Bakhrwals are an ancient dog breed found in India in higher elevations of the Himalayan Mountains. Bred for many centuries as livestock watchdogs, Bakhrwals having the instincts of herding dogs and the coats of cold-weather dogs. The breed is exceedingly rare and on the verge of becoming extinct.
If you are lucky enough to own one of these rare dogs, you probably already know that they require a lot of exercise. Their protective nature can make them dangerous, aggressive dogs that do best in homes without children or other dogs. Their high-energy level needs at least an hour of exercise per day, preferably outdoors. While they are a breed that would rather be outdoors than indoors, they are also very prone to wandering and chasing smaller prey.
Barkharwals are herding dogs by nature and at their happiest when doing their job. In recent years, businesses have started to pop up that allow dogs to visit their farms and herd sheep, cows and other livestock.
If you are located near one of these businesses, it would be a great weekly or monthly activity for your pup. If you don’t have any in your area, consider a coop of chickens in your backyard. Your Bakharwals should herd them, not harm them. Supervision is required for both options and your dog should be rewarded with positive reinforcement when they herd without injuring the animals.
Bakharwals are a working breed and they enjoy having tasks to do. Training your dog to pick up toys is an activity that stimulates them mentally and physically. As mentioned, these dogs prefer to be outside, so if you have a yard, you can do the activity outdoors.
These dogs are very intelligent, and training them to recognize their toys by color is excellent stimulation. Various colored toys will help Fido see them, as their color vision is different than humans'. A lot of treats and verbal praise help your dog learn the trick. And an added bonus -- you won’t have to clean up after your dog anymore when they decide they want to play with all of their toys at the same time.
As dogs who love the outdoors, your Bakharwal pup will enjoy camping. Before you arrive at the campsite, make sure it is dog-friendly and check to see if it requires an additional cost for dogs. If you’re not a fan of tent camping, consider investing in an RV camper. You and Fido could tour the country and camp in different places.
Be aware of any wild animals that might be found at the campsite. If the area is home to rattlesnakes, ask your vet for the serum for bites. Make sure your pup is up-to-date on all their shots, as mosquitoes will probably be an issue at any campsite in warmer weather.
Take your pup back to their natural habitat and hike in the high mountain ranges. Your dog will love the exercise and the altitude. Make sure to bring water in case Fido gets overheated.
Keep your dog on a leash in case you come upon any wild animals. It’s best to avoid going to off-leash dog parks or other areas because the herding instinct in your dog might not be appreciated by other dogs.
If you own a pool on your own property or have a lake nearby that allows dogs, take Fido for a swim. Your pup will enjoy it on hot days because Bakharwals are bred to live in the colder climate of the Himalayas.
If you don’t have a pool or lake nearby, stop at a local store and buy a kiddie pool, fill it with water and let your pup splash around in it!
As the owner of a rare breed on the cusp of extinction, it is important to keep your pup healthy and happy with the right amount of exercise. Bakharwals have centuries of ancestors who were herding, working dogs in the Himalayas. You can’t recreate that for them, but you can try activities such as hiking, herding, and picking up toys to mentally stimulate your pooch.
These dogs do best in homes without small children or other pets. They can unintentionally injure kids and pets with their herding behavior. In addition to herding, they are fierce watchdogs, which can make them protective and possessive. But they are loyal and loving, making them an excellent choice for the right person!