I like to share information about wildlife, animals, and pets—dogs in particular.
The Bakharwal Dog
The Bakharwal dog is an Indigenous dog breed, native to the Himalayan region of Kashmir and Laddakh, Bakharwal dog was bred exclusively by a Muslim nomadic group called 'Gujjars' and Himalayan Bakharwals tribes to guard the livestock from predators like snow leopard and Himalayan wolves and to assist sheepherders in grazing cattle in the inaccessible areas of the Himalayas. It’s also known as, Kashmiri sheep dog, Bakarwal mastiff, Gujjar dog, and Kashmiri mastiff Dog.
Facts about Bakharwal Dog Breed
- A Vegetarian Dog by choice
Bakharwal dogs live on a vegetarian diet of milk and bread made of maize. Which is very rare like some other dog breeds such as the Azawakh.
- This breed tends to have a low birth ratio.
Usually the birth ration of dogs living in the cold and snowy places has been observed to be comparatively low. But their birth ratio is also less than other Himalayan dog breeds.
- The Bakharwal Dog breed is identified to endangered, by IUCN.
The IUCN (the International Union for Conservation of Nature), identified them to endangered category. Due to the low birth ratio and mating with other breeds, there are very few purebred black dogs available.
- The Dog breed name 'Bakharawal'
There are two different considerations about its name Bakharwal.
1. Bakharwal dog got its name from the rearing of sheep which is a nomadic tribe called Bakharwal, found in the Pir Panjal ranges of the Jammu 2, Its name 'Bakharawal' is taken from the word Bakri or 'goat' because the dog was bred to protect goats and sheep from Himalayan predators.
- The male dogs are much bigger than females.
In most dog breeds, males are slightly larger in size than their females, But the males of Bakharwal dogs are much bigger and stronger than their females.
- Bakharwal, a mastiff or shepherd dog?
Bakharwal dog was bred to guard the livestock from predators and to assist sheepherders in herding. Basically, this is a herding dog, but its large size and scary appearance, daring instincts and muscular body, reflects like a mastiff dog and people also call them Bakharwal Mastiff.
Appearance And Characteristics
Bakharwal dog was groomed to protect the livestock from snow wolves and leopards, and to help herders grazing sheep and goats in the narrow, cold and inaccessible, snowy areas of the Himalayas. The physical abilities of Bakharwal dog were groomed to perform these challenging tasks, and their double layered thick coat and long hair help them to survive the frosty and icy winds.
Bakharwal is an agile. muscular and courageous dog that has excellent power and stamina. The Bakharwal dogs are deep-chested, have a straight back, broad shoulders and long legs; they have strongly boned bodies, powerful necks and large heads..
Origin and Physical Traits
- Origin : The Himalayan region of Kashmir and Laddakh state, in India
- Height : Male : 25 - 30 Inch (Up To, 32 Inch), Female : 23.00 to 28.00 Inch
- Weight : Male : 44- 66 Kg (Up To, 70 Kg), Female : 40.00 to 60.00 Kg
- Coat and Color : Mixtures of two or three colors, piebald, black & tan, brown, black, but not pure white or orange
- Lifespan : 10 -13 years
- Breed Recognition: Not recognized by the any of major kennels
Personality and Temperament
Bakhrawals are described as very caring, and very friendly with other pets, but extremely courageous for their daring to stand up to wolves, tigers and other predators to protect its flock.
• Bakharwal is a gentle, loving and devoted dog.
• It's an alert, protective, courageous, determined dog that is very protective of family.
• Bakharwal dog is suspicious of strangers.
• It makes a good watch dog.
• Friendly with kids and other pets, but aggressive towards other dogs.
• It was developed as a herding dog that make a good livestock guardian.
The Origin and Breed History
The Bakharwal dogs are developed from the Pir Panjal mountain range of the Himalaya, the Kashmir and Laddakh state of India. The breed history of this dog is not available but, they are believed to be a descendant of the Tibetan Mastiff.
There is also another belief about the origin of this breed is, the Bakharwal, Indigenous Mastiff and Tibetan Mastiff are descendants of a Himalayan extinct breed of dogs.
Some people also believe that the dogs of the Himalayan region of India, Bakharwal, Gaddi, Bhotia etc. are different varieties of the same breed.
An Adult Male Bakharwal Dog
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2021 Aaradhya