St. Bernard vs Bisben - Breed Comparison | MyDogBreeds

St. Bernard is originated from Switzerland but Bisben is originated from India. Both St. Bernard and Bisben are having almost same height. St. Bernard may weigh 35 kg / 78 pounds more than Bisben. St. Bernard may live 5 years less than Bisben. Both St. Bernard and Bisben has almost same litter size. St. Bernard requires High maintenance. But Bisben requires Low maintenance

Basic Information

Group:
Working dog
Working dog
Origin:
Switzerland
India
Height Male:
63 - 71 cm
24 - 28 inches
50 - 76 cm
19 - 30 inches
Height Female:
60 - 69 cm
23 - 28 inches
48 - 74 cm
18 - 30 inches
Weight Male:
54 - 90 kg
119 - 199 pounds
18 - 55 kg
39 - 122 pounds
Weight Female:
52 - 85 kg
114 - 188 pounds
16 - 52 kg
35 - 115 pounds
Life Span:
8 - 10 Years
12 - 15 Years
Litter Size:
4 - 9
4 - 10
Size:
Giant dog
Giant dog
Other Names:
St. Bernhardshund Bernhardiner Alpine Mastiff (archaic)
Bisben Sheepdog, Bisben Shepherd, Himalayan Bisben, Himalayan Bisben Sheepdog, Himalayan Bisben Shepherd, Himalayan Sheepdog, Himalayan Shepherd, Indian Sheepdog, and Indian Shepherd
Colors Available:
redish- Brown and white with a black mask to blond and white with black mask
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:
rough or smooth
long, wiry, coarse, harsh
Shedding:
Constant
Minimal
Temperament:
Affectionate, Friendly, Independent, Intelligent, Loving, Loyal, Outgoing, Protective, Social, Stubborn, Sweet
Aggressive, Courageous, Energetic, Independent, Intelligent, Stubborn
Grooming:
High maintenance
Low maintenance
Trainability:
Moderate
Easy
Hypoallergenic:
No
No
Kids Friendly:
Yes
No
New Owners Friendly:
Yes
No

History

The St Bernard breed was once called the Alpine Cattle Dogs or the Alpine Mountain Dogs. They have always been farm dogs and mountain dogs in the French and Swiss Alps. They come from the border land of Switzerland and France. They were herding dogs, hunting, search and rescue, watchdogs and draft dogs. Their ancestors are considered to include the Sennenhunds and molosser breeds that came to the Alps with the ancient Romans. There are four Sennenhund breeds that are believed to have contributed to the original St. Bernard. These included the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog (Grosser Schweizer Sennenhund), the Appenzeller (Appenzeller Sennenhund), the Bernese Mountain Dog (Berner Sennenhund) and the Entlebucher Mountain Dog (Entlebucher Sennenhund) Today the St. Bernard is considered a Molossoid breed. The first we know of the St. Bernard in any written records was in 1707 at the Great St. Bernard Pass and Great St. Bernard Hospice run by monks. There were found paintings of the dogs dating back into the late 1600’s. It is told that Barry saved upward of 100 people in the St. Bernard pass, and it is from these stories that the dogs gained their snow rescue reputation. The St. Bernard of that time did not look like the St. Bernard does today as there was much crossbreeding. Many dogs dies during rescues in the avalanches of the mid 1800’s and so they Saint was crossed with the Newfoundland to preserve the breed. You can today see the resemblance in the build and looks of the two breeds. This cross brought about the long haired St. Bernard whose fur was too heavy for rescues. The St. Bernards of mountain rescue fame were only about the size of a German Shepherd dog and were short haired. After crossing with the Newfoundland and moving into clubs and dogs shows, they have been bred to be much larger. Before the stud book was closed, it is thought that many larger breeds such as the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, the English Mastiff, the Tibetan Mastiff, the Rottweiler, the Great Pyrenees, the English Bulldog, the Great Dane, the Bernese Mountain Dog, the Boxer and the Caucasian Oycharka all contributed to today’s St. Bernard. In 1884 The Swiss St. Bernard Club was founded and the breed entered the Swiss Stud book as its first entry in 1884. It was 1888 when the standard was approved and the breed became the national dog of Switzerland. Before the name St. Bernard came to be common, these dogs might be called, Barry Dogs, Alepnmastiff, Noble Steeds or Saint Dogs. The dogs came to England in the early 1800s and to the United States soon after. They were recognized by the European kennel clubs first and by the early 1900’s they were the most popular breed in the AKC.

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

Today’s St. Bernard is not a large dog, he is a giant dog. Weighing in at 140-200 pounds and standing 28 to 35 inches tall, he is a lot of dog. Bred with mastiffs and large mountain dogs, they have proportional and powerful build. They are strong, sturdy and well muscled. They have either a smooth or rough (short or long) coat. Their eyes are brown or occasionally blue. They have tight lids, and square heads and muzzles. There are two coat types called smooth and rough, or short and long. The smooth shorter coat is tough, flat and close against the body and the long, rough coat is dense, wavy and heavy around the legs, neck and ruff. Both types have long tails that hang low and are heavy. Saints are known to slobber, drool and snore.

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 first problem this breed faces is how fast they grow and gain weight. This can lead to serious health issues if not controlled. Their bones can be damaged by this excessively fast rate of growth. Other issues facing the breed include: • Hip and elbow dysplasia – can cause arthritis and lameness. • Bloat – can be fatal if not treated immediately. • Bone Cancer or Osteosarcoma – tends to be fatal. • Entropion and Ectropion – eyelids turn in or out and can be corrected. • Epilepsy – controlled by medication • Dilated Cardiomyopathy – can be fatal. • Eczema – skin disease can be treated. • Be careful of extreme heat.

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

1.Feeding the puppy – You want to control their growth. Do not overfeed, and make sure they exercise but not too much. Feed a high quality large breed puppy food 3-4 X a day in small amounts. 2.Feeding the adult – The problem you face with he adult St. Bernard is the potential for Bloat. Don’t over feed. Don’t feed before or after strenuous exercise. Feed 2-3 X a day in smaller amounts to prevent Bloat. Feed a high quality breed specific food if possible or an extra large breed formula. 3.Points for Good Health stamina and strength in cooler weather. 4. Games and Exercises They need exercise but not as much as you might think. The St. Bernard is a laid back lumbering character so don’t over exercise her. They enjoy weight and cart pulling but they are not athletes who enjoy frisbee or agility. Search and rescue trials and tracking trials are perfect athletic endeavors for them.

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

1Children friendliness excellent 2.Special talents tracking 3.Adaptability no - these are giant dogs that need a lot of room. A large fenced yard or farm is best. They won’t do well in an apartment. They need exercise every day and loping around a yard is very good for them. They love to play in the snow, carry a backpack or pull a cart. They love to have a “job” 4.Learning ability – They are smart and highly trainable if motivated. They may appear lazy but they are just laid back and need a motivation.

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.

Comparison with other breeds

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