akbash dog.jpg
Breed Group Group 9: Mountain Dogs
Sub-group :
Origin Country Turkey
Weight Males: 90-140 pounds. Females: 75-105 pounds.
Height Males: 28-32 inches. Females: 27-30 inches.
Other Name(s) Akbas, Akbas Coban Kopegi, Akbas Dog
Breed Type Pure
click here for FULL BREED STANDARD
meet the...

Akbash Dog

Breed Group Group 9: Mountain Dogs
Sub-group :
Origin Country Turkey
Weight Males: 90-140 pounds. Females: 75-105 pounds.
Height Males: 28-32 inches. Females: 27-30 inches.
Other Name(s) Akbas, Akbas Coban Kopegi, Akbas Dog
Breed Type Pure
click here for FULL BREED STANDARD

Origins

The Akbash Dog shares a history with the Anatolian Shepherd Dog. It is believed to have descended from ancient war dogs and hunting dogs of Mesopotamia, as well as ancient herding dogs of the Middle East. Known for his strength, speed, and endurance, the Akbash is used in his native Turkey as an unwavering protector of livestock and property. In his homeland, he has remained second to none when it comes to the protection of herd animals against formidable opponents, such as the Persian Jaguar, the Anatolian Jaguar, and the now extinct Caspian Tiger. The steppes and plains of Anatolia have shaped the dog: the environment requires hardiness during harsh winters and durability for sweltering, arid summers. Circumstance also required that these dogs be capable of keeping up with roving herds and the nomadic peoples who depended on those herds, so persistent stamina was a must. Today, the Akbash’s exceptional flock-guardian capabilities are coming front and center, and they are growing in popularity.

Breed Characteristics

Head: Mesaticephalic skull type, moderately large in size and wedge-shaped, yet always in proportion to the rest of the body. The topskull is broad, being approximately as broad (measured across the top in front of the ears) as it is long (measured from occiput to stop). Skulls will appear broader on mature males than on females. When viewed in profile or from the front, the plane of the topskull appears just slightly arched. The head is powerful, substantial, and equipped with strong (yet smooth) muscle throughout. The head tapers from the broad, backskull toward the narrower muzzle end. The head is clean-cut and without excess skin or wrinkle.
Eyes: Moderate in size, oval to almond in shape, and amber or hazel to dark brown in color. The eye rims are well fitted and well pigmented. The eyes are never bulging. There should be sufficient bone in the surrounding orbital sockets to protect the eyes. Any signs of entropion or ectropion are incorrect for this breed.
Ears: Medium in size and set wide and fairly high on the skull. They are pendant, or drop, and triangular in shape with rounded tips. The front edge hangs close to the head. Ears may be natural (preferred) or surgically cropped (short). The ears are never long, overly large, or broken.
Muzzle: The muzzle is full, deep, and broad. The plane, or bridge of the muzzle, is straight. Upper and lower jaws are well developed, approximately equal in length, and have good bone substance, never appearing snipy or weak. In profile, the muzzle tapers only slightly from a broad and powerful base toward the tip. When viewed from above, the muzzle remains broad throughout, with only minimal taper, appearing almost rectangular.
Nose: The nose is well-pigmented and black, or self-colored according to the coat. The nostrils are well-opened.
Neck: Moderate length allows for good head carriage; it is strongly muscled with a slight arch. Although primarily thick throughout, the neck tapers slightly from the deeper and broader body toward the head. The neck is fairly clean-cut and without excess skin or throatiness. A minimal dewlap is not to be penalized.
Chest: Deep and broad, but never wider than deep. The brisket extends to the point of the elbows. The forechest is well developed without being excessively pronounced.
Body: Deep, powerful, solid, and of good substance. The body is never racy or refined. The body is capable of speed, endurance, and power. Width at forequarters is approximately equal to the width at the hindquarters.
Feet: Oval to round and compact, with well-arched toes and tough pads.
Tail: Set neither high nor low on the croup but as a natural extension of the topline. It is thick at the base and tapering toward the tip. The tail is carried in accordance with the dog’s mood and energy level, but never tucked. It is often carried low with a slight curl in it, but it may also be carried high or curled over the back. The tail is of a moderately long length, with the tip of the last vertebrae extending to the hock joints when held down. The tail may be straight, gently curved, or curled.
Movement: Smooth, effortless, and efficient, the characteristics of healthy structure are evident: when moving away, the forelegs and rear pasterns should remain parallel to one another. When viewing movement from the front, the forelegs should remain parallel, with elbows and paws moving neither in nor out. From the rear, the back pads should be visible when the rear legs are extended. As speed increases, the forelimbs and hindlimbs will converge to the centerline of gravity. From the side, the topline should remain firm and level. Good reach of movement in the front allows the forepaw to extend out in a line with the nose. The width between the forefeet when extended should be approximately equal to the width between the hindfeet when extended, indicating balance, good reach, and good drive. Dogs that exhibit any sign of breathing or locomotive difficulty shall be disqualified from the show ring.
Temperament: The Akbash is an independent thinker with a steady temperament, but he is quick to react when encountering a perceived threat. He is fiercely loyal and territorial to his herd and property, with a strong natural wariness of strangers. If kept as a companion, he will bond strongly to his family, but he will require obedience training and socialization from early puppyhood to curb any aggression issues that could manifest later in life. The Akbash’s tendency to form strong bonds early on, coupled with his large, powerful size and speedy response, make him an excellent livestock-guardian dog for most types of flocks. The breed has been effectively used in cheetah conservation programs, since the dogs are quick enough to thwart the speedy and cunning cheetah’s hunting attempts when misdirected toward livestock. Any unprovoked aggressive or fearful behavior toward people is incorrect for this breed.
Click Here to View Full Standard

Breed Standard

BREED GROUP 9: Mountain Dogs

Proportions: Somewhat off-square to slightly rectangular with the length of the body, measured from the point of the forechest to the point of the rump, being just slightly greater than the height at the withers. The length-to-height ratio is between 5:4 and 10:9. The body is well put together, with sturdy substance and sturdy bone. Males should appear masculine, being more substantial in size and mass, while females should appear more feminine and slightly less substantial. Neither should lack overall type.

Head

General Appearance: Mesaticephalic skull type, moderately large in size and wedge-shaped, yet always in proportion to the rest of the body. The topskull is broad, being approximately as broad (measured across the top in front of the ears) as it is long (measured from occiput to stop). Skulls will appear broader on mature males than on females. When viewed in profile or from the front, the plane of the topskull appears just slightly arched. The head is powerful, substantial, and equipped with strong (yet smooth) muscle throughout. The head tapers from the broad, backskull toward the narrower muzzle end. The head is clean-cut and without excess skin or wrinkle.
Expression: Watchful, intelligent, and alert.
Stop: The stop is slight, yet definite.
Skull: The ideal muzzle-to-skull ratio is between 3:2 and 5:4, with the topskull being just longer than the muzzle.
The ideal muzzle-to-skull axis is parallel.
Muzzle: The muzzle is full, deep, and broad. The plane, or bridge of the muzzle, is straight. Upper and lower jaws are well developed, approximately equal in length, and have good bone substance, never appearing snipy or weak. In profile, the muzzle tapers only slightly from a broad and powerful base toward the tip. When viewed from above, the muzzle remains broad throughout, with only minimal taper, appearing almost rectangular.
Lips or Flews: Lips are clean and fit fairly tightly over the teeth and jaws. Lips should never protrude below the lower plane of the jaw. They are well-pigmented. The corner of the lips is tight, never appearing loose or “wet.”
Nose: The nose is well-pigmented and black, or self-colored according to the coat. The nostrils are well-opened.
Cheeks: The cheeks are well developed and powerful, giving the face breadth and manifesting strength. The cheeks should not appear chiseled.
Dentition and Bite: Forty-two strong, clean, white teeth. Bite may be level, scissor, or reverse-scissor. Contact must be made between the top and bottom incisors. Missing or broken teeth as a result of routine work are not to be penalized.
Eyes: Moderate in size, oval to almond in shape, and amber or hazel to dark brown in color. The eye rims are well fitted and well pigmented. The eyes are never bulging. There should be sufficient bone in the surrounding orbital sockets to protect the eyes. Any signs of entropion or ectropion are incorrect for this breed.
Ears: Medium in size and set wide and fairly high on the skull. They are pendant, or drop, and triangular in shape with rounded tips. The front edge hangs close to the head. Ears may be natural (preferred) or surgically cropped (short). The ears are never long, overly large, or broken.

Body and Tail

General Description: Deep, powerful, solid, and of good substance. The body is never racy or refined. The body is capable of speed, endurance, and power. Width at forequarters is approximately equal to the width at the hindquarters.
Neck: Moderate length allows for good head carriage; it is strongly muscled with a slight arch. Although primarily thick throughout, the neck tapers slightly from the deeper and broader body toward the head. The neck is fairly clean-cut and without excess skin or throatiness. A minimal dewlap is not to be penalized.
Chest: Long, well-sprung, well-laid-back, oval-shaped, never barrel-chested or slab-sided.
Topline: Level from slightly prominent withers to croup. The back is broad, strongly muscled, and straight, yet supple. The loin is taut and slightly arched, yet supportive. The back is never swayed or roached.
Croup: The croup is broad, long, powerful, and gently sloped.
Underline: Slight to moderate tuck-up. The underline is taut and firm, without any indication of sagging or excess weight.
Tail: Set neither high nor low on the croup but as a natural extension of the topline. It is thick at the base and tapering toward the tip. The tail is carried in accordance with the dog’s mood and energy level, but never tucked. It is often carried low with a slight curl in it, but it may also be carried high or curled over the back. The tail is of a moderately long length, with the tip of the last vertebrae extending to the hock joints when held down. The tail may be straight, gently curved, or curled.

Forequarters and Hindquarters

Forequarters: Forequarters are always in balance with the hindquarters. Forequarters are well-angulated with well-laid-back shoulder blades. Shoulder blades are approximately equal in length to the upper arm and forearm.
Elbows: Elbows are close to the body. The point of the elbows is approximately half the dog’s height at the withers.
Forelegs: Frontal View: Straight, of good muscle, of solid bone, and parallel to one another.
Side View: The forelimbs appear straight with strong pasterns.
Pasterns: Never weak or broken.
Hindquarters: Upper thigh and lower thigh are equal in length, strong, sturdy, of solid bone, and well-muscled.
Rear View: When viewed from the rear, the rear pasterns are parallel to one another.
Side View: Good angulation will allow the rear toes to align with the point of the rump or within one to two paw-lengths behind the point of the rump, with the rear pasterns remaining perpendicular to the ground and parallel to one another.
Stifle Joint: Well-angulated with a good bend to well-let-down rear pasterns.
Angulations: Angulation of hindquarters is always in balance with angulation of forequarters.
Feet: Oval to round and compact, with well-arched toes and tough pads.

Coat

Skin: Well-fitted, yet supple. The skin should never obstruct the outline of the dog.
Coat Type: The Akbash comes in a variety of coat lengths which vary in accordance to climate and season. The coat length can range from short and close to medium length. Both should exhibit a thick, dense, and protective undercoat. Short coat variety: short, smooth, flat, and close double coat. The texture is harsh to the touch. The coat is slightly longer on the neck (forming a light ruff), back of the front, hindlegs, and on the tail.
Medium-coat variety: The coat is short on the face, forehead, ears, and front of the forelimbs and hindlegs. The coat is longer and harsher on the neck, ears, rear of the forelimbs and hindlimbs, feet, and tail, forming slightly more developed fringe and furnishings. The coat should never be abundantly thick, abundantly long, or silky.
Coat Color or Pattern: All coat colors and patterns are equally permissible.

Movement

Smooth, effortless, and efficient, the characteristics of healthy structure are evident: when moving away, the forelegs and rear pasterns should remain parallel to one another. When viewing movement from the front, the forelegs should remain parallel, with elbows and paws moving neither in nor out. From the rear, the back pads should be visible when the rear legs are extended. As speed increases, the forelimbs and hindlimbs will converge to the centerline of gravity. From the side, the topline should remain firm and level. Good reach of movement in the front allows the forepaw to extend out in a line with the nose. The width between the forefeet when extended should be approximately equal to the width between the hindfeet when extended, indicating balance, good reach, and good drive. Dogs that exhibit any sign of breathing or locomotive difficulty shall be disqualified from the show ring.

Temperament

The Akbash is an independent thinker with a steady temperament, but he is quick to react when encountering a perceived threat. He is fiercely loyal and territorial to his herd and property, with a strong natural wariness of strangers. If kept as a companion, he will bond strongly to his family, but he will require obedience training and socialization from early puppyhood to curb any aggression issues that could manifest later in life. The Akbash’s tendency to form strong bonds early on, coupled with his large, powerful size and speedy response, make him an excellent livestock-guardian dog for most types of flocks. The breed has been effectively used in cheetah conservation programs, since the dogs are quick enough to thwart the speedy and cunning cheetah’s hunting attempts when misdirected toward livestock. Any unprovoked aggressive or fearful behavior toward people is incorrect for this breed.

Faults

All dogs should be in proper healthy condition, free from disease or defect. Any departure from this description is considered a fault. Unless altered, all male dogs should have two fully descended testicles.