10 Turkish Dog Breeds for Live Stock Guardian, Guardian Duty and Hunting.

10 Turkish Dog Breeds for Live Stock Guardian, Guardian Duty and Hunting.

Turkey has a rich history of interesting and unique dog breeds. These breeds have been developed and bred in Turkey for centuries, often with specific purposes in mind, such as livestock protection and guarding. Turkish dog breeds have adapted to the country's diverse landscapes and climates, showcasing their resilience and versatility.

The history of Turkish dog breeds is closely intertwined with the country's agricultural and nomadic traditions. For centuries, Turkish shepherds have relied on these loyal and protective dogs to guard their flocks from predators and provide companionship during long journeys.

The breeding and selection of these dogs were based on their ability to withstand harsh weather conditions, protect livestock from wolves and other predators, and demonstrate unwavering loyalty to their human counterparts.

The history of Turkish dog breeds is a testament to the deep bond between humans and animals, as well as the importance of these dogs in Turkish culture. Their remarkable qualities and contributions to agriculture and livestock protection have earned them recognition both within Turkey and beyond.

1- Kangal

white and brown short coated dog
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Let's begin by discussing the most renowned and popular dog breed from Turkey, which is the Kangal. The Kangal breed is widely recognized for its exceptional strength and is often regarded as one of the most powerful dog breeds worldwide.

In addition to their remarkable physical prowess, Kangals excel in their role as livestock guardians, providing reliable protection against formidable predators such as wolves.

When it comes to Turkish Kangal dogs, their notable traits encompass not only their incredible strength but also their unwavering vigilance, exceptional courage, and undeniable power. These dogs are widely acclaimed for their exceptional skills as guardians of livestock, making them one of the most reliable and effective breeds in the world.

With their innate ability to ward off predators like wolves, Kangals have proven themselves as invaluable protectors. It is worth mentioning that Kangals hail from the beautiful Sivas province in Turkey, adding to their rich heritage and unique characteristics.

2- Akbash

The Akbash is a remarkable livestock guardian dog originating from Turkey. They are primarily used to protect sheep and other livestock during annual transhumance.

Here are some features and specifications of the Akbash dog:

  • Size: Akbash dogs can reach a size between 50-85 cm (20-33 inches).
  • Weight: They typically weigh between 35-65 kg (77-143 lbs).
  • Livestock Guardian: Similar to the Kangal, the Akbash is known for its exceptional skills as a livestock guardian.
  • Speed: Akbash dogs are known for their speed, which aids them in their protective duties.
  • Appearance: They have a distinctive appearance with a white coat and a muscular build.
  • Temperament: Akbash dogs are generally calm, independent, and intelligent. They are known for their loyalty and dedication to their livestock.
  • Livestock Protection: Akbash dogs are protective of their flock and can effectively ward off threats from predators.

Similar to the Kangal, the Akbash is a remarkable livestock guardian dog. They are used to protecting sheep and other livestock during annual transhumance. Akbash dogs are known for their speed and can reach a size between 50-85 cm (20-33 inches) and weigh between 35-65 kg (77-143 lbs).

3- Boz Shepherd

The Turkish Boz Shepherd, also known as the Boz Chopan dog, is one of the oldest livestock guardian dog breeds in Turkey. Native to the Toros Mountains in Southern Anatolia, they are specifically bred for their excellent guarding abilities. Boz Shepherds have a slightly larger size compared to Kangal Shepherds and possess a heavier bone structure.

They are highly skilled in protecting livestock and can also be used for personal protection. With their protective and brave temperament, Boz Shepherds are valued for their loyalty, strength, and adaptability to the rugged mountainous terrain.

4- Aksaray Malaklisi

The Aksaray Malakli, the largest breed of Anatolian Shepherds, is believed to have originated in Aksaray, Turkey. The term "Malakli" in Aksaray signifies "with lips". These dogs bear resemblance to both the Anatolian Shepherd and English Mastiff, but possess a more slender physique and legs, along with droopy lips.

They boast a double-layered coat, a common trait among dogs in the region. Aksaray Malaklis are of substantial size, weighing between 110-264 lbs and standing 25-37 inches tall. They primarily serve as vigilant guardians for livestock and are renowned for their independence and territorial nature. Despite appearing indolent, they exhibit remarkable agility.

Malaklis display a strong protective instinct towards their herd and tend to exercise caution around unfamiliar individuals.

6- Karadeniz Shepherd

The Karadeniz Shepherd, also known as the Black Sea Shepherd, is a Turkish dog breed native to the high mountains along the Black Sea coast.

These dogs have adapted to harsh mountainous climates, intense rains, and higher altitudes for centuries. They possess a long and dense coat, a protective and brave temperament, and a large-sized body.

7- Trabzon Zerdava Dog Breed

The Trabzon Zerdava is a rare Turkish dog breed primarily used for livestock and farm protection. They are also known for their use in police and military work. These dogs exhibit exceptional speed, athleticism, patience, and tolerance, making them suitable for various tasks and environments.

With their strong protective instincts and working abilities, Trabzon Zerdavas have proven to be valuable assets in law enforcement and military operations.

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8- Rize Koyun Dog Breed

The Rize Koyun, originating from the Rize province in the eastern part of the Black Sea Region, is another Turkish livestock guardian dog known for its protective nature. Here are some additional features of the Rize Koyun:

  • Appearance: Rize Koyuns have a strong and muscular build, reflecting their working nature. They have a medium to large size with a dense double coat that provides insulation in various weather conditions.
  • Protective Instinct: These dogs are highly protective of their herd and territory. They are vigilant and have a strong sense of responsibility when it comes to guarding livestock against potential threats.
  • Adaptability: Rize Koyuns are accustomed to the rugged terrains and challenging climates of the Black Sea region. They have the ability to adapt to different environments and cope with adverse weather conditions.
  • Independent Nature: Like other Turkish livestock guardian dogs, the Rize Koyun exhibits independence in its decision-making and problem-solving abilities. They are self-reliant and can assess situations effectively to protect their herd.
  • Loyalty: Rize Koyuns form strong bonds with their owners and the livestock they protect. They are known for their loyalty and dedication, making them reliable companions in rural settings.

If you have any personal experiences or preferences regarding the Rize Koyun or any other Turkish livestock guardian dog, feel free to share them in the comments below.

9- Kars Shepherd

Originating from the Kars province in Eastern Turkey, the Kars Shepherd is similar to other Turkish livestock guardian dogs. They have a long and dense coat, a protective and brave temperament, and a large-sized body.

These dogs are highly skilled in protecting livestock and are known for their loyalty and adaptability to harsh environments. The Kars Shepherd is a valuable breed for farmers and shepherds in the region.

This breed is popular in Kars, Ardahan, Artvin, Erzurum, Ağrı and Iğdır regions, its purity is registered, it is compatible with the conditions of the region.

This breed, which has a very strong and structured body, can grow up to a maximum of 100 cm. Their weight is generally between 75 - 110 kg. Kars shepherd dogs can be brown, black or grey.

10- Pali

The Turkish Pali is an ideal companion for families. They have a high tolerance for cold and rainy climates, which makes them great for protecting both homes and farm animals. They are extremely vigilant and protective in any environment, and they have endless energy.

The Pali are also friendly and playful with their owners and families, and they get along well with children. Additionally, they are intelligent, patient, and tolerant, making them highly suitable for farm animals.

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Personally, I have witnessed Akbas, Kangal, and Aksray Malaklisi in action, they are amazing dogs.

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