Combai vs Bisben - Breed Comparison | MyDogBreeds

Both Combai and Bisben are originated from India. Combai may grow 12 cm / 4 inches shorter than Bisben. Combai may weigh 21 kg / 46 pounds lesser than Bisben. Both Combai and Bisben has same life span. Both Combai and Bisben has almost same litter size. Both Combai and Bisben requires Low maintenance.

Basic Information

Group:
Hound dog
Working dog
Origin:
India
India
Height Male:
43 - 64 cm
16 - 26 inches
50 - 76 cm
19 - 30 inches
Height Female:
43 - 64 cm
16 - 26 inches
48 - 74 cm
18 - 30 inches
Weight Male:
18 - 34 kg
39 - 75 pounds
18 - 55 kg
39 - 122 pounds
Weight Female:
18 - 34 kg
39 - 75 pounds
16 - 52 kg
35 - 115 pounds
Life Span:
12 - 15 Years
12 - 15 Years
Litter Size:
3 - 8
4 - 10
Size:
Medium dog
Giant dog
Other Names:
Indian Bear Hound, Indian Bear Dog and Tamil Bear Hound
Bisben Sheepdog, Bisben Shepherd, Himalayan Bisben, Himalayan Bisben Sheepdog, Himalayan Bisben Shepherd, Himalayan Sheepdog, Himalayan Shepherd, Indian Sheepdog, and Indian Shepherd
Colors Available:
Brown, reddish, 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 and smooth
long, wiry, coarse, harsh
Shedding:
Minimal
Minimal
Temperament:
Affectionate, Aggressive, Alert, Cheerful, Courageous, Curious, Energetic, Friendly, Independent, Intelligent, Lively, Loving, Loyal, Outgoing, Protective, Responsive, Social, Stubborn, Territorial
Aggressive, Courageous, Energetic, Independent, Intelligent, Stubborn
Grooming:
Low maintenance
Low maintenance
Trainability:
Easy
Easy
Hypoallergenic:
No
No
Kids Friendly:
Yes
No
New Owners Friendly:
No
No

History

The Combai is a dog from Tamilnadu, Southern India, developed to hunt dangerous animals by the Indian royalty. It is a rare breed in India, believed to be close to extinction.

The dog is also known as the Indian Bear Hound, Indian Bear Dog and Tamil Bear Hound. You can spell the name of the dog with a ‘C’ or a ‘K’, Combai or Kombai.

Accurate records as to the history of this dog haven’t been kept, so much of the dog’s history is on speculation, although it is believed with some certainty, that the breed has been around since the 15th century. It is thought that the Combai was developed from Mastiff-type dogs, Pariah dogs, the Thai Ridgeback and Khoisan dogs.

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 Combai is a medium sized dog, standing at between 43 to 64cm in height and weighing up to 34kg. Possibly the most distinctive feature of the Combai is a ridge of fur that runs down its back, with the hair growing in the opposite direction to the dog’s body hair. The coat of the dog is short and smooth with colors being brown, tan or reddish. The dog is medium sized, though size does vary quite a bit . The dog is muscular, lean and athletic with a long tail that curls over the back.

The head of the Combai is fairly narrow with a muzzle which is quite long.The ears of the Combai vary as well and usually drop down or they fold backwards.

Temperament:

The Combai’s temperament is by no means gentle and it is believed to be a fierce, angry breed who will fight other dogs to the death.

It is sometimes hard to believe that the Combai, with training and socialization can make a good family pet. He then loves the company of his human family and remains loyal to them. When trained and socialized they also get on well with children in the home.

It isn’t recommended as a first dog choice for those who have never owned a dog as it does tend to be aggressive. The dog is also very territorial and alert and its why he makes a good watchdog.

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

Most dog experts will agree that the Combai is a breed that enjoys excellent health, and that in fact it seems as though the dog is disease- and parasite resistant.

There are however, always common dog illnesses that every dog owner should be aware of and it is always to a dog owner’s benefit to have their pet tested by Foundations such as the Orthopedic- and Canine Eye Registration Foundation who can perform tests to identify potential health defects before they show up.

Some of the ailments of concern in hounds include progressive retinal atrophy, demoid sinus and hip dysplasia.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy:

The Retina is the light sensitive part of the eye and also part of the central nervous system. In retinal degeneration, the cells of the retina decline in function and this is what leads to possible blindness.

Progressive retinal atrophy worsens with time. If your pet doesn’t seem to react to light properly it may be wise to have him checked by the vet.

Demoid Sinus:

This defect is found in newborns as well as later on in life, and found primarily in Ridgeback dogs. Dermoid sinus is a neural tube defect that is typically found along your dog’s back, the tail and the neck.

The role of the tubes is to drain out dead cells for example. Not correctly formed, they become infected and an abscess forms with discharge. You will have to get your pet to the vet who will proceed with treatment as your pet can experience pain and discomfort.

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

Exercise:

The Combai is an active dog and he will require quite a bit of exercise. A good way of giving him exercise is to take him on walks or allow him to go jogging with you or cycling.

Denying him exercise will make him frustrated and destructive. His high exercise needs mean that he won’t do well in small apartments but will do well in the suburbs or in the country.

Grooming:

With his short coat, the Combai is a low maintenance breed.  This breed should never require professional grooming, only an occasional brushing.  Other than that, he will require his nails being clipped, his ears checked for infection and his teeth cleaned 2 or 3 times a week.

Diet:

High energy dogs like the Combai will require a top quality kibble diet recommended by your vet with raw meat included in his diet from time to time as well as nutritious cooked food added in such as brown rice, vegetables and cooked chicken. Fresh water must be available to him night and day non-stop.

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 Combai is known for its bravery and fearlessness and this is what makes him such an exceptional watch dog as he also doesn’t take kindly to strangers.

The Combai is full of energy too and won’t like to spend days lying around. He will require regular exercise.

Have him trained and socialized and he becomes the most loyal and devoted pet and 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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