Akbash History, Personality, Appearance, Health and Pictures

Akbash

Also known as the Turkish Guard Dog or the Akbas, this breed has been protecting the flocks of sheep and goats in western Turkey for many years. The word ‘akbash’ means ‘white head’. It has also sometimes been called the Akkush Dog. ‘Akkush’ means ‘white bird’.

This is one of the three flock-guarding dogs indigenous to Turkey recognized by Turkish canine experts. (For the other two - the Kangal from central Turkey and the Kars from eastern Turkey — see separate entries.)

The Akbash is a pure white guard dog, similar to those found protecting the flocks in the countries to the west of Turkey, such as Greece, Hungary, Poland and Italy. It appears in both short- and long-coated forms. Its white coat was developed to help the shepherds distinguish it from wolves in dim light.

Some American and European breeders have lumped this dog together with the two other regional breeds under the general heading of "Anatolian Shepherd Dog". They see the three merely as colour variants of one another, rather than as distinct breeds. However, in 1996, an International Symposium on the subject of Turkish Shepherd Dogs took place in Turkey, at the faculty of Veterinary Science in Konya, and it was categorically decided to reject this concept of a single breed of Turkish flock guard. It was agreed that in each of the three major geographical zones of the country — west, central and east — there exists a distinctive, true-breeding dog. The fact that, in the areas between the centres of these zones, there are intermediate types of dog does not invalidate this three-breed concept.

There is now an Akbash Dog Association International, based in the United States, which is actively promoting and supporting this breed as a flock guard in North America and elsewhere. In the United States it is sometimes used to protect livestock from attacks by coyotes.

When its flock is not under threat from predators, the Akbash is a stately, calm, steady dog that bonds tightly with its sheep from an early age. Little puppies are introduced to their livestock and become so attached to them that it is almost impossible to keep them apart in later life. This attachment is so extreme that it can even cause problems when shepherds are attempting to mate a pair of dogs, neither partner being prepared to abandon its flock, even for the excitement of a sexual encounter.

Also known as the Turkish Guard Dog or the Akbas, this breed has been protecting the flocks of sheep and goats in western Turkey for many years. The word ‘akbash’ means ‘white head’. It has also sometimes been called the Akkush Dog. ‘Akkush’ means ‘white bird’.

This is one of the three flock-guarding dogs indigenous to Turkey recognized by Turkish canine experts. (For the other two - the Kangal from central Turkey and the Kars from eastern Turkey — see separate entries.)

The Akbash is a pure white guard dog, similar to those found protecting the flocks in the countries to the west of Turkey, such as Greece, Hungary, Poland and Italy. It appears in both short- and long-coated forms. Its white coat was developed to help the shepherds distinguish it from wolves in dim light.

Some American and European breeders have lumped this dog together with the two other regional breeds under the general heading of "Anatolian Shepherd Dog". They see the three merely as colour variants of one another, rather than as distinct breeds. However, in 1996, an International Symposium on the subject of Turkish Shepherd Dogs took place in Turkey, at the faculty of Veterinary Science in Konya, and it was categorically decided to reject this concept of a single breed of Turkish flock guard. It was agreed that in each of the three major geographical zones of the country — west, central and east — there exists a distinctive, true-breeding dog. The fact that, in the areas between the centres of these zones, there are intermediate types of dog does not invalidate this three-breed concept.

There is now an Akbash Dog Association International, based in the United States, which is actively promoting and supporting this breed as a flock guard in North America and elsewhere. In the United States it is sometimes used to protect livestock from attacks by coyotes.

When its flock is not under threat from predators, the Akbash is a stately, calm, steady dog that bonds tightly with its sheep from an early age. Little puppies are introduced to their livestock and become so attached to them that it is almost impossible to keep them apart in later life. This attachment is so extreme that it can even cause problems when shepherds are attempting to mate a pair of dogs, neither partner being prepared to abandon its flock, even for the excitement of a sexual encounter.

Gallery of Akbash