The Bakharwal is a majestic guardian dog of livestock and settlements, native to northern India. These serious dogs have a virtually ancient origin as a working breed in the Himalayas. With wise eyes and a fluffy, dense coat, the Bakharwals are fiercely loyal and courageous dogs!
To complement their intense temperament as guardians is their calm, relaxed demeanor around humans. Bakharwals can be endearing companions like none other- whether you want to go swimming, trekking, or play football!
Are you curious about this one-of-a-kind breed? You will find all your answers below!
People often fondly call the Bakharwal “Kashmir’s Knight in Furry Armor.” The nomadic Bakharwal and Gujjar tribes of Jammu & Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh in India are their traditional breeders. The Bakharwals most likely descend from ancient Asian Molosser breeds.
Some scholars speculate that the Bakharwal is a cross between the Tibetan Mastiff and the Indian Pariah Dog. Others believe the breed to be the oldest Indian breed, thriving among tribes for centuries.
Bakharwals are almost an unrecognized breed outside of India. They are gentle yet passionate, often ready to tackle predators that are relatively larger than them. You could say that the Bakharwals are a low-maintenance breed, not demanding much besides plenty of affection and support!
How Big Do Bakharwals Get
Bakharwals are typically medium to large. They have heavy bones, deep chests, and a whole lot of muscle. Bakharwals, regardless of their gender, usually weigh between 85-130 lbs and grow as tall as 24-30 inches.
How Long Does the Bakharwal Live
Like a typical canine, the Bakharwal also has an average life expectancy of about 10 to 12 years. These guardians are hardy and healthy dogs in general when in their natural environment. A Bakharwal female usually gives birth to just a single litter with two to three puppies each year- so this breed is rare.
How Much Does a Bakharwal Cost
It isn’t easy to find Bakharwals outside of India- and they don’t prefer living anywhere besides their original habitat! However, the cost of a Bakharwal can range from $850 to $1400, depending on where you get the puppy.
There has been a lot of stress on the seriousness and intensity of the Bakhwaral so far, but don’t let it mislead you! These canines are indeed fierce, strong-minded, and courageous. On the opposite side of the coin, they are charming and cuddly with their family!
When it comes to their duties, Bakharwals are aggressive and ferocious. They are ever-ready to take on all kinds of roles, from watchdogs to herders to attackers. Bakharwals are excellent with those they consider family, regardless of age. They are affectionate with children, though you may need to be careful due to their size and weight.
They are not too tolerant of strangers and other animals due to their inherent qualities. These canines are ferociously territorial- a trait that makes them wary of other dogs outside of their “herd.” They can be dangerously aggressive in this context.
Bakharwals are incredibly independent dogs with excellent decision-making skills and perception. They don’t mind staying on their own and do not risk developing separation anxiety. It also makes these dogs slightly challenging to train- they are likely to get bored quickly if you subject them to repetitive commands.
These furry knights are nomadic dogs, so traveling should not be a problem. However, Bakharwals’ travel inclinations and are restricted to their natural, cold Himalayan conditions. If they are outside of them, they may develop diseases or depression.
Bakharwals are not lap-dogs that will be satisfied staying indoors as mere family companions, so they need to have a sense of duty to feel happy.
Caring for Bakharwals
The self-sufficient nature of Bakharwals makes caring for them relatively simple. As long as you understand a few fundamentals of their care, you will be good to go!
Bakharwals are unique, but one characteristic that may surprise you beyond others is their vegetarian nature! They thrive on vegetables, Indian flatbreads, and dairy products- remember to avoid garlic, onion, chili, and tomato. Bakharwals have an immense food intake, requiring a diet plan with 50% carbs, 30% protein, 5% fibers, and the remaining vitamins and minerals.
How to Groom a Bakharwal
While otherwise easy to care for, the grooming needs of Bakhwarals are extensive. They have super dense double-layer coats with straight, medium-length fur, susceptible to matting and knotting in addition to deposits. You must brush your dog thoroughly twice or thrice weekly and bathe the canine only a few times each year. Take extra care of the eyes, teeth, ears, and nails.
Bakharwal Activity Levels
These canines are lively and energetic, requiring plenty of exercise and movement. They have a lot of stamina and excellent problem-solving skills due to their nomadic nature, so you must ensure that the canine uses them. Their activity levels must remain high, with long walks each day- preferably a minimum of 16 miles every week. Stimulating activities for an hour each day is necessary.
Caring for Bakharwals
These relaxed, alert dogs may not demand too much care besides grooming; you must give them proper time and affection. Bakharwals are intelligent, so they need mental stimulation also. The personality of these dogs calls for trainers and commanders who are patient, determined, and assertive.
Bakharwals are generally hardy dogs with a naturally healthy mind as well as body. A few health issues that could affect a Bakharwal include Canine Hip Dysplasia, Gastric Dilatation Volvulus, Obesity, and Cryptorchidism. Routine appointments with the vet are essential to keep track of your dog’s health and avoid these issues.
Vaccinations are critical, and so is deworming. In addition to these, note that the health of a Bakharwal relies upon the habitat and living conditions too. These dogs are not supposed to live in hot regions.
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