The Akbash Dog is a large breed of dog that is bred for use as a herd dog. This breed always has a white colored coat and the coat can be short or long, depending on the origins of the dog. The Akbash Dog has a large head with wedge shaped ears, a long tail and brown eyes that are soft and loving looking.
The Akbash Dog can have two coat types. It can be short or long, but is always white in color. Both lengths of coat have an outer and inner, insulating, coat. With an Akbash Dog that has a short coat, the coat is straight and flat. There is slight feathering at the neck and legs. The Akbash Dog with a long coat will have wavy hair and heavy feathering at the legs. The long haired Akbash Dog will also have a ruff around the neck area.
The Akbash Dog has a very confusing history. It is known that the breed has been around for centuries. The white coat of the dog suggests that it was bred to blend in with flocks, so it was used as a herd dog. They are also known to be related to the Karabash which is also a herd dog. The breed was recognized by the United Kennel Club is 1999, but have not really taken off in popularity around the world.
The Akbash Dog is a pack dog and this is usually apparent through the temperament of the dog. An Akbash Dog will either be dominant or submissive, depending upon the role they choose to assume in the pack. The dominant Akbash Dog is going to be more outgoing and assertive while the submissive Akbash Dog is going to be quieter and more reserved. Any Akbash Dog is going to show natural herding instincts and can be rather protective of their family and property.
The Akbash Dog will usually do well as a pet. They follow commands well with good training and are great with other animals. The Akbash Dog is usually not aggressive, but can handle their own when it comes to threats from other animals. They are good with children and will usually seek to protect them at all times. However, it is important to note that between the age of six month and one year, the Akbash Dog can be difficult to socialize with. During this time care should be taken in introducing anyone new to the dog and the dog needs to be supervised in all interactions. This time period is when, in nature, the dog would be establishing its role in the pack. This is when the dominant or submissive behavior is really going to develop.
The Akbash Dog is not too active, but do not often do well being kept inside. This breed does well with plenty of socialization and ability to interact with the family. They do not like to be alone and will often act out if they feel abandoned.
The Akbash Dog is a very healthy breed with little to no concern about any health issues. The only problems that seem to occur in this breed are hip dysplasia and joint inflammation. Both of these can be checked with regular screening and treated. Good breeding practices, though, are helping to make even these problems extremely rare.
The Akbash Dog is bred to be an outside dog. The coat is naturally resistant to dirt and does not require a lot of grooming care. The outer coat is usually resistant to tangles and matting, but can do well with a weekly brushing. Shedding can also be controlled best with regular brushing. Shedding occurs twice a year and usually coincides with season changes. Giving the Akbash Dog a bath is not always easy. It is best to do it outside and only when it is absolutely necessary.
The Akbash Dog is not an active breed. They were developed as a herd dog, which means by nature they are bred for long days moving slowly about. They are not going to be overly active or playful. However, they can stand a good exercise routine. They also need regular activity to stay healthy. Being kept in a fenced yard is best for this dog and they will be good with a few hours a day of exercise in the yard. It is important to note, though, a small yard will not be adequate. This dog needs a very large yard, one typical of a country home. They do not do well with structured routines like running or walks on a leash.
The Akbash Dog is great at training. They are a pack dog which means as long as they feel they are involved in something and part of the group that they will go along with it. The Akbash Dog will either be submissive or dominant and it is important that the training be adjusted for the personality type of the dog.
A submissive Akbash Dog is going to be the easiest to train. They will follow along quite well and respond to commands with ease. They need to have a consistent manner that includes both positive and negative reinforcement. The dominant Akbash Dog will need more patience in training and a completely different approach must be taken. With the dominant dog the training should be firm with the trainer making sure the dog knows who is in charge. Taking control is very important and will be the main factor in how the training goes.
The Akbash Dog must be trained early so they are easy to handle once they have grown into their full size. Once an adult, it can be hard to handle a dog that is not obedient. From the period of six months to a year in age is a time when the most effective training should take place. At this time it may be difficult to keep a handle on the dog, so training prior to this should be very detailed and dominance should be established. At this point in life the dog will need to learn socialization and obedience so they can begin to interact well and take on good behavior.