Turkish Dog Breeds

Reviewed By Tom •  Updated: 09/06/22 •  6 min read
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Turkish Dog Breeds

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Turkey is a beautiful country with a rich culture and history. But did you know Turkey is also home to several unique dog breeds?

We’ve put together a list of Turkish dog breeds with a short overview of each dog. If you’re considering adopting a truly unique fur baby, you may want to consider one of these lovely canines! Let’s get started!

Our List of Turkish Dog Breeds

Here’s our list of beautiful Turkish dog breeds! Could one of these dogs become your canine companion?

1. Akbash

Here’s a dog that has a very unique name—the Akbash! The Akbash is one of Turkey’s famous herding dogs. Experts believe these dogs were bred about 3,000 years ago and were used to guard flocks of sheep from predators. This breed’s name “Akbash” means “white head” in Turkish. That’s because these dogs have white coats to help them blend in with sheep. That makes difficult for humans and predators to see them!

The dogs are moderate shedders all year round, though they do shed more in the summer. And they’re extremely protective not only of sheep but of their families and homes, too. They make excellent watchdogs and will bark or growl at strangers. However, the dogs are rarely aggressive toward strangers.

The Akbash is a large dog that usually stands between 27 to 34 inches tall and weighs between 75 to 140 lbs. They have a life expectancy of 10 to 12 years.

2. Kangal Shepherd Dog

The Kangal Shepherd Dog is another dog from Turkey that was bred to guard and herd sheep. The dogs have been known to get rid of bears and other strong predators. The dogs usually have a brown or fawn coat, possibly with a few black markings in the fur, too. The dogs should be brushed at least once or twice a week. However, during the shedding season (spring and fall), you may want to consider brushing them every day to control shedding.

These dogs are large and need plenty of room to roam. They do best with a large outdoor space to explore. And they need at least 60 minutes of daily exercise, though more may be better.

Kangal Shepherd Dogs are a great choice for families with kids. However, they may not get along well with other dogs or pets. They’re very loving and loyal to their families, though it’s always advisable to never leave your kids alone with these or any other dog breed. The dogs also benefit from early training and socialization.

3. Anatolian Shepherd

The Anatolian Shepherd is another large Turkish dog. They’re one of the oldest dog breeds on the planet. Experts believe this dog breed has been around for over 6,000 years! The dogs were originally bred to herd and protect sheep.

The dogs tend to be strong and self-confident and are great at providing protection and intimidation to keep predators and intruders at bay. The dogs usually work alone and make decisions on their own.

These dogs use the same protecting spirit to keep their families safe, too. These are large dogs that can be very intimidating just to look at! However, this belies their calm, friendly nature with their own family.

The Anatolian Shepherd is, needless to say, very intelligent. They’re also very trainable, though they may not always obey the cues they’re given. They first want to consider if they should obey or not. That’s because the dogs are very independent.

While these dogs can be great with kids, it’s best not to have them around young kids. These are large dogs and could easily hurt younger children when playing. The dogs may also become quite protective of the kids and not allow their friends to play, especially if the kids are being loud and roughhousing.

4. Catalburun Dog

The Catalburun Dog is another unique dog that comes from Turkey. You may also hear these dogs referred to as a Turkish Pointer or the Split Nose Dog. These dogs are known for their split noses! When you see a picture of this dog, you may not notice the split nose right away; however, you’ll feel that something is different. And it’s the dog’s nose!

The two parts of the dog’s nose are separate from one another by a few millimeters yet are still attached by a very thin layer of skin.

These dogs were bred to hunt and have wonderful stamina for all kinds of terrain. The dogs also are unusual in that they hunt silently, rather than barking or baying like other dog breeds. However, they do point when they find their prey.

Even though they’re excellent hunting dogs, they do make wonderful companions. The dogs are very calm and friendly with their families and do get along with kids. However, they are wary of strangers and other dogs.

5. Rize Koyun Dog

The Rize Koyun Dog is also a large dog that comes from Turkey. The dogs were bred to protect and herd sheep. This is a dog that’s descended from the Molosser dog breeds and they’re found in the Ordu Province of Turkey, to the west or Rize.

These dogs have coats that have various colors; however, they are usually dark gray. Bi-colored dogs are also possible in this breed. The dogs have a solid, muscular body with strong legs. They’re able to easily travel over hilly areas. They usually have a tail that faces downward, but the dogs raise their tails when alert.

These dogs don’t make very good pets. That’s because they are bred to work and protect flocks. However, they’re very beautiful dogs!

6. Aksaray Malaklisi

The Aksaray Malaklisi are another large dog breed that originates in Turkey. These dogs are mastiffs and are sometimes known as the Anatolian Lion. The dogs were once used by the Assyrians as war dogs. They were trained to recognize the armor of their enemies, taking them down during battle.

This dog breed does share some of its ancestry with the Kangal; however, they are used as livestock protectors today.

Summing It Up

So, there you have it! These are some amazing dog breeds that originally come from Turkey! Each dog is unique and beautiful, and some even make great family companions.

We hope you enjoyed this list of dogs that come from Turkey!

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Tom has always loved to write since he was little - he wanted to be either a writer or a veterinary doctor, but he ended up being a professional writer while most of his works are based on animals. He was born in San Francisco but later moved to Texas to continue his job as a writer. He graduated from the University of San Francisco where he studied biotechnology. He is happily married and a soon to be father!