Canadian Pointer vs Bisben - Breed Comparison | MyDogBreeds

Canadian Pointer is originated from United States but Bisben is originated from India. Both Canadian Pointer and Bisben are of same height. Canadian Pointer may weigh 28 kg / 61 pounds lesser than Bisben. Both Canadian Pointer and Bisben has almost same life span. Both Canadian Pointer and Bisben has almost same litter size. Both Canadian Pointer and Bisben requires Low maintenance.

Basic Information

Gun dog
Working dog
United States
Height Male:
56 - 76 cm
22 - 30 inches
50 - 76 cm
19 - 30 inches
Height Female:
56 - 71 cm
22 - 28 inches
48 - 74 cm
18 - 30 inches
Weight Male:
22 - 27 kg
48 - 60 pounds
18 - 55 kg
39 - 122 pounds
Weight Female:
20 - 27 kg
44 - 60 pounds
16 - 52 kg
35 - 115 pounds
Life Span:
10 - 14 Years
12 - 15 Years
Litter Size:
5 - 8
4 - 10
Medium dog
Giant dog
Other Names:
Adirondak Pointing Dog
Bisben Sheepdog, Bisben Shepherd, Himalayan Bisben, Himalayan Bisben Sheepdog, Himalayan Bisben Shepherd, Himalayan Sheepdog, Himalayan Shepherd, Indian Sheepdog, and Indian Shepherd
Colors Available:
Dark brown and white, black and white or a fawn color and white.
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.
Short and smooth
long, wiry, coarse, harsh
Affectionate, Alert, Cheerful, Courageous, Curious, Energetic, Friendly, Gentle, Independent, Intelligent, Lively, Loving, Loyal, Outgoing, Playful, Responsive, Social
Aggressive, Courageous, Energetic, Independent, Intelligent, Stubborn
Low maintenance
Low maintenance
Kids Friendly:
New Owners Friendly:


There are some dog breeds whose history and origins are dubious. The existence of the Canadian Pointer is also a matter of debate, and research reveals very scanty information.

The dog seems to have been a gundog which originated in the United States. Another name for the dog is Adirondak Pointing Dog. The Canadian Pointer was developed from English Pointers, Labrador Retrievers and Portuguese Pointers during the 19th century. He was used for hunting and retrieving prey such as birds and rabbits.

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?



The Canadian Pointer makes for an excellent family pet. He is intelligent, excitable, loving and devoted, forming a strong bond with his human family. Active and excitable, it is this very energetic characteristic which will require him needing training and socialization. He is inclined to want to jump up against his family at the sheer joy of seeing them.

Although he loves country life, his love of human companionship allows him to adapt to city life and he is non-aggressive and can be a placid pet with children and other pets in the home.


The Canadian Pointer is a medium- to large sized breed of gundog. He has a lean, well muscled body with a short, coarse coat. The coat can be dark brown and white, black and white or a fawn color and white. The coat can also be freckled in parts.

He is a gundog belonging to the HPR group. HPR stands for hunting, pointing and retrieving. Weighing roughly 22–27kg, he stands about 56 – 76cm in height. Sometimes the tail is docked but otherwise it is left so that it’s medium length and is held straight out and level with the body. The ears of the Canadian Pointer are fairly short and floppy.

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

Pointer dogs are looked upon as a healthy breed, but having said that, they aren’t immune to illness, and there are some common dog diseases that you should be aware of -

Hip Dysplasia:

This disease is caused by a malformation of the hip joint. This ailment can result in pain and discomfort for your pet as well as arthritis and even lameness. Unfortunately there is no cure but the vet can do a lot to make life more comfortable for your pet.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy

This is a genetic eye disease where your pet gradually loses vision. The retina deteriorates and stops functioning.

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

Training and Exercise:

The Canadian Pointer was specifically developed to be a hunter so he is an energetic dog. When it comes to caring for him, training and socialization can make him an even more amicable pet. He is muscled and lithe and you want to keep him that way by ensuring he is well exercised.

Take him on walks, into the park with ball and frisbee or let him run while you cycle. Don’t leave him without exercise as he can become frustrated and ill.


The Canadian Pointer is a low maintenance breed with his short coat. You’ll need to give his coat a good brushing twice a week to rid him of loose hairs to keep the hair shiny and healthy.

Check for Ear Infections:

Dogs like the Canadian Pointer with floppy ears will need to have their ears checked for infections to avoid hearing loss. You’ll see your dog shake his head, the inside of his ears may be red and he could have a moist discharge.

Remember that yeast and bacteria are problems with floppy-eared dog breeds and you’ll need to ensure that the ears are cleaned and kept dry. Be careful if you don’t know how to do it, and get advice from your veterinarian on how to attend to the ears of your dog.

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 Canadian Pointer is a dog who thrives on hard work and they are strong-willed, confident and boisterous but never aggressive. They’re intelligent and alert and respond well to training and socialization. Once trained he works hard to please his owner.

The Canadian Pointer is independent and can be aloof around strangers, but he just loves his human family and makes every effort to please them and be around them whenever he can. Treat him properly and he will give you endless hours of enjoyment and companionship.

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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