Akbash Dog Breed: Characteristic, Health & Fun Facts!

The Akbash, which has its roots in Turkey, is a massive and ferocious livestock guardian dog. These dogs are very well suited to working.

Despite their massive stature, Akbash are surprisingly mild-mannered canines who make quiet, loving pets. 

They are great pets for families with children. However, they are wary of new dog visitors and may even become aggressive if they feel threatened.

Let’s know more about this breed! Common!

Akbash Dog Breed

About The Breed

Looking for your next furry friend❓

How about a rare 3,000-year-old guardian dog❓

Introducing the Akbash, Turkey’s national dog and born protector. This dog is calm, brave, and independent.

First bred to protect flocks of sheep, they are alert and carry their guard instincts even today. A white coat of joy and tenderness— the Akbash is perfect for a gentle family looking for a companion. 

Let us explore this stunning breed further❗

Akbash Dog Breed History

The national dog of Turkey the Akbash, is believed to have been first bred almost 3,000 years ago to protect shepherds’ flocks from predators.

Akbash is derived from the Turkish word meaning “white head,” which indicates the importance of their white coat as a technique to blend in with flocks of sheep. 

This rare breed was first introduced to North America in the 1970s by Judith and David Nelson, who were researching the Akbash in Western Turkey.

The United States Department of Agriculture employs this breed in its predator control program.

Akbash Dog Breed Job Card/Overview

Breed NameAkbash
Other Name(s) of Akbash DogsCoban Kopegi, the Akbas, Aky
Type of Dog BreedGuardian dog
Born of
Height27 – 34 inches
Weight75 – 140 pounds
Life Expectancy10 – 12 years
Coat TypeMedium to long double coat
Coat ColorsWhite
Level of SheddingModerate (Regular brushing)
PersonaAlert, independent, courageous, calm, protective
Apartment LivingNot ideal for Apartment Living
Friendly to other petsLow
Health ConcernsHip Dysplasia, Hypothyroidism, Dilated Cardiomyopathy, Gastric Torsion (Bloating)
Health ExpectancyGood
Ability to reason and understandHigh
Ease of TrainingLow
Level of VitalityModerate
Level of exercise ideally requiredLow
What to know
• With snow-white coats, the Akbash dogs were bred to protect livestock and sheep. Their white fur helps them blend with the flock. 

• As family pets, the Akbash are independent but loving. 

• They are comfortable being left alone and don’t develop separation anxiety. 

• It is vital to give this breed its space while also making sure to take care of it.

• Due to their large size, they are adept at handling hyper children. However, they prefer being around adults, given their low energy, and enjoy playing gently with older kids.


Akbash Dog Breed


Dogs of the Akbash breed are noted for their extraordinary adaptability. These dogs have their roots in Turkey, where they were developed to protect livestock in both harsh mountainous regions and wide open plains.

They can thrive in a variety of environments due to their remarkable adaptability.


Adapts Well to Apartment Living

Good for Beginner Owners

Level of Sensitivity

Tolerates Being Alone

Tolerant of  Cold Weather

Tolerant of Hot Weather


The Akbash dog breed is popular due to its friendly nature. These dogs have a pleasant attitude and are friendly and affectionate with their human companions♥️.

They are just as flexible in their interactions with people, as they can be quickly and readily socialized and trained to become trustworthy and devoted pets.


Loves to Be Around Family

Friendly with Kids

Amicable Toward Dogs

Friendly Towards Strangers


With a gentle soul, the Akbash are fiercely protective of their family. They enjoy their individual space and value independence.

Owing to their origin to protect flocks, their guard instincts run strong even today. 

The Akbash is highly intelligent, agile, and quick on its paws. They may not have powerful energy, but they’re quite strong once they sense danger.

The Akbash is perfect for people who want a watchdog and a guardian who will alarm them in case of any security threats. 

However, this dog needs a firm and consistent owner who is also loving and compassionate.

They are swiftly trained; however, they aren’t inherently sociable with dogs or pets, so it is better to bring a social aspect into their training early on.


The Akbash dog breed has a reputation for having a quiet attitude. They make wonderful security dogs because they are patient, devoted, and watchful.

Because of their intelligence and independence, training an Akbash dog can be a tad bit difficult.

They have an innate need to defend their loved ones and their area, making them suspicious of strangers. 

Even though they can be obedient and friendly pets with the right amount of socialization and training, their natural protective instincts should be respected at all times.

Friendly with kids

The Akbash is as obedient to and protective of children as it is of animals, given early exposure to socialization.

It counts kids as members of the flock. Affectionate and devoted to its loved ones, it is, nonetheless, wary of and cautious around strangers.

This breed is suitable for households with children because of its moderate level of playfulness.

Amicable to other pets

When introduced and socialized appropriately, Akbash dogs can be amicable toward other animals.

They can become more sociable if exposed to pleasant situations and people at a young age. Careful introductions and supervision are necessary to establish a peaceful coexistence, but individual temperament and training also play a crucial influence.

Barking tendencies

The Akbash dog breed is well-known for its alertness and fierce protective instincts. When they see danger or something out of the ordinary, they often react by barking.

While their barking might serve as a useful deterrent, it’s necessary to train and socialize them to reduce their barking behavior.

Possibilities of staying alone

The Akbash dog breed is well-known for its self-sufficiency and ability to spend long amounts of time on its own.

They can adjust well to living alone if you train them, introduce them to new people, and keep their minds and bodies active.

However, every dog is an individual with its personality and set of requirements.

Pros and Cons of the Akbash Dog Breed


  • It can fight coyotes, wolves, and bears, but it protects livestock best with another canine. It protects children, farmers, and houses.
  • Its independence and stubbornness require early training.
  • It lacks an innate hostility. 


  • It needs work. This working breed has tasks, therefore, first-time dog owners should avoid it. 
  • This breed is very big for compact settings. It wanders and escapes.
  • Because of its double coat, it requires special care while shedding or changing its coat in addition to regular maintenance.

Male vs Female Attitude

Male♂️ and female♀️ Akbash dogs tend autonomy, self-assurance, and loyalty to their families.

They are territorially protective and may be shy☺️ or wary around new people. Gender does not play a major influence in establishing the general temperament or attitude of an Akbash dog, though individual personalities do matter.

Akbash Dog Breed


The Akbash dog is a large and majestic breed known for its distinctive appearance and powerful physique. Everywhere the Akbash goes, it attracts a lot of attention.

General Appearance

The Akbash dog breed is massive and strong, with a sturdy physique. Their thick, double-layered, white or cream-colored coat serves as insulation in a wide range of temperatures.

Their eyes are almond-shaped, and their ears can either hang down or stand up somewhat. They have an air of power and grace about them.

Coat Color

The Akbash is only found in white. Their snow coat is meant for them to blend in with the sheep. There are no other color variations for a pure Akbash.

They have a medium-length double coat. They shed moderately, so brushing is recommended once or twice a week to remove debris. The Akbash’s coat is fairly easy to groom if kept up with their daily needs.

Due to their tendency to have longer coats, the Akbash isn’t adaptable in extreme weather conditions. They tend to shed a lot during hot summers.

Therefore, it is recommended to prepare for such seasons accordingly.


The Akbash dog breed is notorious? for its tendency to shed, especially when the seasons change.

They need to be groomed frequently to control the shedding and maintain healthy fur on their thick double coat. 

Owners should expect moderate shedding and be willing to devote time to grooming their pet’s coats properly.


The Akbash is a large purebred dog. They weigh in the range of 75 to 140 pounds, and their height goes from 27 to 34 inches on average.

The regular male Akbash weighs around 100 to 140 pounds, while females are usually 75 to 120 pounds. 

The height of males goes up to 34 inches while females reach about 29 inches. However, sizes can vary for this breed, and some may be smaller or larger than average. 


The Akbash is an overall healthy breed. However, as it is with most cases, some dogs, regardless of the breed, may be more susceptible to health issues.

Thus, it is always highly recommended to keep up regular checks with your veterinarian. 

Health Problems
Hip Dysplasia
Dilated Cardiomyopathy
Gastric Torsion (Bloating)
Elbow Dysplasia
Gastric Dilation Volvulus
Progressive Retinal Atrophy
Health Test
Hip Evaluation
Elbow Evaluation
Ophthalmologic Examination
Genetic Testing
Cardiac Evaluation
Thyroid Function Testing

Health and Grooming

Amount of Shedding

Potential to drool

Overall/General Health

Overall/general Health

Potential to Gain Weight


Maintenance and Care

Along with keeping up regular checkups at the veterinary, it is essential to build a care routine to keep your dog happy and healthy.

Akbashes gain weight easily. It is important to make sure they are eating well, along with engaging in some physical activity. 

Akbash’s oral health is another aspect that needs to be maintained. According to directions from your vet, their teeth should be brushed as dental issues are common.

Their ears should be checked for debris and pests, along with trimming the breed’s names regularly.

Moreover, they should not be found clicking against the floor. It is good to seek guidance from your groomer regarding the same.


The Akbash is a low-maintenance breed when it comes to grooming. Their double coat needs to be brushed frequently, especially during shedding seasons, to remove stray hair and prevent matting. 

Keeping their coat clean requires regular bathing. It’s also important to keep up with routine checkups of their ears, teeth, and nails.

Proper grooming helps keep the Akbash dog looking like a dog and keeps the coat healthy.

Food and Nutrition

The Akbash is a large dog with low energy therefore, its diet should be constructed in accordance.

Owing to their low energy, they are prone to weight gain. and must therefore be never overfed.

It is good to instead stick to a regular feeding schedule and not miss any meals. The number of treats given can be slightly curbed as well.

As mentioned before, all dietary changes should be ideally discussed with your veterinarian. 

Food Cost

On average, high-quality dog food for an Akbash will cost between $40 and $60 per month. Also, costs may go up if you decide to include treats, vitamins, or food for pets with special needs. You should talk to a doctor to find out what your Akbash needs to eat.

Exercise and Activity Level

As mentioned before, the Akbash is a dog with low energy. However, they still must be engaging in some form of physical exercise daily.

From regular walks to active play sessions— this dog also needs its workout fulfilled. 

Physical Requirements

Energy Level


Exercise Needs

Potential for Playfulness


The Akbash breed of dog is known for being easy to train. With the right direction and regular training, Akbash dogs can learn commands quickly and obey them well.

The fact that they are smart and have a natural desire to guard and protect makes them easy to train. 


Easy to Train

Level of intellect

Potential for Mouthiness

Drive Towards Prey

Tendency to Bark or Howl

The Potential to Want to Travel


In conclusion, Akbash is a unique breed of dog with a long and interesting history and wonderful traits that make it a very useful dog and a loving friend. 

What makes them different from other dog breeds is that they have instincts to guard, are smart, and are loyal. But if you want to own one, you need to understand, train, and care for it carefully. 

The Akbash dog can do well and bring people a lot of happiness and friendship if they are lucky enough to have one.

Explore More Dog Breeds…

FAQs For Akbash Dog Breed…

Is the Akbash hard to train?

The Akbash were bred to be independent and to protect livestock. Therefore, initially, there may be some difficulty in training. However, with consistent effort, this breed can be trained very well.

How long does the Akbash live?

Their life expectancy ranges from 10-12 years on average.

Do Akbash shed a lot?

The Akbash sheds moderately. Their coats require weekly brushing, at least. During summer, their fur should be brushed more often in a week.

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