The Akbash is an ancient, primitive breed from Turkey. They are used to guard livestock and are not the ideal companion for every family. The Akbash must be properly socialized and trained before they can fit into a family. They were bred to be independent thinkers and therefore do not respond well to typical obedience training. A handler that understands the breed and can train outside the box is best for the Akbash. When they are mature, the Akbash does not need a lot of exercise, but they still need to do activities with their family to reinforce the bond that has been formed between them.
Dog puzzles are becoming more common and for the Akbash they are a great way to encourage their independence and keep them occupied for a time. You can easily purchase different puzzles of varying difficulty and change them out as your dog becomes bored with them. You can also make your own puzzle toys. Be sure to put tasty treats in the puzzle so your dog really works hard to solve the puzzle. You can leave a puzzle out for your dog to enjoy any time, especially when you are too busy to give them attention or while you are at work. Most dogs will work on a puzzle for about 30 to 45 minutes before they either solve it or get bored and move on to something else.
An adult Akbash may not appreciate taking long hikes with you since they tend to just want to laze around the house. However, if you get them used to long hikes from puppyhood they will be more willing to hike with you. Akbash puppies are very nosy and active; therefore keep a close eye on them when on the trail. Plan on hiking for an hour or two and take plenty of breaks along the trail. Hiking should be done in mild to moderate weather, not when it is rainy, too cold, or too hot. Most of the time, hiking is a free activity once you have purchased your backpack and your dog’s backpack. If you are hiking in a national park, you may also have a park admission fee.
In order to properly train your Akbash to perform tricks such as picking up their toys, bringing you the paper, or shaking your hand, you must be consistent with your training. Trick training can be done in any type of weather and any place. It is usually either free or cheap to teach your dog a trick. Your dog must be motivated enough to want to do the trick correctly. Find treats that they cannot turn down and only give them those treats when they are doing their tricks. Plan on spending about 30 minutes a day teaching your Akbash a trick and always end each training session on a positive note. Never scold or intimidate your dog while teaching them tricks, they will not want to work for you if you do not keep things upbeat and happy.
What better way to show off your dog than to create a social media blitz for them? Since the Akbash is not a well-known breed, this is a great way for you to bring awareness to the breed and help people fall in love with these big white dogs. Snap photos of your dog and post them on social media, be sure to add interesting and quirky captions to your photos!
Camping with your Akbash can be a fun experience as long as you practice camping safety. Your Akbash will be wary of strangers therefore when camping make sure to keep your dog on leash and be sensitive to their moods. Do not invite fellow campers to sit around the campfire if your Akbash is stressing about strangers. Most public campgrounds do allow dogs but make sure the one you pick is dog-friendly.
Remember, an Akbash puppy has a lot more energy than an adult and they will chew on anything they can get their mouths on. However, once you survive puppyhood, you will have a laid back dog that really prefers to lounge around and closely watch their domain. An Akbash must be socialized from a young age. Normal obedience training does not usually work with an Akbash, therefore, expect to take a different approach when training them. Find activities that they will enjoy and keep in mind that an Akbash does not enjoy playing fetch or chasing after something. They are guardian dogs that know not to chase their flock and will generally not give chase even in play.