Akita (AKC, UKC)
The National Dog of Japan, the Akita Inu is an immensely powerful and imposing animal with a massive chest and head, suggestive of a bear. Majestic in appearance, featured in the best dog blog the Akita inspires immediate respect.
Dignified, aloof and with a fearless temperament the Akita is a no-nonsense protector of family and home and must be supervised with visitors and visiting children
The most outstanding physical characteristics of the Akita are the uniquely positioned ears, rather small, erect and triangular, set to the side of the head and slanting forward, and the tail carried curled over the back.
The coat is coarse, harsh and dense and the Akita molts two or three times a year during which time owners may find it difficult to have him inside the house.
The colors of the Akita coat are brilliant and clear and markings are clearly defined.
The Akita must receive socialization and training from a very early age if he is to make a satisfactory family pet. Training requires patience and understanding as the Akita Inu will not be forced to obey.
The draft horse of the Arctic, the Alaskan Malamute was developed by the Inuit Indians of Alaska to haul heavy loads at steady speeds over long distances.
Built for strength and endurance and the ability to survive harsh Arctic temperatures, the Malamute may appear “wolfish” but competent historical research indicates the Inuit breeders kept their dogs free from any wolf genes.
His attitude of interest, curiosity, and activity coupled with his impressive size, strength, thick double coat and symmetrical markings make the Malamute most attractive.
However, Malamutes were bred to pull sleds and if not given sufficient exercise to satisfy its abundant needs, or if given insufficient attention and companionship, they will become bored and destructive.
A devoted family dog and friendly with all humans, the Malamute is generally a poor guard dog. Independence and stubbornness are two of the traits of the Malamute and these, coupled with his immense strength, necessitate the Malamute receiving obedience training and discipline from the early age of 3 months.
Lack of confident, firm human domination can ruin an otherwise wonderful Malamute making it domineering over humans and unmanageably aggressive toward other dogs.
The Anatolian Shepherd Dog, also called the Karabash, is a large, noble and powerful livestock guardian. He is very similar to the Great Pyrenees and the Kuvasz, but is more slender and agile.
Capable of great speed and endurance. The head is large, but in good proportion with the rest of the body. The rectangular muzzle should be a bit shorter than the skull, with a blunt profile and is often black. The skull is wide and slightly rounded, with a slight stop. The lips are edged in black and hang down slightly, however the upper lip should not hang down lower than the bottom jaw’s lower edge.
The teeth should meet in a scissors bite. The triangular, pendant ears are often black and rather small with rounded tips. In Turkey, the ears are often cropped very short. The small, deep-set eyes range from gold to brown in color. Liver colored dogs have brown eye rims and a brown nose. Nose and eye rims for all other dogs should be black. The thick, muscular neck has a slight dewlap.
The topline is mainly level; though slightly rounded at the loin. The chest reaches to the elbows. The back is short relative to leg length. The front legs are straight and set well apart.
When the dog is alert, the high-set tail is carried curled over the back; otherwise, it hangs low with a slightly upward curl reaching the hocks. The short or rough double coat is generally fawn with a black mask, though any color is acceptable.
Other frequently seen colors include pinto, white and brindle. The outer coat is smooth and the length may vary greatly depending on the season and the dog’s lineage – it is longer around the collar and tail. There are two basic coat types: medium length and medium long.
The Anatolian Shepherd is a very loyal, alert and possessive dog. It is intelligent and easy to train but is not a dog for beginners.
It needs a handler who naturally radiates leadership. Calm, steadfast and brave, but not aggressive. Independent, very watchful, proud and self-assured.
Affectionate with their own family, but suspicious of strangers, especially after reaching adulthood. Strangers should be formally introduced before the mature dog is asked to accept them.
The Anatolian Shepherd is possessive with respect to its home and property and will not allow anyone into the family property if the owner is not home unless it has had frequent contact with the person, but he is fairly friendly with those people the family accepts.
The dog is demanding of itself and can be stubborn and dominant. When training the Anatolian Shepherd, the best results are achieved by motivational training methods with a determined, consistent and loving approach.
It is very important to begin training as early as possible, because a fully grown dog may be too strong and too big to be corrected and because this dog has his own ideas and will not cater to his owner’s every whim.
Sensitive to reprimands and eager to receive affection. This breed is patient and protective with children of the family, but may accidentally knock them down. Children should always be supervised and properly introduced.
The Anatolian Shepherd does not require any additional protection training. It already has very strong protection instincts that grow as the dog matures, often coming suddenly to the fore at around one and a half years of age. They will generally get along with other animals provided they have been introduced to them when they are still young.
They can be rather dominant towards other dogs and it is important to socialize them while they are still young. These dogs mature quite slowly, reaching full adulthood at about four years old.
Dogs that are going to be made into flock guards should not be family pets or they will prefer the family over the sheep.
They should live their entire life with the flock, but still, should be socialized with people out in the field and accustomed to grooming procedures when they are puppies to make veterinary care possible later in life. Anatolian Shepherds guard, but do not herd, livestock. They often patrol the outer perimeter of their territory, then find a high place from which to watch over their charges. Anatolians possess excellent senses of sight and hearing to help them in this work. They check their “protective zone” around the flock every few hours to be certain nothing threatening is brewing. If danger approaches, the Anatolian will first bark a warning, then accelerate and raise the volume of the barking if the danger persists, signaling the sheep to crowd in behind him for protection.
The dog will attempt to drive the danger away and will only attack as the last resort.
In Turkey, the Anatolian Shepherds wear spiked collars to protect their throats in battles with predators.
They will do best on a low-protein, lamb and rice diet. They do not eat much for their size. Extensive early socialization, obedience training, and consistent dominant leadership are very important when owning an Anatolian Shepherd. They tend to bark at night and some like to dig.