Fiercely independent with protective instincts, Akbash dogs are a highly desired family pet in most countries.
Originally bred in Turkey, they were primarily used as livestock-guarding dogs. As mentioned initially, Akbash dogs are extremely protective owing to which they take their guarding jobs quite seriously.
Acute hearing and eyesight allow them to be extremely aware of their surroundings.
Their existence dates back as far as 750 to 300 B.C proving them to be quite an old breed. It is reported that many different breed types including mastiffs and sighthounds were used to breed this new design that gradually gained the name “Akbash”.
Akbash dogs are mostly friendly and they need not be trained extensively to get along with other pets; it is there in their genes to make quick friends with livestock and household pets.
It doesn’t mean you are spared from the effort to train this breed; you got to train them but it would be much easier and fun-filled if you have already done your homework.
Let’s delve into more details about this breed; you will find it useful, especially if you are planning to bring one home.
Akbash Breed Characteristics Sheet
- Origin: Turkey
- Size: Large
- Dog Breed Group: Guardian Breed
- Purebred: Yes
- Lifespan: 10 -11 Years
- Height (at Shoulder): Female – 2.3 to 2.7 ft; Male – 2.3 to 2.8ft
- Weight: Female – 90 lbs; Male – 90 to 140 lbs
- Coat Appearance: Short to Medium Length coat
- Coat Colors: White, Sometimes Biscuit and Grey Colored near the ears
- Temperament: Intelligent, Energetic, Protective, Gentle
- Good With Children: Good with older children; Need training primarily
- Intelligence Level: High
- Good With Pets: No (Only if trained well)
- Hypoallergenic: No
- Grooming: Moderate to High
- Shedding: Moderate to High
- Barking: Moderate
- Suitable For Apartments: High
- Need For Exercise: High
- Easy To Train: Moderate Effort Required
- Good For First Time Owners: No
- Health Issues: Hip Dysplasia, Dilated Cardiomyopathy, Hypothyroidism
- Litter Size: 6-10 Puppies
- Average Price: $500 – $700 USD
Akbash Size And Lifespan
- Height – Female Akbash dogs range between 2.3 to 2.7 ft while the Male counterparts mostly have a height between 2.3 and 2.8ft.
- Weight – Females weigh around 90 lbs and male’s weight would range between 90-140 lbs.
The average life span of an Akbash dog breed is 10 to 11 years.
Aging is a continuous procedure; you cannot stop it but you can keep your dog healthy throughout these years and help them live a fit and happy life.
Akbash Dogs are very loyal and they display a great deal of love and protectiveness towards their family, inclusive of all pets in the household.
They are aggressive towards strangers and do not get along well with other dogs unless they are part of the family.
As pups, they are huge, strong and very rough during playtime; you cannot expect them to be an incarnation of sweet, cuddly stuffed toys.
They love to grab every little object with their teeth while playing, to ensure they are not left alone to play with kids; adult Akbash dog is much composed compared to the little ones.
Until they are mature enough to stay calm, Akbash pups can do a great deal of damage by chewing on anything they get to have their teeth on.
They get bored very easily and can turn destructive if left unattended. Once they reach adulthood, calm nature and responsibility sets in naturally into this dog breed.
As pointed out frequently in this post, they are great watch dogs. You can leave them alone to watch over your house and livestock even during night times. Akbash would stand between you and danger if at all a grievous situation arises.
This breed is highly intelligent and smart and knows very well when to back out of a fight; this presence of mind allows them to avoid becoming dinner to a pack of wolves.
Apart from being excellent guardians, they can also serve as cool human companions; the amount of early training and attention determines it all.
Akbash Health Problems
Even if a breeder promises that the dog is 100% free from health issues, the claim cannot be believed blindly.
Just like humans, all dogs are susceptible to health problems either due to environmental conditions or genetic disorders.
Akbash dog breeds usually face orthopedic problems like hip dysplasia, heart ailments like dilated cardiomyopathy and sometimes hypothyroidism.
Hip Dysplasia in dogs is very common and affects all types of breeds irrespective of type, size, and color.
Deformed ball and knee socket can lead to this condition when continuous rough-sliding leads to gradual rupture.
This condition can cause extreme pain and discomfort to the pet if left unattended in the early stages. Decreased activity and a swaying gait are the primary symptoms of hip dysplasia.
Canine Dilated Cardiomyopathy can be a result of numerous reasons including nutritional imbalance, infections or genetic problems.
This condition makes it difficult for the heart to generate pressure and pump blood through the vascular veins.
Lethargy, weakness and weight loss are the common symptoms of this health condition. Early treatment can help keep the ailment under control.
Hypothyroidism commonly affects middle-aged dogs owing to hormone imbalance and in some rare case, the pups inherit this problem from its parents.
Mental dullness, cold intolerance, obesity are a few symptoms that indicate the onset of this health issue.
Immediate treatment is important in such cases in order to avoid your pet from becoming host to a multitude of other debilitating diseases.
You first need to understand their temperament quite clearly prior to preparing a training schedule. Each dog is different and so is its training and exercise requirement.
They are very aggressive towards people and pets that are not a part of the family; hence socializing should be imparted at a very early stage.
You must help them differentiate between friends and foes. In order to do so, you must start training them right from day 1 when you bring him home.
They are athletic dogs and tend to break fences and run around; if you want to keep your Akbash composed and within boundaries, then you must correct him continually until it becomes an involuntary habit.
The next step you must take is to teach him to obey basic commands like, come, sit, eat, etc. Praise your pet when he achieves something and does not back away from punishing him if he does something wrong.
Finally, it would be best if you buy the pet from a reputable breeder; most professional breeders give basic training to the pups once they start walking.
Akbash is a large-breed dog, so the food you buy must be particularly formulated to meet the energy requirements of this breed type.
There is no predefined quantity to feed the dog; keep a check on its habits and adjust the quantity accordingly.
To start with, 2 – 2.5 cups of dog food would be enough; you can increase or decrease based on your pet’s intake.
But ensure to keep their weight stable; becoming overweight or extremely lean is not good for the pet’s health.
Akbash Shedding And Grooming
Akbash has short to medium length double coat with a long tail that is heavily feathered and curly.
They are mostly white colored except in certain cases where you may notice light biscuit or gray shades around it ears. You need to brush them at least once a week in order to avoid excessive shedding.
Akbash Puppies Care
As mentioned in the earlier section, brush their hair at least once a week. Give them a bath as soon as you notice their coat getting dirt; don’t wait for the coat to become greasy with dirt.
Other basic care includes trimming the nails as required and frequent brushing of teeth. Always ask a vet to prescribe a toothpaste name and stick to the brand if you want to avoid unnecessary oral health issues.
Take them to the vet for regular medical health check-up and get all the necessary vaccinations administered to your pet.
- The United Kennel Club recognized this breed in 1998.
- Akbash dog got its name from the Turkish term “Akbas” which means the “White Head”; the name justifies the coat color.
- The Anatolian Shepherd dog is a mix of Kangal and Akbash Dogs.
- This breed became popular in the United States when 2 Americans David and Judy Nelson grew interested in the breed and decided to introduce them, in the year 1970.
Akbash Puppies Names
Akbash Male Puppy Names
Akbash Female Puppy Names
Akbash Price And Breeders
Akbash pups cost approximately $500 to $700.
Some breeders may demand extra for vaccinations given and medical tests taken, but this factor varies from breeder to breeder.
Breeders of Akbash ought to be a part of a reputed dog club and must be engaged in breeding just a particular type of dog.
Most breeders interview buyers in order to investigate if the environment would be comfortable for his dogs.
You can trust such breeders since their inquisitiveness displays the concern they have towards their pups.
Most importantly, avoid purchasing from breeders who exercise high sales tactics. You are entitled to ask questions and demand for medical test papers of hip evaluations and other common genetic health issues.
A good and reliable breeder will never hide any important information about his dogs and will be willing to offer all the help possible to choose the right pup.