Northern Inuit Dog vs Bisben - Breed Comparison | MyDogBreeds

Northern Inuit Dog is originated from United Kingdom but Bisben is originated from India. Both Northern Inuit Dog and Bisben are having almost same height. Northern Inuit Dog may weigh 7 kg / 15 pounds lesser than Bisben. Both Northern Inuit Dog and Bisben has almost same life span. Both Northern Inuit Dog and Bisben has almost same litter size. Northern Inuit Dog requires Moderate maintenance. But Bisben requires Low maintenance

Basic Information

Miscellaneous dogs
Working dog
United Kingdom
Height Male:
58 - 81 cm
22 - 32 inches
50 - 76 cm
19 - 30 inches
Height Female:
58 - 81 cm
22 - 32 inches
48 - 74 cm
18 - 30 inches
Weight Male:
25 - 48 kg
55 - 106 pounds
18 - 55 kg
39 - 122 pounds
Weight Female:
25 - 48 kg
55 - 106 pounds
16 - 52 kg
35 - 115 pounds
Life Span:
12 - 14 Years
12 - 15 Years
Litter Size:
5 - 12
4 - 10
Large dog
Giant dog
Other Names:
NI Dog
Bisben Sheepdog, Bisben Shepherd, Himalayan Bisben, Himalayan Bisben Sheepdog, Himalayan Bisben Shepherd, Himalayan Sheepdog, Himalayan Shepherd, Indian Sheepdog, and Indian Shepherd
Colors Available:
white, black and cream., Grey
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 double coat, medium length
long, wiry, coarse, harsh
Affectionate, Alert, Cheerful, Courageous, Curious, Energetic, Friendly, Gentle, Independent, Intelligent, Lively, Loving, Loyal, Outgoing, Playful, Protective, Quiet, Responsive, Social, Stubborn, Territorial
Aggressive, Courageous, Energetic, Independent, Intelligent, Stubborn
Moderate maintenance
Low maintenance
Kids Friendly:
New Owners Friendly:


northern inuit dogLooking at the beautiful Northern Inuit Dog, you’ll think that this crossbred dog is a wolf.

As with many other dogs, there are sometimes different stories regarding their history. It was in the 1980's that founder of the breed, Eddie Harrison, bred a number of mixed-breed rescue dogs with Siberian Huskies, German Shepherds and Alaskan Malamutes to produce the early Northern Inuit dogs. This is a dog that closely resembled a wolf in looks but which has the more companionable characteristics of the domesticated dog.

The dog is only recognized by its own independent breed club, but by none of the other major kennel clubs.

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?


northern inuit dog puppyFriendly, calm and gentle, the Northern Inuit Dog is a crossbreed, described as a medium to large sized dog that stands at roughly 58– 81cm in height, male and female, and weighs in the region of 25–48kg.

He has a double coat in typical wolf shades of grey, white, black and cream. He is regarded as a moderate shedder. The ears are erect, the face bright, intelligent and alert and the tail long, bushy and straight.


The Northern Inuit dog is independent, strong-willed and stubborn, and if you want to own one of these dogs, your dog will respond well if you are firm, fair, strong, kind and consistent. This is because the dog is stubborn, sharp, independent and intelligent.

The owner of such a dog must be a firm leader. Training and socialization should start when the dog is still young. He is good with kids, being playful and affectionate with them.

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

northern inuit dog dogThere are some genetic problems with this dog breed, although with good care, you are highly unlikely to see your dog with them.

Some of these are hip dysplasia and epilepsy.

Hip Dysplasia:

Hips are always a worrisome aspect with dogs as it can bring on lameness. There are some things that can be done to reduce the incidence of hip dysplasia.

Joint laxity in dogs occurs when the head of the femur doesn’t fit into the acetabulum properly. This could be the result of several things such as the dog being overweight, injury or something else.


Epilepsy in dogs is a chronic condition that results in seizures. This neurological disorder is actually a life-long disease, occurring when there is abnormal electrical activity in the brain and which changes a dog’s behavior.

Some breeds are more predisposed to epilepsy than others but you will need to get your dog to the vet when you see your pet jerking uncontrollably. Most of these epileptic fits happen without warning, they last a few seconds to a minute or so and stop on their own.

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

northern inuit dog puppiesIt’s no longer cheap caring for a dog – just like with a child, by bringing a dog into your home, you have a responsibility to care for it.

If you bring a puppy into your home, you will need to feed him 4x a day. If you feed him commercially manufactured food it will need to be specially formulated for puppies. You will have to read on the packaging to make sure you get the right food.

Later on your pet can start having one or two meals a day. Two smaller meals is best as then he doesn’t gobble up his food too fast which can lead to a life-threatening condition known as bloat. Home-made food is always a welcome treat for your pet, but keep it simple and consistent. Boiled chicken, brown rice or pasta and some cooked vegetables such as carrots, sweet potatoes and spinach chopped up and added to his dry kibble can offer him some variety from time to time as well as also adding in some raw meat when you get the chance. He must always have access to fresh, cool water.

Your puppy will be due at the vet for his first vaccinations. Your puppy's first vaccination will usually be at about 8 weeks of age.

Your new pet will require a warm, dry, comfortable place to sleep and to retreat to.

You will need to provide him with chewy toys to stimulate him both mentally and physically.

You will need to exercise your pet – nice long walks, ball- and rope games etc.

Nearly every dog sheds, and the Northern Inuit will require you brushing him twice a week to remove all those loose hairs. During the brushing session, check him over for fleas and ticks and run your hands over him and make sure there are no unusual lumps on his body.

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.


northern inuit dog dogsIt’s not surprising that people who love wolves would want a similar looking pet. However, they also want this wolf-like dog to be a friend and companion. This is precisely what they get with the beautiful Northern Inuit dog.

With his bright, alert face, the Inuit is actually a calm, gentle dog, bonding closely with his human family and not showing any aggression.

Intelligent and social, and somewhat stubborn, when you provide him with the home he deserves, you’ll see that this beautiful creature can be relied on to be a wonderful family pet.

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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