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Characteristics, History, and Health


The Akbash Dog is a breed that originated in Turkey and is known for its excellent livestock guarding abilities. The Akbash Dog has a long history that can be traced back several thousand years to the region of Mesopotamia, which encompasses modern-day Turkey. They were primarily bred and used by nomadic shepherds to protect livestock, particularly sheep, from predators such as wolves and bears. The breed's name, Akbash, translates to white head in Turkish, referring to their distinctive white coat and head coloration. They have a double coat that consists of a thick, dense undercoat and a slightly longer, coarser outer coat. Their coat color is predominantly white, which helps them blend with their flock and provides camouflage.

Main Info
Alternate Names
Turkish Shepherd Dog
Life Expectancy
10-12 years
Average Male Height
33 inches
Average Female Height
29 inches
Average Male Weight
90-130 pounds
Average Female Weight
75-100 pounds
Coat Length
Coat Type
Coat Colors
White, Biscuit
Coat Pattern

Genetic Predispositions and Health

The Akbash Dog may be affected by eye conditions such as multifocal retinal dysplasia and entropion. They may also be prone to cardiomyopathy, epilepsy, hypertrophic osteodystrophy, hypothyroidism, panosteitis, prognathism, hernia (umbilical), and gastric dilation/volvulus. As with many breeds, they may suffer from degenerative myelopathy, hyperuricosuria, and hip dysplasia.

Personality and Behavior

Akbash Dogs are known for their calm, confident, and independent nature. They are highly devoted and protective of their family and livestock, making them excellent guard dogs. They are intelligent and have a strong instinct to protect, which makes them natural guardians. Akbash Dogs are typically gentle and affectionate with their human family members, but they may be reserved or aloof with strangers. Early socialization and training are essential to ensure they develop good manners and are comfortable in various situations.

Due to their background as livestock guardians, Akbash Dogs have a strong prey drive and may not be suitable for households with small pets unless properly supervised and trained. They have a tendency to be territorial and may exhibit aggressive behavior towards other dogs or animals they perceive as a threat to their territory or flock. Proper socialization from an early age can help mitigate these tendencies.

Akbash Dogs are known for their endurance and agility, which allows them to patrol large areas and navigate challenging terrains. They are generally adaptable to different climates but have a preference for cooler environments. Regular exercise and mental stimulation are crucial for their overall well-being, as they are an active breed.

Fun Facts

Despite their large size, Akbash Dogs are agile and athletic. They possess great stamina and endurance, which allows them to actively patrol and protect their territory.

Akbash Dogs are adaptable to various climates and terrains. They have been successfully used in different regions, ranging from hot and arid areas to cold and mountainous regions.

References Akbash Dogs International:

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