The Akbash (Turkish: Akbaş), is a traditional Turkish breed or type of flock guardian dog from western Anatolia.

The word akbaş means 'white head', and thus distinguishes this dog from the Karabaş, or 'black head'.: 33  It was recognised by the Turkish Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs in 2006; it is under the tutelage of the Köpek Irkları ve Kinoloji Federasyonu, the Turkish dog breed society, but is not recognised by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale.

a large white dog sitting
Other namesAkbaş Çoban Köpeği
Height Males 60–85 cm (24–33 in): 7 
Females 50–75 cm (20–30 in): 7 
Weight Males 45–65 kg (99–143 lb): 7 
Females 35–55 kg (77–121 lb): 7 
Coat double coat: 90 
Colour white: 90 
Life span 10–12 years: 90 
Notesrecognised by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of Turkey
Dog (domestic dog)
a large white dog sitting among a flock of sheep
Guarding sheep in California


The Akbash is a traditional breed of livestock guardian dog, used to protect flocks from predators in the rugged terrain of western Anatolia.: 90  It is distributed mainly in the provinces of Afyon, Ankara, Eskişehir and Manisa; some are present in the provinces of Ağrı, Konya, Sivas and Tunceli.: 7 : 5 

A standard was published by the Turkish Standards Institution in 2002, and in 2006 the Akbash was recognised by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs; it was added to the list of recognised native breeds and types, and the breed standard was published in the Resmi Gazete, the official government gazette.: 5 : 8 


The Akbash is a flock guardian dog, providing protection from predators to shepherds and to their sheep; it does not have any herding ability.: 7  It is a large and powerful dog:: 406  mean body weight is approximately 45 kg, and mean height at the withers just over 75 cm.: 6 

The coat may be either long or of medium length; it is always double, and is usually white, though there may be some shading towards a biscuit colour.: 70 : 406  As with other white-coated flock guardian dogs, the white coat makes it easy for the shepherd to distinguish between the dog and a predator, even in the dark.: 406  There is considerable feathering behind the legs, and the tail is heavily feathered.: 70 



AnatoliaDog breedDog typeFlock guardianFédération Cynologique InternationaleKarabaşMinistry of Agriculture and Forestry (Turkey)Turkish language

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