Scotch Collie vs Bisben - Breed Comparison | MyDogBreeds

Scotch Collie is originated from United Kingdom but Bisben is originated from India. Scotch Collie may grow 15 cm / 5 inches shorter than Bisben. Scotch Collie may weigh 23 kg / 50 pounds lesser than Bisben. Both Scotch Collie and Bisben has almost same life span. Both Scotch Collie and Bisben has almost same litter size. Scotch Collie requires Moderate maintenance. But Bisben requires Low maintenance

Basic Information

Herding dogs
Working dog
United Kingdom
Height Male:
53 - 61 cm
20 - 25 inches
50 - 76 cm
19 - 30 inches
Height Female:
47 - 56 cm
18 - 23 inches
48 - 74 cm
18 - 30 inches
Weight Male:
21 - 32 kg
46 - 71 pounds
18 - 55 kg
39 - 122 pounds
Weight Female:
18 - 27 kg
39 - 60 pounds
16 - 52 kg
35 - 115 pounds
Life Span:
12 - 16 Years
12 - 15 Years
Litter Size:
2 - 8
4 - 10
Medium dog
Giant dog
Other Names:
Farm Collie • Old Farm Collie
Bisben Sheepdog, Bisben Shepherd, Himalayan Bisben, Himalayan Bisben Sheepdog, Himalayan Bisben Shepherd, Himalayan Sheepdog, Himalayan Shepherd, Indian Sheepdog, and Indian Shepherd
Colors Available:
All colors and markings traditionally found on collies
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.
double top harsh under soft
long, wiry, coarse, harsh
Energetic, Independent, Intelligent, Responsive
Aggressive, Courageous, Energetic, Independent, Intelligent, Stubborn
Moderate maintenance
Low maintenance
Kids Friendly:
New Owners Friendly:


scotch collieThe landrace breed, which started in the highlands of Scotland is known as the Scotch Collie. There were at the time two types of collies – the Rough or long haired collie and the smooth or short haired collie. The Scotch Collie is considered to be from a line of very ancient herding dogs. It might have existed in the days of the Roman Empire, these herding dogs might have included the Native Celtic Dogs, Roman Cattle Dogs, Gordon Setter, Viking Herding Spitzes and Irish Setters.

In its native land the Scotch Collie is often called the colley dogs, coaly and cooley. Collie comes from the Scottish words for black coal – or the Coaley Sheep they herded. In addition to herding, the Scotch Collie also acted as a hunter and guard dog for its family. A large group of these collies were exported to America to work on family farms. Soon they were so popular they became family pets. They were first shown in both England and America in in the mid to late 1800’s.

The Scotch Collie Club was formed in 1885 and the breed accepted into the AKC the same year. The Collie Club of America started the following year. The AKC eventually dropped the moniker Scotch in favor or Rough and Smooth Collie. This move also separated the show dogs from the still working/herding Scotch Collies.

Aa time went on and the collie became more prominent in conformation competitions, some breeders mixed in the Greyhound and perhaps the Borzoi to get the collie we see today. The Scotch Collie itself eventually lost its independent recognition in the UKC and the NKC. It was mixed in with the English Shepard, but it was an important element in the development of the Australian Shepard, Shetland Sheepdogs and Border Collies.

The breed had a revival of sorts in the early 2000’s as the Old Time Scotch Collie. Any type of farm collie in America and Canada can be registered in the OTSCA. They are more often referred to as Old Time Farm Shepherds to avoid confusion them with the very popular collies. In 2017 there were 174 of these OTSCA dogs. Collies today have less working instincts, and the heeling instinct seems to be gone.

Today the show version of the Scotch Collie is recognized by both the AKC and UKC in the herding group.

It has been said of the Scotch Collie that they have “the majesty of a lion, the pride of a great thoroughbred stallion, the confidence of a Winston Churchill.”

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?


scotch collie puppyThis Scotch Collie is an athletic, intelligent, well-balanced and alert dog. This collie has no exaggerated features like the long nose/muzzle of the current collies. This Scotch Collie is sound in mind and body, a hard working dog. He is hearty and versatile. They are longer than they are tall. Their heads are moderate and the stoop is well defined. They have a wide, flat skull. Their lips are tight and they are fitted well.

Their ears are also moderate in size and pointed or partially erect. They should not have long or droopy ears. They have eyes that might be oblique, almond, and round. The eyes are usually brown and merles may have blue eyes. The breed has a deep chest, broad shoulders and a long tail. There are also some bobtails that occur naturally.

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

scotch collie dogThe old line breed was hearty with few health issues. The ones they did have included:

  • Musculoskeletal problems - can cause weakness or even some lameness.

• Skin problems - can have skin diseases like mange that may or may not be acute, may have allergies or sensitivities.

  • Bloat – can cause death if not treated quickly.

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

scotch collie puppies1Feeding the puppy - The Scotch Collie is not a medium dog nor is it a large dog. It is somewhere in-between. Because of this there is some discretion in not only how much you feed your puppy, but also what you feed. Normally we would feed according to breed size but here you need a high quality formula that is made for working breeds. The puppy will need enough calories to meet their high energy needs. Feed at least 3-4 times a day.

2.Feeding the adult - you need a high quality formula that is made for working breeds. The adult will need enough calories to meet their high energy needs. Feed at least 2 times a day.

3.Points for Good Health - stamina and athleticism.

4. Games and Exercises

There is a high need for exercise starting with walks or jog but that is not going to be enough. The Scotch Collie is not a Border Collie or a Corgi in terms of energy, but they are not couch potaoes. They need more than access to a yard. They need a job or they need defined exercise and play. The daily walk or jog will do it but intense play is better.

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.


1.Children friendliness - they are great with children.

2.Special talents agility and speed.

scotch collie dogs3.Adaptability - Scotch Collies are versatile and adaptable. There is no need to crate them as they are not destructive. If you have a large run or kennel, they can live anywhere. However they are happiest on farms and open lands.

4.Learning ability - They are very intelligent and open to learning.

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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