Polish Tatra Sheepdog vs Bisben - Breed Comparison

Polish Tatra Sheepdog is originated from Poland but Bisben is originated from India. Polish Tatra Sheepdog may grow 6 cm / 2 inches shorter than Bisben. Both Polish Tatra Sheepdog and Bisben are having almost same weight. Polish Tatra Sheepdog may live 3 years less than Bisben. Polish Tatra Sheepdog may have less litter size than Bisben. Polish Tatra Sheepdog requires Moderate maintenance. But Bisben requires Low maintenance

Basic Information

Group:
Working dog
Working dog
Origin:
Poland
India
Height Male:
60 - 70 cm
23 - 28 inches
50 - 76 cm
19 - 30 inches
Height Female:
60 - 70 cm
23 - 28 inches
48 - 74 cm
18 - 30 inches
Weight Male:
36 - 60 kg
79 - 133 pounds
18 - 55 kg
39 - 122 pounds
Weight Female:
36 - 60 kg
79 - 133 pounds
16 - 52 kg
35 - 115 pounds
Life Span:
10 - 12 Years
12 - 15 Years
Litter Size:
3 - 5
4 - 10
Size:
Large dog
Giant dog
Other Names:
Tatra Mountain Sheepdog, Polski Owczarek, Polish Mountain Sheepdog
Bisben Sheepdog, Bisben Shepherd, Himalayan Bisben, Himalayan Bisben Sheepdog, Himalayan Bisben Shepherd, Himalayan Sheepdog, Himalayan Shepherd, Indian Sheepdog, and Indian Shepherd
Colors Available:
White
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:
Medium length, thick
long, wiry, coarse, harsh
Shedding:
Constant, Seasonal
Minimal
Temperament:
Affectionate, Alert, Cheerful, Courageous, Curious, Docile, Energetic, Friendly, Gentle, Independent, Intelligent, Lively, Loving, Loyal, Outgoing, Playful, Protective, Quiet, Responsive, Social, Stubborn, 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

Known also as the Tatra Mountain Sheepdog, Polish Mountain Sheepdog or the Polski Owczarek, the Polish Tatra Sheepdog comes from Poland.

Shepherds were wanting an excellent guard dog for their livestock, and this dog has a natural instinct for guarding. Apart from being a good protection dog, the dog is also a superb companion.

This is a rare dog breed and not recognized by the AKC. This is actually an ancient breed, and the dog has lived in the Polish mountains for thousands of years. When the breed actually came about hasn’t been recorded. Some people suggest the Tatra Sheepdog comes from the Mastiff dog.

After the World Wars the dog’s number had been reduced and the Federation Cynologique Internationale started breeding the dog in the 1960s.

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

If you bring a Polish Tatra Sheepdog puppy into your home you might think you had a gorgeous Polar Pear Cub roaming around – that’s how cute they are.

These are large, well built white coated dogs and the average height for them as an adult is between 60 to 70cm, male and female. Weight of the dog is between 36 and 60kg.

The double coat is medium length and thick. The ears are medium length and floppy and the tail is long and carried low when the dog is at rest, but it is carried up and over the back when the dog is alert and watchful.

Temperament:

These dogs have a lot of characteristics that make it such a good guardian dog. He is territorial, bold, protective, loyal and always loving towards his human family.

The Tatra has a loud bark and he uses this when he is wary of anything that he thinks may harm his family. He is an intelligent dog too, and you won’t have any trouble training and socializing him.

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

While your Polish Tatra Sheepdog isn’t likely to suffer from any major dog health issues if he is well fed, well exercised and loved, he may well succumb to one or two of some of the typical illnesses there are that plague dogs -

Hip Dysplasia:

This is such a common- and serious problem with dogs, that it bears mentioning. Hip dysplasia is a problem with the hips so that the bones don’t fit- and move properly. The end result for the dog is pain, inflammation and swelling. Your dog is reluctant to play and get up again after lying down. Arthritis can set in which can also be painful. There are treatments to help with managing pain, but in some instances, surgery may be required.

Bloat:

Because the Polish Tatra Sheepdog is a deep chested dog, he is more prone to bloat, which is life threatening. Gas is trapped in the stomach, the stomach twists and the dog has a swollen stomach, is restless and in stress. Immediate veterinary intervention will be required.

Allergic Dermatitis:

This can be debilitating for your dog as he wants to be licking and scratching the whole time. Usually you’ll see this in the paw- and stomach area. There are a range of medications that the vet will suggest.

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

Exercise:

The Polish Tatra Sheepdog is an energetic dog and this means he will require a large sized garden to run around in. As a large, active dog he isn’t recommended for city living but would suit a large property where he can be well exercised. Because of its size and energy levels, regular walks will be recommended. Provide the dog with stimulating games that will be mentally and physically beneficial.

Grooming:

This large dog sheds, and seasonally too, so he will need to be brushed at least twice a week to prevent loose hair.

Check inside your dog’s ears for infection.

Trim your dog’s nails.

Check your dog for fleas and ticks and check him over for any unusual lumps.

Diet:

Every pet lover wants their dog to live a long, healthy, active life. That is why it is so important to choose the best dog food.

If you buy commercially manufactured dog food, make sure its the high quality ones to ensure its properly formulated to provide your pet with all the vitamins and minerals he needs.

Home-made food is also an excellent choice for your pet. Boiled chicken, brown rice or pasta and spinach, sweet potatoes and carrots can be very healthy, and you can chop this up and add it into the dry kibble a couple of times a week. This is a super tasty treat. Some raw meat added in occasionally will do him the world of good.

Never leave your pet without a constant source of fresh, cool water.

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

These large sheepdogs have always been guard dogs – they were bred to guard sheep and have always spent a lot of time on their own, away from humans.

To many people, he may seem to be somewhat aloof and independent, but for people looking for a guard dog, this particular characteristic is particularly appealing.

Nonetheless, brought up with lots of love and care he makes the most devoted, loving 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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