Activities For An Akbash

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Introduction

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. 

Puzzle Toys

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Any Day
Moderate
Normal
30 - 45 min
Items needed
Puzzles
Treats
Activity description

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.

Step
1
Pick puzzles
Since the Akbash is a large breed, be sure to choose puzzles that can withstand their large muzzles and feet as they try to solve the puzzle. You can purchase pre-made puzzles or you can make your own puzzles. When purchasing puzzles, do your research and check out the reviews of each one you are considering so you can be informed before you make a purchase.
Step
2
Pick treats
When putting treats into the puzzles, make sure the treats can be retrieved without dismantling the puzzle! You will also want to choose treats that have a strong scent and taste good to your dog. They will work harder to figure out the puzzle if the prize they get is a tasty treat. Do not put perishable treats in the puzzle if you will not be home to clean it out once your dog is finished playing. You do not want spoiled treats where your dog can reach them.
Step
3
Introduce puzzle
After filling the puzzle with treats, it is time to introduce it to your Akbash. Start with an easier puzzle and once they have mastered it and have an idea of what to expect, move up to the next hardest puzzle. Keep rotating puzzles so your dog does not become bored with them and not want to play with them. You may have to help your dog when you first introduce the puzzle.
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Long Hike

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Sunny Day
Free
Normal
2 hrs
Items needed
Collar & Leash
Backpacks
Water & Bowl
First Aid Kit
Treats
Activity description

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. 

Step
1
Plan the trail
When you are planning on hiking in the wilderness, or even at your local park, you need to plan which trail you will be taking and leave your plans with a friend. Safety should always be practiced and there have been too many times that someone has set out on a day hike and become lost. Take your physical capabilities into account when planning which trail and do not try to push yourself too much. Also, keep your dog’s safety in mind and plan to take plenty of breaks while hiking to give them a break.
Step
2
Stuff the packs
When hiking, your Akbash can easily carry a backpack that has their essentials such as a collapsible bowl, bottle of water, and treats. Your pack should contain a first aid kit, snacks for you, bottled water, charged cell phone and extra battery pack, dry socks, and a jacket. Do not overload either backpack, you are taking a long hike, but not planning on camping out. A heavy pack will cause you or your dog to quickly tire.
Step
3
Take a hike
While hiking keep your dog close by, especially on steep climbs or tricky trails. Allow your dog time to explore their surroundings and be sure to take breaks and offer them plenty of water along the way. Snap some photos of your Akbash and maybe even do a few selfies for your social media account. This is a time for you to bond with your Akbash and explore new places.
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Trick Training

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Any Day
Cheap
Normal
30 min
Items needed
Treats
Activity description

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. 

Step
1
Start small
Take things slow and start small. Most people will usually start with shaking hands since this is one of the easiest tricks to teach your dog. The Akbash is a dog that is an independent thinker and they may try to outsmart you and anticipate your moves. Keep the training upbeat and happy and make sure they are praised and given treats when they do things right.
Step
2
Be consistent
Patience and consistency are the key factors when teaching your dog a new trick. The Akbash is smart and once they know what is expected of them, they will be more than willing to do the trick for you for their treat. Be sure to always end your training sessions on a positive note so they are willing to keep working for you.
Step
3
Add difficulty
Because the Akbash is so intelligent, trick training will be easy for them unless they begin to feel that you are not appreciative of their efforts. Once they have nailed the simple tricks, start adding some level of difficulty to the training. Once they learn how to shake hands, move on to picking up their toys or bringing you a drink out of the fridge. Your Akbash will enjoy showing off their brains and you will have fun amazing your friends when you have your dog doing tricks for them!
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More Fun Ideas...

Social Media Blitz

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

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. 

Conclusion

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.