New Zealand Huntaway vs Bisben - Breed Comparison

New Zealand Huntaway is originated from New Zealand but Bisben is originated from India. New Zealand Huntaway may grow 16 cm / 6 inches shorter than Bisben. New Zealand Huntaway may weigh 15 kg / 33 pounds lesser than Bisben. Both New Zealand Huntaway and Bisben has almost same life span. New Zealand Huntaway may have less litter size than Bisben. New Zealand Huntaway requires Moderate maintenance. But Bisben requires Low maintenance

Basic Information

Group:
Herding dogs
Working dog
Origin:
New Zealand
India
Height Male:
50 - 60 cm
19 - 24 inches
50 - 76 cm
19 - 30 inches
Height Female:
50 - 60 cm
19 - 24 inches
48 - 74 cm
18 - 30 inches
Weight Male:
25 - 40 kg
55 - 89 pounds
18 - 55 kg
39 - 122 pounds
Weight Female:
25 - 40 kg
55 - 89 pounds
16 - 52 kg
35 - 115 pounds
Life Span:
12 - 14 Years
12 - 15 Years
Litter Size:
5 - 7
4 - 10
Size:
Medium dog
Giant dog
Other Names:
New Zealand Sheepdog
Bisben Sheepdog, Bisben Shepherd, Himalayan Bisben, Himalayan Bisben Sheepdog, Himalayan Bisben Shepherd, Himalayan Sheepdog, Himalayan Shepherd, Indian Sheepdog, and Indian Shepherd
Colors Available:
brindle, Black and 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:
Smooth or rough textured
long, wiry, coarse, harsh
Shedding:
Moderate
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:
Moderate maintenance
Low maintenance
Trainability:
Easy
Easy
Hypoallergenic:
No
No
Kids Friendly:
Yes
No
New Owners Friendly:
Yes
No

History

The New Zealand Huntaway was developed in New Zealand. The dog was brought about by mixing the Border Collie with a number of other breeds, of which the Doberman Pinscher is one.

The idea was to have a skilled herding dog for livestock, and the Huntaway is known for its loud bark which it uses to herd.

The dog is looked upon as as a fairly new breed, dating from the late 19th century. These days it is a popular companion dog, and in 2013 was recognized by the New Zealand Kennel Club.

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

As a deep chested, medium to large sized dog, the New Zealand Huntaway stands at between 50 and 60cm and weighs roughly 25 to 40kg.

The eyes are soft and kind. The coat is usually black and tan colored, although it can be brindle too. The coat is in different textures and can be mostly smooth, but also fairly rough textured. The ears are usually medium length and floppy, the legs straight and long and the tail is long.

Temperament:

These dogs are good natured and are guaranteed to make a splendid family pet. Because they have always been used to life in the country, they are more suited to this lifestyle than for living in the city.

They are friendly, energetic dogs and will require a good deal of exercise.They don’t take easily to lying around bored and this lifestyle will just lead to frustration and destructive behavior, through no fault of their own.

Just like with any other dog, the New Zealand Huntaway will need to be trained and socialized so that he becomes obedient and well rounded. This is necessary for him as he is an independent canine with a determined streak.

His intelligence will mean he is able to learn easily. He also is gentle and kind-hearted, and gets on well with kids and pets in the home.

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 Huntaway is the kind of dog that won’t require you having to rush off to the vet with him. Good care with nutritious food and exercise can see him reaching 14 years of age or so.

Some common dog illnesses to look out for include -

Dilated Caridomyopathy:

This disease is about degeneration of the heart muscle with the muscle becoming thinner. The pressure of the blood inside the heart causes these thin walls to stretch, resulting in the heart becoming enlarged.

Although heart disease develops slowly, severe congestive heart failure can develop quickly and you may notice rapid breathing and a blue tongue. It is imperative to get your pet to the vet immediately.

Small studies have revealed that the rate of Dilated Caridomyopathy could be higher in Huntaways.

Hip Dysplasia:

This is an issue where the hips haven’t formed properly. Affected dogs lose their mobility and battle with pain and lameness. Certainly you will need to get your pet to the vet to make sure that he is pain-free and comfortable.

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:

This dog is an average shedder and fairly low maintenance, requiring you to brush him twice a week to keep the coat shiny and free from loose hairs.

Dogs that have floppy- or folded ears need to have their ears checked for infection as well as their eyes. They also need to have the nails trimmed as left long, they can hook onto things which can rip into the dog’s flesh.

Diet:

The Huntaway is a herding dog, and even though your dog today is more of a companion dog, he will need to be fed a high-quality commercial dog food which has been particularly formulated for active working dog breeds.

It is a good idea to sometimes break away from a bowl of kibble and to mix in some homemade food. The simpler the better for your dog, and boiled chicken, some brown rice or pasta and some vegetables such as sweet potato, carrots and spinach mixed into his kibble occasionally will do him the world of good.

Now and then you can also add in some raw meat if possible. Avoid exotic, spicy foods with your pet to avoid digestive problems.

Exercise:

This dog has always been a hunting, herding dog so it is going to require a lot of exercise to keep him content and happy.

He won’t only need physical exercise but will also need mental stimulation as he is an intelligent dog too. Apart from taking him for walks and giving him ball- and rope games, for mental stimulation, why not consider some food puzzle toys?

These are sturdy containers that hold dog food and treats inside. Dogs have to paw at it, lick, shake and think up ways to get at the tasty treat. These food puzzle toys will keep your pet occupied for a while and keep him happily thinking.

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 Huntaway has got so much going for him to make him a splendid family pet. Not only is he intelligent, but he is evenly balanced, friendly, social and active.

He can easily be trained and socialized. He is friendly and gentle with other pets in the home as well as with children. With a firm, fair, kind, patient and consistent owner in his life, this dog with the gentle brown eyes will be a fantastic pet for you.

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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