Sindh Mastiff vs Bisben - Breed Comparison | MyDogBreeds

Both Sindh Mastiff and Bisben are originated from India. Sindh Mastiff may grow 8 cm / 4 inches higher than Bisben. Sindh Mastiff may weigh 13 kg / 29 pounds more than Bisben. Sindh Mastiff may live 3 years less than Bisben. Both Sindh Mastiff and Bisben has same litter size. Both Sindh Mastiff and Bisben requires Low maintenance.

Basic Information

Miscellaneous dogs
Working dog
Height Male:
80 - 84 cm
31 - 34 inches
50 - 76 cm
19 - 30 inches
Height Female:
80 - 84 cm
31 - 34 inches
48 - 74 cm
18 - 30 inches
Weight Male:
62 - 68 kg
136 - 150 pounds
18 - 55 kg
39 - 122 pounds
Weight Female:
62 - 68 kg
136 - 150 pounds
16 - 52 kg
35 - 115 pounds
Life Span:
10 - 12 Years
12 - 15 Years
Litter Size:
5 - 10
4 - 10
Large dog
Giant dog
Other Names:
Pakistani Mastiff, Sindhi Mastiff
Bisben Sheepdog, Bisben Shepherd, Himalayan Bisben, Himalayan Bisben Sheepdog, Himalayan Bisben Shepherd, Himalayan Sheepdog, Himalayan Shepherd, Indian Sheepdog, and Indian Shepherd
Colors Available:
fawn or brindle, White, 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.
Short, smooth, dense
long, wiry, coarse, harsh
Affectionate, Aggressive, Alert, Courageous, Curious, Energetic, Independent, Intelligent, Lively, Loving, Loyal, Outgoing, Playful, Protective, Quiet, Responsive, Social, Stubborn, Territorial
Aggressive, Courageous, Energetic, Independent, Intelligent, Stubborn
Low maintenance
Low maintenance
Kids Friendly:
New Owners Friendly:


sindh mastiffThe Sindh Mastiff or Alangu Mastiff is an ancient breed believed to have been useful for guarding war camps, but today he is both a guard dog and pet.

There isn’t too much information available to us about the origins of this dog but it is thought that they came about from breeding the Indian Mastiff and the Alaunt.

He is likened to the Bully Kutta dog, a huge Mastiff breed from Pakistan. This dog is one of three mastiff type dog breeds to be found around Persia and India. Unfortunately because of its aggressive nature, it has been used for dog fighting.

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?


sindh mastiff puppyThe Alangu Mastiff is a huge dog, standing anything from 80 – 84cm in height and weighing 62 – 68kg. He is muscular and strong. He has a broad skull with small pricked ears, wide apart eyes and a thick neck.

The legs are powerful and muscled, the skin fairly loose over the body with hair that is short ad dense. The coat can be white, tan, fawn or brindle.

Sometimes the dog has a black mask. The tail is thick and long these days, although it used to be docked.


This dog has a domineering, ferocious nature and that is why it has been sought after as a guard dog. He is territorial and thought to be aggressive. He is therefore not a good choice of dog for first time dog owners. He is also not a good choice for when there are children in the home or even small pets.

He is strong willed and fairly difficult to train. Of course it is a known fact that a puppy turns out a lot like its owners. Good owners produce a good tempered dog, but you have to be careful with this dog as it has aggressive tendencies.

Certainly it will require a strong, firm consistent owner, and then the dog is capable of becoming loyal and devoted. Training and socialization are possible as he is intelligent, and it does help to make him more submissive to his human owners.

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

sindh mastiff dogThe Sindh Mastiff is a healthy breed of dog who could develop any one of the main dog illnesses there are, although it is highly unlikely to get the diseases.

Nonetheless it is wise to be aware of some of the illnesses.

A common problem with dogs is canine cancer, of which lymphosarcoma and bone cancer are common. Then you have to be aware of bloat or gastric dilatation volvulus, which is particular common in deep-chested dogs. The stomach dilates and twists, and blood supply is cut off.

This is a life threatening illness. Urinary tract infections and skin conditions are just some of the diseases your pet will need to contend with.

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

General Grooming:

sindh mastiff puppiesThis is a low maintenance dog as the short coat will only require a brush twice a week. As you brush him take note of any unusual lumps you come across.

Also, while grooming him, check the inside of his ears and look for signs of redness and the possibility of an ear infection. Look into his eyes and make sure they are clear and bright.

Check inside his mouth, if he will allow you to, and make sure he doesn’t have any bad teeth. These could cause a lot of pain and also cause problems with body organs such as the heart and the kidneys.


This is a big dog that is going to need plenty of exercise. He is not suited to small spaces in the city but will require a fairly large property in the suburbs or the countryside. He will become frustrated and more dangerous to others if left day after day without exercise.


The Sindh Mastiff is an energetic dog, so it is important do ensure he has good food to eat to ensure he remains fit and energetic. For convenience, commercially manufactured dog foods can be a good choice, but only when you choose the better quality ones with vitamins and minerals in them.

Some of the inferior food brands load the food with bad fillers, colorants and preservatives and these can all make your pet sick. Try and give him some home made food too – nothing exotic – just plain boiled chicken, brown rice or pasta and spinach, sweet potatoes and carrots.

Your dog will thank you for such a plain diet as then he isn’t plagued by digestive problems. Chop it all up and add it into the dry kibble a couple of times a week. Try and include some raw meat into the diet occasionally to avoid skin problems. Always ensure a constant supply 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.


sindh mastiff dogsDomineering and quite aggressive, particularly if brought up that way, the Sindh Mastiff has a fairly long history of dog fighting. He is an intelligent dog and should be trained and socialized. He is also very territorial. He isn’t suitable for first time dog owners as he does have a bit of a reputation as being a fairly ferocious dog.

However, you have to give this dog some credit, and with the right upbringing, proper training and socialization, he can make a loyal pet and companion for a strong, firm, patient, kind and consistent type of owner.

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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