Like many other “working class” dogs, an Akbash can be an outstanding addition to any family provided that their owners are committed to their obedience training early on and are aware of what it will take to make their Akbash truly happy over the course of his or her 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…
That while an Akbash can make a great family pet sometimes, they aren’t always the easiest to train which can make living with an Akbash dog a challenge to put it lightly!
But before we go there…
Let’s first take a moment and discuss the origins of the Akbash breed so that we can get a better idea of where they came from, what their original purpose was, 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 that is believed to have originated in and around western Turkey dating all the way back to 750 BC. In their original role, the Akbash dog was bred to help maintain, control, and guard livestock from predators. A role that when performed in ancient Turkey required the Akbash to not only be a physically strong dog, but also an intelligent, and independent thinker capable of working on his or her own with little or no guidance from its owner.
Three characteristics that 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 a great guard dog and companion for its owners (sheperds) which is why the breed has continued to be valued all the way into modern times and probably why you yourself may be considering purchasing an Akbash puppy today.
It’s also why you may encounter a bit of confusion when trying to determine what exactly a “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 actually is. This is why you’ll commonly find that in some places of the world, the Akbash dog may be referred to as an:
- Coban Kopegi
- Anatolian Sheperd dog,
- And or a Kangal dog,
And while all of these dogs breeds may in fact be quite similar because they’re all “types” of Anatolian Sheperd dogs, the fact is that each will have their own unique characteristic and “quirks” which is why we here at IndulgeYourPet don’t really like to “lump” them all into together under one category.
And despite the fact that…
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 just leave it to the experts to fight it out as to whether or not this beautiful animal should be “recognized” or not, because to us here at IndulgeYourPet, it really doesn’t make a difference or not.
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.
As a puppy, these guys can really tear through a lot of your “stuff’ including furniture, clothes, toys, you name it! So, if you do decide to purchase an Akbash puppy, be sure to provide him or her with plenty of attention and/or toys to stay occupied early on.
Then as your…
Akbash begins to grow up, you’ll then begin to notice his or her independence and protective streak begin to take hold. Which can and often will begin 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 was originally breed to be livestock guardian dogs, he or she will naturally bark at anything that they find alarming. And when you’ve got yourself a 140 pound dog suddenly getting excited about something and barking uncontrollably, you’re going to 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 in the household or are thinking about having children in the future.
- Live in an apartment of frequently have guest or “strangers” visit their home.
- And those who are not prepared to provide their Akbash with a proper training program from the start.
Characteristics of the Akbash Dog Breed
If you haven’t figured it out already, Akbash dogs are big. In fact, they’re not only big their also pretty tall as well. But, what’s really 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. It’s this white coat that would allow it to “blend” in with the sheep that it was breed 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 probably be a must, but all things considered, this is really all that much work considering how beautiful their coats really are.
The Akbash is a working dog, but that doesn’t mean he’s going to want to run around a whole lot like other “working dogs” of its size might. As you can imagine an Akbash in the “field” would spend a lot of his or her 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 truly happy, he or she 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 do have some health risks. There are some notable concerns you should be on the lookout for when purchasing your puppy or considering adopting a rescue. Concerns such as:
- Hip Dysplasia: this is common with just about any breed of dog. It could cost a couple thousand dollars.
- Cardiomyopathy: Again, a medium level risk. Depending on the treatment required, it could cost anywhere from $700-3500.
- 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 really bad (and expensive) things could happen to my Akbash!”
And we would have to admit that you’re right! But this is just because with this is the case with just about any pet that you choose to adopt.
Here at IndulgeYourPet, we like to stress just how serious the decision to adopt a pet is. After all, when you choose to adopt a pet, you’re choosing to be responsible for the care of that animal for the rest of his or her life!
That if your pet become sick or injured, its going to be up to you to make sure that he or she gets the treatment that he or she needs. And guess what? That care can be really expensive. 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 having 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.