Bhotia dog

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2. Himalayan sheep dog.jpg
A Himalayan sheepdog
Other namesHimalayan sheepdog, Himalayan mastiff
OriginIndia & Nepal
Breed statusNot recognised as a breed by any major kennel club.
Height Typically 51–66 cm (20–26 in), can be up to 76 cm (30 in)
Weight 23–41 kg (51–90 lb)
Coat Long, thick and harsh double coat
Colour Black & tan or solid black, some white markings extremities
Life span 10–11 years
Dog (domestic dog)

The Bhotia, also known as the Himalayan sheepdog or the Himalayan mastiff, is a breed of livestock guardian dog from India and Nepal.[1][2][3]


The Bhotia is found in the Himalayan foothills from Kashmir to Eastern Nepal.[2][3][4] The breed is primarily used as a livestock guardian, protecting flocks of yak and sheep from various predators, and as a property guard, unusually for a livestock guardian the breed is also used to assist with herding.[2][3][4] In certain parts of Tehri Garhwal the Bhotia is also used to assist in hunting.[4]

The Bhotia is very closely related to the slightly larger Tibetan mastiff.[3][4] The breed's double coat is typically harsh and thick and they are usually black and tan or solid black with some white markings on their toes, chest and neck, they have small drooped ears and heavily plumed tail that is curled over their back.[4] There are slightly distinct sub-varieties of the breed found in the Kumaon hills and Chamba; the former, which is known as the Cypro Kukur or Kumaon mastiff, is brindle, rich golden brown or black in colour, the latter is smaller than most of the breed and resemble a larger, longer haired black Labrador.[2][4]

In 2005 the Bhotia was one of four Indian dog breeds featured on a set of postage stamps released by the Indian Ministry of Communications and Information Technology to celebrate the country's canine heritage.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Fogle, Bruce (2009). The encyclopedia of the dog. New York: DK Publishing. p. 384. ISBN 978-0-7566-6004-8.
  2. ^ a b c d Hancock, David (2014). Dogs of the shepherds: a review of the pastoral breeds. Ramsbury, Wiltshire: The Crowood Press Ltd. pp. 14 & 32. ISBN 978-1-84797-808-0.
  3. ^ a b c d Morris, Desmond (2001). Dogs: the ultimate guide to over 1,000 dog breeds. North Pomfret, VT: Trafalgar Square Publishing. p. 404. ISBN 1-57076-219-8.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Soman, W.V. (1962). The Indian dog. Mumbai: Popular Prakashan. p. 73.
  5. ^ Upadhye, Aishwarya (1 February 2019). "The comeback of Indian native dog breeds". The Hindu. Chennai. Retrieved 28 July 2020.