For every dog breed out there, there are tons of interesting facts and anecdotes about the crazy things the breed is known for. Some dog breeds are often used in movies and TV. Some dog breeds have amusing stories about how they became a breed in the first place. And other breeds are just odd enough to have as many fun facts as there are personality quirks. Of course, this is just as true of the Akbash dog as it is of any other breed. From old Turkish theories on dog raising, to the reason for the dog's coat color, the Akbash breed has a plethora of interesting and weird facts.
The Akbash dog originated in Western Turkey in rural areas where sheep and other livestock animals were bred and raised; the Akbash's job was to protect the livestock, and as the dog was bred, he was bred to match the color of the sheep. This is why the Akbash has a pure white coat: he matches the kind of sheep he was protecting.
The Turkish farmers and shepherds who initially bred and raised Akbash dogs for farm work not only bred the dog to blend in with their flock, they also raised the dog to love the outdoors. Akbash dogs are not allowed inside the home in Turkey, even today. They are seen as part of the livestock and as such, they are not pets: they are working animals.
Of course, the most interesting fact about the Akbash dog and his history in Turkey has to be how long he has been around. There is some fossil evidence that places the Akbash breed - or at least its predecessors - in the Turkey area up to 3000 years ago. While the breed we know and love today probably doesn't resemble the one of three millennia ago, he has subsisted all this time to become a tremendous asset to farmers and ranchers all over the world.
Not only are Akbash dogs popular with ranchers and farmers in Turkey, they are a big part of the sheep business in Colorado in the United States, too. Apparently, the recent introduction of the Akbash dog breed to the United States has given the dog new homes in Colorado as the favored sheep guardian in that mountainous area.
The popular Anatolian Shepherd dog is a hybrid breed resulting from the combination of the Kangal, the national dog breed of Turkey, and the Akbash. Many people think that the Anatolian Shepherd dog is the same dog as the Akbash, but this is incorrect. The dog can be distinguished by his black markings on his face; he is also called "karabash", which means "black head" where "akbash" means "white head" in Turkish.