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Akbash

General Description:

The Akbash was originally bred in Turkey to be a stock guarding dog that lives in the fields with the farm stock. It is a primitive guard dog breed, requiring owners who understand canine behavior. The Akbash is a probable relative of the other great white herd guarders of Europe such as the Komondor, Kuvasz and the Pyrenean Mountain Dog. The name Akbash come from the Turkish word "akbas" meaning "white head." Independent with strong protective instincts, the Akbash is a natural guardian that even at a very young age will bond strongly with the livestock it is protecting. The dog's independent nature allows it to respond swiftly and without guidance in an emergency. There is no difference in guarding ability between the male and female. The dogs are a combination of: submissive posturing to livestock, and dominance aggression to stand up against bears and wolves. They require owners dedicated to constant socialization if they are kept as a companion. In cities with sights and sounds everywhere, these dogs may be excessive barkers outdoors, and barrier frustration-aggression is common. This is a serious working breed and is best placed where it can have a job to do. Barking and patrolling is their primary means of defense and so they will bark if out at night. Trouble usually occurs when friends come over and aren't supervised by someone the dog knows. As a guardian/guard dog breed, the trained and socialized dog will defer to the owner when the owner is present and will be friendly and happy to visit visitors, however they consider unsupervised people as suspicious.

Size:

Large sized dog which stands 28-32 inches tall and weighs between 90-130 pounds.

Color:

Solid white.

Energy Level:

Medium activity level, but will show great strength and energy when their stock are threatened by coyotes or wolves. Although they can be quiet indoors, they require long daily walks.

Life expectancy:

10 – 11 years.

Children:

Akbash are opportunists for taking over control so they are best placed with children over twelve years of age, when the child can participate in exercises the dog, under supervision of an adult. Because of their strong maternal instincts, they are usually good with infants.

Other animals:

Some of the animals the Akbash Dog has guarded include sheep, goats, cattle, horses, poultry and exotic birds, deer, alpacas and llamas. Once bonded, these dogs will not hesitate to risk their own lives to protect their charges.

Abilities:

Ideal farm-stock guarding dog.

Shedding/Grooming:

The Akbash has a double coat. The hard outer coat is clean, neutral-smelling and non-matting but does require brushing to help the shedding process. They are heavy shedders.

Health:

Although cases of hip dysplasia and OCD have occurred, as with any large, rapidly growing breed, the breed as a whole does not seem to be afflicted with these conditions to anywhere near the degree of many other large breeds. Cancer is prevalent in the livestock guarding dogs.

Best with:

Requires experienced and confident dog owners who understand how to be kind but firm leaders. The Akbash dog needs a firm, but calm, confident, consistent owner. They are ideal for people needing a protective guard dog to watch over farm stock animals. They are relatively inactive indoors but need plenty of exercise and a job to do. They will wander if not confined, so need at least a 5' tall strong solid fence. They can live successfully in an urban setting as family companions, with enough exercise and constant socialization. However, they are more adapted to life in semi-rural or rural settings where they can have a job to do.

Not for:

Akbash Dogs are not recommended for inexperienced first-time dog owners. They are not recommended for apartment life, regardless of the amount of on-leash exercise provided. They are not for people unable to appreciate an intelligent breed of dog that can be challenging to live with. The breed is not appropriate for small children unless raised and socialized with them.

Pros:

The coats are coarse and non-matting, with very little doggy odor. They are very intelligent and can be depended on to protect family and property as well as farm-stock. They have few health problems. This breed is quiet and clean in the house. They are a medium activity level dog, yet an extremely athletic dog requiring long daily walks and lot of space to run around off lead.

Cons:

Heavy shedders. May be overprotective of property and children in the family when rough-housing with friends. Not good for small children. Need lots of exercise. Not good for apartment dwellers.

Further Information:

Information on Akbash Rescue dogs
Teriffic Pets: Akbash Dog
Breed Details

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