French Spaniel vs Bisben - Breed Comparison | MyDogBreeds

French Spaniel is originated from France but Bisben is originated from India. French Spaniel may grow 13 cm / 5 inches shorter than Bisben. French Spaniel may weigh 33 kg / 72 pounds lesser than Bisben. French Spaniel may live 3 years less than Bisben. Both French Spaniel and Bisben has same litter size. French Spaniel requires Moderate maintenance. But Bisben requires Low maintenance

Basic Information

Group:
Sporting dog
Working dog
Origin:
France
India
Height Male:
56 - 63 cm
22 - 25 inches
50 - 76 cm
19 - 30 inches
Height Female:
54 - 60 cm
21 - 24 inches
48 - 74 cm
18 - 30 inches
Weight Male:
10 - 22 kg
22 - 49 pounds
18 - 55 kg
39 - 122 pounds
Weight Female:
8 - 20 kg
17 - 45 pounds
16 - 52 kg
35 - 115 pounds
Life Span:
10 - 12 Years
12 - 15 Years
Litter Size:
4 - 10
4 - 10
Size:
Medium dog
Giant dog
Other Names:
Epagneul Français French Setter Canadian Setter
Bisben Sheepdog, Bisben Shepherd, Himalayan Bisben, Himalayan Bisben Sheepdog, Himalayan Bisben Shepherd, Himalayan Sheepdog, Himalayan Shepherd, Indian Sheepdog, and Indian Shepherd
Colors Available:
White with brown markings
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:
Straight, or slightly wavy and of medium length.
long, wiry, coarse, harsh
Shedding:
Moderate
Minimal
Temperament:
Affectionate, Courageous, Friendly, Gentle, Intelligent, Loyal, Playful, Social
Aggressive, Courageous, Energetic, Independent, Intelligent, Stubborn
Grooming:
Moderate maintenance
Low maintenance
Trainability:
Easy
Easy
Hypoallergenic:
No
No
Kids Friendly:
Yes
No
New Owners Friendly:
Yes
No

History

Developed in France and then in Canada, the French Spaniel is a descendent of 14th century hunting dogs. Originally the breed was very popular with the French royalty and nobility at the Court of Versailles, in the Middle Ages. A French Spaniel named Babe was owned by Catherine I of Russia.

Spaniels were mentioned in Gaston III of Foix-Beams’ The Master of the Game, or Livre de Chasse, in 14th Century France. Most believed that Spaniels had been developed during the 11th century Crusades. By 1650 the French Spaniel was differentiated from the King Charles Spaniel and determined to be its own type of spaniel.

In 1805, they were featured in the Sporting Magazine, hunting mallards. The French Spaniel was crossed with English Setters in the !850’s to develop the French Brittany (Spaniel). But by the end of the 19th century, hunting dogs from other countries were outpacing the French Spaniel so much that it was driven to the brink of extinction. Fortunately, a priest named Father Fournier saved the breed by taking all remaining Spaniels to his kennels at St. Hillarie and developing the lines we see in the breed today. This was followed by the founding of the French Spaniel Club in 1921. The various lines of the Spaniels included the French Spaniel of today, the Brittany of today, the Blue Picardy and the Picardy.

The French Spaniel however has been rare outside of its native country and Canada, where it was imported in the 1970’s to French speaking Quebec. Quebec Canadians fell in love with the breed for hunting grouse and woodcock. In order to ensure that the breed would be continued in line with its French standards, the Club de l’Epagneul Francais du Canada began in 1978. By 1985 the Canadian Kennel Club recognized the French Spaniel. Soon after they were recognized by the United Kennel Club, the Federation Cynoloqique Internationale, the UK Kennel Club and the North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association, but not the AKC (American Kennel Club). They are also registered with organizations such as the American Canine Association, the Dog Registry of America and the America’s Pet Registry. They have been included in the AKC Foundation Stock Service as the first step toward AKC recognition.

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 French Spaniel is a very tall dog and as such is one of the spaniel breeds two tallest. They are taller than the English Springer Spaniel, have a deep chest and a muscular build. Their legs are very strong, and they have a thick tail that is never docked. It is long, slightly curved and hangs low. He is an elegant dog with dark amber eyes, long feathery ears, and a nose the color of the coat. If the coat is brown the nose is brown. If the coat is black and white the nose is black. Most French Spaniels are white with brown or dark liver or white with black.

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 French Spaniel is a healthy breed that adapts well to all types of conditions, especially wet ones. There are some potentially serious health issues that the breed may be susceptible to:

Acral Mutilation and Analgesia

This is a very serious inherited disorder. It is one of many Hereditary Sensory Autonomic Neuropathies (HSN) disorders. This is an agonizing infliction that causes the dogs to have no pain in certain extremities and therefore the ability to self-mutilate their feet, pads, claws and digits. They lick and bite their feet often amputating footpads, claws, and digits without feeling any pain. This leads to infection and most dogs end up being euthanized. The disorder shows up by 3-4 months of age.

Ear Infections

Make sure the dog’s ears are cleaned regularly to remove wax and prevent infections.

Epilepsy

This disease causes seizures but can be treated with medication.

Hip dysplasia

Can cause 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

Feed the puppy

A high quality dry food made for puppies and if possible for Spaniels. Feed two to three times a day about one fourth of a cup each time

Feed the adult

A high quality adult dry food made for Spaniels if possible. Feed twice a day about one half to three fourths of a cup at each meal.

Points for Good Health

Excellent vision, stamina and speed.

Games and Exercises

These dog love to run and play. They are smart and learn easily. They like to chase balls, swim, play hide and seek, Find It, and go hiking. They can excel at learning tricks, agility, rally and obedience trials.

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

Yes, they are very good with children.

Special talents

They are great in filed trials as they can flush, point and retrieve.

Adaptability

The breed is very adaptable and can live in the city or in the country.

Learning ability

The breed is very intelligent and trainable.

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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