The Himalayan sheepdog, also known as the Bhutia dog, is a large, powerful breed that originated in the Himalayan region of Nepal, India, Bhutan, and Tibet. These dogs were bred to protect livestock from predators and have become popular as companion dogs due to their loyalty and protective instincts.
In this blog post, we will discuss everything you need to know about the Himalayan sheepdog, including their history, price in India, appearance, temperament, and care requirements.
About Himalayan sheepdog
History of Himalayan sheepdog
The Himalayan sheepdog is believed to have evolved from the Tibetan Mastiff, which is a large dog breed that was used by the nomadic tribes of Tibet to protect their flocks from predators. The Tibetan Mastiff was also used as a guard dog for monasteries and palaces and was highly prized for its strength, intelligence, and loyalty.
Over time, the breed evolved into the Himalayan sheepdog, which was specifically bred for the harsh weather conditions and rugged terrain of the Himalayan region. These dogs were valued for their ability to work in difficult conditions and protect livestock from predators.
The Himalayan sheepdog was also used by the local people as a guard dog and was known for its fierce loyalty and protective instincts. The breed was particularly popular with the Bhutia people of Sikkim, who believed that the dog had supernatural powers and was capable of warding off evil spirits.
In the 20th century, the Himalayan sheepdog was introduced to Western countries and became popular as a companion dog due to its loyalty and protective instincts. The breed was officially recognized by the Kennel Club of India in 2006 and is still relatively rare outside of its native region.
Appearance of Himalayan sheepdog
The Himalayan Sheepdog is well-suited for its original purpose of protecting livestock in the rugged terrain of the Himalayan region. Here are some key features of their appearance:
Size: The Himalayan Sheepdog is a large breed, with males standing up to 26 inches (66 cm) tall at the shoulder and weighing up to 110 pounds (50 kg). Females are slightly smaller, but still substantial in size.
Coat: The breed has a thick, double coat that provides insulation from cold weather and protection from the sun in hot weather. The coat can be any color, but most commonly it is white, black, or
brown. The fur is longer around the neck, chest, and tail, giving the breed a distinctive “mane.”
Head: The Himalayan Sheepdog has a broad, powerful head with a strong jaw. Their ears are droopy and covered in fur, and their eyes are usually brown or amber.
Body: The breed has a sturdy, muscular build with a broad chest and strong legs. Their tails are long and bushy, and they have large, round paws that are well-suited for traversing rough terrain.
Himalayan sheepdog temperament
The Himalayan Sheepdog is a highly intelligent and loyal breed that was originally bred for the purpose of protecting livestock in the harsh terrain of the Himalayan region. As such, they are known for their strong protective instincts and make excellent guard dogs. They are also highly independent and can be stubborn at times, but they are generally obedient and eager to please their owners.
One of the most notable aspects of the Himalayan Sheepdog’s temperament is their loyalty. They are fiercely devoted to their owners and will go to great lengths to protect them and their property. They are also highly protective of their flock or herd, and will not hesitate to confront predators to keep them safe.
Himalayan sheepdog price in India
The price of a Himalayan Sheepdog puppy in India can vary depending on several factors such as the breeder’s location, the puppy’s lineage, age, and gender, and the demand for the breed in the area. On average, the price of a Himalayan Sheepdog puppy in India can range from Rs.5,000 to Rs.25,000 or even higher.
Various factors that affect the price of Himalayan sheepdog
The price of a Himalayan Sheepdog can vary depending on several factors, including:
Breed lineage: The lineage and pedigree of a Himalayan Sheepdog can have a significant impact on its price. Dogs with a strong bloodline and a history of show or working titles may be more expensive than those without.
Age: The age of the dog can also affect its price, with younger dogs generally being more expensive than older ones. Puppies may command a higher price than adult dogs, but also require more care and training.
Location: The location of the breeder can also have an impact on the price of a Himalayan Sheepdog. Breeders in larger cities or more affluent areas may charge more for their dogs than those in rural or less populated areas.
Breeder reputation: The reputation of the breeder can also play a role in the price of a Himalayan Sheepdog. Breeders with a long history of producing healthy, well-bred dogs may charge more than those with a less established reputation.
Health and temperament: The health and temperament of the dog can also affect its price. Dogs with excellent health and good temperaments may command a higher price than those with health or behavioral issues.
Availability: The availability of Himalayan Sheepdogs can also impact their price. If the breed is rare in a particular location, the price may be higher due to the demand.
Himalayan sheepdog Health Issues
Like all dog breeds, the Himalayan Sheepdog is prone to certain health issues. It is important for potential owners to be aware of these conditions and to work closely with their veterinarian to ensure their dog’s health and well-being. Here are some common health issues that may affect the Himalayan Sheepdog:
Hip dysplasia: This is a condition in which the hip joint does not develop properly, causing pain and discomfort for the dog. It is a hereditary condition and can be exacerbated by overfeeding or over-exercising the dog when they are young.
Elbow dysplasia: Similar to hip dysplasia, this is a condition in which the elbow joint does not develop properly. It can cause lameness, pain, and arthritis in the affected joint.
Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA): This is a hereditary condition that can lead to blindness in dogs. It typically develops slowly over time and can be diagnosed through regular eye exams.
Bloat: Also known as gastric torsion, this is a life-threatening condition that occurs when the stomach fills with gas and twists on itself. It requires immediate veterinary attention and can be prevented by feeding the dog smaller, more frequent meals and avoiding vigorous exercise immediately before or after meals.
Heart conditions: Some Himalayan Sheepdogs may be prone to certain heart conditions such as dilated cardiomyopathy or mitral valve disease. Regular veterinary check-ups can help to catch these conditions early and manage them effectively.
Himalayan sheepdog Care Tips
The Himalayan Sheepdog is a large and active breed that requires proper care to maintain their health and well-being. Here are some care tips that can help owners provide the best possible care for their Himalayan Sheepdog:
Proper nutrition: A high-quality diet that is appropriate for the dog’s age, activity level, and overall health is essential for maintaining their health. Avoid overfeeding and provide plenty of fresh water at all times.
Exercise: The Himalayan Sheepdog is an active breed that requires plenty of exercise to stay healthy and happy. Daily walks, runs, and playtime are important for their physical and mental health.
Grooming: The breed’s thick, double coat requires regular grooming to prevent matting and keep the coat clean and healthy. Brushing the coat several times a week can help to remove loose fur and prevent tangles.
Socialization: Early socialization is important for the Himalayan Sheepdog to prevent shyness or aggression towards strangers. Expose them to a variety of people, animals, and environments to help them become well-adjusted and confident dogs.
Training: The Himalayan Sheepdog is an intelligent breed that requires proper training and socialization to prevent behavioral issues. Positive reinforcement methods are recommended, and consistent training can help to establish the owner’s authority and prevent stubborn behavior.
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Veterinary care: Regular veterinary check-ups, vaccinations, and preventative care are important for maintaining the dog’s health and preventing illness. It is important to establish a good relationship with a trusted veterinarian and follow their recommendations for preventative care.
Himalayan sheepdog Lifespan
The Himalayan Sheepdog has a relatively long lifespan compared to many other large dog breeds. On average, they can live for 10-12 years with proper care and nutrition. However, some individuals may live longer or shorter depending on their overall health and genetics.
Himalayan sheepdog Maintenance Cost
The cost of maintaining a Himalayan Sheepdog can vary depending on various factors such as food, grooming, veterinary care, and training. Here is a breakdown of some of the costs associated with owning a Himalayan Sheepdog in India:
Food: A high-quality dog food can cost anywhere from INR 1500 to INR 4000 per month, depending on the brand and size of the bag.
Grooming: The Himalayan Sheepdog’s thick coat requires regular grooming, which can be done at home or by a professional groomer. The cost of grooming services can vary, but expect to spend around INR 2000 to INR 3000 per session.
Veterinary care: Regular check-ups, vaccinations, and preventative care are important for maintaining the dog’s health. The cost of veterinary care can vary depending on the location and the services required, but expect to spend anywhere from INR 2000 to INR 5000 per visit.
Training: The cost of training can vary depending on the trainer and the type of training required. Group classes can be more affordable, starting from around INR 5000 to INR 10,000 for a few sessions. Private training sessions can cost more, ranging from INR 1000 to INR 3000 per hour.
Supplies: In addition to food, owners will need to purchase supplies such as leashes, collars, bowls, toys, and beds. These items can cost anywhere from a few hundred rupees to several thousand rupees, depending on the brand and quality.
Insurance: Some owners may choose to purchase pet insurance to help cover the cost of unexpected veterinary bills. The cost of pet insurance can vary depending on the coverage and the age of the dog, but expect to spend anywhere from INR 2000 to INR 8000 per year.
Transportation: If the owner needs to transport their dog frequently, for example to the vet or to a boarding facility, they will need to factor in the cost of transportation. This can include fuel costs, taxi fares, or public transportation fees.
Boarding: If the owner needs to travel and cannot bring their dog with them, they will need to board their dog at a kennel or boarding facility. The cost of boarding can vary depending on the location and the length of stay, but expect to spend anywhere from INR 500 to INR 1500 per day.
Fun facts about Himalayan sheepdog
Here are some fun facts about the Himalayan Sheepdog:
1. The Himalayan Sheepdog is known by several names, including the Bhote Kukur, Bhutia, and Gaddi Kutta.
2. These dogs were originally bred to protect herds of livestock from predators such as wolves and bears.
3. The Himalayan Sheepdog is a highly adaptable breed, able to thrive in high-altitude mountain regions as well as lowland areas.
4. They have a thick double coat that helps to keep them warm in cold weather, and sheds seasonally.
5. These dogs are highly intelligent and independent, but also very loyal and protective of their families.
6. Despite their large size and imposing appearance, Himalayan Sheepdogs are known to be gentle and affectionate with children.
7. They are highly skilled at navigating rough terrain, and have been known to trek for miles across mountainous regions.
8. Himalayan Sheepdogs are not a common breed, and are considered to be rare outside of their native regions.
9. These dogs have a distinctive bark, which they use to alert their owners of potential dangers or intruders.
10. The Himalayan Sheepdog is considered to be a “working breed”, and thrives on having a job to do, whether it’s protecting livestock or serving as a loyal companion.
Frequently Asked Questions –
Are Himalayan Sheepdogs good with children?
Yes, Himalayan Sheepdogs are known to be gentle and affectionate with children. However, as with any breed, it is important to supervise interactions between dogs and children to ensure that both are safe.
Do Himalayan Sheepdogs shed a lot?
Yes, Himalayan Sheepdogs have a thick double coat that sheds seasonally. Regular brushing can help to manage shedding and keep their coat healthy.
Are Himalayan Sheepdogs aggressive?
Himalayan Sheepdogs are protective of their families and can be wary of strangers, but they are not typically aggressive. Early socialization and training can help to ensure that they are well-behaved and well-adjusted.
Are Himalayan Sheepdogs good guard dogs?
Yes, Himalayan Sheepdogs are known to be excellent guard dogs due to their protective nature and alertness to potential threats.
Do Himalayan Sheepdogs get along with other pets?
Himalayan Sheepdogs can get along with other pets if they are socialized early and introduced gradually. However, their protective nature may make them wary of unfamiliar animals.
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