Turkish Akbaş dogs’ popularity on the rise
ESKİŞEHİR – Anadolu Agency
AA PhotoThe popularity of the Turkish native shepherd dog breed called “Akbaş” has increased, said president of the Akbaş Shepherd Dog Conservation and Research Association (AKAD) Erhan Ulutürk, adding that the waiting list for buying an Akbaş was at least five months.
“There is an increase in demand for Akbaşes, both in Turkey and abroad,” said Ulutürk, who is also an official at Turkey’s Food, Agriculture and Livestock Ministry. “The Akbaş Shepherd Dog has become popular. Within our association, we now have 80 breeding Akbaş dogs, including 60 females and 20 males.”
Ulutürk said Akbaşes have been used as a livestock-guarding dog in Anatolia for more than 3,000 years and have been popular in the U.S. since the 1970s.
Akbaşes generally guard sheep herds across Turkey. The large all-white dogs with dark eyes have a sharp sense of sight, hearing and smell, are long-bodied and long-legged, and can run very fast.
“In 2010, we built AKAD with eight stud Akbaş shepherd dogs and started to produce and protect them,” Ulutürk said. “We also received financial support from the United Nations Global Environment Facility Small Grants Programme during the same year.”
AKAD is linked to a number of international organizations in the U.S., Canada and the Netherlands.