Akbash Dogs International - Active Member Breeders

Buyers Please Note: The breeders listed below are members in good standing and as such are expected to conform to the ADI Code of Ethics. However, under no circumstances does ADI guarantee the services of these member breeders. You should always insist on a written guarantee or contract if you purchase a puppy or dog. Ask for proof of appropriate certification (such as OFA or PennHIP for hips), whether the parents are working dogs and if the breeder temperament tests pups prior to placement. A breeder should also be willing to provide references.

Belfair Akbash Dogs
Elaine & Howard Dustin
9855 Buttermilk Ridge Rd.
Lawrenceburg, TN 38464

Lokum Akbash Dogs
Janet and Hershel Dunham
P.O. Box 87
Ore City, TX 75683-0087

Sheepfields Akbash Dogs
Diane Spisak & Drew Spisak, DVM
P.O. Box 146
Wellsville, KS 66092

Akbash Dogs International expects its breeders to stand behind the pups they produce and support the buyers they sell to. Breeders must abide by the ADI code of ethics, and maintain high standards as set out in the ADI breeding and registration policies. If problems should arise between a breeder and buyer, the ADI board is prepared to intervene. There have been remarkably few complaints about our breeders in the past decade. Most of the complaints have been about unrealistic expectations or unclear verbal agreements. In other words, unclear communicating. ADI strongly suggests written agreements and guarantees.

When you purchase an Akbash Dog from an ADI-member breeder, you can reasonably expect ...

A pup is going home

  1. The parents are not closely related, to avoid problems with inbreeding.
  2. The parents have been certified free of hip dysplasia. This is a costly certification that has been borne by the breeder.
  3. The parents of the litter are free of any other known genetic defects.
  4. The pup has been registered with breeding or non-breeding status for the good of the entire breed.
  5. The parents and litter are healthy and have all required vaccinations.
  6. Each puppy has been tattooed or micro chipped, at the breeder’s expense.
  7. A written buyer-seller agreement should be provided, explaining what conditions and warranties apply.
  8. You are buying from a breeder who pays good money to support the ADI rescue/rehome service, in case problems arise and you are unable to keep your dog. Our breeders are expected to work on your behalf to find a second home for your dog if the need arises.
  9. Through membership in ADI, the breeder is up-to-date with the latest ideas on training, breeding and health issues.

Breeding Akbash Dogs is a low profit endeavor when done responsibly. This is not a get rich quick scheme. You, as a buyer, are investing a lot of money and a significant amount of your future. In return, you have a right to expect a high level of commitment, care and knowledge from the breeder. You are far more likely to obtain satisfaction from a breeder who has agreed to the ADI code of ethics, and remains an active member of ADI.

The availability of livestock protection dogs for sale is sporadic, often with regional variation. A breeder may only advertise locally. Prices may range from $1200 to virtually free to a good home. First time breeders always state that they are into breeding for a long time, but they probably won't be. They see breeding their dog as a way to make easy money, then learn the hard way that there is a lot of work involved in responsible breeding and sales. Many breeders consider that when a pup leaves for a new home, their responsibility comes to a close. They are not interested in screening potential customers, taking back bad fits, offering personalized advice, or otherwise continuing the relationship with the buyer. We know of many instances where the 7th, 8th and 9th puppies in a litter were given away or sold for little money, because the breeder was tired of having them around, and there were no more desirable inquiries coming in (which is why many responsible breeders don't breed a litter until they have received 8-10 money deposits for puppies). All too often our rescue chair learns of adolescent LPDs found roaming the countryside or picked up by a dog catcher in a half starved condition. These are dogs that were abandoned or not placed properly in the first place. ADI does not represent all breeders of Akbash Dogs, mainly because many won't sign and adhere to our code of ethics. We do, however, take as many Akbash Dogs as possible into our rescue service. By joining ADI and buying from our member-breeders, you are contributing to the ethical sustainability of the breed.

There is considerable talk about the value of pure-bred livestock protection dogs vs. mixed breeds. Some breeders cite hybrid vigour as a reason for interbreeding LPDs that they sell. This is a complex area of genetics and animal husbandry, one that deserves some attention. First, mixing breeds of LPDs can produce excellent working dogs. ADI, which is all about maintaining the purity of Akbash Dog lineages, freely admits this. However, who evaluates and maintains the records of those dogs? If a mixed breeding results in expression of a recessive gene defect, who will catch it and deal with it?

Who, other than the breeder of mixed pairings, can you trust to know the heritage and potential of good working dogs?

Uncontrolled in-breeding can lead to problems, but so can uncontrolled out-breeding. Most of the medical research performed today is based on work with highly inbred mice and rats. These animals have been selected to have highly similar genes, AND to have no genetic defects. The lesson from research mice and rats is that inbreeding does not automatically mean genetic defects. If the genetic expression is monitored and selected appropriately, heritable traits we seek can be emphasized and weaknesses eliminated. ADI is committed to preserving the working attributes of a landrace breed; we are less interested in having all Akbash Dogs look like clones. We actively encourage outcrossing within the breed, and we carefully assess the genetic health of the dogs in our registry. ADI maintains a registry that is designed to help catch genetic problems. We don't allow breeding of close relatives, to maintain a low co-efficient of inbreeding, yet we want to assure that the parents are good working Akbash Dogs. An ADI-member breeder is thus selling from an established working line of dogs, offering a pup you can have a lot more faith in.

We are well aware that you can buy a livestock protection dog for less money than ADI member-breeders typically ask. If the risks of poor working aptitude, lack of a guarantee, unknown heritage, and absence of follow-up service don't concern you, there may be money to be saved. For most people, however, investing wisely in an LPD includes the assurances and support that ADI breeders offer.

In its first 25 years of existence, ADI has substantially reduced the incidence of hip dysplasia in the breed through a rigorous screening program that is compulsory for breed-status dogs. By looking back into our breed records we were able to identify a lineage that had higher than usual incidences of bone cancer. This line of dogs was not used subsequently for breeding, ending a situation that was painful for dogs, and both expensive and stressful for owners. Our registry also picked up on what was probably a heritable form of deafness that was subsequently removed through breeder education. Yes, there are definite advantages to buying pure-bred Akbash Dogs. If others tell you they don't have genetic problems in their dogs for sale, they may be telling you the truth, they may not know, or maybe they are hiding something. You have to decide which.

The bottom line ... ADI member-breeders offer a comprehensive, ethical package with each puppy sold. There is an entire organization backing up the puppy, offering education, a pedigree and knowledge.