The Akbash is a rare, purebred dog from the country of Turkey. He is loyal, protective, and somewhat stubborn. They are also known for their intelligence. These dogs are known for being gentle, friendly, and dependable.

The Akbash is a unique piece of history for the world to enjoy. With long legs and strong muscles, he moves with grace and agility. He’s smart as well as capable of training easily.

The History of the Akbash

The Akbash has been featured in many books, magazines, and television shows. The breed was recognized by the United Kennel Club (UKC) in 1995. The Akbash Dog originated in Turkey as a flock guardian and livestock herder. The breed played an important role in the development of Turkey’s economy. Its name is derived from the Turkish word “akbas” which means “white head.”

In ancient times, the Akbash Dog was used to guard flocks against predators such as wolves and jackals. The dogs were also used to drive herds of sheep and goats to grazing pastures and summer camps, and they kept them safe at night by surrounding them in a circular formation. These dogs would protect their family and flock with their lives if they felt threatened.

During World War I, the Akbash Dog was almost wiped out as a result of severe fighting. The breed nearly became extinct again during World War II when the Turkish government began drafting dogs for military service.

In 1970, David and Judith Nelson began working with local shepherds to develop a standard for the breed. They wanted to preserve the characteristics that made this dog great at guarding flocks from wolves and other predators.

Why are the Akbash so rare?

While Akbash Dogs are an ancient breed, they are still rare in the United States. At one point, there were only about 300 or so left worldwide. Currently, the U.S. population is around 2,000. The Akbash Dog is unique in that it is a natural breed, meaning it has not been created through cross-breeding of other breeds.
akbash dog



  • The Akbash dog is known for its long coat. Most of the coat is white, but it can also be solid or piebald black, brown, or gold.
  • In addition to the long coat, this breed has a large, broad head and a muscular physique.
  • Akbash dogs also have large feet and a double dewclaw on the rear legs — a trait that’s considered rare in dogs.

Size and Weight

  • Akbash dogs are large and powerful, with a commanding presence.
  • The average height for male Akbash dogs is 28 to 34 inches (71 to 86 cm), with females being 26 to 32 inches (66 to 81 cm).
  • Most weigh between 90 and 140 pounds (41 to 63 kg).


The Akbash dog does not shed as much as other dogs that have double coats, but should be brushed regularly with a good quality brush. During the shedding season, you will need to increase your brushing to about twice per week to remove all the dead hair.

You will need to bathe this dog when it gets dirty or at least once every three months. You can clip its nails as often as needed and check its ears for signs of infection, such as redness and an unpleasant odor.


  • Temperament is affected by several factors, including heredity, training, and socialization.
  • Puppies with nice temperaments are curious and playful, willing to approach people and be held by them.
  • Choose the middle-of-the-road puppy, not the one who’s beating up his littermates or the one who’s hiding in the corner.
  • Always meet at least one of the parents — usually the mother is the available one — to ensure that they have pleasant temperaments that you’re comfortable with.
  • Meeting siblings or other relatives of the parents is also helpful for evaluating what a puppy will be like when he grows up.
  • Like every dog, Akbash Dogs require early exposure to many people, sights, sounds, and experiences when they’re young.
  • Socialization helps ensure that your Akbash Dog puppy grows up to be a well-rounded dog.


The Akbash Dog is a healthy breed with an average lifespan of 10 to 11 years. They are, however, prone to some health conditions that all potential owners should be aware of before getting one of these dogs:

Hip Dysplasia

This condition is a result of abnormal development of the hip joint, which leads to hip and leg pain and can cause arthritis in later life.

Elbow Dysplasia

This condition is similar to hip dysplasia, but affects the elbow instead. Your Akbash Dog may have abnormal cartilage or bone growths in the elbow joint, which will lead to pain and lameness (inability to walk properly).


Cataracts are a clouding over the lens of your dog’s eyes which leads to impaired vision. It can occur at any age and is usually associated with old age.

Are Akbash smart?

The Akbash dog breed is very intelligent, loyal, and protective. In the right hands, they make great family pets. However, they are protective, so they work best in homes with owners who understand dog behavior and are comfortable maintaining pack leadership.

Akbash dogs need a job to do, whether it’s watching over livestock, playing fetch with the kids, or going for a long walk. They are easily bored and can become destructive if they’re not given enough opportunities to exercise their mind and body.

Are Akbash good with other dogs?

Akbashs might not be the best family dog because they’re aggressive towards other animals and sometimes people. However, socialization at a young age can help curb this behavior. Akbashs also have high-energy levels, making them ideal running buddies for active families who can afford a large dog.

Is an Akbash a good family dog?

They are known for their loyalty, and they bond strongly with family members. But it may take them some time to children and other pets. If a stranger approaches, the Akbash will likely bark in warning, but will not attack unless provoked or instructed to do so.

How much do Akbash Cost?

The breed is expensive, but if you are interested in the breed, you can find an Akbash for sale at a reputable breeder.

The average price of an Akbash dog from a reputable breeder will be $1,500 to $2,000. While this may seem like a lot of money for a dog, it actually is on the lower end of the price range for a large guardian dog.

When you compare them to other dogs such as Caucasian Ovcharkas and Tibetan Mastiffs that may cost you $10,000 or more, they are actually quite affordable.


If you’re looking for a smart, brave dog to call your own, then the Akbash is definitely a good choice. If you don’t really need its herding skills, though, it might make more sense to look elsewhere.

Nonetheless, if you’re interested in owning a dog from this historic and rare line of canine companions, the Akbash is one of your few options. It’s well-loved by those who have had it before, and it will likely win your heart easily as well.

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