Lakeland Terrier vs Bisben - Breed Comparison | MyDogBreeds

Lakeland Terrier is originated from United Kingdom but Bisben is originated from India. Lakeland Terrier may grow 38 cm / 14 inches shorter than Bisben. Lakeland Terrier may weigh 47 kg / 103 pounds lesser than Bisben. Both Lakeland Terrier and Bisben has almost same life span. Lakeland Terrier may have less litter size than Bisben. Lakeland Terrier requires Moderate maintenance. But Bisben requires Low maintenance

Basic Information

Terrier dog
Working dog
United Kingdom
Height Male:
33 - 38 cm
12 - 15 inches
50 - 76 cm
19 - 30 inches
Height Female:
33 - 38 cm
12 - 15 inches
48 - 74 cm
18 - 30 inches
Weight Male:
7 - 8 kg
15 - 18 pounds
18 - 55 kg
39 - 122 pounds
Weight Female:
7 - 8 kg
15 - 18 pounds
16 - 52 kg
35 - 115 pounds
Life Span:
12 - 16 Years
12 - 15 Years
Litter Size:
3 - 4
4 - 10
Medium dog
Giant dog
Other Names:
Bisben Sheepdog, Bisben Shepherd, Himalayan Bisben, Himalayan Bisben Sheepdog, Himalayan Bisben Shepherd, Himalayan Sheepdog, Himalayan Shepherd, Indian Sheepdog, and Indian Shepherd
Colors Available:
grizzle, black and tan together, Tan, wheat and red
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.
Thick, wiry coat of medium length
long, wiry, coarse, harsh
Affectionate, Alert, Cheerful, Courageous, Curious, Energetic, Friendly, Independent, Intelligent, Lively, Loving, Loyal, Outgoing, Playful, Protective, Responsive, Social, Stubborn, Sweet, Territorial
Aggressive, Courageous, Energetic, Independent, Intelligent, Stubborn
Moderate maintenance
Low maintenance
Kids Friendly:
New Owners Friendly:


The Lakeland Terrier hails from the lake district of England. They were bred to hunt foxes that were coming after the lambs during lambing season.

These dogs are connected to a number of terrier breeds such as the Bedlington-, Border-, Old English Black and Tan- as well as the Dandie Dinmont Terriers.

In 1921 the Lakeland Terrier Association was formed and the American Kennel Club registered a Lakeland in 1934.

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?


The Lakeland Terrier is a small to medium-sized dog which stands at between 33 – 38cm at the withers and weighs between 7 – 8kg.

The head is rectangular and he has semi-erect, semi-floppy ears and a docked tail which is held up. These days you’ll find the Lakeland being left with a long tail, taking away that attractive, square, compact look. The crisp double coat can come in a number of colors such as tan, grizzle, black and tan together, a wheatish color with some red and white. The coat is regarded as being hypoallergenic.


Possessing a number of positive attributes, Lakies, a nickname of these jaunty little dogs, is a friendly, loving, bold, self-confident dog. You’ll find that he is also determined and strong-willed but training and socialization turns him into a more obedient dog. He then gets on well with everyone in the household as well as with other pets.

They are intelligent dogs, so it won’t be difficult training him when proper training methods are used.

He is adaptable too and will adapt to life in the city or in the countryside, so long as he is exercised regularly as they are excitable, energetic dogs.

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 truth about any dog is that good nutrition, exercise and lots of love can contribute to ensuring a long, healthy life for your pet.

Some health problems are inherited while others can be prevented simply by the kind of home you provide your pet with. Once you decide to bring a dog into your home, you need to do everything you can to ensure his wellbeing.

Luxating Patella:

This is a joint problem which can see your pet limping or moving along in a skipping manner. You will need to see the vet because sometimes friction can lead to osteoarthritis, pain and lameness.

Eye diseases:

Eye problems such as cataracts and glaucoma can lead to blindness.


Terrier dogs are prone to allergies and dry, itchy skin can lead to other problems such as bacterial infections and be frustrating and stressful for your pet.

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


Grooming doesn’t only keep your 4-legged friend in tip top shape in terms of looking well cared for, it makes him feel good too and it contributes to his wellbeing.

Regular grooming also decreases the chance of health problems because you can simultaneously check him for lumps, scratches, parasites and allergies.

Stripping is a technique where you pull the dead hair out of the coat by either using your fingers or a stripping knife. This stripping makes makes room for a new coat to grow.

It is a good and effective grooming method for Terrier type dogs, and the best part about it is that if it is done correctly, the process is painless.

Other Terrier owners have a professional groomer clip the coat. In between these grooming procedures, brush your Lakie twice a week to keep the coat soft, springy and shiny.

General Grooming:

Other grooming needs for your Lakeland include trimming his nails as needed, checking the inside of his ears for dirt and too much wax and brushing his teeth twice a week to keep tartar and bacteria at bay.

If you’re a responsible dog owner and you are unsure how to do these grooming procedures, there is no need to fret as there are always professional groomers and dental cleaning procedures that your vet will recommend. These experts can do the job professionally and painlessly for your pet.


Nothing is set in stone about what your Lakeland Terrier should eat, but it is a known fact that high quality, nutritious food wards off illness and increases longevity.

How much your adult dog eats will depend on his age and his activity levels. You want to ensure he gets the right proportions to avoid obesity too. The female Lakeland will give you 3 – 4 puppies and during this time you want to ensure she’s getting the very best, nutritious food there is – after all it’s for the sake of her puppies.

The truth about any dog is that good nutrition, exercise and lots of love can contribute to ensuring a long, healthy life for your pet. Some health problems are inherited while others can be prevented simply by the kind of home you provide your pet with.

Once you decide to bring a dog into your home, you need to do everything you can to ensure his well-being.

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.


It doesn’t matter that the Lakeland Terrier was bred to hunt and kill foxes in the Lake District of England because he is more than willing to settle down and become a loving and devoted pet too.

He is a robust dog, known for his determination and courage. He is an energetic dog too so when you bring him into your home, be prepared to up your activity levels to cater for your energetic friend.

You can add good health to his list of positive attributes. He is a healthy dog breed with few health complaints to write about. Treat him well as every dog deserves and you can have him around for about 15, 16 or 17 years.

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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