Livestock Guardian Dogs (LGD) are easily the most important asset to any farm! We here at 4t Farms prefer the Turkish Akbash breed.
Meet Azlan our 4 year old male. His name actually means Lion in Turkish. Azlan lives outside with his goats and the other animals.
This is our 1 year old female Kara. Her name comes from the turkish word Kar which means snow. As you can see she loves the babies! For now Kara is still in training but she is proving to be an excellent guardian so far!
Now that you've met our LGD's lets talk a little about the Akbash breed and what LGD's do...
Akbash (pronounced ack-bash) are a large LGD that originate from Turkey. They can weigh anywhere from 90-140 pounds and be 2-3 feet tall at the shoulders. Akbash are known for being lean, smooth short to medium coat and white with light biscuit coloring. Much like people every dog is built different but they are known for being tall with long, strong, flexible bodies. They have extra loose skin around their necks to help protect them when in a fight with a predator.
Their personality tends to be calm and aware. The breed isn't shy but they also aren't aggressive. When used as a guardian they are very suspicious of strangers in their territory and alert to unusual sounds or changes in their environment. They are not naturally hostile, but instead they are naturally discerning, bred to think independently. Akbash are a powerful source against predators yet, when properly trained they are gentle and loving with their animals including the babies in the herd.
In their role as LGD they should NEVER chase their livestock, occasionally if they absolutely have to they will move the herd from dangerous predators. They are relatively a low energy dog and spend most of the day sleeping near their charges (as you see in the feature photo Azlan is sleeping next to his goats) always thinking and taking in what is happening around them. We joking say that Azlan sleeps with one eye and one ear open. They also regularly patrol the perimeter of their territory but save most of their energy incase of an attack from a predator.
Akbash are not recommended as a companion dog because they are bred to think independently they can be extremely stubborn and a huge challenge to train for obedience. They've also been bred not to chase their charges so they typically are not interested in playing fetch or chasing toys. They need very large outdoor areas and may become discontent if kept in a small pen or yard. Behavioral issues like escaping their fencing, chasing moving vehicles and even destroying anything they can get their mouth on may arise when they get bored. They are not a dog for everyone because they were bred to be an independent, strong working dog and are happiest when they have a job.
In summary the Turkish Akbash is an extremely intelligent, brave, independent and loyal Livestock Guardian Dog that will do everything in their power to keep their charges safe.
If you have any questions at all please feel free to message us!