Akbash Dog Breed Facts & Information

Attention country folk! Do we have the dog for you! Fish and gerbils are great for apartment living, but some animals just need to run wild. If you're looking for a fun-loving, furry friend that requires lots of open space, the Akbash just may be the dog for you.

The Basics

The Akbash is an all-white dog and part of the flock guard breed group. Both males and females have an average length of 28-32 inches and weight of 90-130 pounds. The Akbash has an average litter size of 7-9 puppies and a life expectancy of 10-11 years. Luckily, these dogs don't have any major health issues. There have been some cases of hip dysplasia and OCD, but these occurrences are rare.

Akbash lying in grass
credit: lhumesphoto

The History

The Akbash gets his name from the Turkish word "akbas" which means "white head." Quite fitting, if you ask us! This particular breed was developed 3,000 years ago by shepherds who purposefully bred for white-colored guarding sheepdogs, in order to contrast from predatory animals.

Running akbash
credit: shouldice2

The Personality

Although relatively inactive and peaceful while indoors, the Akbash is quite athletic and requires a long daily walk with lots of space to run and play. They should live in rural or at least semi-rural areas as they do best with a minimum of a quarter acre to call their own.

Young Akbash Anatolian shepherd dog is playing
credit: erdinhasdemir/iStock/GettyImages

As a primitive dog breed, Akbash are intelligent, courageous, and extremely loyal. Akbash owners must truly understand canine behavior. These dogs exhibit submissive postures towards livestock but show aggressive dominance when standing up to predators. Akbash pups require early and consistent socialization if they are kept as pets. Due to their history, they thrive when they have a job to do. These dogs mean business!

As companions, the Akbash are better around older children that are knowledgeable in their commands. The dogs can show aggressive behavior around other pets and people they do not know. They will be just fine with a supervising and experienced owner. Owners must be able to guide this dog with firm yet kind, confident, and consistent training. The Akbash is not for the novice owner.

Yawning akbash
credit: husbando.66

One of the unique aspects of the Akbash are their strong maternal instincts. They bond very quickly with the livestock they protect. Some lambs will even allow their Akbash guard to sniff or clean their newborns. Absolutely adorable.

Akbash with sheep
credit: duckworthco

The Appearance

The Akbash is large, strong, and quite fast. Unlike many other dogs, this particular breed always comes in one color: white, sometimes accompanied by tan or gray shading around the ears. The coat can be short, medium, or long in length. The Akbash coat is coarse and non-matting and comes with very little odor. Hurray!

It does, however, require brushing in order to help with the shedding process. This breed tends to shed a bit more than others.

Akbash Essential Facts:

  • Personality: Loyal, courageous, protective
  • Energy Level: Moderate
  • Barking Level: High
  • Shedding: High
  • Grooming: Moderate
  • Good with Children: Yes, better with older children
  • Trainability: Very good
  • Height: 28 - 32 inches
  • Weight: 90 - 130 pounds
  • Life Expectancy: 10-11 years

Would you like to meet a few other dog breeds? Scroll this article about the easy going and loyal Lagotto romagnolo. Also, subscribe to Cuteness' newsletter to stay current with the latest in pet health and research.