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Aksaray Malaklisi Breed: Characteristics and History

If you’re looking for a dog breed that’s both powerful and loyal, the Aksaray Malaklisi might be the perfect choice for you.

This Turkish breed of large livestock guardian dog is known for its courage, steadiness, and strength.

They are one of the largest dog breeds and make great work animals.

Originally from the Aksaray Province in Central Anatolia, the Aksaray Malaklisi has become an increasingly popular livestock guardian dog across the world.

Despite this, it remains a rare breed that is rarely seen outside the Aksaray region of Turkey.

While they are primarily bred to be used as working dogs, they can also make great family pets for those who have the space and time to properly care for them.

Whether you’re a first-time dog owner or an experienced handler, this guide will help you decide if the Aksaray Malaklisi is the right dog for you.

Origin and History

Aksaray Malaklisi Breed Info Characteristics, Origin, and More

This breed originates from the Aksaray Province in Central Anatolia, Turkey.

The Aksaray Malaklisi is also known as Malaklı Karabaş or Blackhead Mastiff.

According to the Aksaray Malaklısı Breed Improvement Association, this breed has a long history that dates back 3,500 years in Anatolia.

Legend has it that the Aksaray Malaklisi breed originated from the ancient city of Troy.

The breed was said to have been brought to Turkey by the Trojan warriors who fled to Anatolia after the fall of Troy.

It is believed that these dogs were used by the warriors to protect their livestock and families.

The Aksaray Malaklisi is a large breed of livestock or cattle watch dog.

It is believed that this breed originated from a common ancestor with the Kangal.

The Aksaray Malaklisi is only found in grey color with large foreheads, drooping lips, large ears, short coat, and a non-curled tail.

They are known for their loyalty, protectiveness, and intelligence.

The name Aksaray Malaklisi comes from the region where this breed was born, Aksaray Province.

The practice of naming dogs with their region, like the German Shepherd or Tibetan Mastiff, was upheld, hence the name Aksaray Malaklisi.

In recent years, the Aksaray Malaklisi has gained popularity outside of Turkey. However, it is still a relatively rare breed.

Breed Characteristics

The Aksaray Malaklisi is a giant breed of livestock guardian dog that originated in the Aksaray region of Turkey.

It stands between 70 and 85 centimeters (28 and 33 inches) at the withers and weighs between 60 and 85 kilograms (132 and 187 pounds).

The breed has a short, thick coat that is typically gray in color with a black mask.

The Aksaray Malaklisi has a powerful and muscular build, with a broad head and a strong jaw. Its ears are typically folded over, and its tail is long and thick.

The breed is known for its independent and protective nature, making it an excellent choice for guarding livestock.

One of the most notable traits of the Aksaray Malaklisi is its loyalty.

This breed is fiercely devoted to its family and will go to great lengths to protect them.

They are also highly intelligent and can quickly learn commands and tasks.

Due to its strength and protective nature, the Aksaray Malaklisi requires an experienced owner who can provide firm and consistent training.

This breed is not recommended for first-time dog owners or families with small children.

Despite its rare breed status, the Aksaray Malaklisi is a hard-working and dedicated dog that excels in its role as a livestock guardian.

If you are looking for a loyal and protective companion, the Aksaray Malaklisi may be the perfect breed for you.

Aksaray Malaklisi Vs Other Breeds

When it comes to livestock guardian dogs, there are many breeds to choose from. Each breed has its own unique set of characteristics, strengths, and weaknesses.

Aksaray Malaklisi Vs Turkish Mastiff

The Aksaray Malaklisi and Turkish Mastiff are both large, powerful breeds that were bred for guarding livestock.

However, the Aksaray Malaklisi is more agile and quicker on its feet than the Turkish Mastiff.

The Turkish Mastiff is also more aloof and independent than the Aksaray Malaklisi, which can make it more difficult to train and socialize.

Aksaray Malaklisi Vs Kangal

The Kangal is another popular Turkish breed that is often compared to the Aksaray Malaklisi.

Both breeds are excellent guardians and have a strong protective instinct.

However, the Aksaray Malaklisi is more sociable and friendly with people than the Kangal.

The Kangal is also more prone to aggression towards other dogs, while the Aksaray Malaklisi can get along well with other dogs if socialized properly.

Aksaray Malaklisi Vs Anatolian Shepherd

The Anatolian Shepherd is a breed that is closely related to the Aksaray Malaklisi.

Both breeds were developed in Turkey and were used as livestock guardians.

However, the Anatolian Shepherd is generally larger and more powerful than the Aksaray Malaklisi.

The Aksaray Malaklisi is also more agile and quicker on its feet than the Anatolian Shepherd.

Aksaray Malaklisi Vs English Mastiff

The English Mastiff is a breed that is often compared to the Aksaray Malaklisi due to its size and strength.

However, the Aksaray Malaklisi is much more agile and athletic than the English Mastiff.

The English Mastiff is also more prone to health problems than the Aksaray Malaklisi, which can make it more expensive to own and care for.

Aksaray Malaklisi Vs Kangal Shepherd Dog

The Kangal Shepherd Dog is a breed that is very similar to the Kangal.

Both breeds were developed in Turkey and were used as livestock guardians.

However, the Kangal Shepherd Dog is generally larger and more powerful than the Kangal.

The Aksaray Malaklisi is also more sociable and friendly with people than the Kangal Shepherd Dog.

Temperament and Behavior

The Aksaray Malaklisi breed is known for its strong and powerful character.

They are brave, fierce, and hardworking dogs that were originally bred to protect livestock from predators.

As a result, they have a strong territorial instinct and are highly protective of their family and property.

Despite their size and strength, Aksaray Malaklisi dogs are also known for their gentle and loving nature.

They are patient and obedient, making them great companions for families with children.

However, due to their protective nature, they may not be suitable for families with other pets.

These dogs are also known for their patience and laziness.

They may appear to be lazy at first glance, but they are actually very agile and quick when they need to be.

They are not known to be aggressive, but they can be assertive when necessary.

Aksaray Malaklisi dogs are highly intelligent and can be easily trained.

They are eager to please their owners and can excel in a variety of working roles, including police dogs, search and rescue animals, and even therapy dogs.

Health and Lifespan

When it comes to health, the Aksaray Malaklisi breed is generally healthy and can live a long life.

However, like all breeds, they can be prone to certain health issues.

It’s important to keep your Aksaray Malaklisi healthy by providing them with proper nutrition, exercise, and regular visits to the vet.

The average lifespan of an Aksaray Malaklisi is between 13 to 15 years.

To ensure your dog lives a long and healthy life, it’s important to keep them at a healthy weight, provide them with regular exercise, and take them to the vet for regular check-ups.

One health issue that Aksaray Malaklisi may be prone to is hip dysplasia, which is a genetic condition that affects the hip joint.

This condition can cause pain and discomfort for your dog, and in severe cases, it may require surgery.

To reduce the risk of hip dysplasia, it’s important to buy your Aksaray Malaklisi from a reputable breeder who screens their dogs for this condition.

Another health issue that Aksaray Malaklisi may be prone to is bloat, which is a life-threatening condition that can occur when a dog’s stomach fills with gas and twists.

This condition requires immediate veterinary attention, so it’s important to be aware of the symptoms and seek help right away if you suspect your dog may be suffering from bloat.

Care and Maintenance

Taking care of an Aksaray Malaklisi requires a bit of effort, but it’s worth it to keep your furry friend healthy and happy.

Here are some tips on how to properly care for your Aksaray Malaklisi:


The Aksaray Malaklisi has a short, dense coat that doesn’t require a lot of grooming.

However, it’s important to brush your dog regularly to remove loose hair and prevent matting.

A weekly brushing session with a slicker brush or a rubber curry brush should be enough.

Bathing your dog should be done only when necessary, as over-bathing can strip the natural oils from their coat and skin.


The Aksaray Malaklisi is a large, active breed that needs plenty of exercise to stay healthy and happy.

Daily walks and playtime in a fenced yard are great ways to keep your dog active.

This breed also loves to run, so taking them for a jog or a hike is a good way to give them the exercise they need.


The Aksaray Malaklisi is an intelligent breed that responds well to positive reinforcement training.

Early socialization and obedience training are important to ensure that your dog grows up to be a well-behaved and well-adjusted adult.

Consistency and patience are key when training this breed, as they can be stubborn at times.


Feeding your Aksaray Malaklisi a balanced diet is crucial for their overall health and well-being.

A high-quality dog food that is appropriate for their age, size, and activity level is recommended.

You can also supplement their diet with fresh leftovers from the butcher, eggs, and milk, as breeders claim that this helps them grow to their optimal size faster, with less chance of health problems.


Keeping your Aksaray Malaklisi’s nails trimmed is important to prevent them from getting too long and causing discomfort or even injury.

You can trim their nails yourself or have a professional groomer do it for you.

It’s important to be careful not to cut the quick, which is the pink part of the nail that contains blood vessels and nerves.


Socializing your Aksaray Malaklisi from a young age is important to ensure that they grow up to be friendly and well-behaved around people and other animals.

Expose them to different experiences, people, and animals in a positive and controlled manner to help them develop good social skills.

Breeding and Puppies

When it comes to breeding Aksaray Malaklisi, it’s important to find reputable breeders who prioritize the health and well-being of the dogs.

The breed is relatively rare, so it may take some effort to find a breeder who specializes in Aksaray Malaklisi.

When selecting a breeder, make sure to ask questions about their breeding practices, such as genetic testing and socialization of the puppies.

Puppies of this breed are typically born in litters of 6-8 and are known for their adorable wrinkled faces and playful personalities.

It’s important to socialize them early on to ensure they develop into well-adjusted and confident adult dogs.

Early training is also crucial, as these dogs can be strong-willed and require a firm but gentle hand.

When it comes to feeding and caring for Aksaray Malaklisi puppies, it’s important to provide them with a high-quality, protein-rich diet to support their rapid growth.

They also require plenty of exercise and mental stimulation to prevent boredom and destructive behavior.

Role as Livestock Guardian

If you’re looking for a reliable and powerful livestock guardian dog, the Aksaray Malaklisi breed is an excellent choice.

These dogs are known for their loyalty, intelligence, and natural protective instincts, making them one of the best breeds for protecting livestock from predators.

These dogs have a natural ability to sense danger and will quickly respond to any potential threat to their flock.

As a livestock guardian dog, the Aksaray Malaklisi is well-suited to the task of protecting livestock from predators.

They are particularly effective against wolves, which are a common threat to livestock in many parts of the world.

These dogs are also highly effective at protecting sheep and other livestock from other predators, including coyotes and feral dogs.

One of the key advantages of the Aksaray Malaklisi breed is their size and strength.

These dogs are large and powerful, with a muscular build that makes them highly effective at deterring predators.

They are also highly intelligent and trainable, which makes them easy to work with and highly effective in their role as livestock guardians.

Aksaray Malaklisi in Popular Culture

As a popular Turkish breed, Aksaray Malaklisi has made its way into various forms of popular culture.

From movies to video games, this breed has become a recognizable symbol of Turkish heritage and loyalty.

One of the most notable appearances of Aksaray Malaklisi in popular culture is in the Turkish film “The Mountain” (2012).

The movie tells the story of a young boy and his dog, a loyal Aksaray Malaklisi, as they navigate the harsh terrain of the Anatolian mountains.

The dog’s loyalty and bravery are showcased throughout the film, making it a heartwarming tribute to the breed.

In the video game “Assassin’s Creed: Revelations” (2011), the Aksaray Malaklisi is featured as a guard dog in the game’s setting of Constantinople.

The game’s developers chose the breed for its reputation as a fierce and loyal guardian, adding to the game’s immersive historical accuracy.

The Aksaray Malaklisi has also made appearances in Turkish television shows and commercials, further cementing its place in Turkish popular culture.

Its popularity has even spread beyond Turkey, with the breed gaining recognition as a reliable and capable livestock guardian dog across the world.

The Aksaray Malaklisi’s presence in popular culture is a testament to its status as a beloved and respected Turkish breed.

Its loyalty, bravery, and reliability have made it a symbol of Turkish heritage and a valuable asset to farmers and ranchers worldwide.

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National Canine Research Association of America