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Turkish Mastiff
Characteristics, History, and Health

Turkish Mastiff

The Aksaray Malaklisi dog, also known as the Anatolian Shepherd Dog or Turkish Mastiff, is a large breed of dog originating from Turkey, particularly the Aksaray Province. Its primary role is as a livestock guardian dog, protecting flocks of sheep and goats from predators. The Aksaray Malaklisi is an ancient breed, with roots dating back as far as 6,000 years ago. They have been bred to withstand the harsh climate of the Anatolian Plateau and to be extremely proficient at their job of protecting livestock. In fact, the breed is named after the region in which it was developed: Aksaray is a province in central Turkey, and Malaklisi translates to mouth dog, referring to its large mouth and powerful bite.

Main Info
Alternate Names
Aksaray Malaklısı, Malaklı Karabaş, Anatolian Shepherd Dog
Life Expectancy
11-13 years
Average Male Height
29 inches
Average Female Height
27 inches
Average Male Weight
110-150 pounds
Average Female Weight
80-120 pounds
Coat Length
Coat Type
Coat Colors
Biscuit & White, Brindle, Fawn, Blue Fawn, Gray Fawn, Red Fawn, Liver, White
Coat Pattern
Black Mask, Brown Mask, Dutch Markings, Pinto, Pinto with Black Mask, Silver Mask

Genetic Predispositions and Health

Currently, there are no known genetic conditions tightly associated with the Turkish Mastiff. Other Mastiff breeds can suffer from multifocal retinopathy 1, an inherited eye disease that results in areas of retinal detachment. As for all breeds, genetic screening for hereditary conditions is recommended.

Personality and Behavior

The Aksaray Malaklisi is known for its courage, loyalty, and protective nature. As a livestock guardian dog, it is naturally independent and has a strong instinct to protect its territory and family. This breed can be reserved and aloof towards strangers but is generally calm and gentle with its family. Training and socialization from a young age are crucial to ensure that this breed behaves well around other animals and people.

Fun Facts

Despite their size and power, the Aksaray Malaklisi breed is known to be very agile, capable of covering large distances quickly when required.

In its native Turkey, the breed is highly respected for its ability to protect livestock from large predators, including wolves and bears.