Akbash dogs Breed Description
Akbash dogs are always solid white. The coat can vary in length from medium to long. The dogs have a coarse double coat that is self-cleaning. Akbash dogs do shed. We prefer the short-coated dogs. They are quite easy to maintain and require no special grooming. Preferably the dogs should have dark black pigmentation around their eyes and lips. Both the nose and the pads should be black. Dark brown almond-shaped eyes and a wedge-shaped head with pendant ears held high give the breed an elegant look. Adult male dogs weigh 90 to 130 pounds and stand 28 to 32 inches tall.
Adult female dogs weigh from 75 to 100 pounds and stand 27 to 30 inches tall. The sexes look strikingly different. Akbash dogs are longer than they are tall. They have a long tail that has a curl at its tip. Many Akbash dogs carry a curled tail high on their back especially when they are engaged in an alert mode. The Akbash Dog is a large dog that moves with a light springy gait. They are capable of extreme speed and athleticism, these dogs can cover a lot of ground fast! This is a tall, large, powerful dog that requires adequate fencing to keep them from escaping. We have seen our clear six feet fencing with no problem! It is the nature of an Akbash dog to be an independent thinker, they are not push-button lap dogs. They require an owner who knows how to be consistent and firm.
I do not recommend them for first-time dog owners or apartment dwellers. They require space where they can be utilized as a livestock guardian. While usually quiet Akbash dogs do bark to ward off threats and can be very vocal at night when many predators are active. Ours do not bark for no reason! Our dogs are a formidable deterrent to trespassers of all types. Be advised that in the wrong living situation this breed can be a liability. Our dogs are submissive and gentle with us and we can trust them with others while we are present.
Akbash Livestock Guardian Dogs
The Akbash dog is a very ancient breed with its origin in western Turkey. Turkish shepherds have used them to guard their flocks of sheep and herds of goats for centuries. The Turkish countryside was a vast open space with many large herds. Shepherds needed a dog that would not hesitate to protect against wolves, jackals, and bears. They selected for working ability.
Dogs that were tough enough to endure the rigors of a hard life under extreme conditions. The dogs had to have superior natural vigor to survive. There were no veterinarians, commercial dog foods or cushy doggy beds. Each dog had to earn its living. The Akbash dog is the result of this survival of the fittest elimination process. This breed is hard wired to protect livestock and property. Make no mistake about it the Akbash dog is a serious livestock guardian!
Akbash is taken from the Turkish words "ak" which means white and "bas" meaning head.
In Turkish, it is spelled Akbas. The literal meaning is a white head. Villagers commonly use color and location as descriptive terms to distinguish different shepherd dogs. Turkey is a very large country having several types and colors of shepherd dogs each developed in different regions. Turkish dog authorities have done extensive genetic research which proves that the Akbash is an ancient uniquely distinct breed. There are Turkish government-run breeding kennels currently working to preserve the Akbash dog as a national treasure. Take some time and read the works written by Turkish dog authorities to get the true story of the development of "breeds" of Turkish Sheperd dogs from a Turkish perspective.
Akbash dogs are livestock guardians, this should always be the focus of owning them. Please research livestock guardian dogs to understand the significant differences between them and your ordinary household family pet type dog.