Species group: Unrecognized and Rare Breed dogs
Other name(s): Akbas Çoban Köpegi; Turkish Akbash Dog; Akbash Shepherd Dog; Turkish Shepherd 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
"The Akbash dog is one of my favorite dogs because they are essentially a big white fluffy teddy bear of a dog. The worst traits for this dog are: 1) they dig like crazy 2) they can be crazy protective (this is also one of their best traits as they are loyal and protective without actually being a nuisance to guests but some people are not fond of dogs who want to protect/protect) 3) they are very independent and 4) they shed A LOT. The best reasons to have one of these dogs is because they are extremely loyal, sweet, unique in their intelligence, and the their lovely look. However, anyone who gets one of these dogs needs to make sure they have ample room to roam AND that they are able to provide adequate training so that these dogs are friendly to children and other dogs.."
From ClemenceR May 15 2014 12:21AM
"I own two, working Akbash Livestock Guardian Dogs. A brother and sister team who work round the clock to keep our goats and chickens, and us, safe.<br><br>They are true guardians, they alert me to any out of the ordinary activity and intervene at all costs to with any threat to their home base, our 20 acres. They have discouraged ALL domestic and wild animal threats. We haven’t lost a single chicken to local marauding dogs since investing in these guys. <br><br>I like the Akbash breed best of the all Livestock Guardian Dogs, or LGDs for short, for a couple reasons. One, they’re leaner and taller than some of the other LGDs, like the more commonly known Great Pyrenees. And two, they have smoother coats, which means, less shag, mess, and smell.<br><br>Like all LGDs, the Akbash doesn’t need to be trained how to do its guard work, they’re a highly intelligent and independent breed with centuries of tradition and knowledge bred into them. Their work is instinctual.<br><br>It was hard for me to raise them up as pups because in order for them to be most effective, they needed to be left with the animals they were to be guarding for the majority of their time. If you play with them or cuddle them, or bring them into your house, their guard sense will be honed in on you and not so much the critters they need to protect. It was almost impossible for me to leave them alone all day and night because they’re extremely cute little buggers when they’re small, and like any other puppy, they just want to be loved and played with.<br><br>Akbashes are not good “pet” or companion dogs, they’re bred for livestock guard work and I really think mine would go crazy if they were penned up with nothing to do. <br><br>If you have a ranch or farm, these dogs would be a wonderful addition to your spread, but the one thing you would need to prepare yourself for is the cost of feeding them. Mine, like all Akbashes, put on 75% of their weight in the first year! The last time I was actually able to weigh my big male, “Akbash”, he was over 170 lbs, and I think my female, “Meara”, is about 155 lbs or so. This is the average weight for these guys, so, dog food gets expensive pretty fast. I go through 3 or more bags of 50lb dog chow a month, and since I get a quality brand of dog chow, my food bill for them is about 150-200 dollars a month! I also supplement their diet with our fried farm fresh eggs and raw meat.<br><br>Before I got my Akbashes, I was pretty tried to the farm and the animals, I never felt safe leaving them for any length of time when I would have to run errands etc. Since my Akbashes have grown up and proven how wonderful they are at keeping the peace and protecting the farm, I now feel very confident that when I am away in town, that everyone will be safe and sound. They've become indispensable to my day to day operations.<br><br>In my experience, other than the food costs which may be too high for some people, there are NO drawbacks to my dogs or this breed.<br><br>You can run a single dog or pairs. The reason I chose a brother an sister team is because I knew right away that I didn't want to breed them and I wanted a team that could work together that would grow up together. I didn't want to go through the stress of trying to introduce a new pup to the mix later on with territorial issues etc. I also wanted the both the speed and agility of a female, who usually arrive first on the scene if there's danger, and the power, size and weight of the male who, while is usually last to arrive, can easily "finish the job" if need be. <br><br>People should know that these dogs will fight and kill predators if need be. Their first response is not to attack and kill, but to discourage and deter with their loud, thunderous barking, but if that doesn't work or another animal is instigating a fight, the Akbash does respond with appropriate force. At the same time, these giants are extremely gentle with infants or any small children, the livestock they guard, and their owners.<br><br>I wanted to include pictures of my Akbashes when they were puppies because, I cannot believe they were ever this small!!."
From MT_Goat_Farmer Feb 23 2014 1:48PM
"Nana is a wonderful dog. She begs to be petted and loves to be involved about half the time, and the other half she's chilling under the piano or in front of the stairs.<br><br>My mom always swore she would never own a dog, because no dog could have everything she wanted. Well, Nana had everything she wanted... so we got a dog. She's good with cats, good with kids, good at playing guard dog, fun to play with, and not hyper.<br><br>While I love Nana, she is not my ideal dog. I'm not very much of a dog person in the first place. She's 120 pounds, difficult to walk, and absolutely NOT good with other dogs. Akbash were bred to protect sheep from wolves. Hating other canines is in their blood. The other "large" dogs on our street nearly had their throats ripped out by her a couple of times when she slipped out of the fence.<br><br>Speaking of slipping out, she was nearly impossible to catch whenever she ran off to explore/kill other dogs.<br><br>Speaking of slipping, her drool was always everywhere.<br><br>Speaking of always everywhere, her hair was omnipresent. She needed to be groomed daily - and she's a SHORT-haired akbash. When we brushed her, it looked like it had snowed in a 6x6 patch of our yard.<br><br>Ever since we got her, she's been on medication for a weak bladder. Apparently this is a common issue for female akbash dogs. Now that she's getting up in years, we suspect her hips might be becoming arthritic - another common problem with huge dogs in general.<br><br>Obedience training was fun (and often involved tackling her), and she's an absolute dear. She makes an excellent guard dog (until they walk through the front door), is great with our cats (not great with turtles - she tried to eat our turtle), and loves playing. I love my Nana... but I wouldn't get another akbash if someone paid me.<br><br>Photo is from when we first got her.."
From CeridwenPax Jan 26 2015 2:56PM