Breed Rating

family friendly:
Dog friendly:
Watch/guard dog:
Affection / Dependance:
Exercise needed:
Space needed:
Tendency to bark:
Grooming Requirements:
Tendency to bark:
Grooming Requirements:

Breed Attributes


Breed group: Working    Type: Pure Breed    Talent: , ,


Size: Large     Weight: 100-150 pounds     Fur length: Short    Ears: Flappy    Fur type: Straight    Fur Color: Gray / Salt & Pepper, Light Brown / Golden, Merle / Spotted / Brindle / Speckled, White / Cream


Life Expectancy: 12-14 years    Rarity: Common    Availability: Easily available    Climate: Good for every climate.

Breed Details


The Karabash is a flock guardian dog originating in Turkey. It is a large mastiff type dog that has been used primarily to guard the flocks of sheep and goats from predators. It is an alert, active and brave dog that is regarded highly for its outstanding guarding abilities. Its job is to protect the flock, its master and his property from wolves and other predators. Working with little human intervention, sometimes with two or three other dogs the Karabash will patrol the hillsides around its sheep or its village, settling now and then, unseen, in some high vantage-point to watch and listen for any unwelcome sight or sound. With its sand-coloured coat as camouflage the Karabash is almost invisible in the arid terrain, until danger threatens. The dog will then show itself, standing tall and alert with its tail curled over its back. Any intruder who still approaches will be first warned off with a formidable bark and then chased away or confronted.

This large dog stands between 28-30 inches and weighs between 100-150 lbs. The name Karabash means black head and refers to its characteristic black mask. The dog has a muscular built with wide head, thick neck and sturdy body. The muzzle is black and blunt with a black nose. Small ears are usually black and rounded at the tips. Small eyes come in gold to brown colour range. The short and close fitting coat may be of any colour although white is most common.

This dog is recognized by AKC as Anatolian Shepherd dog.


All colours are accepted with or without black mask and black ears. White Karabash dogs are most commonly seen.


The dog has Short and dense coat with thick undercoat. It is flat, close-lying, neither fluffy nor wavy. The coat is slightly longer and thicker at neck, shoulders and tail; no feathering on ears or legs.


The Karabash dog is first and foremost a flock guardian. Bred to protect flock and family without human intervention or direction, the dog is independent and powerful. It is an intelligent breed that can learn fast but due to its independent nature, may choose not to listen or obey to commands. This is a challenging dog as house pet and needs an experienced owner to handle its independent and free nature. The dog becomes very loyal and affectionate to the family once it adapts to family pet role. It is very gentle and kind dog to children and a fierce protector of its family and house. It has high demands for physical exercises and needs lots of space to run and play. This dog is quiet around the house and will only bark to signal arrival of an intruder. This is not a dog for every owner and needs a strong and stable owner who can guide the dog into a great family pet.


Grooming needs are low with this breed as only weekly brushing is needed to keep the coat clean. Though the dog is a heavy shedder, it will need regular brushing during shedding season which occurs twice a year.


The Karabash is not an easy dog to train. Infact, training is a challenge for this breed as it has an independent and free nature and is accustomed to doing its tasks without human intervention or directions. This is not a dog for first time or weak owners. It needs a true packleader owner who can establish himself as this dogs true packleader status by calm, stable yet firm attitude. Once tamed, the dog will respond to training and learn quickly.


The Karabash is a high energy dog that loves to be outdoors rather than indoor. It needs to be doing some task and require large open spaces to run and play as and when it likes. Long daily walks will not fulfill its exercise needs and it will need extra time playing and running. This dog is not suitable for apartment living and best suited to a house with large yard. Ideally the dog is suited to rural or suburban setting.

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