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

Edited by Tayyaba Rehman — By Fiza Rafique — Published on December 9, 2023
Akbash is a livestock guardian dog breed from Turkey, recognized for its white coat and lean structure, while the Great Pyrenees is a mountain dog breed from France and Spain, known for its thick, white fur and powerful build.
Akbash vs. Great Pyrenees — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Akbash and Great Pyrenees


Key Differences

The Akbash originates from Turkey and has historically served as a livestock guardian dog. The Great Pyrenees, on the other hand, has its roots in the mountainous regions of France and Spain, where it too played the role of a livestock protector.
Visually, the Akbash tends to have a leaner structure, with a smooth, short to medium-length white coat. The Great Pyrenees boasts a more robust and powerful build, complemented by a thick, lush white coat.
The Akbash often exhibits a more reserved and independent nature, especially around strangers. The Great Pyrenees is known for its gentle demeanor, but can also be protective and territorial when required.
Both the Akbash and Great Pyrenees are prized for their strong protective instincts, especially concerning livestock. However, their temperaments can differ, with the Akbash being more aloof and the Great Pyrenees showcasing patience, especially around children.
Training and socializing both breeds is crucial from an early age. While the Akbash may require a firm hand given its independent streak, the Great Pyrenees benefits from gentle, consistent guidance.

Comparison Chart


France and Spain

Physical Build

Leaner structure
Robust and powerful


Smooth, short to medium-length white
Thick, lush white


More reserved and independent
Gentle yet protective

Historical Role

Livestock guardian
Livestock and mountain guardian

Compare with Definitions


Highly protective, especially concerning livestock.
Farmers value the Akbash for its guarding capabilities.

Great Pyrenees

Historically a livestock guardian and protector.
The Great Pyrenees is still used in some regions for guarding livestock.


A livestock guardian dog breed from Turkey.
The Akbash is renowned in Turkey for its loyal nature.

Great Pyrenees

Features a thick, white, luxurious coat.
The Great Pyrenees requires regular grooming to maintain its beautiful coat.


Recognized by its smooth white coat and lean build.
The Akbash's distinct appearance sets it apart at dog shows.

Great Pyrenees

A mountain dog breed originating from France and Spain.
The Great Pyrenees has a rich history in the mountainous terrains of Europe.


Requires consistent training due to its independent streak.
Training an Akbash requires patience and understanding of its nature.

Great Pyrenees

Known for its gentle and protective temperament.
Families appreciate the Great Pyrenees for its gentle nature with children.


Known for its independent and reserved temperament.
The Akbash can be wary of strangers, making early socialization crucial.

Great Pyrenees

Benefits from gentle, consistent training.
Early socialization ensures the Great Pyrenees grows up to be well-rounded.

Common Curiosities

Which breed, between Akbash and Great Pyrenees, has a thicker coat?

The Great Pyrenees has a thicker, more luxurious coat.

Where does the Akbash originate from?

The Akbash originates from Turkey.

Are they suitable for apartment living?

Given their size and protective nature, both breeds are better suited for homes with ample space.

Are the Akbash and Great Pyrenees suitable for families?

Both breeds can be suitable for families, but early training and socialization are essential.

How are the temperaments of the Great Pyrenees and Akbash different?

While both breeds are protective, the Akbash tends to be more reserved and independent, whereas the Great Pyrenees is gentle yet can be territorial.

Are these breeds good with other animals?

Given their history as livestock guardians, both breeds can coexist with other animals, but early socialization is crucial.

How much grooming do these breeds require?

While the Akbash has a smoother coat that may require less grooming, the thick coat of the Great Pyrenees needs regular care.

What regions are the Great Pyrenees native to?

The Great Pyrenees has its roots in the mountainous regions of France and Spain.

What's the primary function of the Akbash historically?

Historically, the Akbash has served as a livestock guardian dog in Turkey.

Do both breeds have a white coat?

Yes, both the Akbash and the Great Pyrenees predominantly feature a white coat.

How do the energy levels of the Akbash and Great Pyrenees compare?

Both breeds have moderate energy levels, but regular exercise is essential.

Are these breeds prone to any specific health issues?

Like all breeds, they may have some predispositions, so regular vet check-ups are essential.

Which breed is larger in size?

While both breeds are large, the Great Pyrenees tends to have a more robust and powerful build.

Do these breeds bark a lot?

Both breeds have protective instincts, which can result in barking, especially if they sense a threat.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Fiza Rafique
Fiza Rafique is a skilled content writer at, where she meticulously refines and enhances written pieces. Drawing from her vast editorial expertise, Fiza ensures clarity, accuracy, and precision in every article. Passionate about language, she continually seeks to elevate the quality of content for readers worldwide.
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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