The ancient Hottosho is seen by some as simply a type of the Central Asian Shepherd Dog, while others trace its ancestry back to the Altai dogs of the early Mongol and Tungus tribes. There is also a possibility of it being a descendant of the legendary Bakharwal dogs of India and related to the Sylvan from Serbia, but the true origin of the Buryat Herder is uncertain. Chances are that there is truth in all of these theories. This handsome Moloss has close ties with the Kadartchy Yt and the Khonch Nokhoi, as well as with the dogs of Tibet and Eastern Europe, but it also contains some blood of hunting and herding Laikas from Siberia. The Buryat-Mongolian Shepherd Dog is rare today, even in Mongolia, but can still be found in certain regions of modern Buryatia, where it's used as a livestock herder and protector, as well as a property guardian. On occasion, some Hottosho examples can be seen in Russian dog shows.

Although very intelligent, it is fairly stubborn and independent, best suited for an experienced handler. The Buryat Sheepdog seems lethargic, it seldom barks and isn't easily provoked, but it will react swiftly and attack with great force when it feels threatened. Apart from having a longer coat and lighter build, the Hottosho is similar in appearance to other Siberian and Central Asian breeds, to many of which it is related. Strong and well-boned, but quite lean, the Buryat Dog is a resilient, rugged and powerful breed. The coat is dense, somewhat wavy and fully weatherproof.

While various shades can be found, the preferred colourings are black-n-tan, black, red, wolf-grey and fawn, with or without small white markings. Uniform white dogs are very rare and valued by some fanciers. Average height is around 26 inches, but smaller examples can be found as well.

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