The Akbash breed, as estimated by experts, is about 10,000 years old. It has its roots in an area called Akbaş (literally means ‘White Head’), situated within the western part of Turkey. The said country, along with Iran and Iraq, was part of an old geographical location known as the Fertile Crescent, where agricultural societies were first established.

akbash on the farm

Given its white coat, the Akbash breed (classified as a watchdog) was one of the few wild dogs selected by the early Turkish people to serve the role of a sentinel– to protect humans, their dwellings, and most especially their livestock.

akbash standing on grass

In the fields of the mountains, sheep were being raised primarily as the source of food for humans and to provide clothes using their shaved wool. For the flock to be protected from constant animal attacks, the Akbash acted as a decoy so that predators couldn’t easily tell the difference between a sheep and an Akbash.

Traits and Behavior

The personality of an Akbash breed tends to be calm and observant at all times. It is suspicious towards guests, unusual sounds and abrupt changes in its territory— factors that can trigger aggressive behavior.

As often as not, it could function on its own without human guidance, making independent decisions while tending its pack.

akbash closeup

This initiative can make your dog so much harder to train and will require a lot of time and patience from its owner to turn it into a decent household pet.

As guardian dogs, they are prone to some annoying habits such as barking in the middle of the night as well as persistent digging, which can be related to trying to keep themselves warm or cool while working.

This habit is more pronounced in males than their female counterparts.

Pet Care and Diseases

akbash lying on grass

All canine breeds have the potential to display genetic health problems as they grow, just as all humans are at risk of acquiring a particular disease that runs in the family.

Be sure to seek the help of a legitimate veterinarian who has enough experience in dealing with Akbash dogs to prevent the occurrence of such disease through screening and to ensure that your dog will always be in good health.

In the Akbash, probable health concerns include a bone problem known as hip dysplasia, epilepsy, a cardiac condition called dilated cardiomyopathy, and a common hormonal disorder called hypothyroidism.

The breed may also be prone to gastric torsion and umbilical hernias. Although not all of these conditions can be screened for, many can.

The Akbash has an attractive white medium-length fur that sheds dirt but also sheds hair. Brush its coat at least once a week to get rid of dead hair and to keep both skin and coat in tip-top shape.

Bathe the Akbash only when it gets dirty or is needed, the rest is basic care. Trim the nails when your dog starts to scratch the floor or every few weeks. Brush the teeth frequently with vet-recommended pet toothpaste.

Akbash Dogs are not recommended for apartment life or in urban areas since they are relatively not active indoors. Provide him with a wide area outside the house where they can run and play. The front yard fence must be at least 5 feet tall.

akbash running

Tip: Maintaining the weight of an Akbash within its normal limits is one of the easiest ways to prolong his life.


Akbash is a large dog breed weighing approximately 41-59 kg (fully grown).

akbash with leash

Males are 76-86 cm tall while females are 71-81 cm tall.

An Akbash dog has large hanging ears and long extremities attached to its sleek body. It has a smooth, short to medium, white coat, and a fluffy tail that curls.

Heavy and muscular, they may look like a gazehound or grayhound at first glance.

General Information

Akbash dogs can live up to11 years and could bear a litter of 7-9 pups. In many places, they are also called Akbas Çoban Köpegi, Coban Kopegi, Turkish Akbash, a Turkish shepherd dog or Akbas.

Breed Club

Visit this dog club website dedicated to Akbash dogs. Click this link: http://www.akbashdogsinternational.com/