Akbaş Çoban, Köpeği, Turkish Guard Dog
The Akbash Dog is one of several Turkish livestock guardians. Livestock guardians do not herd their charges, but instead protect them. Akbash Dogs traditionally guarded both sheep and goats, living with the animals and fending off predators such as wolves and bears. These dogs bond so well with their flock that it can be difficult for them to mate with neither dog willing to abandon their charges. It gains its name from the Turkish word akbash, meaning 'white head'.
Akbash Dog Standards
- UKC (Guardian)
- 90-121 lbs
- large livestock guardian
- pendant, v-shaped ears
- tail reaches hocked, carried high when alert
- two coat varieties - medium and long
- may have light biscuit or gray shading
History of the Akbash Dog
The Akbash Dog is one of three traditional livestock guardians within Turkey, with its range being in the western part of the country. The other two are the Kangal Dog from the central region and the Kars Dog, a variant of the Central Asian Ovcharka, from the eastern region. Their origin remains unknown, but they have existed within Turkey for centuries and are likely related to the other European livestock breeds. Both the Akbash and the Kangal Dog were used in the development of the more well known Anatolian Shepherd Dog.