the eye, causing inadequate fluid drainage. Without treatment, there can be damage to the optic nerve which can lead to blindness.

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

Grooming:

The Cairn Terrier sheds very little and the coat is easy to groom. Give him a thorough brushing twice a week to rid him of loose hairs. Some trimming will be needed as the coat can become shaggy and unruly.

Brush his teeth at least 2 or 3 times a week to prevent tartar build up that can lead to bacteria, gum disease and possible tooth loss.

Diet:

The Cairn Terrier is small but he is an active dog and therefore needs to be on a high-quality dog food. If you feed him a commercially manufactured food, make sure its appropriate to his age, size and activity levels.

He is a small dog so you want to be careful about not letting him become overweight. Try and alternate his commercially manufactured food with some home-made rice, vegetables and meat and also include some raw meat in from time to time. This is of particular importance as chronic skin allergies are common in all terrier breeds. Make sure that there is always a clean bowl of fresh water available to him day and night.

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

The Cairn Terrier is a fearless, jaunty little dog, known for his courageous spirit and inquisitive nature. He may be small, but he is stubborn. He will respond well to training and socialization which will turn him into the most awesome pet for families. He can make a wonderful friend and playmate for children too. Socialization and training ensures he gets on well with other pets in the household too.

He is small and energetic, and therefore not the kind of dog you can ignore in terms of exercise. He’ll need a good walk every day and he just loves to chase a ball as it takes him back to the days when he was used to chasing- and catching mice.

He isn’t your typical lap-dog at all and with the right care he becomes a devoted, loyal and loving companion.

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.

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