The white Akbash Dog is from Turkey and claims both sighthounds and Mastiffs as ancestors.
The Akbash Dog breed was imported into the U.S. in the late 1970s as a livestock guardian, and by 1986, had established itself as one of the most successful livestock guardian breeds, protecting livestock from predators, including coyotes and bears. The Akbash Dog stands 27 to 32 inches tall and weighs 75 to 140 pounds. It is white with a double coat. The undercoat is dense and soft. The outer coat comes in two lengths: either a medium coat that lies flat or a long coat that has a distinct ruff and profuse feathering.
The Akbash Dog should show features of both the sighthound, with his long legs and deep chest, and the Mastiff, with his broad head, height, and weight. Grooming the Akbash is not difficult; the breed is not prone to matting. However, the coat sheds a little all the time and heavily in the spring and fall. Daily brushing can reduce the hair in the house.
The Akbash is a calm dog in the house but is an athletic breed. Walks alone are not enough; a daily run is necessary to use up excess energy. Although Akbash Dog puppies and young Akbash like to play, this is a serious breed; adult Akbash usually forego games. Early and continuing socialization is very important, especially for those kept as family pets. Bred to be protective and wary, the Akbash does not like strangers. Training can be challenging because as a livestock guardian, he is supposed to think for himself. With motivation, the Akbash can be trained, but he will question each command and respond as he wishes.
This is a loyal breed, one that would give his life for his family, but he can be a difficult dog for a first-time dog owner. Because he can be opinionated and pushy, he’s best with kids over 8 to 10 years of age. Bred to ward off predators, the Akbash can be dog-aggressive. Health concerns are few but include cardiomyopathy and hip dysplasia.
Akbash Dog Video