Please visit the TBBA for more information on the Turkish boz.  

Turkish Boz Breeders Association


Turkish Boz Shepherd

The Turkish Boz Shepherd is a name given more recently given to identify a Regional Type of dog from South and South East Turkey which has previously only been identified by the town or regions they are from. The areas of Urfa, Tuzkoy and Konya still have the dogs of this type which were and are the dogs of the Yoruk Nomadic Shepherds. In Turkey they can be referred to as Guregh in the Urfa area, Konya or Tuzkoy if from those areas, Toros , Yoruk or BozKangal in other areas. The name Boz is the most popular name being accepted for the type in Turkey.

Being that many of the LGDs have lost their ability to defend against formidable predators after the wolves bears and cats were exterminated, people have now been forced to search out the remnant populations that are still working under the harsh conditions and facing real threats.  It was this search that lead to our importing now 20 Turkish Boz Shepherds from Turkey.

  Turkish Television : The following shows Akin Tulubas of BozKennels, Turkey, featured in a television news report regarding his kennel.  Please note his dogs interacting with small children, going on walks on leashes, playing in pastures, and care-takers in their kennels with them.  Truly well-adjusted, non-aggressive dogs.  (The dogs with long, shaggy coats on this video are NOT Boz Shepherds, but rather Volkodavs).

This is the official city website for Urfa Turkey describing their two Shepherd dog types as Sivas Kangal and Boz Shepherd.

This is the official city website for Urfa Turkey describing their two Shepherd dog types as Sivas Kangal and Boz Shepherd.

Boz Shepherds

The Boz are arguably one of the most functional large dogs with regards to speed, strength, agility and endurance.  They also remain one of the most versatile, sociable, loyal and intelligent LGDs in existence today.  Their Livestock Guardian abilities are innateas they usually only need an introduction.  Their drive to LOVE and DEFEND is at a level seen in few breeds.  They are a breed that will fill many jobs.

With livestock it has been observed that the Boz have one of the lowest play prey drives of the many LGD breeds both myself and other Boz owners have utilized.  What you get is a LGD that is more natural to the task, and has a much decreased incidence of the puppies or adolescents play chasing the babies or stock.  This makes for a much more pleasant and easy experience to get a puppy to the point of being a reliable and safe LGD.  I am able to have lambs born in pastures with multiple adolescent pups.  Something I would never have dreamed of with the many other breeds I utilized over the 23 years using LGDs.

With the Boz you will get a larger more athletic and capable protector that is extremely intelligent and easily socialized to people.  Being truly versatile, they can guard all your livestock, property and be a great family companion.

Compared to Kangals by the now dozens of owners that previously or currently own Kangals and now have Boz, the general consensusis that Boz are less reactive than Kangals and better around people as well as having less play chase (prey) drive.  This is not saying that Boz are a better dog, just that they might be better suited for some situations, as Kangals might be better for others. 



About Turkish Boz Shepherd Dogs:


It has been through great effort, expense and sacrifice that we can now offer these truly great livestock guardian dogs to the ranchers or families needing their service.  All of our stock are Turkish Imports, or our offspring from those imports.

The Turkish Boz Shepherd is a Regional Variant of the Livestock Guardian Dogs found throughout Turkey.  In South and South East Anatolia, around Urfa, Nevsehir, Tuzkoy, Konya and Denizli Huge dogs are still working as Livestock Guardians.  They are the dog of the Yoruk Nomadic Turkmen, and evolved with this Nomadic culture still living in much the same way for the past 10,000 years.  The first renderings depicting dogs of the type in the area are from 6,000 BC, the same period of time when sheep were first domesticated.  

The one characteristic that distinguishes most of them from other Turkish Breeds is their Square Profile, or being as tall as they are long.  Their muzzle is narrower, with a head like a racehorse. These are characteristics of the Yoruk, from which the Boz are a regional variant.

They do not pace as frequently as Kangals, and are noted for being capable of greater speed and endurance.  Having a high twitch muscle fiber with a quicker recovery is said to allow for these abilities.  In the Yoruk type, both  thin boned and thick boned can be found.  Boz are the type of Yoruk from South East Turkey with the more substantial bone structure, and greater strength.

Note there is much conflict surrounding the subject of separating out the Regional Variants of Livestock Guardian dogs in Turkey.  Some want to call them all Anatolians, and others want to name each after the town they come from.  I feel that the answer lies in the middle, to separate out the types and regions.  Some claim the Boz are a cross, because dogs from Tuzkoy, Urfa and Konya were bred together.  The dogs from these areas in South and South East Turkey are all of the same type, and considered the same dog by knowledgable people in Turkey.  

Called by several names (Boz, Guregh, Yoruk, Tuzkoy, Konya, Toros or Urfa), the Livestock Guardian dogs from South Anatolia have been historically selected for a level of size, strength, and physical ability greater than most of the other Livestock Guardian Breeds.   The Turkish Shepherds from that area have also retained the practice of breeding to males that have proven themselves.  The males that are 8-13 years old, having followed the flocks hundreds of miles each year, fought many wolves, and proven himself in many testing battles are the males that typically get bred.  This has helped to reduce many of the health and structure problems that plague most of the modern large breeds of dogs.

  Longevity is 10 plus years, which is unusual for such a large dog.

  The Boz Shepherd is a very large dog that has retained a level of function that is seen in few breeds.  Most Boz can run 28-36 mph for miles per hour, pull 7-10,500 pound tractors, and have great endurance commendable for such a large dog.  Tom in WA has run his female 53 miles in 4 hours, with her wanting to continue.

Average Height and Weights;

    Males;      32-36"    130-190# Average.    Individuals of 38"-41" and 256# exist, but are not desired for functionality.

    Females;  29-33"    100-160#  Average.   Females tend to be smaller than the males.

The historical and present practice of using testing battles to select for the physically superior traits have created something of a gladiator type of dog. This has historically been used as a tool to perfect the predator handling abilities of the Boz.  Compared to the average Anatolian or even the Kangal, the Boz Shepherd is like comparing a UFC Fighter to an average man. Like the other Turkish breeds, Boz puppies will go after perceived threats as young as 11 weeks old, and defend like a grown dog by 8 months old.  This deeply ingrained drive to protect at such a young age is something that is uncommon in large breeds, especially in non LGD breeds.  

In areas of large predators or high populations, the Boz will greatly increase a rancher's predator control ability.  Boz are guarding cattle and sheep in Montana's wolf country with 100% predator control. They have the same drive to bond to and protect anything in their territory as the Kangal, and will quickly turn into a fierce protector to confront any threat.  

The bred in instinct to accept and protect livestock is amazing.  They can be introduced to a new breed of livestock by containing the livestock in the dogs area for a week or two.  Supervise the first encounters or contact, and everything else seems to fall in place.  They seem to have even less drive or potential to be aggressive or play rough with the livestock than the kangals or other breeds I have owned.

Boz are a tough dog that can tolerate environmental extremes.  They are well adapted to live outside year around with the livestock in Turkey, and from the humid heat of East Texas to the cold of Northern Montana here in the USA.  I have taken my dogs on 4 mile walks in the city with temperatures from 96-102 degrees.  They are not sensitive to changes in food, and can be left with food out all day.  

As Family Protection Dogs, the Boz Shepherd is a natural.  With their deeply ingrained drive to bond (LOVE) and protect (DEFEND), we find them to be a great addition to the family.  They are naturally submissive to all members of the family, to include the children, and are not the type of dog that tries to dominate.  They are a breed that truly loves you.  They are very sensitive to correction, and MUST have your affection and approval.  This is not a dog that can be tied in the back yard, or only given minimal interaction.  Boz Shepherd Dogs need to be part of the family.  Verbal correction is usually all it takes to change a bad behavior.   

They are a dog that can protect your farm, escort you in town, or sleep at your bedside.

Being a multi-function dog is one of their best qualities.  Unlike some LGDs that have to be bonded to a particular type of livestock, the Boz will protect anything in their domain.  They will function as a Family Protection dog, Livestock Guardian dog, and even hunt.

The Boz Shepherd is somewhat of an ancient type of dog, with some characteristics that separate them from many of the modern breeds.  They have huge feet with webbed toes, much like what enables the wolf to travel over deep snow.  Many of the females will only have one heat a year, and will not have their first until 16-18 months old.  In Turkey, with the limited available nutrition, the younger females at times will lactate to help feed the alpha females pups. Alpha females with puppies sometimes kill other female's puppies, freeing those mothers to feed their young.  These are wild traits that have been retained through necessity for survival, and have not been selected out by pampering.

Please note, the Boz Shepherd is not a dog for every person or situation.  They are by far more powerful than most breeds, and their physical capabilities are extreme.  They have a Natural Born Guardian Instinct, and need proper socialization and training to ensure safe and responsible ownership.   A puppy will not be placed a home or ranch that is not able to provide a safe and responsible environment.


Boz Shepherd Dogs in Turkey working as Livestock Guardian Dogs.





Nomads and nomad tents in the village of opium-Afyon-Basören continuing story of life.  (Look closely for the Boz Type dogs)


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