Country of Origin: Turkey
  • Activity Level: moderate
  • Grooming Level: moderate
  • Trainability: low
  • Adaptability: moderate
  • Kid/Pet Friendly: sometimes
  • Average Size: Large
  • Average Lifespan: 10-11 years
  • Prey Drive: low
  • Watchdog: very alert
  • Registered?: aca, akc

Akbash Breed Profile

  • Overview
  • Temperament
  • Adaptability
  • Health
  • Owner Experience
  • Grooming
  • Activity Level
  • Size
  • Life Span
  • Did You Know?

The Akbash, Turkey’s National dog, is a large dog breed which has a strong protective streak. The original use of the Akbash was to guard over livestock, which requires an alert, yet calm and collected dog. The white color of this breed is thought to help them blend in with the herd and also to help the shepherd to not mistake them for a predator, such as a wolf.

The Akbash is a quiet and attentive protector. Their goal is to watch over and protect their family, which generally includes other pets. They are naturally suspicious of strangers and are territorial. They make great watchdogs and guard dogs. Without proper socialization, they can become aggressive towards strange dogs. This dog breed can be good with children. But, due to their size, they are generally better-suited for homes with older children. The Akbash is strong, even as a puppy, and they can knock over a small child when they get too excited while playing.

This breed is not really suited for apartment life, being a large breed that should have lots of space to move around. You will find, with the right amount of space, the Akbash will be a very calm and clean breed to have as an indoor pet, but the key is enough room and exercise. This breed is not especially sensitive to heat or cold, but extremes are dangerous to any animal so please be aware.

This dog breed is generally healthy. As with all large breeds, making sure that healthy hips and elbows are in the bloodline is extremely important. Also, keep an eye on this breed’s weight.

It is recommended that the Akbash have an experienced and stern owner who will build a strong leadership role with this powerful breed. Obedience is key with this dog to curb any potential disobedience because of its size and strength. It is also important to begin training and socializing your puppy as soon as you bring them home and then continue to train and socialize them throughout their life. Also, they are working dogs, so ensuring they have a job to do is important.

The Akbash has a gorgeous white medium/long double coat which is fairly easy to maintain. They are above average shedders, so daily brushing will help with this process and keep your carpets clean. The great part about this dog breed is that they are not known to have a strong odor and are a generally clean dog.

The Akbash is a fairly low activity breed, but they are also an athletic herding dog at heart so should have a moderate amount of exercise daily. A nice long walk daily will make this dog a happy camper.

The Akbash is considered a large dog breed weighing between 70 and 140 pounds and standing 26 to 34 inches tall.

10-11 years

The Akbash gets its name from the Turkish language, in which it means “white head”. There is a similar dog breed with a black coat, which is also from rural Turkey, called the Karabash, which means “black head”.