When you are ready to choose your new Akbash puppy, or when your grown Akbash dog is ready for the dog show, you will need to be aware of his coat. Of course, the coat of any dog is one of the first things that most dog owners notice. But it is not the color or thickness of the Akbash's coat that concerns the owner at these two important times; rather, the biggest concern for the owner when either choosing or showing an Akbash dog is the length of the dog's coat.
In general, the coat of the Akbash dog is created by the combination of the course guard hairs and the finer undercoat. Depending on where you live and what time of year it is, the under coat length and thickness will vary. As with most dogs, they do shed at the change of seasons.
There are two widely accepted coat lengths for the Akbash dog: medium haired and long haired. The medium length coat of the Akbash dog is obviously considerably shorter than the long length coat; the coat lays flat against the dog's body, which in turn gives the dog a very sleek, elegant look. Some of the medium haired Akbash coats appear bushier than these sleeker coats, but again, the medium coat will maintain a shorter length than the long haired coat. Medium haired Akbash dogs can have some light feathering of the fur at their legs, tail, and thighs. Male Akbash dogs with medium length coats tend to have either a light or a moderate ruff; however, the guard hair length will vary from dog to dog.
The long haired Akbash dog has a faintly wavy to straight outer coat which grows considerably longer than the outer coat of the medium haired Akbash. This coat should not have any matting, but the dog does need to be brushed regularly to remove loose hair. The forelegs, paws, ears, and head of the long haired Akbash is covered with short fur, as are the lower hind legs. Where the medium haired Akbash does not have a very prominent ruff, the long haired Akbash does. The entire tail of the long haired Akbash is feathered, as are the thighs and back of the forelegs.
While both coat lengths are accepted as the breed standard for Akbash dogs that are shown, there is a significant difference between which type of coat may be best for you and your home when you are initially choosing your Akbash puppy. For example, for a potential owner who does not want a dog who sheds in the warmer months, he or she would probably be happier with a medium haired Akbash rather than a long haired Akbash.