The Akbash Dog is intelligent, courageous, calm, loyal, protective and independent. Akbash Dogs are primitive guard dogs that need plenty of ongoing socialization to be a suitable companion. They are true working dogs and are happiest when they have a task to fulfill. The Akbash Dog has a tendancy to be dominant or aggressive towards other dogs and can be rather suspicious of strangers. Akbash Dogs are completely dedicated towards their owners, family and any livestock within their protection. They are natural guardians and act independently with their strong nature, making them difficult for obedience training. The Akbash Dog requires a handler that understands this breed and is prepared to socialize this dog with a variety of animals, people and situations throughout it's life.
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Akbash Dogs do shed more than the average breed and therefore need regular brushing to remove the dead hairs. Otherwise their coats are easily maintained as they aren't prone to matting and don't tend to have a dog odour.
Akbash Dogs need regular exercise and should ideally be within a country or farm environment so they have the freedom to run and exercise. Otherwise they should be taken for daily walks and given the opportunity to run off the lead.
The origins of the Akbash Dog are rather obscure, but it is known to be an ancient pure breed from Western Turkey. The Turkish shepherds selectively bred for a white-colored guarding sheepdog, probably so they could differentiate them from the predators. It is likely that the Akbash Dog is related to the other great white herd guarders of Europe including the Komondor, Kuvasz, Tatra Mountain Sheepdog and the Pyrenean Mountain Dog. It was David and Judy Nelson from America who helped these dogs become recognized as a distinct breed after they studied the Akbash Dogs in the 1970s. The Nelsons imported more than 40 dogs to the United States which became the foundation breeding stock for America and Canada.
General Appearance: Solid, long-legged and athletic.
Color: White with light biscuit coloration allowed on the ears, ridge line or undercoat.
Coat: The outercoat is flat, weather resistant, long and coarse and the undercoat is soft and fine. The coat can either be long or of medium length, which are both equally acceptable. On both coat lengths the hair is shorter on the ears, muzzle and paws.
Tail: Set low, tapering with feathering and carried in a curl over the back when in action.
Ears: Set high, pendant, V-shaped with slightly rounded tips and lying close to the skull. Many Akbash puppies have their ears cropped in Turkey and are not penalized. However cropping is not accepted on a domestic-bred dog.
Body: The body is slightly longer than tall and has a deep and moderately wide chest. The ribs are well-sprung and the topline slightly inclines downwards. The flank is well tucked up and the croup is muscular and sloping.
- Akbash Dogs are not recommended for first time dog owners, or anyone who doesn't have a lot of time for socializing these dogs. They are ideal for those who need an effective watch/guard dog for livestock, as they will not hesitate to risk their own lives to protect animals in their charge. Akbash Dogs have been known to guard a variety of animals including sheep, goats, horses, cattle, poultry, deer, alpacas and llamas.