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





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Activity Level


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 owner who will build a strong, consistent 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.

Aside from coat care, you will also need to care for your Akbash’s nails, ears, and teeth. Cutting your dog’s nails monthly is usually enough to keep them from growing too long. But, you may need to trim them more often if their nails grow quickly or aren’t wearing down as much on their own.

Weekly ear checks and carefully cleaning your dog’s ears can help prevent ear infections. Additionally, it’s important to practice good dental care for dogs. Brushing teeth or using an enzyme toothpaste every day is ideal to help prevent painful dental diseases later in life.

It’s a good idea to start getting your Akbash used to regular grooming and maintenance tasks as a puppy. This will make it much easier for you to care for them as they grow.

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 in addition to shorter walks will generally make this dog a happy camper.

The Akbash is considered a large dog breed weighing between 90 and 140 pounds and standing 28 to 34 inches tall.

An Akbash generally lives 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”.