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Akbash vs. Great Pyrenees: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Published on February 24, 2024
The Akbash is a Turkish breed known for its all-white coat and leaner build, while the Great Pyrenees, originally from France, is bulkier with a thick double coat.

Key Differences

The Akbash is a large, lean breed from Turkey, primarily used as a livestock guardian dog. The Great Pyrenees, originating from the Pyrenees Mountains of France and Spain, is also a livestock guardian breed but is generally bulkier and more muscular.
In appearance, the Akbash has a distinct all-white coat, which is short to medium in length and weather-resistant. The Great Pyrenees typically has a thick, double coat that can be white or have markings of gray, tan, or reddish-brown.
The Akbash is known for its agility and speed, traits that are essential for a dog that guards livestock over large territories. Conversely, the Great Pyrenees is known for its strength and endurance, capable of patrolling and defending against predators in rough, mountainous terrain.
Temperamentally, the Akbash is often more reserved and independent, reflecting its solitary working heritage. The Great Pyrenees, while also independent, tends to show more patience and a gentle demeanor, especially towards family members.
Regarding health, the Akbash generally has a lifespan of about 10-11 years and is prone to conditions like hip dysplasia. The Great Pyrenees has a similar lifespan but is also prone to additional health issues such as bloat and bone cancer.

Comparison Chart


France and Spain

Coat Color

Typically all-white
White with possible gray, tan, or brown markings

Body Type

Lean and agile
Bulky and muscular


Reserved, independent
Patient, gentle, independent

Common Health Issues

Hip dysplasia
Hip dysplasia, bloat, bone cancer

Akbash and Great Pyrenees Definitions


The Akbash is a loyal and protective breed.
Her Akbash was fiercely protective of her family's property.

Great Pyrenees

Great Pyrenees are known for their gentle temperament and patience.
Despite its size, the Great Pyrenees played gently with the children.


The Akbash is a large, white Turkish livestock guardian dog.
The farmer relied on his Akbash to protect the sheep from predators.

Great Pyrenees

The Great Pyrenees is a large, muscular dog with a thick double coat
The Great Pyrenees lay in the snow, its thick coat insulating it against the cold.


Akbash dogs are known for their agility and alertness.
The Akbash quickly responded to the disturbance near the herd.

Great Pyrenees

The Great Pyrenees has a white or mainly white coat, which can have markings of different colors.
His Great Pyrenees had beautiful gray markings on its ears and tail.


Akbash have a weather-resistant coat suited for outdoor life.
The Akbash's coat kept it comfortable in both hot and cold weather.

Great Pyrenees

Great Pyrenees dogs were originally bred for guarding livestock in mountainous regions.
The Great Pyrenees stood guard over the sheep, vigilant against predators.


Akbash dogs excel in guarding and patrolling large areas.
The Akbash efficiently patrolled the vast fields of the farm.

Great Pyrenees

Great Pyrenees are independent yet protective, making them excellent guard dogs.
The family felt safe with their Great Pyrenees watching over the house at night.


What is the lifespan of an Akbash dog?

Akbash dogs typically live for about 10-11 years.

What is an Akbash?

The Akbash is a large, white-colored dog breed from Turkey, primarily used for guarding livestock.

What is a Great Pyrenees?

The Great Pyrenees is a large dog breed known for its thick double coat, originating from the Pyrenees Mountains between France and Spain.

What health problems are common in Great Pyrenees?

Common health issues in Great Pyrenees include hip dysplasia, bloat, and bone cancer.

How long do Great Pyrenees live?

Great Pyrenees usually have a lifespan of 10-12 years.

What kind of coat care does an Akbash need?

Akbash dogs need regular brushing to maintain their coat, especially during shedding seasons.

Can Great Pyrenees live in warm climates?

While they can adapt to various climates, Great Pyrenees' thick coats make them more suited to cooler temperatures; in warmer climates, they need access to shade and water.

Are Akbash dogs good with children?

Akbash dogs can be good with children if raised and socialized properly, but their independent nature may affect interaction.

Do Great Pyrenees make good family pets?

Yes, Great Pyrenees can make excellent family pets due to their gentle and protective nature.

Do Akbash dogs require a lot of exercise?

Akbash dogs, being active and agile, do require regular exercise to maintain their health and happiness.

How much grooming do Great Pyrenees require?

Great Pyrenees require regular grooming to maintain their thick coats, including frequent brushing and occasional baths.

Are Akbash dogs prone to any health issues?

Akbash dogs can be prone to hip dysplasia and other joint issues.

Can Akbash dogs adapt to living in an apartment?

Akbash dogs are better suited to homes with large, fenced yards due to their size and activity level.

Do Akbash dogs get along with other pets?

With proper socialization, Akbash dogs can get along with other pets, but their strong guarding instincts may affect interactions with unfamiliar animals.

Is the Great Pyrenees a good choice for first-time dog owners?

The Great Pyrenees might be challenging for first-time dog owners due to its size, grooming needs, and independent nature.

Is it easy to find Akbash or Great Pyrenees puppies?

Availability can vary; it's important to research and find reputable breeders or consider adoption from rescue organizations.

Are Great Pyrenees dogs easy to train?

Great Pyrenees can be challenging to train due to their independent nature, but they respond well to patient and consistent training methods.

What is the main difference in temperament between Akbash and Great Pyrenees?

The Akbash tends to be more reserved and independent, while the Great Pyrenees is known for being more patient and gentle, though still independent.

Are Great Pyrenees good with other dogs?

Great Pyrenees can get along with other dogs if they are socialized from a young age, but their protective nature might lead to issues with unfamiliar dogs.

How much space do Akbash dogs need?

Akbash dogs thrive in environments where they have plenty of space to move, ideally with access to a large yard or rural area.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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