Akbash

He is not recognized by the F.C.I.

Origin
Turkey
Translation
Francis Vandersteen
This breed is also known as
Turkish Akbash Mastiff

Brief historical summary

Akbash is a Turkish word meaning white head. The Akbash dog is localized today in rural Turkey, and, as far as can be determined, the Akbash dog has been used as a livestock protection dog in Turkey for millennia. Akbash dogs in Turkey are never allowed in the home as pets. Lacking proper nutrition and veterinary care, Akbash dogs in Turkey are said to be prone to degenerative diseases. Their lifespan is likely to be shortened.

General appearance

The white Akbash is an ancient guard dog breed in Turkey. Their bodies are very muscular. They are able to run at high speed with the grace of a gazelle. Akbash dogs also have a keen sense of sight and hearing. Males and females can differ in behavior; males develop faster and are larger and take longer to mature, while females are more refined in appearance.

Behaviour / temperament

Akbash Dogs are totally devoted to their owners and all the animals in their care. These dogs possess intelligence and courage. Their independent nature enables them to respond quickly and without advice in an emergency. Their loyalty and protective instincts make them ideal guardians of the home in addition to their more traditional role of guarding livestock. Protected animals often show great trust and loyalty to their canine guardians, with sheep allowing dogs to sniff and clean their newborn lambs.

Head

Cranial region

Head
Males have a more massive head than females. Viewed from above, the head is broad across the skull.
Skull
Slightly rounded when viewed from the front and in profile. A narrow skull, or a round, arched skull are considered faults.
Stop
Light and moderately defined. No perceptible stop or an extreme stop are considered faults.

Facial region

Nose
Broad with nostrils wide open.
Dark pigmentation should be present on eyelids, nose and mouth. Black is preferred, but dark brown is acceptable.
In cold weather, the nose and lips may lighten; this is considered normal.
Muzzle
The muzzle is very strong at the base and should be slightly less than half the length of the entire head. The top of the muzzle should have a certain width.
Lips
Tight lips barely cover the lower teeth.
Jaws and teeth
Powerful jaws.
Cheeks
Fleshy.
Eyes
The almond-shaped eyes are set apart and distinctly slanted. Eye color varies from light golden brown to very dark brown.
Yellow eyes are considered a fault, blue eyes a disqualification.
Ears
High set, V-shaped, slightly rounded, carried hanging. When pulled forward, the tips of the ears should cover the eyes.

Neck

Strong and muscular, arched at the crest. Most dogs have at least a slight tuft of longer polish, starting below the ears and extending along the neck and chest to the front of the shoulders.

Body

Body
The chest is long with protruding but not rounded ribs.
Back
The back is long and straight to the spine, where it arches slightly.
Croup
The croup is well muscled and slopes downward. The loin and croup appear relatively narrow for the size of the dog.
Chest
The long chest forms a parallel line with the ground.

Tail

Long, carried low with a slight curve when relaxed, but never folded between the legs. When moving, the tail is usually carried up over the back, the position depending on the degree of excitement and confidence. Tails may have a hook at the tip.

Limbs

Forequarters

Generality
Appear short yet strong and slightly sloping when viewed from the side. Arm and top of shoulder are approximately equal in length and form a distinct angle. Forelegs stand parallel and perpendicular to the ground.
Shoulders
The shoulders are well muscled and well angulated.
Upper arm
Moderately distant.
Elbows
Close to the sides, with a moderately broad chest.
Forearm
The forearm is longer than the combined length of the shoulder and upper arm.

Hindquarters

Generality
The hindquarters are long and powerful, with musculature and angular shape in balance with the front legs. Dewclaws may be single or double.
Lower thigh
Long legs contribute to the graceful arch of the spine and to the breed's speed and agility.

Gait and movement

The Akbash moves with pride and confidence, taking long steps. There's an elastic, naturally flexible gait. The dogs are also capable of great speed. Restricted, variable movements or other weaknesses such as dabbling or crab-walking are faults.

Skin

The skin is usually pigmented in a piebald color. A high degree of pigmentation is desirable.

Coat

Hair
A double coat consists of rough hair and a fine undercoat. The thickness of the undercoat changes with the climate and the dog's exposure to the weather.
There are two varieties of coat length: medium and long. Both are acceptable.
Colour
The coat color is predominantly white. A slight cookie tint on the ears or dorsal crest is acceptable.
Too much coloring is considered a fault when the color is cookie.
Any other color in the coat is a disqualifying fault.

Size and weight

Height at withers
Adult males generally measure 71 to 79 cm, and females 69 to 74 cm.
Weight
Weight should be proportional to size and bone structure, with appropriate symmetry and balance.
Adult males weigh from 41 to 59 kg and females from 34 to 45 kg.
Any significant deviation from the above measurements is considered a fault.

Faults

• Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog and its ability to perform its traditional work.
• Faults listed should be in degree of seriousness.

Disqualifying faults

 Lack of any pigmentation on nose, eyes and lips.
 Marked hair coloring.
 Blue eyes.
 Serious structural defects.
 Pronounced teeth.
 Swaying forelegs.
 Inadequate aggressiveness.
 Restricted movements.

NB :

• Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities shall be disqualified.
• The above mentioned faults when occurring to a highly marked degree or frequently are disqualifying.
• Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.
• Only functionally and clinically healthy dogs, with breed typical conformation should be used for breeding.

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