The Himalayan Sheepdog, also referred to as the Bhote Kukur, is a livestock guardian dog that originated from Nepal. This mountain dog breed is closely similar to Indian mastiffs and the Tibetan Mastiff and may be related to the long-haired Kinnaur Sheepdog of Tibet. Naturally, Himalayan Sheepdogs enjoy outdoor lifestyles and are rarely seen beyond the regions of India and Nepal. As a powerful and robust breed, the Himalayan Sheepdog is mainly used for herding purposes. The Himalayan Sheepdog is regionally popular as both a loyal companion as well as a working dog.
Due to its active nature, this breed is not meant to keep indoors for a long period of time or in an apartment. The Himalayan Sheepdog is normally used as a herd dog or a watchdog and requires a great amount of outdoor exercise. This breed may require obedience training in order to domesticate them. Training this breed may be difficult due to its independent and stubborn nature. Trust and dominance should be enforced when training the Himalayan Sheepdog. To successfully train this breed, it is best to be stern when doing repetitive training exercises and to socialize them as puppies. Proper care of this breed includes daily exercise and training. Although this rustic breed may be inclined to be ferocious with strangers, they are loyal to their owners making them faithful companions. Aside from being alert and territorial, they are also affectionate and gentle to their owners, making them suitable family pets. It is advised that this breed should not be in the presence of other pets, as Himalayan Sheepdogs tend to show aggression and jealousy towards other animals.
The life expectancy of the Himalayan Sheepdog is ten years. This breed is known to be relatively healthy due to their active lifestyles but is also prone to a few health concerns. Some common health problems include hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, patellar luxation, arthritis, glaucoma, and obesity. Proper care of this breed includes daily exercise and training.
Although the exact origin of the Himalayan Sheepdog has not been well documented, they are believed to have a rich heritage in North India and Nepal. This breed is also believed to have been around since the ancient times of those regions. Local tribes within the regions of Nepal have used the dogs as guard dogs or herding dogs due to their known aggression and agility. The Himalayan Sheepdog was most commonly used to herd and guard cattle from predatory animals. Throughout their history, the breed was also used to hunt large game especially in the harsh terrains in its region. Currently, this breed is common only within the boundaries of India and Nepal.