Akbash Dog


The Akbash dog hales from western Turkey. The region is called Akbash and is where the name comes from. The translation of this name is white head. The dog is used mainly to guard livestock. This dog bares similarities to other white guardian breeds found around the north Mediterranean basin. This dog combines both sighthound and molosser (these are dogs which have heavy bones, pendant ears and a short muscle and are generally used for search and rescue or for guard dogs) traits. The breed was most probably developed over 3000 years ago. The reason for their colour is postulated to be that it distinguishes them for predators, to reduce the likelihood that they are accidentally killed.


The Akbash is a large dog, it weighs 40 to 60 kilos, and averages about 40 kilos for the female and 55 kilo for the male. Generally though this dog is not as large as other Turkish breeds, It has a very distinctive white coat which may explain the name. It has a feathered curved tail. It is a mixture of both a sight hound and a mastiff. Due to its job at guarding livestock it is referred to as a sheep dog, however this is incorrect as does not herd the sheep. Instead what it does is guard livestock and so if some predator species is trying to kill the livestock the this brave dog will charge the predator.


The Akbash dog is a confident dog. Note though when it is in its role as a guard dog it will probably not be very friendly with humans. When it is not put in this role is can friendly. It can be raised as a companion dog and with correct training can coexist happily with other animals. Generally this breed is a low energy one, this is due to the fact that when guarding the flock they would tend to lie around for a greater part of the day. This means that perhaps this dog does not need as much exercise as others, but it certainly needs space and is most happy when out and about and has a purpose. It has been noted that these dogs are loyal, independent, brave and intelligent. Ultimately this dog needs constant socialization and an owner that is totally dedicated to it.

Grooming and Care

These are low activity dogs but they do require long daily walks and lots of space to run about in. Their hard coat is generally free from particulates, and does not smell. It also does not matt, however brushing is still required to help with shedding.


Unusually for large breeds, this dog does not suffer from much hip dysplasia or osteochondritis dissecans (OCD). These types of dog tend to level for an average of 10.5 years. Akbash dogs tend to bond closely with owners and non-humans, they also display ranges of emotions and sensitivity that can be lacking in other dog breeds.