This is very ancient breed from Central Anatolia in Turkey. It is believed, that this is one of the oldest breeds in the world and that it has a approximately 3,500-year-long history in Anatolia. Because the breeds history is so old, it is impossible to track down the breeds ancestors or exact date of origin.
2) Anatolian Sheepdogs
This is not the only Sheepdog from Anatolia. There is also probably the most popular Kangal Shepherd from the Sivas province, the Akbash dog and the Yoruk Kopegi. The Aksaray Malaklisi originated in the Anatolain Aksaray province, which is why they are named Aksaray.
The traditional purpose of the Aksaray Malaklisi is protecting the livestock and property. They have high protective instinct and they are naturally good at guarding. These sheepdogs would protect the livestock from any kind of a predator, animal or human. They are very brave, courageous and fearless. In the past, these dogs were also used as war dogs. It was approximatelly 2000 years ago during the time of the Assyrians.
Many people think, that the Kangal is the largest Turkish dog, but that is not the true, because the Aksaray Malaklisi is even larger dog with thicker legs. The height is typically between 70-81 cm, which is 27-32 inch and weight is typically between 50-90 kg, which is 110-200 pounds. But some individuals are even much larger than this and they can be up to 100 cm tall. The females tend to be slightly smaller than males.
These dogs look like calm and gentle giants and they actually are pretty calm when they are with its family and pack. But do not be fooled by that, when it comes to guarding, they are absolutely fearless. Even though they love its family, they are naturally suspicious towards strangers and it takes some time before stranger will gain a trust of Malakli. This dog is also very territorial and can be agressive towards other animals. These dogs have a strong and dominant character, which is why they need very patient and consistent trainer who will show them boundaries what they can do and what they can not. This is definitely not a dog for novices, they need experienced handler.
You already know that this is a giant dog breed, but what about the rest of the body? They have massive head with large round eyes, which are close to eachother. They also typically have black mask and nose. The throat is saggy. These dogs have giant legs and paws.
This breed has a very dense double layered coat. They need this kind of a coat, because it is helping them to withstand temperatures and extreme climates. The hair color is in general pinto, grizzly and brindle.
This is pretty rare dog breed, which is extremely hard to find outside Turkey. But because there is a demand for a large and strong guarding dogs, some of them were already exported and they can be found in other parts of the world. Some of them were exported to Germany, United Kingdom, Russia, Bulgaria or to Romania.
These dogs are highly adaptable and they will adapt to the environment they live in. If they are raised around livestock, than they will naturally grow into livestock protectors. If they are raised in home around its family, than they will be great, devoted and protective companions. The socialization from the puppyhood is important to raise a dog you need.
Even though this is a separate breed with a very long history, they are still not recognized by any major kennel club. But their popularity is slightly growing, so they might get the recognition in the future.