Did you just find out about the Bakharwal Dog during your trip to the Himalayas? And now your dog lover soul cannot stop thinking about them? Don’t worry! We will tell you everything!

These doggos are the best for you if you are an adventurous dog lover. They are loyal and are just so in love with hilly areas. Now, let us delve into the world of this stunning but rare Indian dog breed and find out if they can become a part of your beautiful family or not.


Height24-30 inches
Weight85-130 lbs
Life span10-12 years
Exercise needs30 minutes daily
TemperamentEnergetic, Aggressive, Loyal
GroomingHigh maintenance
OriginHimalayan Mountains

Origin of the Bakharwal Dog

Bakharwal doggos are one strange breed! Why so? They are a rare guardian dog breed that were developed by the nomadic tribes in the Himalayan mountains centuries ago. 

These dogs are courageous and determined to protect the livestock from predators and potential threats. Bakharwal dogs, when socialized, are amazing with hoomans but can become extremely aggressive. Unfortunately, they are very hard to breed to find. 

Appearance of the Bakharwal Dog

Bakharwal dogs are a large breed of molosser dogs (article) who are known for their robust looks and courageous stance. Their appearance can be described as:

1. Body structure

These dogs have a heavily boned structure with a deep chest and a muscular body. It is worth mentioning that they are leaner than Asian molosser breeds. 

2. Head and facial features

Bakharwal dogs have a large head and a thick muscular neck, and their snouts are slightly short but well-built with a black nose. They have almond-shaped brown or amber eyes as well as medium-sized locket-type ears.

3. Coat features

These have quite a thick coat of hair that comes in several colors. The colors include tan, beige, black, white, and even sometimes patchy coats (piebald), protecting them from the northern mountains’ cold weather and other predators. 

Fun fact: Unlike most dogs, the Bakharwal breed does not eat meat but instead feeds on bread, milk, and other dairy products.

Personality and Temperament

Now let us briefly describe their personalities. Are they sassy, or are they strict? 

1. Courageous and alert

These fur buddies are very brave! Since they were bred to protect livestock, they do not budge when faced with danger. And will courageously tread forward. They are also always very wary of their surroundings. Bakharwal dogs can identify threats from a distance and alert their owners then and there. This makes them great watchdogs. 

2. Loyal and intelligent

Bakharwal dogs form close bonds with their handler families. They will go to lengths to protect them and keep them company even in the toughest times. These canine companions are also extremely smart, as protecting livestock requires wit and strength.

3. Affectionate and playful

While we did mention earlier that these dogs are aggressive towards other dogs, they are also very playful and love their families dearly. They love rugged playtimes as well.

Beige Flags of the Bakharwal Dog

Bakharwal dogs have some traits that are neither paw-sitive nor fully negative.

  1. They love playing, but they are big boys! A happy doggo makes everyone’s day better. But since they are way too big, little kids have a high chance of getting hurt as these dogs love rough boisterous games.
  2. Aggressive towards smaller creatures. They are NOT great with smaller creatures, or even other dogs. While this might be helpful for predator attacks, they might end up attacking non-threatening creatures.

a Bakharwal dog outdoors

Exercise and Training Needs

Bakharwal dogs are highly agile and fleet-footed and require immense workout sessions. They love rough playtimes and thrive when provided with open spaces. These dogs love roaming around secure open yards or with the nomadic Gujjar tribes.

1. Regular walks

Since mountains are not an option for most suburban homes, you will have to take them for regular walks, hiking (a must), and sometimes even swimming so that they can use up the stamina that is stored inside.

However, if they do not get enough exercise in their home or enough attention, they can become pretty aggressive and may even destroy things around them.

These dogs are not meant for busy households or for people with jobs that cannot utilize their guarding potential.

2. Early training

Socializing and obedience training is the best way to keep their behavioral issues in control. Training from a young age is the way to go, as this will familiarize them with what kind of surroundings they will often find themselves in. 

Grooming Needs of the Bakharwal Dog

Bakharwal dogs are kind of high maintenance, as they have dense double coats and shed a lot! Not only that, but their coat pickups on burs and twigs quite frequently. So, grooming them takes a good amount of work.

1. Weekly brushing

They need to be brushed properly at least once a  week with prescribed dog grooming brushes, or their fur might get tangled and start matting. As for bathing, since these are outdoor dogs, they tend to get dirty very often. So you need to bathe them twice or thrice a year. 

2. Clean their ears

Another important step is to keep their ears clean. Bakharwal Dogs have droopy ears that trap moisture, wax, and dirt. Use wet wipes to clean them and keep them free from any foreign particles, otherwise, they may start developing hearing issues and ear infections.

3. Trimmed nails

Also keep their paw pads clean and nails trimmed. Roaming outside may collect dirt and unwanted germs in their paws. This might lead to physical discomfort and may hinder their movement.

Are Bakharwal Dogs Hypoallergenic?

Unfortunately, no, Bakharwal Dogs are not hypoallergenic. They do not go well with people with fur allergies as they shed a lot and produce enough fir and dander.

Before you adopt any pet, you should always spend time around similar breeds to see if you have any allergic reactions to them or not. That way, you would be able to avoid putting yourself and the dog in any false positions.

Final Thoughts

Bakharwal dogs are amazing adventure buddies. They will accompany you to the most rugged terrains and enjoy every single moment of it as well. And they are also affectionate and enjoy being the center of attention.

But this very trait can become negative, as when they are given much attention, they may feel unwanted and become quite loud and destructive. If you are a new pet paw-rent, it is better to avoid such breeds, and you better look for some suitable dog breeds.

Some of their behavioral issues are also on you as a responsible dog parent.  So, if you get one of these while being aware that you cannot meet their daily needs, you are putting yourself, your family, and these sweet pups in danger.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the English name of the Bakharwal dog?

The term Bakharwal is derived from the Gojri word bakhara which means goat or sheep, and wal which means “one who takes care of”. So, there are no English terms for it but other names can include Bakharwal mastiff, Kashmiri mastiff, etc.

Can I feed my Bakharwal dog a vegan diet?

Bakharwal dogs thrive well on milk and mostly vegetarian diet but if you wish to start feeding them vegan products you must start it slowly. Consult your vet beforehand, and let them decide what diet would be better for them to get all of their necessary nutrients.

Do Bakharwal dogs shed a lot?

Bakharwal dogs do shed a lot throughout the year. This means you need to brush them very often and keep their coat clean, so that it does not catch up on any foreign particles or twigs.

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