Purebred Turkish shepherd dogs in high demand
People wait for months to buy Turkish shepherd dogs being bred in the country's northwestern Bursa and eastern Sivas provinces.
“Our dogs are preferred because they are pedigree. People file a request. We call and inform them when their turn comes. Those who want females wait at least eight months, and those who want males up to 12-15 months,” said Seydi Vakkas Karaoğlan, who is working as an animal feeding technician at a dog breeding unit in the Karacabey district of Bursa province.
The General Directorate of Agricultural Enterprises' (TİGEM) facilities keep Akbash and Kangal breeds, which are native to Anatolia, and contribute to a pool of purebred genes.
Karaoğlan said the facility in Karacabey has a capacity to shelter 173 animals and there are currently 60 female and 40 male dogs for breeding purposes.
“Puppies are sold for 3,540 Turkish liras ($509), and young dogs for 4,956 Turkish liras ($713). Currently, 270 people are waiting in line,” he said.
Dogs that have been bred and sold in Karacabey since 1997 are recorded in a registry to prevent inbreeding.
The facility welcomes around 150-180 puppies a year.
Karaoğlan said the puppies are sold after they start the transition from their mother's milk onto solid foods, which corresponds to 2.5 to 3 months after birth.
“The certificate we give to the owners includes the lineage of the dog and its vaccine tracking. All our dogs have been registered since 1988,” he said.
“We note the pedigree of all of them. We definitely do not match first-degree kin. Our aim is to preserve gene resources as purebred,” Karaoğlan noted.