Turkish Boz Shepherd | Dog Breed Facts And Information (Update)

Last updated on February 24th, 2024 at 12:03 pm

The Turkish Boz Shepherd is an ancient and formidable breed originating from the Northern Urfa Mountains in Southern Turkey. Endowed with remarkable endurance to withstand extreme temperatures, this mighty dog excels as a guardian of livestock, exhibiting a low prey drive that emphasizes protection over aggression towards other animals.

Its unwavering loyalty and devotion make it an ideal family companion, displaying exceptional tolerance towards young children and allowing them to ride like a horse. While ready to defend their family with their own lives, their size, and weight alone are a powerful deterrent to potential intruders.

Turkish Boz Shepherd is waiting for his owner.

Key Takeaways:

  • Turkish Boz Shepherds have a sturdy bone structure and round bones.
  • They have proportionately larger feet, aiding in their stability and agility.
  • The Boz Shepherd’s skull is blocky and square, resembling that of a racehorse.
  • Their instinctive livestock guarding abilities are deeply ingrained, providing effective protection. Their size and strength make them formidable deterrents to predators and capable of handling physical confrontations if needed.
  •  The breed’s tail is medium in length and thick at the base, tapering to the tip. When alert, they carry their tail high, signifying their readiness and confidence.

Turkish Boz Shepherd Highlights

  • Loyalty and Devotion: Loyalty is ingrained in the core of the Turkish Boz Shepherd’s personality. They form deep and unwavering bonds with their human family members, displaying a remarkable level of devotion and commitment to their loved ones.
  • Protective Nature: As natural guardians, Turkish Boz Shepherds possess a strong protective instinct. They protect their territory, livestock, and family very seriously, fearlessly confronting any potential threats.
  • Gentle and Affectionate: Turkish Boz Shepherds are gentle and affectionate towards their human family despite their imposing size and protective nature. They are known for their patience and tenderness, especially when interacting with children.
  • Alert and Watchful: Turkish Boz Shepherds are highly alert and watchful with heightened senses and sharp instincts. They possess an innate ability to detect any unusual or suspicious activity in their surroundings, making them excellent watchdogs.
  • Calm and Steadfast: Despite their protective nature, Turkish Boz Shepherds maintain a calm and composed demeanor. They exhibit level-headed responses devoid of unnecessary aggression, rendering them reliable and organized companions.
  • Independent Thinkers: Turkish Boz Shepherds are independent thinkers, which serves them well as livestock guardians. They can make decisions independently, allowing them to react appropriately to different situations without constant guidance.
  • Socialization and Training: Early socialization and consistent training are crucial for Turkish Boz Shepherds. Proper socialization helps them develop a well-rounded temperament, ensuring they interact positively with other animals and people.
Weight90 – 150 lbs (40 – 68 kg)
Height28 – 32 inches (71 – 81 cm)
ColorFawn with various shades, often with a black mask
CoatDense and weather-resistant

The Earliest Records of Turkish Boz Shepherd in History

The Turkish Boz Shepherd boasts a history that stretches back thousands of years, making it one of the oldest breeds. It shares a close relationship with other breeds in the region, such as the Akbash, Kangal, and the Anatolian Shepherd, which the AKC recognizes.

Unlike many modern breeds influenced by specific breeding programs, the Turkish Boz Shepherd’s development was shaped predominantly by natural forces. Living in the rugged terrain of the Northern Urfa Mountains in Turkey, these dogs needed innate resilience to withstand various weather conditions.

With its origins as a livestock guardian, the Turkish Boz Shepherds played a crucial role in protecting livestock from predators. The Bozoklar, a nomadic group native to the area, relied on these large and loyal dogs to safeguard their valuable livestock.

5 Unique Facts Turkish Boz Shepherd

1. Turkish Boz Shepherds are One of The Smartest Dog Breeds

Known for their intelligence and problem-solving abilities, Turkish Boz Shepherds rank among the most intelligent dog breeds. Their keen instincts and quick learning make them highly trainable, a valuable trait for their role as guardians and companions.

2. The First Modern Turkish Boz Shepherds

The development of the modern Turkish Boz Shepherds can be attributed to Akin Tulubas, a dedicated Turkish man. He played a crucial role in preserving and promoting the breed, ensuring its ancient lineage and exceptional qualities continue to thrive.

3. Turkish Boz Shepherds Aren’t Dangerous Dogs

Despite their imposing size and protective instincts, Turkish Boz Shepherds are not inherently dangerous dogs. Their gentle and tolerant nature towards their human family members, especially children, highlights their loving and reliable temperament.

In their homeland of Turkey, Turkish Boz Shepherds are still highly regarded and cherished. Their popularity remains significant, especially among those who appreciate their historical significance and role as working dogs.

5. Alternate names for Turkish Boz Shepherds

In addition to being known as Turkish Boz Shepherds, this breed is sometimes referred to by other names, such as “Boz Shepherd,” “Karabash,” and “Anatolian Boz Shepherd.” These alternate names often reflect the different regions or characteristics attributed to the breed.

Related Article: Blue German Shepherd

Turkish Boz Shepherd Puppies Activity Requirements

Turkish Boz Shepherd puppies have specific activity requirements that differ from those of adult dogs. As young and growing pups, they need careful attention to their exercise and play to ensure proper development and well-being.

1. Short, Frequent Play Sessions: Turkish Boz Shepherds puppies have boundless energy, but their growing bodies are still developing. Instead of extended play sessions, opt for short and frequent bursts throughout the day. This approach helps prevent exhaustion and minimizes the risk of injury.

2. Age-Appropriate Exercise: Tailor the exercise to their age and physical abilities. Gentle walks, interactive games, and supervised play with other puppies are ideal for building their muscles and coordination without straining their developing bones and joints.

3. Mental Stimulation: Alongside physical exercise, mental stimulation keeps their curious minds engaged. Puzzle toys, treat-dispensing toys, and basic training exercises are excellent ways to challenge their intellect and promote obedience.

4. Supervised Socialization: Early socialization is essential for Turkish Boz Shepherds puppies. Introduce them to various people, other pets, and different environments in a controlled and positive manner. This helps them develop into well-adjusted and confident adult dogs.

5. Avoid Overexertion: Puppies may have seemingly boundless energy, but it’s crucial to prevent overexertion. They need plenty of rest and nap time to support their growth and development.

6. Puppy-Proofed Environment: Create a safe and puppy-proofed environment to allow them to explore and play without encountering potential hazards.

7. Positive Reinforcement Training: Begin basic obedience training using positive reinforcement methods early. This establishes good behavior patterns and builds a strong bond between the puppy and the owner.

Related Article: Long-Haired German Shepherd

Turkish Boz Shepherd Health Issue

Turkish Boz Shepherds, like all breeds, may be prone to certain health issues. Potential owners need to be aware of these conditions to provide proper care and early detection if necessary. Some of the common health issues seen in Turkish Boz Shepherds include:

  1. Hip Dysplasia: This is a genetic condition where the hip joint doesn’t fit properly into the hip socket. It can lead to discomfort, lameness, and arthritis. Regular veterinary check-ups and responsible breeding practices can help minimize the risk of hip dysplasia.
  2. Bloat (Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus): Bloat is a life-threatening condition where the stomach fills with gas and twists. This can cut off blood flow and cause severe pain.
  3. Elbow Dysplasia: Similar to hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia is a developmental abnormality that affects the elbow joint. It may cause lameness and discomfort, especially in large breeds like Turkish Boz Shepherds.
  4. Eye Issues: Turkish Boz Shepherds may be prone to certain eye problems, including progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) and cataracts. Regular eye check-ups are important to monitor their eye health.

Similar Breeds

Anatolian Shepherd

Anatolian Shepherd is waiting for his owner.

The Anatolian Shepherd originates from the same region as the Turkish Boz Shepherd and shares many similarities in size and appearance, albeit slightly smaller.

Like the Turkish Boz Shepherd, the Anatolian Shepherd has a strong history as a livestock guardian, with evidence dating back to ancient times.

The Anatolian Shepherd is known for its independence and reserved demeanor around strangers. It excels as a watchdog but can also be great with children when properly socialized and supervised.

Caucasian Shepherd Dog

Caucasian Shepherd Dog is standing on top of the mountain.

The Caucasus Mountains in Eastern Europe were the place of origin for Caucasian Shepherd Dogs, where breeders developed them as livestock guardians to safeguard herds from predators, leveraging their formidable size and presence.

Also known as Caucasian Sheepdogs, Caucasian Ovcharkas, or Kawkasy Owstcharkas, they come in two types: the larger, thickly-coated Mountain type, and the smaller, finer-coated Steppe type.

While bred for protection, Caucasian Shepherd Dogs also possess a tender and kind side, especially towards experienced owners who understand and appreciate their loyal and fearless nature.


1. How fast can a Turkish Boz Shepherd run?

The Turkish Boz Shepherd can reach speeds of 27 to 35 miles per hour on average, with some individuals capable of reaching up to 40 miles per hour. They are known for their ability to run great distances, often employing a double-suspension gallop.

2. Which is the strongest shepherd dog in the world?

The Kangal Shepherd, a Turkish breed of dog, is renowned for its impressive strength and large size. With a bite force of 743 pounds per square inch (PSI), this breed holds the title of the strongest shepherd dog in the world, showcasing unparalleled raw power.

3. Who is the famous dog in Turkey?

Boji, a former stray dog in Istanbul, Turkey, gained local celebrity status due to his affection for the city’s public transportation. Boji was known to travel long distances, reportedly traveling up to 18 miles on buses, ferries, subways, and trams.

4. Are Turkish Boz Shepherds good family dogs?

Yes, Turkish Boz Shepherds are excellent family dogs. As giant livestock guardians and family protectors, they are gentle and affectionate with children and other animals. Intelligent, independent, loyal, and devoted, they make perfect companions for families seeking a loving and protective canine companion.


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