Akbash Dog

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Is the Akbash Dog right for you?

Species group:

Other name(s): Akbas Çoban Köpegi; Turkish Akbash Dog; Akbash Shepherd Dog; Turkish Shepherd Dog

The basics:
Akbash Dogs International is a terrific resource for learning more about the Akbash Dog. The Akbash Dog is an ancient Turkish breed developed some 3,000 years ago by shepherds who needed a guardian dog to protect livestock, especially sheep and goats, from dangerous predators like bears and wolves. Little known outside Turkey, this rare breed demands an expert owner with experience in training and managing a powerful guardian dog with strong protective instincts.

A child will usually be taken under the dog's wing as a member of its herd, but an adult human stranger will probably be greeted with suspicion and a great deal of barking, if not outright aggression. Owners who can be firm, consistent alphas report that this dog develops a strong bond with its humans. American ranchers have experimented with using this dog to protect herds from bears and coyotes.However, if you are not capable of properly training this dog, you may wind up with a powerful and dangerous animal. Know yourself before you decide whether to take the Akbash home.

Appearance / health:
The Akbash is a tall, muscular white dog with a huge head, powerful jaws and V-shaped ears that are usually drooping. It has almond-shaped eyes that are oblique and may have varied shades of colors ranging from light golden brown to very dark brown. The dog has a medium length, strong and muscular neck. The legs are long with large arched toes and the tail is long, feathered and curved.

The Akbash has an odorless coat with no matt formation; therefore, it does not require very frequent brushing, combing, or washing. However, since it is a more than average shedder, brushing should be done on a regular basis.

Akbash Dogs require moderate to high amounts of exercise in the form of walks, jogs, games, etc.

Generally, the common diseases known to affect the Akbash include hip dysplasia (an inherent disorder that affects the hip joints and causes crippling and lameness) and osteochondritis dissecans (a disorder that affects the dog’s knees causing inflammation and lameness).However, as compared to other breeds, the Akbash, on the whole, seems to be less prone to these diseases.

Behavior / temperament:
The Akbash is naturally a very aggressive and dominating dog. Dogs of this breed usually take control of a situation and can be dangerous if not properly socialized. The dog has an independent nature, which makes it think twice on receiving commands and act without guidance in case of emergency.

The Akbash is not easily trainable because of its extremely independent nature, which tends to make it quite disobedient. The trainer should be dominating enough to make the dog obey. The dog, however, has a high rate of learning and learns quickly.

The breed likes to bark only in defense, otherwise it is a calm and quiet creature.


intelligent breed, fine companion, Amazing Guard/Watch Dogs, Livestock Guardians, wild animal threats


bold temper, urban areas, strange dogs, strange men


experienced owners, powerful barks, powerful jaw, longer fur, coyote

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