An Introduction to Akbash Dogs International
ADI was formed in 1987. There had been a North American Akbash Dog club earlier, but members grew dissatisfied with attempts to create an Akbash Dog that was ideal for both conformation show and livestock protection settings. ADI was established to preserve the working dog, and remains true to this mandate.
ADI acknowledges that Akbash Dogs are not ideal for many typical canine applications. If you have access to thousands of acres of remote grazing land and a predation problem with your sheep or goats, you'll probably achieve wonderful success with your Akbash Dogs. However, most people have less land, and less of the work they are designed for. If a dog is not worked to its potential, boredom or restlessness may set in. Akbash Dogs are not likely to fetch, learn and obey complex commands, or accept any stranger that comes along. Akbash Dogs are large, highly protective if they have bonded to something or someone, and independent of mind. This combination of attributes requires a strong, experienced handler. ADI set out from the beginning to educate owners and would-be owners about the breed. Many people are discouraged from buying an Akbash Dog. Those who elect to share their lives with Akbash Dogs receive state of the art advice from ADI on training, health and behavioral topics. ADI is not a large group, but we are fully dedicated to preserving this magnificent working breed of dog.
In the 1980s, the world wide web was not available. ADI placed a high priority on developing its news journal, the Akbash Sentinel. To this day, the Akbash Sentinel is our main form of communication. This web site includes all of the important bits of information about the breed, but will not be as thorough or as up to date as the Sentinel. If you are seriously thinking about investing in an Akbash Dog, you should subscribe to this journal. The electronic membership version is a bargain compared to the headaches that could arise if you select the wrong breed for your needs.
ADI has a constitution that requires the president, vice president, past president and board of directors member-at-large to step aside after a three year term in office. There can be no holding on to a position. Thus, the leadership turns over regularly. Nominations for office can be grass roots or through the current board of director’s nominating committee. Neither trumps the other.
ADI places much of its resources at the disposal of the coordinator of rescue services and the editor of the Sentinel. ADI does its best to rehome abandoned Akbash Dogs, and assists with rehoming of mixed breed and other breeds of livestock protection dogs. Enormous time and energy goes into this single aspect of ADI’s mandate. Your financial contribution to this highly worthwhile goal would be appreciated. The link for a donation can be found in the rescue portion of this web site, and recently the rescue operation obtained tax-free donation status in the US. This double approach, educate up front and assist with re-homing after the fact, is not perfect, but its the best our small group can achieve in an international manner.
ADI also believes in serving its members through holding an annual general meeting. We call ours the Gathering of the Akbash Clan. Gatherings are not heavy on business, which we conduct through full membership e-mailings and e-meetings of the board of directors. Gatherings are friendly events with much socialization and usually one or two educational sessions.
In 2007, ADI’s 20th anniversary year, a group of ADI members from the Netherlands, Canada and United States traveled to Turkey, home to the original Akbash Dogs. We met and became good friends with the Turkish citizens who are now leading the representation of Akbash Dogs in Turkey, as the country establishes its own national and breed clubs. ADI recently amended its constitution and by-laws to add a Turkish representative to its board of directors, to ensure that the links between ADI and the Turkish Akbash Dog community is preserved.
In 2015 a new board of directors assumed leadership of ADI. While the people are new, what will not change is the collective will to represent a working breed of dog that also happens to be gorgeous, in a responsible manner.