Akbash Dog

Native to Turkey, Akbash dogs are white-coated purebred livestock guardian pooches. For many pet lovers and livestock owners, the question often asked is whether Akbash are herding dogs. Are Akbash herding dogs?

Akbash dogs are dogs that do not actually herd. While these canines are guarding the livestock they’re trained to protect, they don’t act like traditional sheepdogs chasing and herding livestock. Instead, Akbash dogs are independent, and their white coat makes it easy for them to camouflage in snowy terrains while guarding their subjects.

Akbash dogs make a protective and loyal pet with everyone at home if socialized. But as much as you would want to enjoy your furry friend, there’s more to learn about how big they can be, the best ways to take care of them, their temperament, and many more. Read on to discover more about Akbash. But first, let’s check out how big your Akbash dogs can be.

How Big Do Akbash Dogs Get?

Image from Instagram:@_akbas_hayati

One conspicuous feature of Akbash dogs is their size. As a result, they are not the kinds of pooch you keep indoors or somewhere with limited space.

These rare four-legged canines can weigh between 80 and 140 lbs, with their males generally on the larger side of the spectrum. Similarly, you can expect a size range of 27 to 35 inches for a typical Akbash pooch.

The Akbash dog needs a consistent and brave owner due to its origin and natural tendencies. As such, there are more things to know about this canine than its size and weight. Here are some of those things.

Physical Appearance

In addition to a smaller head, female Akbash differs from the males by being significantly lighter. However, for both sexes, the legs are long, lean, and lightly set. The Akbash dog’s neck is strong, slightly elongated, with the appearance of slight dewlap.

Eye Color

Most Akbash dogs have golden-brown eyes, but some can be dark brown with different shades. But color apart, the eyes are distinctly set, almond-shaped, with average size. At any given time, these canines exude confidence and self-possession with their elastic gait and observant nature.

Coat Colors And Patterns

Typical of most guardian dogs, the Akbash’s coat can be white or off-white. However, the coat around the ears always has some biscuit colorations that supply the signature look of these pups. Whether the coat would be single or double-layered depends on the Akbash dog you have, but they always have a smooth pattern.

How Long Do Akbash Dogs Live?

Image from Instagram:@fafikandayse

Akbash dogs live between 10 to 11 years or even longer, depending on the level of healthcare given. Keep in mind that these puppies are purebred and predisposed to inherited and acquired ill health.

Some of the common health issues with Akbash dogs that you need to take seriously are:

Orthopedic Health Issues

Your guardian pup may experience hip dysplasia or osteochondritis dissecans, the two major orthopedic health challenges common to canines. The exact cause is unknown, but several studies have pointed to genetics, trauma, hormonal imbalance, and rapid growth as predisposing factors.

With osteochondritis dissecans, your Akbash dog cannot walk with the affected leg(s), and the joint(s) heats up or become swollen. Hip dysplasia means that your dog’s hip joint is loose because the ball and socket joint experience a non-corresponding growth.

For both conditions, treatment options are available and can save your pup’s life if applied early.


Seizures in Akbash dogs can be generalized, clustered, or partial, but the condition often unsettles first-time pet parents. It is a neurological imbalance that may cause your canine to lose consciousness or become stiff with its head twisted. However, with an early visit to a vet, you can effectively manage this condition.


Once diagnosed with this condition, your Akbash pooch may not live more than 24 months, even with the best treatments. It is a cardiovascular condition that affects your dog’s heart to come up with enough pressure for pumping blood.

Autoimmune Thyroiditis

This condition means that your Akbash dog’s immune system is attacking its thyroid gland. The great news is that early treatment can reverse this condition.

How To Take Care Of Your Akbash Dog?

Taking good care of your Akbash dog can significantly improve its longevity and overall health.

But how do you take care of your Akbash dog?

Feed Your Akbash Dog With High-Quality Diet

As a flesh-loving pup, red meats are generally the best food for Akbash dogs. However, they also require fibers in their diet to lower their risk of cardiomyopathy and aid digestion.

Economic but high-quality dog foods are also OK when you cannot get red meats. But 4 cups of such formulated foods are recommended per day. You can equally feed your Akbash with boiled egg, cottage cheese, and fruits but make sure these do not constitute the bulk of their diet.

An Akbash dog does not need more than two meals a day. And as a healthful practice, you should remove leftovers from their Pet Plate after 15 minutes of serving.

Give Your Akbash Dog a Few Minutes of Exercise Daily

The best form of exercise for your Akbash dog is strolling or trekking, and 30 minutes of it every day will do. Swimming can also be an excellent fitness routine for your pup, but you have to confirm that this is okay with them.

It is also important to not overstretch their exercise time because these canines are not wired for a hectic day. Younger ones generally do well with longer minutes of training, but not the older Akbash dog.

Use Dental Water Additives

Dental water additives work as a mouthwash for pups. It helps to control the buildup of tartar and plaques while keeping your dog’s teeth healthy.

Are Akbash Dogs Aggressive? Temperaments Of Akbash Dogs

To unfamiliar humans and other animals, especially giant dogs, Akbash dogs can be very aggressive. However, with ample socialization, they can be fantastic pets around the home.

As per their temperament, these pups are incredibly loyalindependent, and brave in the face of a suspected danger. Continue reading to find answers to your questions about Akbash dogs’ temperaments and traits.

Do Akbash Dogs Bark A Lot?

Yes, Akbash dogs bark a lot but not without reason. Because of their suspicious instinct, which is ideal for a guardian dog, these pups will bark at the sight of a fast-moving creature or unfamiliar faces. On a scale of five, many ratings rank Akbash a four among breeds that bark a lot.

Image from Instagram:@akbash.theo

Do Akbash Dogs Wander?

Of course, Akbash dogs love to wander. Prowling is Akbash’s second nature, and while relishing in their free time, this puppy may not return home on time unless trained to do so on-demand. Therefore, walking them on a leash is safer.

Are Akbash Dogs Good Pets?

Whether Akbash dogs will make a good pet depends on how much socializing you’ve taken them through. That’s because Akbash dogs see other unfamiliar pets like dogs and cats as predators and go after them.

If you’re wondering whether Akbash dogs are kids-friendly, that also depends on whether they grew up with the kids. If they do and are well familiar with your kids, these canines can be fiercely protective and loyal to them. However, if you are a first-time pet parent, it is not recommended to keep your Akbash dog at home.

Do Akbash Dogs Shed A Lot? Grooming Tips For Akbash Dogs

Akbash dogs shed their furs moderately throughout the year, but the shedding can become significant during summer. That means that a grooming routine for the proper hygiene of your non-hypoallergenic canine is in order.

What Are Hypoallergenic Dogs?

Dogs that don’t shed their furs are said to be hypoallergenic. Since they don’t shed, the dander attached to their coats, which can trigger allergic reactions for some people, won’t drop on the floor. It also means less work in keeping your space clean.

But in reality, there is no breed of dog that doesn’t shed, although it happens at different degrees. Canines that shed very sparsely, therefore, fit as being hypoallergenic. So, since Akbash shed moderately, it would be necessary that you know how to groom them.

How To Groom An Akbash Dog

Grooming an Akbash dog entails keeping the coat clean and getting rid of dead or loose hairs periodically. To keep the single or double-layered coat clean from dirt, you may have to wash your pup at least once in six months.

You can address wet dog smell – an offensive odor from your recently-bathed dog – by using Seamus Cherry Blossom Whitening Dog Shampoo. Its antimicrobial components wade off the microorganisms that give the pungent smell after a dog just had its bath, whereas its soap-free formulation helps brighten dark spots and keeps the white coat looking fresh.

Additionally, you can use a FURminator Undercoat Tool to brush your Akbash dog every two weeks. It takes off at least 90% of the loose undercoat hairs, thereby preventing shedding. And never worry; this tool does not destroy your dog’s undercoat.

How Much Does An Akbash Dog Cost? An Akbash puppy can cost over $1,000, but you can be lucky to get yours below a grand. The high price tag of these puppies is because they are rare, plus their exceptional guardian traits. In less than a year of purchasing the puppy, this canine can add significant weight and become big.

TwoAre Akbash And Great Pyrenees Related? No, Akbash dogs and Great Pyrenees are not related. The latter is from the border of France and Spain, while the former is from Turkey. That aside, Akbash dogs are guardian dogs, while Great Pyrenees are pastoral or herding dogs. In addition, despite sharing similar physical traits, both dog breeds are not related.

Do Akbash Dogs Swim? Yes, Akbash dogs, because of their webbed feet, can swim. This can even be a great exercise to keep them fit. However, you may have to lower their exposure to water because of their coat and health. Similarly, when an Akbash has added much weight, swimming may not be a good idea.

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Pete Decker