Did you know?
The rising of the star Sirius, the dog star, marks the hottest part of summer and also gives rise to the expression “the dog days of summer”.
Sirius comes from the Greek word meaning “searing”.
There is no faith which has never yet been broken, except that of a truly faithful dog.
– Konrad Z. Lorenz
Hailing from Turkey, the ancient Akbash Dog has been serving people as a protector of livestock for millenia. His ancestors were most likely mastiffs crossed with some sort of sighthound. The combination produced an animal of great size and strength with grace, speed, and exceptional sight and hearing.
“Akbash” is Turkish for “white head”. This dog’s white colouring helps disguise him among his flock, a sad surprise for wolves, bears, and jackals looking for a quick meal!
One of the tallest of the giant breeds, the muscular Akbash can stand up to 32 inches (81 cm) at the shoulder and weigh 130 lbs (59 kg). He has a white, weather-proof, non-matting, double coat. It may be short and smooth or long with feathering on the forelegs, thighs, and tail. The outer coats are shed during hot weather.
The Akbash forges a very strong maternal bond with the animals in his care. He is exceptionally gentle with the very young, the weak, or the sick and is fiercely protective of those who are threatened. He is very territorial of his home and property.
Generally a gentle giant, his protective instincts are aroused by strange or unusual activity. This makes him a natural guardian.
Photos displayed courtesy of Debbie Woolger, Woolger’s Willows, Ontario
The Akbash is completely devoted to his family and the animals in his care. He is bold and confident, and will without hesitation risk his life to protect his charges. A dog of great stamina and endurance, he is independent, courageous, intelligent, and able to quickly assess a situation and take decisive action.
The Akbash is not the dog for everyone, especially the inexperienced dog owner. He requires firm discipline and must respect his owner as leader of his pack. He does not have a high activity level and is not an overly playful dog. He is not a dog to play ‘Fetch’ and he likes to dig – a lot!
It will take a good deal of socialization and training to turn him into a companion dog or pet. The Akbash needs to be put to work as a guardian to be truly happy. He should live in a rural environment and should always be fenced to curb his wandering instinct.