Central Asian Shepherd vs Bisben - Breed Comparison

Central Asian Shepherd is originated from Russia but Bisben is originated from India. Central Asian Shepherd may grow 6 cm / 2 inches shorter than Bisben. Both Central Asian Shepherd and Bisben are having almost same weight. Both Central Asian Shepherd and Bisben has same life span. Both Central Asian Shepherd and Bisben has same litter size. Central Asian Shepherd requires Moderate maintenance. But Bisben requires Low maintenance

Basic Information

Group:
Working dog
Working dog
Origin:
Russia
India
Height Male:
62 - 70 cm
24 - 28 inches
50 - 76 cm
19 - 30 inches
Height Female:
62 - 70 cm
24 - 28 inches
48 - 74 cm
18 - 30 inches
Weight Male:
40 - 50 kg
88 - 111 pounds
18 - 55 kg
39 - 122 pounds
Weight Female:
40 - 50 kg
88 - 111 pounds
16 - 52 kg
35 - 115 pounds
Life Span:
12 - 15 Years
12 - 15 Years
Litter Size:
4 - 10
4 - 10
Size:
Large dog
Giant dog
Other Names:
Central Asian Ovtcharka
Bisben Sheepdog, Bisben Shepherd, Himalayan Bisben, Himalayan Bisben Sheepdog, Himalayan Bisben Shepherd, Himalayan Sheepdog, Himalayan Shepherd, Indian Sheepdog, and Indian Shepherd
Colors Available:
brindle, flecked and bi-colored, grey, black, White, tan
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:
Short hair and long haired
long, wiry, coarse, harsh
Shedding:
Moderate, Seasonal
Minimal
Temperament:
Affectionate, Aggressive, Alert, Cheerful, Courageous, Energetic, Friendly, Independent, Intelligent, Lively, Loving, Loyal, Outgoing, Playful, Protective, Responsive, Social, Stubborn, Territorial
Aggressive, Courageous, Energetic, Independent, Intelligent, Stubborn
Grooming:
Moderate maintenance
Low maintenance
Trainability:
Moderate
Easy
Hypoallergenic:
No
No
Kids Friendly:
Yes
No
New Owners Friendly:
No
No

History

This large dog breed is a native to the wilds of Central Asia, where it has been guarding and protecting livestock for thousands of years. In fact the Central Asian Shepherd is one of the oldest dog breeds of the world.

Early records as to the precise origin of the breed aren’t available. There are suggestions that the breed descended from ancient Middle Eastern livestock guarding breeds, while the other suggests the dog is descended from the Tibetan Mastiff. It is almost certain that the dog was domesticated from the Wolf.

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

The Central Asian Shepherd is a large dog, standing at up to 70cm in height and weighing in the region of 50kg. The dog is powerfully built and muscular, with the tail being traditionally docked to a short bob. Undocked, the tail is naturally long, thick at the base and tapering down. When relaxed, the tail is carried low, but when he becomes alert and excited, the tail is up and curved.

The ears of this dog are also traditionally cropped close to the head so that the dog almost appears to have no visible ears. This practice is also falling away and the natural ears of this breed are small and set at- or below eye level.

The brown eyes are small to medium size and are deep set. The Central Asian Shepherd Dog is double-coated with short to medium length hair and can be found in quite a few different colors such as tan, white, black, grey, brindle, ticked or a blend of these colors.

Temperament:

You have to be careful about where you buy your Asian Shepherd from as these dogs can be prone to aggression. With good breeding however, the dog is evenly tempered. As a first time dog owner, this shouldn’t be your first choice as it is a dominant, wilful, territorial, independent dog who will require a tough, firm, strong owner. Training and socialization are imperative to ensure he becomes obedient. He is then capable of forming close and strong bonds with his master, becoming a loyal and devoted pet. He also makes an excellent guard dog.

He is a protective dog breed, and once trained can get on well with children and other pets. He is the kind of dog that you will want to supervise around small children.

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 Central Asian Shepherd doesn't have any hereditary ailments and he is generally a healthy, robust breed.

Large breeds are always prone to hip- and elbow dysplasia, an abnormal development of hip and elbow, brought about by a number of factors such as genetics, the wrong diet and rapid growth with some large puppies.

A dysplastic hip or elbow doesn’t move smoothly as it should, and this results in joint inflammation and pain. Symptoms can include loss of muscle mass, pain when moving around and difficulty with standing up again once your pet lies down.

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

Central Asians are large dogs and when he is looked after well he can reach up to 15 years of age.

Diet:

It is important to see that he receives top quality, size-specific food, of which he eats a lot, and that it has all the vitamins and minerals he needs for his size.

A puppy will need high energy foods because of their energy. As he grows bigger, protein will become imperative. It is always a treat for your pet to add in some brown rice, vegetables and cooked chicken into his kibble from time to time.

Raw meat can be expensive, but if you can, it is important to ensure that your large pet gets some raw meat into his diet too, to keep his skin and coat healthy and to ward off disease. Make sure he has non-stop access to a bowl of fresh, cool water.

Grooming:

As previously mentioned, the coat of the Central Asian Shepherd can be fairly short but it can also be medium length. He isn't going to require any exceptional grooming but you will certainly need to give him a good brush twice a week, more so in his shedding periods. This will rid him of loose hair and keep his coat free of tangles and matting.

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

It is important for those interested in the Central Asian Shepherd Dog as a pet to do some research on the breed. For instance this is a large dog that has been used for fighting.

While he can’t be described as being overly aggressive, you do need to be aware of his history, especially when you have small children in the home.

This dog is intelligent and confident too while also being exceptionally protective, and therefore he makes a good watchdog.

It is essential to have your Central Asian trained and socialized, and then he becomes far more relaxed and obedient, making him a loyal, loving guardian and friend.

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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