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Himalayan Sheepdog Breed Guide: Info, Pictures, Care & More!

Written by: Rachael Gerkensmeyer

Last Updated on May 24, 2024 by Dogster Team

Himalayan Sheep Dog

Himalayan Sheepdog Breed Guide: Info, Pictures, Care & More!

The Himalayan Sheepdog is a large and powerful breed that takes protecting their family seriously. These dogs are friendly and sociable with human and dog family members but are much more standoffish when dealing with people and animals outside of the home. This is not to say that a Himalayan Sheepdog cannot learn to socialize well, but the act is not instinctive, and training from a young age is necessary.

Breed Overview


26–30 inches


60–90 pounds


10–11 years


Fawn, brown, black

Suitable for:

Families and singles, homes with yards, farm and ranch settings


Loyal, intelligent, playful, active, protective

This dog breed is highly active and is always looking for something to do. They enjoy working on farms but can enjoy long and happy lives in family environments if training, exercise, and adventures are focused on. There is much to learn about this interesting breed, especially if you plan to adopt one for your family.

High-energy dogs will need a lot of mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy, while low-energy dogs require minimal physical activity. It’s important when choosing a dog to make sure their energy levels match your lifestyle or vice versa.
Easy-to-train dogs are more skilled at learning prompts and actions quickly with minimal training. Dogs that are harder to train will require a bit more patience and practice.
Some breeds, due to their size or their breeds potential genetic health issues, have shorter lifespans than others. Proper exercise, nutrition, and hygiene also play an important role in the lifespan of your pet.
Some dog breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, and some more than others. This doesn’t mean that every dog will have these issues, but they have an increased risk, so it’s important to understand and prepare for any additional needs they may require.
Some dog breeds are more social than others, both towards humans and other dogs. More social dogs have a tendency to run up to strangers for pets and scratches, while less social dogs shy away and are more cautious, even potentially aggressive. No matter the breed, it’s important to socialize your dog and expose them to lots of different situations.

divider-pawHimalayan Sheepdog Puppies

These amazing dogs start small enough to fit in an adult human’s hand. But they grow quickly and require a great deal of attention as they age. Once fully grown, these dogs can weigh up to 90 pounds and give you a run for your money if you have not already established yourself as the pack leader.

Temperament & Intelligence of the Himalayan Sheepdog

These dogs are active, intelligent, protective, and eager to please. They get big quickly and are naturally strong, so they require training to learn how to live in a family household from the time that they are puppies (preferably, 12–16 weeks of age) and throughout adulthood. Training ensures a soft touch when spending time with children and an open mind when meeting new people and animals for the first time.

Himalayan Sheepdogs enjoy playing catch and hide-and-seek in the yard, but they also like to snuggle up on a lap when it’s time for the family to settle down for a movie. They are extremely protective over their human family members and will make sure that everyone at home knows when strangers get anywhere near the family property.

Are These Dogs Good for Families?

These can be great family dogs, but they must be trained and socialized. Without training, they can overcome children and try to take leadership over the human adults in their life. With training at an early age, these dogs can learn to be gentle with children and to obey their human family members.

Does This Breed Get Along With Other Pets?

The Himalayan Sheepdog is a strong and mighty dog that does not necessarily get along with other dogs and animals. These dogs should be socialized with other dogs that do not live within the household while they are still puppies, around 8 to 12 weeks of age. If they do not get used to hanging out with other dogs while still young, they likely will not take well to other dogs when they get older.

Aggression and shyness are both signs that a Himalayan Sheepdog is not comfortable around other dogs. These dogs may chase and hunt down smaller animals, such as cats, birds, and chickens. They should always be supervised while spending time around smaller animals.

divider-pawThings to Know When Owning a Himalayan Sheepdog

Owning a Himalayan Sheepdog is a great deal of fun but requires plenty of commitment. These dogs are large and determined, so they need a firm yet loving hand to ensure their health and safety. Owners should understand their food and diet requirements, exercise needs, training possibilities, and common health conditions before adopting a Himalayan Sheepdog.

Food & Diet Requirements

These large dogs can eat up to 3 cups of dry commercial food (or the equivalent of wet), split into at least two different meals each day.  The food that they eat should be high in protein and low in empty carbs like corn and soy. Their food should contain whole foods, like real chicken and sweet potatoes. It is always a good idea to consult with a veterinarian when choosing a new food for a Himalayan Sheepdog.


All Himalayan Sheepdogs require plenty of exercise each day to stay fit, healthy, and happy as time goes on. These pooches should go on daily walks outdoors, for at least 30 minutes at a time. They can also use time in a fenced yard playing fetch or roughhousing with other dogs living in the household. When the weather is not cooperative for outdoor exercise, owners can play games like hide-and-seek and tug-of-war indoors for both body and mind stimulation.


Without obedience training, Himalayan Sheepdogs can become strong-willed and confrontational, which could be a problem for families, especially those with small children. Therefore, obedience training should be started as soon as a Himalayan Sheepdog puppy is adopted and taken home for the first time. It is never too early to teach these dogs how to come, sit, stay, and heel. In addition to obedience training, Himalayan Sheepdogs can learn how to become guard dogs and can do a great job on the agility field.

Grooming ✂️

These dogs have dense, thick hair that tends to shed all year long. Therefore, they require brushing at least twice a week to keep shedding to a minimum and keep the coat looking shiny and healthy. They do not need baths because they do a great job of keeping themselves clean. It is important to thoroughly dry off this breed when they get wet due to rain or playing in the damp grass. Otherwise, their coat may get musty.

Health and Conditions

While these dogs are generally healthy, there are a few health conditions that they are susceptible to due to their lineage.

Minor Conditions
  • Arthritis
  • Glaucoma
Serious Conditions
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Elbow dysplasia
  • Patellar luxation

Male vs. Female

There are a few small differences between male and female Himalayan Sheepdogs, but the differences do not make one or the other better. For instance, girls seem to be a little easier to potty train than boys, but both sexes can be successfully potty-trained during puppyhood. Another small difference is that females tend to be more independent, while males like more interaction with their human companions.


3 Little-Known Facts About the Himalayan Sheepdog

1. They’re Great at Agility

Although the Himalayan Sheepdog is renowned for their ability to herd sheep, this breed is also an excellent agility competitor. They are fast, focused, and competitive by nature, which makes them champs on the agility course.

2. They Can Handle All Types of Weather

While these dogs are known to stay warm during cold winter months, they shed during the summer, which enables them to stay comfortable even when it is hot outside. Owners should trim their fur to ensure their comfort during the hot summer months.

3. They Have Multiple Names

This breed goes by many names throughout the world, including Bhatia, Himalayan guard dog, Himachal Pradesh, Himalayan Mastiff, and Gaddi. The name of this dog breed all depends on what part of the world that you happen to live in.

divider-pawFinal Thoughts

All in all, the Himalayan Sheepdog is a great family pet due to their intelligence, loyalty, and protectiveness. However, owning one of these dogs requires a great deal of commitment. Make sure the entire family is up for the responsibility before even considering adopting one of these dogs. What is your favorite trait of the Himalayan Sheepdog? Let us know in the comments section!

See also: 

Featured Image Credit By: Himalayan sheep dog (Image credit: Shyamal L., Wikimedia Commons CC 3.0 Unported)

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