They are Turkish LGDs and we love them, we just lost our female breeder and need to replace her. I would like to be able to get a pair from Turkey, but have no contacts in that regard. Thank you, Randy
They are around, at least here in Oklahoma. I just got a puppie that is 1/4 Akbash 3/4 kaba dog. They are both considered Anatolian Shepheards. Ther is lots of good info here: http://anatoliandog.org/thebreed.htm
Thank you for the tip. I used to think they were the same as well, but,
Akbash Dogs: A Breed Apart
Dog Fancy, March 1993, pp.40-41 written by Judith Nelson. Judith Nelson and her husband David introduced the Akbash Dog to the United States in 1978.
A Breed Apart
I knew they were different the first time I saw them. My family and I were driving down a dusty Turkish country road, our station wagon packed with camping supplies and warm bread from a nearby village bakery. Suddenly, we saw them: three dogs standing on a ridge. The sheep they were guarding were headed toward us and a water hole n the other side of the road we were on, guided by a human shepherd. Two of the three large white dogs had fairly long coats; the third one had a smooth, flat coat with less feathering. All three eyed us carefully. They stood there on the ridge in all their splendor, impressively large and regal. They were living relics and ancient Turkish history.
As the sheep and their shepherd neared us, the three big dogs trotted purposefully toward our car. Each was wearing a collar with long, metal spikes. After viewing these commanding dogs close up, we decided to wait for the shepherd before leaving the safety of our vehicle. As soon as the sheep reached the water hole and the Turkish shepherd arrived at our car, the forbidding aura of these dogs waned. We ventured outside, eager to get a closer look at them. Under the influence of their master, the dogs quickly accepted us as "friendly intruders' and eventually allowed us to stroke them.
The beautiful animals we saw that day were Akbash Dogs. The breed is the Turkish counterpart of the French Great Pyrenees, the Hungarian Kuvasz, the Italian Maremma and other white sheep-guarding breeds. All these breeds belong to the family of "white sheepdogs," but each has unique characteristics. The Akbash Dog stands 30 to 31 inches at the withers and weighs about 120 pounds. The female stands 28 to 29 inches and weighs about 90 pounds. Considering the height and weight proportions, it is easy to see why this dog is lean and muscular with an elegant, racy appearance.
The Akbash Dog has been bred for centuries as a guardian dog, its primary function to protect sheep from predators. The breed's performance as a livestock dog in the United States clearly demonstrates its prowess in this role. Thirteen years after their importation to North America in 1978, Akbash Dogs are now guarding sheep. goats, llamas, horses, cattle and ostriches from coyotes, wolves, mountain lions, bears, and other dogs. The excellent performance of the breed in both open range and small farm environments is well documented.
The conformation and temperament of the Akbash Dog can be attributed to its unique ancestry of gazehound (a hound that hunts by sight) and mastiff. Ancient and natural genetic influences resulted in an impressive dog of great stature, capable of moving with incredible agility and speed. The breed's narrow hip structure and elastic, springy gait is reminiscent of its gazehound ancestry.
Little is know about the ancient origins of the Turkish Akbash Dog or its white guarding cousins. There are, however, clear historical reasons to link the Turkish Akbash Dog to its Hungarian, Italian and other relatives. Cynologists argue over whether the Akbash Dog was the progenitor of the other white sheepguarding breeds of Europe and whether the Romans brought the Akbash Dog from Asia Minor to Italy. However, it s clear that the white sheep guardians have existed as distinct breeds in their own countries for many centuries.
There is limited translated literature available that refers to the ancient dogs of Turkey. We do know that Evliya Celebi (1614-1682) recorded in his Seyahatname (Book of Travels) that the 17th century Ottomans recognized two distinct breeds of agricultural guard dogs. He briefly described both breeds and noted that they were used as livestock guardians.
Two distinct breeds of agricultural guard dogs still exist in Turkey today: the Akbash Dog and the Kangal Dog. While there is some controversy over whether these two dogs are separate breeds, history clearly shows that Turkey supported more than one breed of sheep-guarding dog for centuries. Some people believe that the Akbash Dog and the Kangal Dog are color or regional variants or one all-encompassing Turkish sheepdog breed. However, differences in conformation and temperament of the Akbash Dog and the Kangal Dog indicate that each deserves separate breed status. The Kangal Dog, esteemed as "the National Dog of Turkey," is supported by government breeding programs and export restrictions, and is considered by the Turkish people as an endangered species.
The calm, quiet demeanor of the Akbash Dog, necessary to its integration with sheep and other livestock, is also greatly appreciated by its human family. The breed is easily housebroken, learns quickly and often adapts well to the home environment. Although independent in nature, the Akbash Dog is usually sensitive to firm, verbal reprimands and responds well to moderate praise. Training is relatively easy during the formative years, but correcting bad habits in adulthood is often more difficult.
The guarding temperament and impressive appearance of the Akbash Dog is attractive to many people. There are a number of owners of pet Akbash Dogs who are committed to the breed, but prospective pet owners should know about the strong tendency of all sheepguarding dogs to be protective toward their families. For this reason, it is essential for pet owners to ensure that their Akbash Dogs are well socialized. The process of socialization should begin as soon as the new owner acquires the dog, whether that be at age 2 months or later. The owners of both pet and livestock-guarding Akbash Dogs need to establish an "alpha," or dominant, relationship with their dogs. (This dominance should be accomplished through owner attitude and early training, not by harsh physical punishment.)
The Akbash Dog is usually accepting of young children and family pets. Some dogs tend to nurture and protect all beings (both human and animal) that "belong" to them. However, the Akbash Dog can be a formidable adversary to those who do not belong. This can include unwanted intruders of either the two-legged or four-legged variety. Pet owners must teach their Akbash Dogs to respond appropriately in various situations.
Dogs with correct breed type and temperament are confident, protective, intelligent, brave, affectionate yet reserved, and always loyal. Akbash Dogs also have long memories. They never forget their foes, and they always remember their friends.
"t is supposed by some that the Akbash and the Kangal Dog were originally distinct, pure Turkish breeds, and they were combined to create the Anatolian Shepherd Dog. There still exists controversy on this subject. Akbash should be easy to recognize next to Kangals and Anatolian Shepherds because of their white appearance, although some Anatolian Shepherds may resemble Akbash or Kangals."
btw, I have a wonderful Anatolian rescue, third one, wonderful dogs!!! NASRN.org