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Aksaray Malaklisi Dog Breed Info: Pictures, Personality & Facts

Ed Malaker

By Ed Malaker

Aksaray_malaklisi dog standing on the grass

In the rugged landscapes of Turkey, a remarkable canine companion stands tall as a symbol of strength and loyalty. The Aksaray Malaklisi, also known as the Aksaray Mastiff, is a majestic breed with a storied history. They are one of the largest dog breeds and make a great work animal. If you are considering getting one of these dogs for your home, keep reading as we look into their temperament, grooming, and training needs to help you make an informed decision.

Height: 21–30 inches
Weight: 110–265 pounds
Lifespan: 13–15 years
Colors: White, brown, black, tan, red
Suitable for: Experienced owners, farms with livestock
Temperament: Intelligent, strong, brave

The Aksaray Malaklisi is a fascinating breed with several interesting characteristics. They are not a mix of other breeds but are an ancient breed with a unique lineage. Their core traits include their impressive size, strength, and agility. Despite their imposing appearance, they are gentle and affectionate, forming strong bonds with their human family. Their unwavering loyalty and protective instincts make them an exceptional choice for those seeking a powerful and loving canine companion.

Aksaray Malaklisi Puppies


As puppies, Aksaray Malaklisi dogs are playful and adorable. Once they reach 2 months old, they can eat dog food, fresh leftovers from the butcher, and a blend of barley, eggs, and milk. Breeders claim that this diet helps them grow to their optimal size faster, with less chance of health problems. However, finding this dog can be extremely difficult, and they will likely be quite expensive, as rumors suggest that the seven qualified breeders release only 100 puppies per year outside the country.

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3 Little-Known Facts About the Aksaray Malaklisi

1. Ancient Heritage

The Aksaray Malaklisi has an ancient heritage, dating back centuries in the Aksaray region of Turkey. Many believe them to be one of the oldest livestock guardian breeds, with roots in the time of the Hittites, an ancient civilization from around 2000 BCE.

2. Versatile Abilities

While the primary role of the Aksaray Malaklisi has been as a livestock guardian, they have also worked in search and rescue, large-game hunting, and even military and police forces in Turkey.

3. Rare Breed Status

The Aksaray Malaklisi is considered a rare breed outside of their native region. Their population is relatively small and finding reputable breeders can be challenging.

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Temperament & Intelligence of the Aksaray Malaklisi 🧠

The Aksaray Malaklisi has a balanced temperament characterized by loyalty, protectiveness, and gentle nature. They are deeply devoted to their family and have a strong sense of guardianship. They make excellent work dogs, and many owners use them to protect livestock from predators and thieves, and in fact, it’s their original purpose. They are intelligent and can think and problem-solve, but they can also be stubborn and strong-willed, making them difficult to train, especially for inexperienced owners.

Are These Dogs Good for Families?🏡

Yes. The Aksaray Malaklisi is usually patient and tolerant of children. They form strong bonds with family members and are extremely protective, making them a great choice for a watchdog. They also have plenty of energy, and multiple family members can help them get the exercise that they need to stay healthy and happy.

Does This Breed Get Along With Other Pets?🐶 😽

The Aksaray Malaklisi can get along well with other pets, but it largely depends on their socialization and temperament. Early exposure to different animals, such as cats, other dogs, or smaller pets, can help them learn to coexist peacefully. However, it’s important to remember that this breed has a strong prey drive from their heritage as livestock guardians, so they may chase after smaller animals, including cats. They also have a robust sense of pack hierarchy and may exhibit dominant tendencies toward other dogs, particularly those of the same sex. Proper introductions, gradual integration, and supervision are essential when introducing them to other dogs to ensure that everyone gets along.

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Things to Know When Owning an Aksaray Malaklisi

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

Like any dog breed, your Aksaray Malaklisi will require a diet high in protein. Choose a brand with real meat listed as the first ingredient, and avoid those with chemical preservatives and artificial colors. Choose a brand that’s appropriate for your dog’s age and health, and follow the portioning instructions closely to prevent weight gain. Treats are ideal for rewarding and training your Aksaray Malaklisi, but be cautious not to overdo it, as they can also contribute to weight gain.

Exercise 🐕

Aim for at least 60–90 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise daily to help your Aksaray Malaklisi stay healthy and happy. You can divide it up into multiple sessions throughout the day. These dogs enjoy leashed and off-leash activities like walking, running, fetch, tug-of-war, or hide-and-seek. Many of these dogs also enjoy swimming.

Training 🦮

Training an Aksaray Malaklisi requires consistency, patience, and positive reinforcement techniques, as they can be independent and stubborn. Start training your dog when they are still a puppy and are open to learning new things. For the best results, schedule your sessions consistently, and keep them short to get your pet into a routine.

Grooming ✂️

Brush your Aksaray Malaklisi’s coat at least once weekly to remove loose hair, dirt, and debris. They will also need regular nail trimmings so they aren’t uncomfortable walking, and ear inspections and cleanings will help reduce the risk of infection. We also recommend brushing their teeth as frequently as possible with pet-safe toothpaste to help slow the progression of dental disease.

Health and Conditions ❤️

Minor Conditions
  • Eye conditions
  • Ear infections
Serious Conditions
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Bloat

Minor Conditions:

Some Aksaray Malaklisi dogs may be prone to certain eye conditions. These include progressive retinal atrophy, which is a degeneration of the retina; ectropion, which is an outward sagging of the eyelid; and entropion, which is an inward rolling of the eyelid. Veterinary eye exams can help detect and treat these conditions before they get out of hand.

Due to their drop ears, the Aksaray Malaklisi can be prone to ear infections. Regular cleaning and proper ventilation of the ears can help prevent these issues. Be mindful of signs like excessive scratching, redness, odor, or discharge, and seek veterinary care if necessary.

Serious Conditions:

Hip dysplasia is a common orthopedic condition in large breeds like the Aksaray Malaklisi. It occurs when the hip joint does not develop properly due to a genetic disorder, leading to arthritis and mobility issues. Signs include difficulty getting up or climbing stairs and a bunny hop gait. Regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, and responsible breeding practices can help reduce the risk of hip dysplasia.

Bloat, also known as gastric torsion, is a life-threatening condition that commonly affects deep-chested breeds, including the Aksaray Malaklisi. It involves the stomach twisting, leading to bloating and potentially cutting off the blood supply to other organs. Quick medical attention is crucial in suspected cases of bloat.

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Male vs. Female

Male Aksaray Malaklisi dogs tend to be larger and heavier than females and are more likely to become territorial with other dogs, especially those of the same sex. The females are slightly more independent.

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Final Thoughts

The Aksaray Malaklisi is an extremely large and rare dog breed that makes an excellent work dog for guarding livestock or protecting the home. They can be stubborn and strong-willed but form strong bonds with their owners. They are relatively healthy and can be good companions if you train them well, but their large size means they need plenty of room and exercise.

Featured Image Credit: Aksaray malaklisi beto (Image Credit: Birhanb, Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 3.0 Unported)

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