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A Comprehensive Guide to Himalayan Sheepdog for Lovers

Last updated on February 24th, 2024 at 02:54 pm

Wanna know about one of the most loyal and powerful dog breeds out there? Let’s talk about the Himalayan Sheepdog, a majestic and friendly canine that takes the protection of their family to a whole new level. But don’t get it twisted. They’re also social and affectionate with their human and dog family members. 

If you’re interested in learning about the Himalayan Sheepdog, you’ve come to the right place! This post will give you the lowdown on this adorable pup. So sit tight and get ready to discover everything you need to know!

Overview

Asian origin:Nepal and India
Other names:Bhutia dog, Gaddi Kutta, Bhote Kukur
Height:26-32 inches
Weight:62-84 pounds
Lifespan:10-11 years
Coat type:Straight, medium-length
Colors:Black, brown, fawn
Temperament:Loyal, alert, intelligent, playful, active, protective
Suitable for:Homes with yards, farms and ranches

Kid-friendly:

Pet-friendly:

Energy level:

Trainability:

Tendency to bark:

Shedding amount:

Video version

History

The Himalayan Sheepdog was developed to protect livestock, and they are excellent at it thanks to their bravery, aggression, and determination. These dogs enjoy spending time outdoors, whether taking long walks or exploring new areas. They are popular as companion animals in their native lands. 

This breed is fearless and resilient, making them great companions for farmers. They are also used for hunting large game in the wilderness, and their muscular bodies and thick fur protect them from harsh terrain and cold nights. Because they were bred to protect, it is natural for them to be wary of strangers. However, they can be an excellent companion with proper training at a young age.

Appearance

himalayan sheepdog
CREDIT: Wikipedia

The Himalayan Sheepdog is large and robust. They have a solid body weighing up to 90 pounds and standing 28 inches tall. Despite their size, they are quite agile and always alert, frequently checking their surroundings. Their courage and devotion are legendary, and they are known for being able to take on large predators with their powerful necks and chests. 

Their appearance is characterized by a pointed muzzle, a strong jaw, and a bushy tail carried high. They have a thick coat, which is ideal for the harsh environments they are often found in. Overall, the Himalayan Sheepdog is a beautiful and impressive dog that is perfectly adapted to their surroundings.

Temperament

The Himalayan Sheepdog is a loyal, hardworking breed that loves to protect their home and family. These dogs are not couch potatoes and need to stay active by patrolling their surroundings and checking on their family. They were born to work and may even try to herd family members, but they are gentle about it. 

Himalayan Sheepdogs are independent and headstrong, so they require a strong pack leader to help them learn social skills. As puppies, they are fluffy and adorable and love to please their owners. After a long day of work, they like to relax and cuddle up.

Grooming

Maintaining the dense fur of a Himalayan Sheepdog requires regular brushing to release loose hair. During hot months, using a special comb helps remove parasites the dog may pick up while traveling. Bathing the dog is only necessary three times a year to keep them looking neat. It’s best to use a special dog shampoo to protect their natural oils and keep their hair glossy and free from mats. Bathing can be a bit of a process, and it’s essential to dry them off well, especially in cooler weather. Training the dog to enjoy having their fur blow-dried when young can save time later on. 

In addition, the dog’s folded ears require gentle cleaning to avoid infection. Wipe out any dirt or wax. Brush your dog’s teeth twice a week and give them a quick and gentle nail clip. That’s all it takes to keep your Himalayan Sheepdog clean and fluffy.

Exercise

The Himalayan Sheepdog, a bundle of canine energy, thrives in the great outdoors. Bred for alertness and protection, they require at least two long walks daily to satisfy their adventurous spirit. On these walks, they make exceptional companions, offering both security and joyful company. While wary of strangers and other dogs in crowded areas, a leash ensures calmness and prevents unexpected actions.

But be prepared for a delightful surprise! Beneath their protective exterior lies a playful side. Their agility will amaze you, and they’ll happily join in family games with unbridled enthusiasm. This affectionate nature, combined with their unwavering loyalty, makes the Himalayan Sheepdog a unique and rewarding companion.

Training

himalayan sheepdog

Start training early! Untrained Himalayan Sheepdogs, known for their independence, can become willful and challenging, especially for families with young children. Begin obedience training the moment you bring your pup home, teaching basic commands like “come,” “sit,” “stay,” and “heel.” These intelligent dogs can excel in guard dog training and agility, too, but a strong foundation in obedience is key to a harmonious life together. 

Many readers have loved learning how to train their dogs based on scientific methods from a free workshop conducted by Dr. Alexa Diaz (one of the top service dog trainers in the U.S.) and Eric Presnall (host of the hit Animal Planet TV show “Who Let the Dogs Out”) at the K9 Training Institute. In the free online dog training workshop, you’ll discover:

    1. How to train your dog using body language rather than verbal cues
    2. The 3 key techniques that service dog trainers use to train dogs and how you can use them too
    3. The most important step that “normal” dog owners have been missing (this is very important to get your dog’s attention, and it works 100% of the time)
    4. How to stop bad behaviors like excessive barking, pulling on the leash, jumping, etc.
    5. Why a lot of dog owners are unable to establish the amazing bond that service dog trainers have with their dogs

Etc.

Whether your dog is a puppy or an adult, this pre-recorded workshop will help you train them successfully. You may not want to miss the chance to learn these groundbreaking techniques. Here’s the free workshop.

Health

While most dogs from this lineage are generally healthy, there are a few health conditions they should be monitored for. These health conditions include arthritis and glaucoma, which are minor and can be managed with proper care. However, they are also susceptible to more severe conditions, such as hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, and patellar luxation, which require timely and appropriate medical attention. Therefore, owners of these dogs need to keep a watchful eye on their pet’s health and seek veterinary care as soon as they notice any signs of discomfort or illness.

Nutrition

These large dogs require up to 3 cups of high-protein dry food (or equivalent wet food) each day. Prioritize quality by choosing brands containing whole foods like real chicken and sweet potatoes, avoiding those reliant on empty carbs like corn and soy. Always consult your veterinarian when selecting a new food.

Schedule matters, too! Aim for at least two meals daily, spaced roughly 12 hours apart. While breakfast, lunch, and dinner routines work well, remember that dogs prioritize consistency over exact timing. However, exceeding 12 hours between meals can trigger nausea due to stomach hyperacidity.

Living Condition

himalayan sheepdog

Himalayan Sheepdogs thrive in the open space of a country farm, where their active nature can shine. They adapt to houses with large yards, but apartments leave them restless and prone to behavioral issues due to boredom.

Primarily working dogs, they excel when given a purpose. If you crave a companion who learns readily (training is crucial), assists with farm tasks, and enjoys working alongside you, this breed fits the bill.

These hardy dogs brave cold winters thanks to their thick coat, which also sheds in summer for natural cooling. To boost their comfort during hot months, regular trimming is recommended.

3 Little-Known Facts About the Himalayan Sheepdog

1. Tibetan Mastiffs and Himalayan Sheepdogs Look Very Similar

While often mistaken for their larger cousin, the Tibetan Mastiff, the Himalayan Sheepdog boasts a distinct appearance. Sure, their similarities run deep—both boasting thick, double coats and a powerful presence. However, the key difference lies in size and facial features. The Tibetan Mastiff towers over the Sheepdog, sporting a mane of fur around their face and ears absent in the Sheepdog’s more streamlined look.

2. They Have Many Names

This dog breed has many names all over the world. You can call them Bhatia, Himalayan guard dog, Himachal Pradesh, Himalayan Mastiff, or Gaddi. It all depends on where you live.

3. These Dogs Are Often Collared With a Prickly Iron Collar

To protect their Himalayan Sheepdogs from attacks by fierce predators like leopards, owners often equip them with a special spiked iron collar worn around the neck. This formidable barrier serves as a deterrent, discouraging attacks by targeting the vulnerable neck area, a common point of attack for predators.

Himalayan Sheepdog Puppies for Sale

himalayan sheepdog

Himalayan Sheepdogs are not very common in other countries, and their price can differ based on various factors like the breeder, pedigree, and location. If you plan to buy one, do your homework and find a genuine breeder. Don’t forget to ask about the health of the puppies’ parents and grandparents and about the breeder’s knowledge and experience with the breed.

Becoming a dog parent is one of the most memorable moments of life. But before bringing your new best friend home, it’s vital to have all the right things to make sure the adoption is really smooth and makes them feel right. You may feel overwhelmed by tons of puppy products on sale and not sure what items your puppy actually needs. That’s why we’ve compiled this minimalist puppy checklist to help you get started.

Conclusion

The Himalayan Sheepdog is an ancient breed from Nepal and India, originally bred to protect livestock from predators. They are rare outside of their homeland and enjoy being outdoors. Due to their active nature, they are not suitable for apartment living and need plenty of space to move around. 

This breed is affectionate, loyal, and protective and makes a great companion. However, they tend to bond closely with one owner and can be aggressive if they feel their family is being threatened. To ensure a well-balanced Himalayan Sheepdog, you must socialize them as a puppy and start training them early on what is acceptable behavior. 

FAQs

What Is the Temperament of a Himalayan Sheepdog?

The Himalayan Sheepdog is a complex breed with positive traits such as intelligence, courage, loyalty, affection, independence, and resourcefulness. However, they may also pose potential challenges like being strong and territorial, having an independent streak, and needing plenty of physical and mental stimulation to prevent destructive behavior.

Are Sheepdogs Good Pets?

Himalayan Sheepdogs can be great companions but they require an active lifestyle, an experienced owner, and a secure environment. Early socialization will help them become comfortable with children and other pets.

What Color Are Himalayan Sheepdogs?

Himalayan Sheepdogs come in various colors, including black, brown, and fawn. These large canines are known for their thick and fluffy coats that offer protection from the harsh mountain climate in the Himalayas. 

What Breed of Dog Is Himalayan?

The Himalayan Sheepdog is the breed most commonly referred to as “Himalayan” when discussing dogs. Although they are sometimes incorrectly called “Himalayan Mastiffs,” they are not actually mastiffs. 

What Is the Difference Between a Bhotia Dog and a Tibetan Mastiff?

While both breeds possess protective instincts and require experienced owners, some key differences exist:

      • Size: Tibetan Mastiffs are generally larger and heavier than Himalayan Sheepdogs.
      • Coat: Tibetan Mastiffs have a thicker double coat, while Himalayan Sheepdogs have a harsher double coat.
      • Temperament: Tibetan Mastiffs tend to be more aloof and independent, while Himalayan Sheepdogs are more eager to please and trainable.

What Is the Lifespan of a Gaddi Dog?

The average lifespan of a Gaddi dog, a breed native to the Himalayan region of India, is approximately 10 to 11 years. This is just an estimate, as the lifespan of any individual dog can be influenced by a variety of factors, including genetics, diet, exercise, and overall health. However, with proper care and attention, Gaddi dogs can live happy and healthy lives for many years.

Sources

  • https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/feeding-times-and-frequency-for-your-dog
  • https://wagwalking.com/breed/himalayan-sheepdog
  • https://petkeen.com/dog-breeds/himalayan-sheepdog/#Health_and_Conditions 
  • https://pethelpful.com/dogs/Bhotia-Dog-Breed-Information-Facts-Characteristics
About us: Pet Chao is a community for Asian dog breed enthusiasts. Our goal is to keep you and your four-legged friend healthy and happy by providing valuable resources and fostering a like-minded community.

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