Himalayan Mastiff vs Bulgarian Shepherd - Breed Comparison

Himalayan Mastiff vs Bulgarian ShepherdHimalayan Mastiff is originated from India but Bulgarian Shepherd is originated from Bulgaria. Both Himalayan Mastiff and Bulgarian Shepherd are having almost same height. Himalayan Mastiff may weigh 21 kg / 47 pounds more than Bulgarian Shepherd. Himalayan Mastiff may live 42 years less than Bulgarian Shepherd. Both Himalayan Mastiff and Bulgarian Shepherd has same litter size. Both Himalayan Mastiff and Bulgarian Shepherd requires Moderate maintenance.

Basic Information

Group:
Working dog
Working dog
Origin:
India
Bulgaria
Height Male:
61 - 71 cm
24 - 28 inches
65 - 75 cm
25 - 30 inches
Height Female:
59 - 70 cm
23 - 28 inches
63 - 72 cm
24 - 29 inches
Weight Male:
64 - 78 kg
141 - 172 pounds
45 - 57 kg
99 - 126 pounds
Weight Female:
61 - 75 kg
134 - 166 pounds
40 - 52 kg
88 - 115 pounds
Life Span:
10 - 15 Years
45 - 57 Years
Litter Size:
5 - 10
5 - 10
Size:
Large dog
Large dog
Other Names:
Do-Khyi Tsang-khyi Tibetan Mastiff
Karakachan Shepherd Dog, Karakachan
Colors Available:
brown, sable with white markings, blue, red, black, gray, gold
BlackWhiteTricolor
Coat:
double coated, with a heavy, wooly undercoat and coarse guard hair.
Single
Shedding:
Seasonal
Moderate
Temperament:
Courageous, Independent, Intelligent, Loyal, Protective
Alert, Courageous, Independent, Intelligent, Loyal, Protective, Territorial
Grooming:
Moderate maintenance
Moderate maintenance
Trainability:
Moderate
Moderate
Hypoallergenic:
No
No
Kids Friendly:
Yes
Yes
New Owners Friendly:
No
Yes

History

himalayan mastiffThe Himalayan Mastiff or Tibetan Mastiff is an ancient breed. Bred to be guardians of the flock, they could take care of leopards and wolves or anything else that tied to hurt the flock. The Himalaya Mastiff is found in the Himalayan area of Tibet. They are descendants of the Tibetan dogs that developed almost any Mastiff or Molosser on earth. They may have been in the mountains since the early 1100 BC. and have been fairly isolated. It was in this isolation that the Himalayan Mastiff developed.

Their function at that time was mostly to guard property. In some circumstances an entire village is guarded by one dog. It was also during this period that the breed was taught to be aggressive by tying them up as puppies. They guarded families while the men moved the village flock higher up in the mountains. They stayed in isolation until the mid-1800’s when the Queen of England was given a Himalayan Mastiff. For thousands of years, this dog was a nomad.

Soon the breed was being exported to England. A standard was developed, and the British began to breed them. Next, they were exported to Nepal, Afghanistan, India and the United States. They are rare in Tibet these days but more popular than ever in England and the United States. The first American Himalaya Tibetan Mastiff Association came into being in 1974 and in 2006 it was recognized by the AKC.

Today in the West, the Himalayan is a domesticated, family dog. It hardly fits in an apartment of course. These new western Himalayan Mastiffs are more easy- going than the Tibetan ones, but they are still wary of strangers and somewhat aloof. They are also still very protective and nocturnal. They are smart, independent and stubborn. They are not easy to train but socialization and obedience training is essential.

A study done in 2011 showed that it is very likely that many large breed dogs were descended from this Mastiff. This includes the St. Bernard, the Rottweiler, Bernese Mountain Dog and the Great Pyrenees. Later studies showed that the Mastiff’s ability to survive in the rare air of the Himalayans was due to interbreeding with Tibetan wolves in ancient, prehistoric times. Now they are competing in the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.

bulgarian shepherdThe Bulgarian Shepard Dog comes from the ancient line of Molossers of Central Asia and Tibet, and the shepherds of the Balkans, Turkey and Caucasus. Among the oldest and most valued of the working dogs of Europe, the Bulgarian Shepherd breed was created by mixing the Balkan breeds with the dogs from Central Asia by the proto-Bulgarians around the 7th century. The Karakachanskoto Kuche was introduced to Bulgaria and accepted by the sheep herders. Mixing this breed in with the Balkan and Central Asian mix developed the Bulgarian Shepherd we know today. In the long run the original Karakachanskoto Kuche became extinct, replaced entirely by the Bulgarian Shepherd even in places where the new breed is still called by the Kuche name. Although the breeds are not the same, most of the dog world does not know the difference.

In Bulgaria however the Karakachan is a national treasure and the history of the breed runs deep. One Kuche could run up to 1200 animals and hundreds were used by the herdsmen in the mountains of Bulgaria. There were many regional types of Bulgarian Shepherds with very little difference between those types. These dogs were so prized by the shepherds that the dogs ate first before the people. The dogs however ate a vegetarian diet of milk, wheat, water and oats. The Bulgarian Shepherd lives a long life of often over 20 years. The Bulgarian Army made good use of these dogs early in the 20th century.

Following World War II, the wolves were close to extinction and property in Bulgaria was nationalized. There was no longer a need for a large force of working dogs. The Communist government exterminated large numbers of sheep dogs including the Bulgarian Shepherd. Only those species on government owned farms and in remote regions survived. When the government farms were disbanded in the early 20th century, these dogs were exterminated as well. Only those in the mountains survived. Commercial breeding of the Bulgarian Shepherd in the end of the century has resulted in controversy as other breeds came into the breeding program.

Use of breeds such as Sarplaninacs, Caucasian Ovcharkas, St. Bernards, Central Asian Ovcharkas and Bosnian Tornjaks in these programs resulted in Bulgarian Shepherd or Karakachans that were a lot different from the original breed. There is therefore some concern about the future of the breed in Bulgaria, yet they received official Bulgarian national recognition in 2000. Today’s Bulgarian Shepherd is a guard dog for both property and livestock.

The official standard for the breed came about in 1991 and in 2005 it was recognized by the Bulgarian State Commission for Animal Breeds. Only those dogs that meet this standard are considered “true” Karakachans. The Bulgarian Shepherds are willing to fight bears and wolves in defense of its family and flock. The dog is brave and loyal, dignified and powerful. They are recognized by both the Dog Registry of America, Inc. (DRA) and the Bulgarian Republican Federation of Cynology (BRFC) a member of the FCI.

Description

himalayan mastiff puppyThe Himalayan Mastiff is a giant, massive dog longer than it is tall. The breed has a heavy, broad head and square muzzle. They have black noses, a level bite and almond shaped, slanted, deep set eyes. They are brown, and the ears hang close to the head. They are heavy, muscular and sturdy. They have a feathered tail curving over their back. With a heavy, thick double coat and mane they resemble a lion at times. The coat can be brown, black, and gray-blue with gold or tan markings. These are impressive and noble dogs, athletic, with cat like feet. They are agile and light on their feet.

According to some breeders there are two different kinds or types of Himalayan Mastiff. These are the Tsang-khyi or the monastery mastiff type and the Do-khyi or the nomad mastiff type. The monastery is a heavier, taller dog who face is very wrinkled while the nomad is a leaner dog with less facial wrinkles. In any litter there can be both kinds. The kind of work that was given to each dog was dependent on their type. The Monastery kind is given stationary jobs and the nomad kind got the active jobs.

bulgarian shepherd puppyA massive, powerful and muscular Molosser, the Bulgarian Shepherd is strong, agile, powerful and fast. They are intelligent and reliable. They have a long, thick, harsh coat in white with patches of black. Their skull is massive and broad with a furrowed forehead. The muzzle is massive as well while the nose has wide nostrils and is fairly large. It has close fitting, thick lips with strong, scissor bite jaws. The Bulgarian Shepherd’s eyes are deep, oblique and small. They are either hazel or dark. They have an intelligent and confident, yet firm almost grim expression.

Their ears are low set, small and v-shaped. They sit close to the head which sits on a powerful but short neck. They have a broad back, well-muscled body with a deep chest and long, rough tail. Their gait is a trot with a spring in their step. There are two types of coats – longhaired and shorthaired with no undercoats.

Health Problems

himalayan mastiff dogBeing a large breed of canine, the Himalayan Mastiff has some of the typical health issues of large dogs. However, they also face a serious genetic disorder as well.

Canine Inherited Demyelinative Neuropathy (CIDN) – a fatal disorder seen in puppies by seven weeks of age. Puppies die before they are 5 months old.

  • Hip dysplasia – can cause lameness and arthritis.
  • Thyroid Issues – hypothyroidism or low thyroid test results.
  • Ear Infections – clean ears regularly to avoid these.

bulgarian shepherd dogThe breed itself is known to be healthy but they do face some of the usual health issues of the massive, giant breeds. This includes knee and elbow dislocation; hip dysplasia; bloat; entropion and osteosarcoma. All of these conditions require medical intervention, but bloat and osteosarcoma are the deadliest. Bloat needs immediate attention and osteosarcoma is a deadly bone cancer.

Caring The Pet

Feeding the puppy

himalayan mastiff puppiesThis breed will eat less than you think they should but don’t overfeed. Puppies need a solid dry food for large dogs. You can free feed 1 cup three times per day.

Feeding the adult

For dogs over a year old you can free feed anywhere from two to four cups of dry food per day. Unlike many other breeds, the Himalaya Mastiff will only eat when hungry and they may not eat more than once a day. They will not overeat. The males might not eat at all when females are in season if they are around them.

Points for Good Health

They have good strength and athletic ability.

Games and Exercises

The Himalayan Mastiff needs regular, routine walks. It is important during these walks that the human leads the way, or the dog heals. Do not overwork a young Himalayan Mastiff. They need work related jobs like structured play time, walking the boundary of their territory, playing frisbee or catch. They work and play in short bursts then rest.

Feeding

bulgarian shepherd puppiesThese are large dogs with large appetites, but you want to keep them lean and active. Feed them at least twice a day with a high quality large or giant dog dry food. Four to five cups of food per day is the maximum.

Health issues

Patellar Luxation – a floating kneecap or dislocated knee. Will cause lameness.

Bloat - distended or twisted stomach. Can cause death.

Osteosarcoma – bone cancer must be treated immediately as it is potentially fatal.

Entropion – eye issues when the eyelid turns inward and damages the eye.

Hip Dysplasia – May cause lameness and arthritis.

Exercise and games

The Bulgarian Shepherd needs a good amount of exercise every day. Remember this is a working breed and they need a job. Long walks every day are essential for his well-being.

Characteristics

Children friendliness

himalayan mastiff dogsyes, they are if properly socialized.

Special talents

Their athletic ability

Adaptability

They cannot live in an apartment. They need a large yard.

Learning ability

They are intelligent, but difficult to train. They are stubborn and independent.

bulgarian shepherd dogsThis is a working dog, intelligent and independent guard dog. Reserved around strangers but loyal and devoted with his family. Tolerant of children in their family if they were raised with them. Not only will she defend human family members, she will guard and defend household pets as well. He is quite capable of making her own independent decisions. These are very intense guard dogs that will respond aggressively if they think their people are being attacked.

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