English Mastiff vs Bisben - Breed Comparison | MyDogBreeds

English Mastiff is originated from United Kingdom but Bisben is originated from India. Both English Mastiff and Bisben are of same height. English Mastiff may weigh 58 kg / 128 pounds more than Bisben. English Mastiff may live 3 years less than Bisben. Both English Mastiff and Bisben has same litter size. Both English Mastiff and Bisben requires Low maintenance.

Basic Information

Group:
Molosser dogs
Working dog
Origin:
United Kingdom
India
Height Male:
74 - 76 cm
29 - 30 inches
50 - 76 cm
19 - 30 inches
Height Female:
70 - 73 cm
27 - 29 inches
48 - 74 cm
18 - 30 inches
Weight Male:
68 - 113 kg
149 - 250 pounds
18 - 55 kg
39 - 122 pounds
Weight Female:
54 - 84 kg
119 - 186 pounds
16 - 52 kg
35 - 115 pounds
Life Span:
7 - 12 Years
12 - 15 Years
Litter Size:
5 - 10
4 - 10
Size:
Giant dog
Giant dog
Other Names:
Mastiff Old English Mastiff
Bisben Sheepdog, Bisben Shepherd, Himalayan Bisben, Himalayan Bisben Sheepdog, Himalayan Bisben Shepherd, Himalayan Sheepdog, Himalayan Shepherd, Indian Sheepdog, and Indian Shepherd
Colors Available:
silver-fawn, apricot-fawn, or dark fawn-brindle, fawn
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:
fine, smooth
long, wiry, coarse, harsh
Shedding:
Moderate
Minimal
Temperament:
Courageous, Docile, Friendly, Independent, Loyal, Protective, Quiet, Stubborn
Aggressive, Courageous, Energetic, Independent, Intelligent, Stubborn
Grooming:
Low maintenance
Low maintenance
Trainability:
Moderate
Easy
Hypoallergenic:
No
No
Kids Friendly:
Yes
No
New Owners Friendly:
No
No

History

Throughout most of history there have been images created by people of very large, sturdy dogs that they shared their space with. The English Mastiff can trace some part of her ancestry to these same dogs. This breed is thought to have come from the stock of ancient breeds such as the Alpine Mastiff, Pugnaces Britanniae and Alaunt. The Mastiff in general has then become a main descendent of many other breeds of dogs since the 1880’s. The images of these types of dogs goes back to the 5th and 6th century.

There is no genetic evidence linking these dogs to the modern Mastiffs and the English Mastiff, but the resemblance is obvious. There is anecdotal evidence that these Mastiff type dogs were exported from England – the English Mastiff – to Greece to hunt game but were also used as war dogs by the Celts. The Alaunt was probably used the Normans and bred by the Alans. Writings and images throughout these times depicted a dog that looked very much like today’s English Mastiff. Some speculate that the English Mastiff came to the United States of the Mayflower.

There was a decline in the English Mastiff in its homeland in the 1800’s following the Cruelty to Animals Act of 1835 which prohibited owners and trainers from baiting animals. Then in the 19th century, prior to the first World War, systematic breeding programs began with J.W. Thompson. His first English Mastiff was a female named Dorah. Dorah’s ancestors included dogs from Thompson’s Grandfather. Captain John Garnier of the Royal Engineers also had dogs that contributed to the development of the English Mastiff.

During this time some breeders got away from pure type and began to breed for other factors. In the late 1800’s, Edgar Hanbury and Mark Hanbury Beaufoy began restoring the breed to its original soundness. One of their dogs was exported to the US were breeding to soundness continued until the First World War reduced the number of English Mastiffs around the world. By the time the war ended there were no English Mastiffs outside of England.

There was a dog in Canada named Beowulf and direct descendent of imports from Britain, who came to the States after the war and began to re-establish the breed on this continent and registered with the American Kennel Club. Yet as of 1945, the contribution from North

Breeding was stopped again for World War II and started again after the war. Many of these puppies died of distemper. Only one female had pups that were able to grow up into adults. North America sent dogs to England at this time and all of the Mastiffs from that time, could be traced back to Nydia and the 14 North American Mastiffs. Since then the breed has been restored slowly in Europe, North America and everywhere in the world.

The English Mastiff is known by his massive head with a black mask and comes in a wide variety of colors. He is also known as a gentle giant because of his personality and the love he has for his people.

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 English Mastiff is a giant dog with a broad head and body. In terms of mass it is the worlds largest dog, just a little bigger that the Saint Bernard. The Great Dane and the Irish Wolfhound are 6 inches taller but do not carry the weight and bulk of the Mastiff. Mostly square in his body and his head with a massive chest and wide set forelegs. The head is square and very large. No matter the color of the coat, the face should have a black mask like the St. Bernard. His eyes and nose are also dark.

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

Being a massive dog can take its toll on the body’s development and that is certainly true of the English Mastiff. A lot of running is not recommended in the early life of the dog – preferable for the first two years. This could damage the joint’s growth plates and cause him a lot of problems in later years. Too much exercise in this massive dog can hurt him but so can, not enough exercise.

Some of the health issues other than this that the English Mastiff is prone to include:

  1. Calluses –
  2. On their paws. Must be taken care of before infection sets in.
  3. Arthritis

A large dog like the English Mastiff is always prone to pain from arthritic joints. See your vet about pain medication.

Hygroma

A spot under the skin that is swollen and filled with fluid. Can be treated. It is not an infection or contagious.

Hip Dysplasia

Can result in lameness and arthritis.

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

This is an enormous dog that grows quickly. It is important to feed them properly as they grow. If he doesn’t get what he needs as a puppy you will not be able to make it up to him later on.

Feeding the puppy

The English Mastiff puppy needs good nutrition for growing properly.

From 12-16 weeks of age feed him 3-4 cups a day of a high protein, high quality dry food. Break this up into 3-4 meals.

From 4 -6 months of age feed him 8-10 cups a day of a high protein, high quality dry food. Break this up into 2-3 meals.

From 6-18 months of age feed him 8-12 cups a day of a high protein, high quality, dry food. Break this up into 2-3 meals.

Feeding the adult

The English Mastiff is still growing from a year to 18 months. Starting at 18 months feed him 10-12 cups a day of high protein, high quality dry food. Break this up into 2 meals.

As your Mastiff ages, cut down on the protein and feed a dry food appropriate for his age.

Points for Good Health

The English Mastiff is a very large dog that should not be allowed to get obese since he is prone to dysplasia. He needs protein throughout puppyhood and until he is about 8-10.

Games and Exercises

This is a couch potato if you let him be. Make sure he gets at least one long walk per day or he will tend to gain weight. Play with them off leash about an hour every day.

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

Children friendliness

The English Mastiff is very happy to play with children. You willl need to be careful with small children as he does not know his size and is likely to sit on them.

Special talents

This lovable giant is noble and loyal. He will protect his family and he will be courageous about it.

Adaptability

This is a big dog but he doesnt live outside. You need a big yard and perhaps a big house. He may not adapt to an apartment.

Learning ability

The English Mastiff is smart and certainly trainable. He can be independent and stubborn at times but he has the ability to learn.

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.

Comparison with other breeds

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