Akbash and the ASDCA
At the start of the 1980's, several kennels were initially still working
together to help establish a viable genetic base for the 'akbash' as a breed. Remember
that the first imports were in 1978. While there were rumors to the effect that mixed
breeding of stock from Borzoi to Pyrenean dogs were added to the foundation lines to help
establish a certain 'look', we think it's not necessary to assume such rumors were ever
valid - as it is not necessary when one understands the degree of inbreeding that took
place. F1 and F2 generations of such mixes would have provided a good bit of complication.
After several breeders became discouraged with the breeding policies and
registration protocol of the breed founder, some took different courses of action. Some
founded other competing 'akbash' breed clubs so that they could continue to develop this
variation independently and still be able to register experimental stock. Others took
their dogs and the depth of pedigree which they had established, and used this as proof
that their dogs were simply a variety of the Anatolian Shepherd -- where simple selection
for coloration was being used to create a breed.
It doesn't take much intuition by the reader to see what complications
would evolve of this. Hence, there are many old timers aware of these former developments
that not only understand why there is confusion, but they also have clear points from
which they decide their loyalties.
Assimilation of these 'akbash' dogs of Anatolia into the existing
Anatolian gene pool didn't take place automatically. Evaluation of pedigrees, examination
of the puppies and generations of breeding dogs from these 'akbash' programs was required.
Evaluators experienced in genetics, both practical and theory, and some familiar with the
many facets involved in the breeding of working flock guardian dogs were employed.
It was unanimously agreed, upon conclusion of the inspection of the
pedigrees, that the dogs, the variety of 'white' colorations (creams, chinchilla, whites,
dilution, masking effects and extreme white spotting) and conformation types, showed that
they were simply a variety of Anatolian being selected for coat color. The 'akbash' dogs
inspected traced directly back to the foundation stock of the breed founder.
Independantly-bred white Anatolians in the ASDCA (foundation American club
for the ASD in America) evidenced the same genetic coding patterns for "white"
color and the same body shapes. There appeared to no singularly uniform mode of white
inheritence nor conformation that distinguished the 'akbash' foundation dog from any other
Anatolians. The regions where the white dogs were imported also had 'other colored' dogs
that were clearly no more and no less than "Çoban Köpegi".
In May 1983
There was a special announcement from ASDCA President Robert C. Ballard
"A few months [ago] the Anatolian Sheperd Dog Club of America was
contacted by members of the American Akbash Association. Since that initial contact, many
phone calls have passed between our members and theirs. As a result of these
conversations, our Board of Directors unanimously approved sending the following letter to
the American Akbash Association"
Mrs. Louise Emanuel
American Akbash Association
0941 Tippett Road
Clinton, Maryland 20735
Dear Mrs. Emanuel:
As you suggested during our recent telephone conversations, we have taken the oppurtunity
to visit the BAR-A kennels in Tuscon, Arizona. We were pleased to meet your
breeder-associate Elfride Feldman of the American Akbash Association.
We reviewed and inspected individual dogs and puppies of their current litter and found
no differences nor anomalities from our breeding requirements. Based on this information
and previous extensive supporting data, the Anatolian shepherd Dog club of America board
of directors has authorized (by unanimous approval) registration of dogs certifyed by the
American Akbash Association. We very much enjoyed meeting your associates and look forward
to a cooperative and mutually benificial effort regarding the future of the Anatolian
Cdr. Robert C. Ballard, USN
Quinn S. Harnard
The following response has been received by the ASDCA:
Anatolian Shepherd dog Club of America
Po Box 1271
Alpine, Ca 92001
Dear Mr. Harned (Skip):
It is with great pleasure that I have received your letter date April2. For a long time
it has been the desire of the American Akbash Association to cease playing games with our
very important dogs and have them recognized by the dog world as the superior breed which
know thay are.
To emphasize the desire to be a unified breed association, this past weekend several of
our dogs participated in a rare breed and specialty match sponsored by th Patuxent River
Kennel club of Columbia, Maryland. We had pre-registered both under the "Akbash"
banner and the Anatolian Shepherd banner. Upon our arrival, it was our joint decision to
show ALL of the dogs as Anatolian Shepherds. this we did to the credit of the breed. I am
sure we preformed a first on the East Coast by winning the Rare Breed Group I (adult) and
Group II (puppy).
To repeat, I state the feelings of the owners of my dogs: we are ONE BREED, and the
sooner the controversy is ended, the sooner we can get on with promoting our dogs.
Very sincerely yours,
Mrs. Louise Emanuel
So it happened that many Anatolians have pedigrees which reflect the 'foundation'
dogs that were initially ambitiously used to create the 'akbash' breed.
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