Istarski Ostrodlaki Gonic vs Bisben - Breed Comparison

Istarski Ostrodlaki Gonic is originated from Croatia but Bisben is originated from India. Istarski Ostrodlaki Gonic may grow 16 cm / 6 inches shorter than Bisben. Istarski Ostrodlaki Gonic may weigh 28 kg / 61 pounds lesser than Bisben. Istarski Ostrodlaki Gonic may live 3 years less than Bisben. Both Istarski Ostrodlaki Gonic and Bisben has almost same litter size. Both Istarski Ostrodlaki Gonic and Bisben requires Low maintenance.

Basic Information

Group:
Hound dog
Working dog
Origin:
Croatia
India
Height Male:
43 - 60 cm
16 - 24 inches
50 - 76 cm
19 - 30 inches
Height Female:
43 - 60 cm
16 - 24 inches
48 - 74 cm
18 - 30 inches
Weight Male:
12 - 27 kg
26 - 60 pounds
18 - 55 kg
39 - 122 pounds
Weight Female:
12 - 27 kg
26 - 60 pounds
16 - 52 kg
35 - 115 pounds
Life Span:
10 - 12 Years
12 - 15 Years
Litter Size:
6 - 12
4 - 10
Size:
Medium dog
Giant dog
Other Names:
Istrian wire-haired or short-haired scenthound
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 orange 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:
Short and smooth or medium length and wiry
long, wiry, coarse, harsh
Shedding:
Minimal
Minimal
Temperament:
Affectionate, Alert, Cheerful, Courageous, Curious, Docile, Energetic, Friendly, Gentle, Independent, Intelligent, Lively, Loving, Loyal, Outgoing, Playful, Protective, Quiet, Responsive, Social, 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:
Yes
No

History

The Istarski Ostrodlaki Gonic, also referred to as the Istrian wire-haired or short-haired scenthound is a very ancient dog breed. Apparently the dog has been found in paintings that go way back to the early 1700s.

The dog can either have a short, smooth coat or a rough, wiry longer coat. He has always been popular with hunters, used for hunting rabbits and fox.

An interesting fact with this dog is the correlation between the Dalmatian dog and the Istrian short-haired hound. According to veterinary investigations, there are strong likenesses between the two breeds.

The truth is, the origin of the Istrian has been a matter of dispute for some time but in 2003 the Federation Cynologique Internationale recognized the breed as hailing from Croatia.

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

Medium in size, the Istarski Ostrodlaki Gonic stands at roughly 43 to 60cm at the withers and weighs roughly 12 to 27kg. The chest of the dog is broad and deep, the skull slightly rounded while the muzzle is strong and rectangular shaped. The nose is dark brown or black.

The ears are floppy and are nearly always in the orange color while the tail is long and is carried low. The coat of the rough haired dog is of medium length. In fact the coat can either be short and smooth or longish and wiry with a woolly undercoat. The color of the coat is white with orange markings.

Temperament:

This breed of dog is sought after for his cheerful personality. He is loyal to his human family and is a social dog, loving to spend time around his family.

He is energetic, confident and strong-willed and this is why, as with most other dogs, he will benefit from training and socialization, as this makes him obedient and responsive to his owner. He is evenly tempered, being gentle and docile.

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

Dental Disease:

There are people who don’t take dental disease seriously in dogs as they think that it simply affects the teeth, when in fact dental disease can affect the dog’s entire body.

Dental- and gum disease is to be regarded with concern as it can be painful and even life threatening. It affects many dogs, and unfortunately your Istarski is also likely to have problems with his teeth. Tartar build-up and infection of the gums can lead to tooth loss but also damage to the kidneys, heart and joints.

Dogs need to have their teeth attended to regularly and if this is something new to you, speak to your vet and find out about special canine toothpaste and toothbrush and how to use them.

Infections:

Dogs can be susceptible to bacterial and viral infections such as rabies, distemper and parvo, and that is why visits to your vet are so important. These life-threatening diseases for your Istarski Ostrodlaki Gonic are preventable through vaccinations.

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

Taking care of an Istarski Ostrodlaki Gonic dog is much like caring for a child – doing everything you can to keep him healthy and happy, after all, he is a member of your family.

You want to be watching his diet and making sure that it is the best quality there is, full of vitamins and minerals to keep his eyes bright, his nose wet and his tail wagging.

There are excellent commercially manufactured dog foods on the market today and the best ones ensure excellent nutrition for your dog to keep him in optimal condition through each stage that he goes through. Try to include some home-made food into this kibble such as cooked chicken, brown rice and vegetables and it can be to his benefit to just to include some raw meat from time to time.

Make sure your Istarski Ostrodlaki Gonic is well exercised, that you check his teeth and ears to ensure there are no infections and to call the vet immediately you suspect something is wrong. Make sure you have him examined as a puppy and that he gets his necessary injections as there are diseases that can kill 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.

Characteristics

The Istrian Wire-haired Scenthound or Istarski Ostrodlaki Gonic as he is also referred to is a strong, well built hound which is elegant in appearance.

He has a remarkably striking coat - bright white with orange markings. He has always been an excellent hunting dog, even to this day. This background hunting of his will require that he receives ongoing exercise as well as mental stimulation.

Treat this beautiful dog well - exercise him, groom him, feed him well and love him and you will be rewarded with the loyal and devoted friendship of an amazing dog.

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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