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Discussion Starter #1
Anybody have one?

My brother is thinking of rescuing an 8 mo old pup.

Wondering how much of a handful they might be - he's never had anything but Labs...

Thanks
 

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I've never had one but I know someone who has a rural farm and has had a couple different ones to guard the sheep. My understanding is that they are strictly working dogs and don't make particularly good pets unless you have a farm and can work them in some way. Like most livestock guarding dogs they are independent and can be hard to train in conventional dog ways. I think they're also fairly low energy since they are guarding and not herding dogs. The ones she had were not particularly interested in people--not aggressive or friendly.
 

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I used to have one. He was an outside dog 24/7, guarding my goats and poultry. Wonderful dog, I loved him to death. He was gentle with my livestock and cats, and benign with other dogs that belonged here, but would not let a stray animal onto our property. He was good with people and loved children. Very sweet and affectionate, but independent, not an obedience dog.

They do NOT make good housepets. The lady that had him before me tried to make him into a housedog after they moved off the farm and into the city, and he chewed through doors and windows, and constantly jumped the fence to wander the neighborhood. These dogs do not like confinement and can be very destructive if kept in a house or kennel. They do best on lots of land. We only had one acre, but my Akbash never tried to escape the property (we had 6 foot perimeter fencing). He could clear 4 feet easily.

So, unless you have a lot of fenced land or some livestock to protect, I can't in good conscience recommend an Akbash dog as a housepet.
 

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I have worked with several Akbash mixes and two purebreds. They are difficult to keep as pets, since all the traits that make them such wonderful livestock guardians are traits that make them lousy pets.

They are very, very independent. They have been selectively bred for centuries to live amongst large flocks of goats and sheep. They don't require interaction with people in order to do their job. They don't require any training to do the job, either. Basically they are put out with a flock as a young puppy and that is it. They bond with their flock and humans are highly irrelevant.

They bark. A lot. The number one reason for their surrender to the shelter was the barking. The bark is their first line of defense as they guard their flock. And not just one or two barks. But a continuous volley of barks, letting the predator lurking around the flock know that there is a serious dog on duty. This is a wonderful thing out in the middle of nowhere. Not so wonderful when the dog is living in the middle if a suburban subdivision.

Their second line of defense is the ability to back up their bark with a bite. These are dogs that have been selectively bred to engage with anything that it feels is a threat to the flock. Bears, wolves, etc. They are serious dogs.

Now, imagine a dog like that living in the average home. But instead of protecting against bears, they are now protecting against someone walking too close to the fence or too close to the car, or too close to the owner while out for a walk. And remember, they are very independent! That makes training something of a challenge.

The breed has active rescues. I think the dog would be better served if breed rescue got involved in placing it into an appropriate home, after an appropriate evaluation.
Sheilah
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks all!

He has plenty of land, just not sure this is a fit.

I emailed him a link to the thread so he can have the information.
 
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