The Furry Critter Network

Akbash Dog Breed Description

Back to Canine Breed Menu

Breed Organization

Anatolian Shepherd Dog Club of America

Native Country

Other Names
Anatolian Karabash Dog, Karabas, Anatolian Shepherd Dog, Perro de pastor de Anatolia, Anatolischer Hirtenhund, Chien de berger d'Anatolie, Coban Kopegi

Life Expectancy
Approximately 12-15 Years

Litter Size
Average 5-10 Puppies

Breed Group
Flock Guard

General Description

The Anatolian is a muscular breed. They have thick necks, broad heads, and sturdy bodies. Their lips are tight to their muzzle and they have triangular drop ears. Males stand 26 - 31 inches. Females are between 27 to 30 inches. They weigh between 90 and 150 pounds (41 to 68 kg), with females on the smaller side and males on the larger side. The coat may be any color, although most common are white cream, "sesame," and white with large colored spots that do not cover more than 30% of the body. Known as piebald, these colors may or may not be accompanied by a black mask and/or ears. They have very thick hair on their neck to protect their throat. They are seen with docked as well as intact tails. They are a naturally thin animal with a large rib cage and small stomach. They look as if they are heavier than they actually are, due to the thick coat.

Breed Standard

Head: Strong and broad. Slightly domed skull. Slight stop. Muzzle is slightly shorter than the skull. Black lips.
Ears: Medium size, drop, triangular with rounded tips.
Eyes: Small. Golden to brown color depending on coat color.
Body: Powerful. Thick, muscular neck. Deep chest. Belly well tucked up. Chest well-down. Ribs well sprung.
Tail: Long, carried low and slightly curled.
Hair: Thick, short or moderately long. Thick undercoat. Longer on the neck, shoulders, and thighs.
Coat: All colors permissible. Preferred colors are tawny and fawn with black mask and ears.
Size: Dog: 74 to 81 cm. (29-32 in).Bitch: 71 to 79 cm. (28-31 in).
Weight: Dog: 50 to 65 kg. (110.5-144.5 lb).Bitch: 40 to 55 kg. (88-121.5 lb).


Descended from molossus of Asian origin, the Anatolian Shepherd Dog's roots can be traced to the high plateaus and mountains of Turkey. This breed was used to guard sheep and protect them from predators, such as wolves. The Anatolian Shepherd Dog is also used as a hunting dog and army dog.


His habit of living and working outdoors in all weather conditions and his rugged past make this a sturdy, hardy breed. The Anatolian Shepherd Dog has a strong personality and is often stubborn and requires an owner with an alpha personality. While he is loyal and gentle with his owner and children, this dog is very distrustful of strangers, making him a superb guard dog.

The thick double coat that is somewhat wiry, and needs to be brushed 1-2 times a week in warm weather due to excessive shedding. Anatolian Shepherds are not recommended for apartment life. They are relatively inactive indoors and will do best with at least a large yard. This breed is very suspicious of strangers, and it is therefore necessary to provide a secure, fenced yard.


Gaurd Dog, Pet


Prone to hypothyroidism or to eyelid entropion. Hip dysplasia does occur, but is not as common as in some other large breeds. They are sensitive to anesthesia. The Anatolian Shepherd's immunity often takes longer to develop than with many other breeds and therefore you should talk to your vet about giving young Anatolians extra vaccinations against Parvo-virus.

Back to Canine Breed Menu

Featured Rescues

"Don't Shop ... Please Adopt"

laptop pro


The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals® (ASPCA®) was the first humane society to be established in North America and is, today, one of the largest in the world.

Our organization was founded on the belief that animals are entitled to kind and respectful treatment at the hands of humans and must be protected under the law. Headquartered in New York City, the ASPCA maintains a strong local presence, and with programs that extend our anti-cruelty mission across the country, we are recognized as a national animal welfare organization. We are a privately funded 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, and are proud to boast more than 2 million supporters across the country.

The ASPCA’s mission, as stated by founder Henry Bergh in 1866, is “to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States.”

laptop pro


If you can’t find the pet you’re looking for on Petfinder, don’t give up. Some shelters maintain waiting lists for specific breeds, so don’t be afraid to ask! There are also breed-specific rescues for just about every breed, and most of them post their pets on Petfinder. (Petfinder can even e-mail you when a pet that fits your criteria is posted — just click “Save this Search” at the top of your search results page.)

laptop pro

Rescue Me

Jeff Gold, Founder, Rescue Me! Animal Rescue Network

Jeff Gold lives in Watkinsville, Georgia on the same property as Rescue Me's Animal Rehabilitation Center, with 18 rescue animals. Shown with him in the photo to the left are Maggie, Izzie and Cortez. In 2003, after learning there was nobody doing boxer rescue work in Georgia, Gold founded Boxertown, an organization which helped find homes for over 500 boxers during its first two years. Based upon this success, Gold came up with the vision for Rescue Me! ― a network which helps all breeds of dogs, cats and other animals find good homes, anywhere in the world. is also a free service of Rescue Me! and provides the world's largest and most up-to-date directory of animal rescue organizations for all breeds of dogs, cats and other animals, including a comprehensive directory of wildlife rehabilitators in over 150 countries.