Thoughts on the Akbash and Kengal dogs

If you are wondering what is the right dog for you, this is the place to be. In this introductory forum we talk about topics such as breed vs. mix, size, age, grooming, breeders, shelters, rescues as well as requirements for exercise, space and care. No question is too silly here. This particular forum is for getting and giving helpful, nice advice. It is definitely not a forum for criticizing someone else's opinion, knowledge or advice. This forum is all about tail wagging and learning.

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Lia Bia Teddy- Bear
Barked: Tue Jun 15, '10 2:15pm PST 
I've had a few people suggest that Lia is an Akbash or part Akbash, shrug
I'm sure it's highly unlikely that she is, but she does resemble alot of the Akbash dogs on dogster!!

http:// www.dogster.com/dogs/427949/in/stroll/
http://www.dogster.com/dogs/ 32713
Rio, CGC,- RL1, CL1, TD

You can't say- that i can't- play!
Barked: Tue Jun 15, '10 5:01pm PST 
Gir if i had a flock and lived in the area i am now.. where there are some coyotes and MAYBE the occasional cougar, i'd feel totally confident with a pair of pyr... they can hold their own really well but i find they are also able to be pet-like and have a level of bond with the humans (something i'd also enjoy--but wouldnt' be necessary).... i'd be confident that a pair of pyrs could handle the occasional coyote and would be sturdy enough to give a cougar a run for their money (on the very OFF chance a cougar would come by)....

If i lived in a place where we had lots of coyotes, quite a few cougar, and the occasional/rare bear (or other really large game), i'd want something a little bigger and more... intense... and would probably go the route of a kengal... if didn't have the amount of predator, i wouldn't have a kengal... they need to be able to do their job... and part of their job is alerting to and fending off predators...

I'm going with- you, right?
Barked: Tue Jun 15, '10 6:54pm PST 
Gir, I would say for what you're looking for that a pair or more (depending on predator population and the population of what you're having them guard and protect) of Akbash or Kangal Dogs would be fine for your situation. If raised to be, both breeds are actually known to be as gentle with the family, especially children, as they are their flocks as well as to be discerning of whether someone is a threat or not, and they act accordingly. Both breeds, however, take predators very seriously: their motive is to kill a threatening predator (apparently Kangals feel particularly strongly about this).

If you are leaning towards one of these two over other LGDs, I would say get in contact with ranchers who work and breeders of the two and see what you can find out from those really in the know. See if they work how you want your LGD to work and if they are suitable for what you need. That, really, is your best bet.

As much flak as this may get me, and knowing you I will say it, if you have predators who are particularly persistent and even experienced (or simply bold enough) to try and work around a dog, then I would go with an LGD who is just as persistent in dealing with said predator (i.e. aims to kill the predator). Rio/Shayne brought up Pyrs but I recently read that they will chase to a certain distance and then bark, and that some predators have been known to find a way to "work around" that, so to speak. If that's a problem: an Akbash or Kangal is definitely a fine candidate, but you will need more than just a pair. If, however, you're looking for a dog to deter and protect while you get your animals to safety, then it's not as big of a consideration.


Barked: Tue Jun 15, '10 8:48pm PST 
Oh my gosh, I had no idea about the Akbash. I just spent an hour reading a rescue's blogs about them. It appears a lot of them come from here in Utah and Wyoming because they are range dogs and the puppies get left behind by the ranchers as they move the herd. I just told my husband we have to sell everything and get a ranch so I can go save the puppies...he is not as enthusiastic. Way amazing dogs in looks and personality.

Carmy - I love +R
Barked: Sun Jun 20, '10 2:45pm PST 
I am Becky's friend and a behavior consultant and work with a Kangal in my community. Please do NOT get one unless you have extensive acreage and a flock for him/her to guard. Kangals are bred to react to any stimuli in their environment and to ensure whatever they are guarding remains safe. Without a job, they project these behaviors into other areas. Even with jobs, the litter mates of the dog I know are all extremely food aggressive. Very independent and aloof, and they do tend towards dog aggression at social maturity and have no trouble being aggressive to other dogs in the home. They are also gaining popularity as dog fighting dogs.

All that lives- is holy.
Barked: Tue Jun 22, '10 11:58am PST 
Sadly, the area in which I used to live is thick with coyotes. They're not going to be scared off easily. They would come mill around at night spookily close to my house. My old area is 'stocked' with coyotes. They released 40 into the area about two months before America (the cute lil' colt) got killed.

If I do get one, it will certainly be after I have acreage.

I really think that my early experiences with Rocky are a large part of the reason that there aren't very many dogs I don't feel equipped to handle. They're out there, and there's definitely a difference between dogs I'm capable of training/working with and dogs I am willing to train and work with, but I really appreciate the opportunity to interact with Rocky.

As far as predator control goes, I would certainly prefer a dog that engages the enemy, if you will. Perhaps if I wind up settling some place with less of a predator problem (I don't think it's as extreme here, but I am NOT settling here) I would go with a less intense LGD, but I think that of all the breeds I've looked at, the Akbash is probably the closest to what I want for my LGD when the time comes.

I'm a trilingual- dog!
Barked: Tue Jun 22, '10 1:14pm PST 
Hey Gir's mom wave

OT but glad to see you up and about on the fora.. hope everything is as OK as they can be and that you still want to get all the dogs you've been talking about (that's like, a pretty long list at this point, right? wink )

All that lives- is holy.
Barked: Tue Jun 22, '10 1:18pm PST 
Still is.

I haven't been able to get out of the house much to get to the library to use internet. I'm having a lot of health problems, which hopefully will go away either with treatment or when I have the baby, lifestyle changes have altered my to-get list somewhat.

For example, my next dog will probably be the Standard Schnauzer's little brother, and will probably be quite a few years into the future.

I'm not sure where life's going to be going for me, but I do want to hold on to my dreams.

Spooky Mulder
Barked: Tue Jun 22, '10 1:21pm PST 
Stay strong Gir.

The best rewards in life are always the ones we have to fight for hug

Member Since
Barked: Thu Dec 20, '12 7:43pm PST 
I am writing simply because I do have close personal experience with two Akbash who are companion animals. And the story is a bit more complex than they are strictly work dogs that are never suitable as companions.

The first dog is my now seven year old nuetered male companion Akbash, Asgard. I was originally looking for an Antolian Shepherd as a low energy protection/companion animal. Our local Animal Control listed Asgard as a small, 11 month old Anatolian Shepherd. He has been found wandering in pasture land during a period of severe range fires. It was believed that he had been separated from his flock during the fires. I already had two aging German Shepherds and a Border Collie, plus a rather dog agressive Boston Terrier that was a frequent visitor. So I was concerned about the potential dog agressivenss of a LGD. I brought the BT over to the shelter to see how the interaction went. No problem.

After bringing Asgard home, it became clear that he was actually much younger than they estimated (he went from 27" at the shoulder to 331/2" in two months.) It also became clear that he was in fact, an Akbash, and not an Anatolian Shepherd. Over the years these things have proven true about him:

1) He is extremely tolerant of small dogs, will take an amazing amount of abuse from them in fact. He is also very gentle with children and small animals. But he does not like high energy dogs (the border collie drives him crazy). Eratic movements bother him and he likes everything to be very quiet and orderly.

2) He represents the less well recognised "beta" personality Akbash...I seriously doubt that he would have sufficiently agression to protect anything. Although he does show appropriate warning behaviour; extremely alert and sensitive to changes in the environment, charging fences, head and tail up and barking he has never shown any agression towards any human or animal. When actually faced with a coyote during a walk, he quickly got behind me. He is also the easiest dog I have ever walked on a leash. Even when we flushed a rabbit right before him, he was easy to control. On those very few occasions when he has escaped our yard, he merely found people to walk with. In fact he went home with a couple before we found him.

3) His over all personality is low-keyed and "adult". He does not look to a human for direction, neither will he challenge one. He doesn't live to please you, but neither he dose he want you to be upset with him. He is a very steady, highly intelligent animal with a rather "dry" sense of humour.
And he is devoted and loving.

The other companion Akbash is my son's dog, Thor, a rescue from a working ranch where he failed to stay with his flock and kept returning to the farm house. Thor has a more typical LGD personality. Like Asgard, around the house and with people that have been approved by my son, he is an utterly gentle and loving, low-keyed companion. However, Thor is much more focused on guarding and has centered his concern on my son's wife. He will move between her and anything he perceives as threatening; running to find my son if someone comes to the door so they can act together to protect his mistress. I have no doubt that Thor would do serious damage to anyone who threatened his people. But he does defer to them about who is safe. Like Asgard, his main purpose in life is to keep everyone safe and the environment calm.

I certainly would not recommend an Akbash to the average dog owner as a companion dog. Like most true guarding breeds, they do not attack easily or unprovoked, but when they do, it is in deadly earnest and they cannot be called off. And with their size there is no doubt they have the potential to be extremely dangerous. But they do vary considerably in their temperament. Even in their homeland, some were kept in the villages and tasked with watching the young children. Certainly some Akbash rescues, with the right combination of innate temperament and owner experience, make faithful and loving companions.
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