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Akbash Dog…. Everything You Need to Know at a Glance!

Like many other “working class” dogs, an Akbash can be an outstanding addition to any family provided their owners are committed to their obedience training early on and know what it will take to make their  Akbash truly happy throughout their life.  This is why we here at IndulgeYourPet wanted to take a moment and discuss the Akbash breed so that if you are considering making one of these fantastic animals your pet, you won’t be disappointed in your decision six months from now.

Because it’s important to understand…

While an Akbash can make a great family pet sometimes, they aren’t always the easiest to train, making living with an Akbash dog a challenge to put lightly!  But before we go there, let’s first take a moment and discuss the origins of the Akbash breed to get a better idea of where they came from, their original purpose, and what expectations you should have for your Akbash puppy right from the start.

Origin of Akbash Dogs

The Akbash breed is an ancient breed believed to have originated in and around western Turkey dating back to 750 BC.  In their original role, the Akbash dog was bred to help maintain, control and guard livestock against predators.  A part performed in ancient Turkey required the Akbash to be physically solid dogs and intelligent and independent thinkers capable of working independently with little or no guidance from their owner.  Three characteristics are very present in any Akbash dog you see today.

Over the centuries…

While the Akbash dog breed continued to be used in the fields for livestock protection, it also became known as an excellent guard dog and companion for its owners (shepherds) which is why the breed has continued to be valued into modern times and probably why you may be considering purchasing an Akbash puppy today.

It’s also why you may be confused when determining precisely what an “Akbash” dog is.

You see, because the Akbash dog breed is so ancient, over the centuries, many folks have developed their own “theory” and “nomenclature” on what an Akbash dog is.  This is why you’ll commonly find that in some places of the world, the Akbash dog may be referred to as an:

And while all of these dogs breeds may be pretty similar because they’re all “types” of Anatolian Sheperd dogs, the fact is that each will have its unique characteristic and “quirks” which is why we here at IndulgeYourPet don’t like to “lump” them all into together under one category.

And even though…

The Akbash breed isn’t “officially” recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC); it is recognized by the United Kennel Club (UKC) and the FCI as of 2015 and can be officially shown and allowed to compete in any American Rare Breed Association (ARBA) shows and in any Internationally All Breed Canine Association (IABCA) shows.  For this reason, we’ll leave it to the experts to fight whether this beautiful animal should be “recognized” because to us here at IndulgeYourPet, it doesn’t make a difference.

The personality of an Akbash

You’ll see the personality of an Akbash will typically start to emerge when they are just puppies, which is why it’s so important to begin obedience training very early with your Akbash puppy.  You see as a puppy, these guys can tear through a lot of your “stuff’ including furniture, clothes, toys, you name it!  So, if you purchase an Akbash puppy, give them plenty of attention and toys to stay occupied early on.

Then as your…

Akbash grows up; you’ll then notice their independence and protective streak begin to take hold.  This can and often will start to create a whole separate category of issues particularly if you’re looking for an “indoor” house dog or if you’re looking for your Akash to get along with any other “four-legged” family members you may already have living with you.  This is because you may find that your new adolescent Akbash may want to start controlling their behavior.

You should also know that because the Akbash were initially bred to be livestock guardian dogs, they will naturally bark at anything alarming.  And when you’ve got yourself a 140-pound dog suddenly getting excited about something and barking uncontrollably, you’ll find yourself dealing with quite a situation.

This is why…

Here at IndulgeYourPet we generally don’t like to recommend this breed to anyone who:

  • May have small children or consider having children in the future.
  • Live in an apartment where guests or “strangers” frequently visit their homes.
  • And those unprepared to provide their Akbash with a proper training program.

Characteristics of the Akbash Dog Breed

If you haven’t figured it out already, Akbash dogs are big.  They’re not only big but also pretty tall.  But, what’s unique about them is that despite their size, Akbash dogs are also pretty “lean” (at least when fed a proper diet), which means that their also pretty fast!

Akbash coat and fur maintenance.

One of the most characteristic features of an Akbash dog is its white double coat.  This white coat would allow it to “blend” with the sheep it was bred to protect and fend off any potential predators.  And while in most cases, when you hear “double coat” you should start to freak out, maintaining an Akbash coat isn’t too difficult, particularly when you compare it to other dogs with similar coats (think Great Pyrenees).


Regular weekly brushing and a few trips to the groomers per year will be a must, but all things considered, this is all that much work considering how beautiful their coats are.

Energy Levels.

The Akbash is a working dog, but that doesn’t mean he will want to run around a lot as other “working dogs” of its size might.  As you can imagine an Akbash in the “field” would spend much of their time just “watching” the flock.  So, while it is true that your Akbash may only need 30 minutes or so of active exercise for your Akbash to be pleased, they will also want to be able to “witness” a lot of action.   This is not a dog that is going to be happy sitting around an empty house all day.

Health Concerns for Akbash Dogs

As one of the oldest breeds in the world, the Akbash dogs have some health risks. It would be best if you were on the lookout for some notable concerns when purchasing your puppy or considering adopting a rescue.  Concerns such as:

  • Hip Dysplasia: this is common with just about any dog breed. It could cost a couple thousand dollars.
  • Cardiomyopathy: Again, a medium-level risk. It could cost anywhere from $700-3500 depending on the treatment required.
  • Osteochondrosis: this is a problem of bone growth. To treat it will be $1500-5000.

Other things that could go wrong with your Akbash’s health and could potentially cost you a bundle can and may include:

Now at this point…

You may be thinking…

“Wow, lots of terrible (and expensive) things could happen to my Akbash!”

And we would have to admit that you’re right!  But this is just because this is the case with about any pet you adopt.  You see, here at IndulgeYourPet, we stress how weighty the decision to adopt a pet is.  After all, when you decide to adopt a pet, you’re choosing to be responsible for caring for that animal for the rest of your life!

Which means…

If your pet becomes sick or injured, it will be up to you to ensure they get the treatment they need.  And guess what?  That care can be costly.  This is why we here at IndulgeYourPet also encourage anyone considering purchasing or adopting a pet take a moment and see exactly what a pet insurance policy might cost so that if in the future you find yourself facing some pretty “hefty” veterinarian bills, you won’t have to do so on your own!

For more information about the pet insurance companies that we feel are the “best” we would encourage you to visit our  Best Pet Insurance Companies article.

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