(AA) – Dog lovers now need to wait at least five months to be able to own a Turkish native dog breed called the Akbash, the president of the Akbash Shepherd Dog Conservation and Research Association said.
Erhan Uluturk, who is also an official at Turkey’s Food, Agriculture and Livestock Ministry gave an exclusive interview to Anadolu Agency in Turkey’s northwestern province of Eskisehir, saying there is an increase in demand for the Akbash dog, both in Turkey and abroad.
“The Akbash Shepherd Dog has become popular,” he said. “Within our association, we now have 80 breeding Akbash dogs, including 60 females and 20 males.”
Uluturk said the Akbash has been used as a livestock-guarding dog in Anatolia for more than three thousand years and has become popular in the U.S. since the 1970s.
He said Akbash dogs generally guard sheep herds across Turkey. The large all-white dogs with dark eyes have a sharp sense of sight, hearing and smell, are long-bodied and long-legged, and can run very fast.
“In 2010, we built AKAD with eight stud Akbash shepherd dogs and started to produce and protect them,” Uluturk said. “We have also received financial support from the United Nations Global Environment Facility Small Grants Programme during the same year.”
AKAD is linked to a number of international organizations in the U.S., Canada and the Netherlands.