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.