Fun Facts About Akbash

The Akbash dog is a native of Turkey. It is used as a livestock guard dog or a shepherd dog. This dog is a rare breed, but if you look, you may find one in a local shelter or rescue.

However, because of the size and rarity of the breed, it might be best to find a puppy so you can train and teach them to live comfortably with your family. Search for the Abash under the names Coban Kopegi, Akbash Coban Kopegi, or Akbash Dog.


There is little known about the Akbash. It is believed they were first bred about 3,000 years ago to protect sheep flocks from predators, especially wolves.

The Akbash watches over his flocks from a central or high area where he has a good view of his surroundings. He is also gentle with his livestock charges but aggressive against predators.

The name Akbash is a Turkish word meaning “white head.” It is thought that the breed originates from central Turkey. The Akbash is also the national dog of Turkey.

Breeders believe Akbash dogs are descended from Mastiffs, who are powerful and muscular. Akbash dogs have the same build and can grow quite large, like a Mastiff.

The bred was introduced to North America by David and Judy Nelson. The couple imported many of the dogs to the United States around 1970.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture became interested in the Akbash for its guarding nature and used the Akbash in its predator control program. The AKC recognizes these wonderful dogs as guardian breeds.


The Akbash is a great family companion. He has many good qualities and can be a calm and confident dog. Akbash dogs are very protective of their human families and have strong guarding instincts. They tend to have low energy, but if they sense something is wrong, they will growl or bark.

The Akbash is not overly aggressive, but they are good watchdogs due to their size and bark. They are big dogs and need open areas where they can roam.

Akbash dogs are very independent, loyal, and intelligent. They are great with children but need early socialization with other dogs and pets. Are you looking for a dog who loves you and will guard you? Then the Akbash might be just the dog for you.

Akbash dogs have little separation anxiety, and they do need to be on their own sometimes. Still, the Akbash will be content to be with you in whatever activity you are doing.


Akbash dogs are working dogs, and they can grow up to 34 inches in height at the shoulder. They tend to weigh anywhere between 75 to 140 pounds. They have a life span of up to twelve years.

The Akbash is prone to weight gain since they have low energy. Give them at least a good hour of walking per day and make sure you play with your Akbash regularly. You may have to encourage your Akbash to get up and walk with you.

Akbashes are somewhat predisposed to some of the same health conditions as Mastiffs. Most Akbkkashes are healthy, but some are prone to orthopedic problems such as hip dysplasia, or a hormonal disorder called hypothyroidism.

Some Akbashes have been found to have dilated cardiomyopathy, and gastric torsion or bloat. Keep up with veterinary visits to make sure your Abash does not get any of these diseases.


The Akbash comes in only white, but they may have a bit of gray or brown around their ears and muzzles.

Their coats are usually medium-length or maybe a long double coat. Their coats shed dirt easily, but they do shed their coats quite a bit in the summer months. The rest of the year, they shed moderately. Brush them once or twice a week to remove dirt and old hair. Trim their nails and clean their ears.

Brush their teeth to keep them healthy and gleaming.

Some potential owners ask why they only come in white. The Akbash is bred to protect livestock and sheep, and their pure white coats help them blend in with the flock.


An Akbash dog will need to be trained the day you bring him home as a puppy. At eight weeks old, the Akbash can take intensive training. He is intelligent but can be very headstrong. Breeders suggest you don’t wait until the Akbash is six months old to begin training. An older dog can be quite stubborn.

You will also need to socialize your Akbash since he can be aggressive toward other smaller animals. Puppy daycare is a good place to begin socialization.

Akbashes are territorial and must learn boundaries. You will need a good strong fence to keep him in the yard. Akbash puppies are chewers, and they can do a great deal of damage. Don’t allow them to just run anywhere in the house or yard until they’ve reached maturity.

Keep your Akbash puppy busy. If your Akbash is bored, he can be destructive.

Finding an Akbash

Since these dogs are somewhat rare, you will need to search for them. Choose your Akbash breeder with care and find someone who will answer your questions. A good breeder will know about temperament, health, and how the dogs react with families and other pets.

A good breeder will give you the particulars about the history of the breed and explain why one puppy would be considered good while another is not. Discuss health problems with a breeder and make sure they know the health history of the dog.

An Akbash was bred to work and is happy in a semirural or rural setting with a specific job to do. Apartment dwelling is not recommended for an Akbash.

The dog will do very well patrolling fence lines, protecting livestock, and intimidating predators. Akbashes very intelligent, independent and can be dominant. Make sure you have a good understanding of how an Akbash’s mind works.

Keep them well trained, socialized, and raised by someone who is a good pack leader. You will need to be fair, firm, and consistent with training and handling.

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