Fun Akbash Facts For Kids

Christian Mba
Nov 15, 2022 By Christian Mba
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Luca Demetriou
Fact-checked by Deeti Gupta
The Akbash dog breed is native to Turkey and that's one of the Akbash facts that every dog lover should know.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 8.0 Min

The Akbash is a dog breed that originated in Turkey. Today, it's a dog breed that's common not just in Turkey, but in North America as well.

Its success in North America is down to the reputation that it earned over the years in Turkey as a reliable livestock guardian dog.

Even though the dog is most commonly referred to as Akbash, it has a variety of elaborate names that are often used by the people living in Turkey such as Akbaş Çoban Köpeği and Coban Kopegi. Akbash is a Turkish word that means white head.

This purebred dog is one of the rarest dog types to be found in the modern world. However, this doesn't mean that it's a species that's on the brink of extinction.

Its success as a loyal guard dog has endeared it to owners both in Turkey and in North America.

As a result, a lot of efforts have been made by man to ensure that Akbash puppy litters are healthy and grow up to be as loyal as their respective fathers and mothers.

As they age, they become prone to health issues caused by environmental factors and/or non-infectious and infectious medical conditions such as hip dysplasia and gastric torsion (bloat).

In this article, we'll take you through all the amazing facts about the Akbash dog, which you'd love to go through if you're a dog lover.

Read on to learn about both the North American and Turkish Akbash dog along with facts that concern Akbash temperament, Akbash personality, Akbash size and the various health problems that may be potentially dangerous for them.

For more interesting facts-based articles on Kidadl, check out field Spaniel and drever.

Akbash Interesting Facts

What type of animal is an Akbash?

An Akbash is a type of dog originating from Turkey.

What class of animal does an Akbash belong to?

Akbash belong to the mammalia class in the Animalia kingdom.

How many Akbashes are there in the world?

It's unclear as to exactly how many Akbash dogs live in the world today. However, their numbers are not in danger due to their popularity as one of the best livestock guardian dogs in the world.

Apart from being commonplace in Turkey, it is now quite prevalent in North America and populations have been reported from various parts of Central Asia as well.

Where does an Akbash live?

An Akbash live on a farm as they are a livestock guardian dog.

What is an Akbash's habitat?

The Akbash thrives in the wild, especially in regions of the world where it lives with humans and protects their livestock populations. Their thick coat of fur allows them to adapt to cold climates as well and as long as they are tasked with guarding livestock, they can practically live anywhere.

However, it's not recommended to adopt an Akbash dog if there are no livestock guarding requirements.

Guarding livestock gives Akbash dogs a much-needed outlet for spending their energy. Without any sort of work, it's quite likely for an Akbash dog to grow overweight through overconsumption of food.

Who do Akbashes live with?

Akbashes live with people as a livestock guardian dog.

How long does an Akbash live?

Akbash dogs typically have life spans ranging from 10-12 years.

How do they reproduce?

Akbash dogs reproduce sexually like most mammals and the breeding of Akbash dogs is very similar to how other dogs reproduce. They have mating seasons during which males and females engage in sexual intercourse.

Following the gestation period, eight Akbash puppies are born on average, who are mainly taken care of and raised by their mothers. It takes the Akbash puppies at least 2-3 years after being born to become mature and gain a mature Akbash dog temperament.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of Akbash dogs is Least Concern. Even though Akbash dogs are rare compared to many more common dog breeds, their population around the world isn't in any great danger as they are faithful and devoted companions of humans wherever they thrive.

As a result, they are protected by humans and raised with care and affection by humans.

Akbash Fun Facts

What do Akbashes look like?

Akbashes are white colored dogs who have a furry white coat. In fact, the word Akbash in Turkish has the meaning white head.

The breed is known for being one of the leanest guardian dog breeds. Their legs are very long and their tails are curly, feathered and long.

Under the white coat, Akbash dogs have pink skin that's often blotched with a blackish-brown or black tinge. Their lips, noses, and eye rims are either blackish-brown or completely black.

However, these body parts may display a subtle change in terms of shade during winter months, when they may appear lighter. Apart from their white double coat, they are known for necks that have incredibly loose skin, which helps them during fights with predators.

Rear double dewclaws are commonly seen in many modern-day Akbash dogs (mix of purebred Akbash and other Turkish breeds such as the Kangal dog). However, in most purebred Akbash dogs, this feature is missing.

The Akbash breed performs best at protecting livestock when in packs, when they can put off larger predators as well.

How cute are they?

Even though the Akbash is a large dog and has a fierce reputation as one of the guardian breeds, it's incredibly cute as well. When on the job, this rare breed can be aggressive towards strangers in a territory that it's supposed to protect.

However, towards owners and others who display affection, the dog can be quite friendly.

All in all, it's a social dog that can get along well with others in its environment, especially if trained during puppyhood.

However, Akbash dogs in the wild are extremely independent and if you're looking towards adopting one mainly as a companion dog, you'll be disappointed. Due to their independent way of thinking, it can be quite difficult even with training to get Akbash dogs to be obedient.

How do they communicate?

Akbash dogs, like most other dogs, rely on certain sounds and physical movements to communicate with humans, other dogs and species, and of course predators. Akbash dogs, to express that they're suspicious of strangers, often bark and howl.

A group of Akbash dogs responsible for protecting livestock within a territory will often howl together to sound the alarm, which is mostly frightening enough for people with malicious intent. They also rely on sniffing to identify potential threats. Akbash dogs are also known to wag their tails to express happiness.

How big is an Akbash?

In terms of height, an Akbash dog is on average more than two times of the height of a chihuahua. In terms of weight, Akbash dogs are on average twenty times heavier than chihuahuas.

How fast can an Akbash run?

Akbash dogs are among the most flexible and fast dogs in the wild. However, it's still not clearly known what their exact average and top speeds are.

How much does an Akbash weigh?

Most Akbash males weigh around 41-64 kg (90 - 140 lb) while females weigh around 34-48 kg (75-105 lb).

What are their male and female names of the species?

The male name of this species is dog while the female name of this species is bitch.

What would you call a baby Akbash?

You would call a baby Akbash a puppy.

What do they eat?

Akbash dogs are open to different types of food. However, if you plan to adopt one and want to do your best to keep the dog healthy, you should ideally feed the dog red-meat along with high fiber food.

Also, make sure that your dog gets exercise. This is especially important if you plan to adopt one as a domestic companion dog.

Other than its efficiency at protecting livestock from danger, it's not a very active dog. However, without much exercise, it may very rapidly begin to gain excess weight, which may be exacerbated further if the dog is overfed.

Overfeeding is a possibility as these dogs aren't fussy eaters. So, if your dog doesn't have any livestock guarding responsibilities, keep an eye out for how much food you're giving your Akbash.

Are they slobbery?

Even though Akbash dogs are regarded as a low energy breed and are often seen lying around even in their work environments, they really aren't as slobbery as they may seem.

The Akbash have been closely observed and it has been seen that even when they're lying down in their work environments, at least one of their eyes always stays open.

This suggests that the Akbash is a highly intelligent dog species as it conserves its physical energy only for situations in which it's likely to encounter predators.

Would they make a good pet?

The answer to this can be either yes or no depending on what kind of pet you want to keep an Abkash as. If you want to keep the Akbash as a working dog, it can make a great pet, as the Akbash loves to work.

However, if you want to keep the Akbash as a domestic companion dog without much work, you should consider breeds other than the Akbash.

Did you know...

The Anatolian Akbash dog is actually a mix of the original Akbash guard dog and the Kangal dog, which is the national dog of Turkey.

How to train an Akbash dog to guard animals

An Akbash puppy will be naturally wired to guard animals in its environment. If you raise an Akbash guardian dog, we recommend you to leave it alone with livestock.

While it may take some time for it to warm up to the other animals, sooner or later, it will start to look out for potential threats and do its best to protect the other animals.

How can you tell the difference between an Akbash and a Great Pyrenees?

Both the Akbash and the Great Pyrenees are predator control dogs and they both have similar physical and behavioral traits. However, while the Great Pyrenees is a large breed that is comparable to the Akbash in terms of size, Akbash livestock guardian dogs are, on average, just slightly taller and have longer legs.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other mammals including Alaskan husky, or  pitbull mastiff.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our Akbash coloring pages.

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Written by Christian Mba

Bachelor of Science specializing in Computer Science

Christian Mba picture

Christian MbaBachelor of Science specializing in Computer Science

Christian Mba is an experienced blogger and content writer with over a decade of experience. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from Nigeria and has a keen interest in Python programming. Along with his writing and blogging expertise, he is also an SEO specialist with more than six years of experience. Chris, as he is commonly known, has a passion for music and enjoys playing the piano.

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Fact-checked by Deeti Gupta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature

Deeti Gupta picture

Deeti GuptaBachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature

A detail-oriented fact-checker with a research-oriented approach. Devika has a passion for creative writing, she has been published on multiple digital publishing platforms and editorials before joining the Kidadl team. Currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from St.Xavier's College, Deeti has won several accolades and writing competitions throughout her academic career.

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