TBSBS (Turkish Boz Shepherd Breed Standards)
Turkish Boz Shepherd dogs are an ancient landrace breed of Livestock Guardian dogs from Türkiye. They evolved by being bred by nature not by man. Survival of the fittest decided who lives and breed. Boz Shepherd dogs have been around for thousands of years. Back then they had to fight off Wolves, Stripped Hyenas, Brown Bears, Asiatic Lions, Anatolian Leopards, Persian Leopards and the Caspian Tiger to name a few. So for today’s predator problems the Boz are top choice to guard your livestock and family.
Turkish Boz Shepherds are a seperate breed from Akbash, Anadolu, Kars, Kangal. The Turkish Boz Shepherd were known by various names within Turkiye. They were called Konya, Tuzkoy, Urfa, Denizli (cities from which they came), as Guregh, Bozul, and Boz (by the nomadic shepherds), or mistakenly as Kangal or Malak also.
The ancient nomadic people by the name Bozoklar (Brown Arrows), from the Boz Mountains area of the larger Taurus mountain region, herded with these shepherd dogs and were referred to as the BOZ by the Ottoman Empire. The name “Boz” translates to mean “Big Strong Warrior Man” also the color “Boz” in Turkish is the color of Boz Shepherd dogs. The Turkish Boz Shepherd males averaging 120-205 lbs and 28.5 – 35.5 inches at the withers. Turkish Boz females average 100-175lbs and 26.5 – 33.5 inches at the withers.
Turkish Boz Shepherds typically have a heavy more round type bone structure and appear very strong. The Turkish Boz Shepherd profile is a square type profile, females are a little more on the rectangular type profile. They have very large feet. The Boz skull is a squarish skull with a narrow muzzle. Boz tails are usually curled. Turkish Boz Shepherds are calm dogs and have a higher overall patience compare to other LGD (Livestock Guardian Dogs) types.
The Turkish Boz Shepherd’s livestock guardian abilities have proven to be the best compared to any other breed. Their large size and strength and the natural instinct they are born with becomes very intimidating from the predator’s perspective. Boz dogs are easily able to fight a physical encounter, if forced to do so with any type of predator.
Please do not think because of their size that Bozes would not be capable of running fast. They can run anywhere between 25 mph to 40 mph. Bozes reaction time and speed are much faster than most LGD’s.
The Turkish Boz Shepherd exemplifies an unparalleled versatility in function and devoted loyalty to his work and family. Majestic in appearance, he is the embodiment of strength, giant size, keen intelligence, clear confidence and their incredible patience as well as a gentle, perceptive family companion.
A powerful and athletic breed, he is well-muscled and agile, with tremendous endurance and speed. His profile is square to slightly rectangular and lean; his proportion always balanced so as to not appear excessive or extreme. He has a heavy rounded, balanced bone structure with a moderate to deep chest, strong head, and large feet for his size.
Developed by the necessity for healthy, sound, and effective livestock guardians, the Turkish Boz Shepherd moves with both purpose and fluidity, and should always present as a bold and capable defender that is submissive, calm, and loving to family and others who do not pose a threat.
The body is balanced, functional, and proportioned, without appearing extreme or exaggerated. The chest should be broad, moderately deep, and well-muscled. The ribs are well sprung with the abdomen up tucked to exemplify the dog’s ability to run great speeds and distances. A narrow, shallow chest, or barrel ribs are outside the standard. All parts of the body are firm, well-muscled, and lean. It is not uncommon to see definition of the ribs, as the Turkish Boz Shepherd is a working breed he should carry minimal additional weight.
The tail reaches the hock and, at rest, falls straight downward, with a very slight up-curl at the end. When alert or running, the tail is held upright in an accentuated, curled position over the back, parallel with the spine. The hair on the tail is of roughly the same density and length as of that on the body. Tails resembling plumes (excessively long hair) or sparse hair density, as well as a straight, or excessively long or short tail, is outside breed standard.
SIZE, PROPORTION, SUBSTANCE
The balance of size, power, function, and overall appearance of the Turkish Boz Shepherd is of primary importance.
Size - All Turkish Boz Shepherds should exhibit the giant and impressive size of the breed. The height at the withers averages 28.5 to 35.5 inches for dogs and 26.5 to 33 inches for bitches. Weights average 120-190 pounds for dogs and 100-170 pounds for bitches. While dogs have been recorded at heights of 39 inches at the withers and 256 pounds, this is considered extreme and should not be bred for.
Proportion - The Turkish Boz Shepherd dog is more massive and powerful, both in physical size and appearance, than the bitch. Height to length ratio in males is 1:1 to 1:1.2, while a slightly higher ratio is acceptable for bitches, providing she remains proportionate and balanced.
Substance - The Turkish Boz Shepherd should appear lean and agile, yet solid and substantial. He is a dog of medium to slightly heavy substance whose muscling and bone structure should be in balance with the frame. Dogs too heavily or too lightly boned to be in balance with their frame is considered undesirable. Bitches should retain a sense of femininity, independent of size.
Correct head and expression are essential to the breed. The head of the Turkish Boz Shepherd should always be in balance with his size and bone structure, and the cranial notch to the nose should be approximately 35-40% of his shoulder height. The head is noble, strong without coarseness, and slightly rectangular, but above all not fine or blocky; an overly delicate bone structure or overly broad mastiff-like head with strongly pronounced stop are outside the standard. Expression should be intelligent and confident, yet kind and soulful toward his family.
Eyes are medium in size, non-protruding, range in color from honey yellow to dark brown, and almond-shaped. Eyes are set at an angle of 45 degrees to the plane of the head on profile. Eye rims and lids are tight; loose eyelids/rims or protruding eyes are highly discouraged.
Ears are V- shaped, rounded at the apex, and set no higher than the plane of the head. Ears are medium in size, carried flat to the head, and wide at the base with length sufficient to cover the eye if pulled forward. The historical practice has been to crop the ears to medium, rounded, bear or lion-like appearance to prevent the ears being a safety or health risk in confrontations with predators. It is still encouraged that Turkish Boz Shepherds used as livestock guardians in large-prey areas have their ears cropped for the dog’s safety. Ears overly cropped to produce an intimidating, harsh appearance, are outside breed standard and highly discouraged. Both cropped and natural ears are accepted.
The muzzle is long, proportionate to the head in structure, and strong. The muzzle is “squared” both from the profile and front views, creating a slightly blocky, substantial appearance.
The nose typically is solid black and standard, although solid liver noses are also accepted.
The jaws are robust and powerful, yet narrow in width with 42 teeth, 20 upper and 22 lower, which are strongly developed and meet in a scissors bite with little space. Any variance from a scissors bite is undesired. Lips are pendulous and fully cover teeth, but should not hang excessively; the Turkish Boz Shepherd is generally considered a dry mouth dog and excessive lip or jowl is outside breed standard.
The neck should be of proportionate length to the body, slightly arched, well muscled and powerful. The underline should be clean with minimal dewlap. Weak or delicate necks are undesired. The topline will appear level when gaiting.
The forequarters when viewed in profile, should be strong, muscular, and well developed. The shoulder should be broad and sloping. Right angles are formed by both the shoulder blade in its articulation with the upper foreleg, and by the line formed from the upper tip of the shoulder to the back of the elbow joint. The ligaments and muscles attaching the shoulder blade to the rib cage must be well developed for function and speed. The Turkish Boz Shepherd possesses a flexibility in his shoulders that appears unnatural.
The forelegs are relatively long, well-boned, well-muscled, parallel, and proportionate to the frame. When viewed in profile, the forelegs are directly under the withers, straight, and vertical to the ground.
Elbows are set in a straight line from the point of the shoulder to the wrist, pointing directly to the rear, neither being turned in our turned out. The feet are very large with strongly webbed toes and well arched. The pads are thick, dark in color, and firm, with stout, short nails.
The hindquarters should be strong, broad, muscular and well angled. Viewed from the rear, the hocks are parallel and straight to the ground, and the hind legs are relatively long, well-boned, well-muscled, and proportionate to both the forelegs and the overall frame. Hind legs are powerful with a moderate stifle angulation. Double dew claws may exist.
The coat is short to medium in length, dense, and has a seasonal distinction. In warmer temperatures or seasons, the coat is short and coarse with less density. In the winter, a soft, very dense undercoat with a softer and longer guard hair will grow in. Hairs on the ears, face, and head are very short, whereas hairs on the neck and mane, especially in males, arethicker and longer. The Turkish Boz Shepherd will shed heavily at least twice a year.
The ranges of acceptable color in the Turkish Boz Shepherd include white, red, grey, fawn, and cream. All acceptable colors may exist in any combination, but coat color is typically a gradient blend based in one predominant color, fawn and cream being the most common. Solid black or brindle dogs are outside breed standard. The presence of a black mask and ears is standard, but a red mask and ears or lack of mask altogether are also accepted. White color markings should be limited to the muzzle close to the nose or chin, feet, and forelegs, with white spots limited to the chest only. A reverse facial coloring mask may also be present without fault.
The Turkish Boz Shepherd should exemplify the optimal balance of speed, agility, and power; instantaneously reacting to a threat with both speed and ferocity for the purpose of defense. The gait of the Turkish Boz Shepherd is one of strength and power, and should carry a natural fluidity and springiness. Pacing is not considered normal or desirable in the breed. The Turkish Boz Shepherd is able to obtain speeds of 27 – 35 miles per hour on average, some reaching as fast as 40 miles per hour, and can run great distances, some employing a double suspension gallop. His agility is surprising for his size, with the ability to pivot and change direction at rapid intervals at various speeds. The backline should remain nearly level with little rise or fall except at very high speeds (double suspension gallop).
The Turkish Boz Shepherd is foremost a guardian dog: calm, intelligent, and observant, yet alert and perceptive. He is highly adaptable to varied climates and changes in setting. Ever aware of his surroundings, even when seemingly asleep, the Turkish Boz Shepherd will instinctively and promptly defend his family, property, or livestock. His power, independence, and intelligence needs to be realized and respected; proper socialization is a must. Fundamentally, he is a very sensitive dog that requires a loving owner and family.
A soft hand in correction is essential, as harsh treatment or correction can create long-term insecurity and behavioral issues.
Personal and purposeful relationships are a necessary, either human or animal; isolation for long periods is not tolerated well by this breed. He will remain devoted, loyal, and submissive to his owner and family and accept strangers with proper introduction. The Turkish Boz Shepherd is intelligent and has a keen ability to evaluate a situation and react with measured response; his perceptiveness to his owner’s level of comfort contributes to his reaction in given situations.
Calm and seldom nervous, the Turkish Boz Shepherd is serious and clever, comfortably tolerating boisterous activity and exuberance from children and livestock. Any tendency to dominate or control the family is seen as a serious fault. The Turkish Boz Shepherd is extremely versatile in function, working in both rural and suburban applications within a range of settings and performance expectations. His intelligence, calm and alert demeanor, and perceptiveness make him extremely effective in a multitude of environments.
The Turkish Boz Shepherd has an average lifespan of 10-15 years. Although health diseases and conditions are limited in the breed, incidences of elbow and hip dysplasia have been reported. The Turkish Boz Shepherd does not suffer from most of the common health conditions known to plague the giant breeds.
When the Turkish Boz Shepherd barks it is most typically for a very good reason. However, his bark is very deep and will carry over great distances. Residential owners may choose to have their dog sleep indoors for the consideration of their neighbors if they are concerned with the potential issue.
The Turkish Boz Shepherd is considered a dry-mounth dog and is not known to drool. Some can be messy drinkers on occasion, however, if they decide to plunge their entire muzzle into the water bowl to get a drink, rather than lapping their water politely. Jowls and excessively droopy lips that contribute to drooling are outside the breed standard.
The Turkish Boz Shepherd is a giant, double-coated dog that sheds at least twice a year. Dogs living in more moderate climates without clear seasons will not as commonly grow as dense or thick of an undercoat during the winter, so there is consequently less shedding. These dogs are giant, so the shed fur is plentiful, and due to their height the hairs will be most everywhere. If brushed twice a week, it is easily controlled; if brushed daily, it is minimal.
The Turkish Boz Shepherd’s property is instinctually viewed by the dog as his territory and home. He will naturally feel compelled to guard his territory, and the protection level to which he does this will be determined by how the owner trains him to accept new people and changes within his territory. Formally introduced visitors are readily accepted by the Turkish Boz Shepherd, but unfamiliar strangers are viewed with suspicion and will be denied entry without reassurance from their owner.
Some Boz Shepherd owners prefer that their dog not allow any people outside the immediate family into the home without formal introduction, whereas other owners would prefer their dog be more accepting of family friends who visit regularly. The Boz’s response and tolerance regarding acceptance of person’s outside the immediate family will be guided by the owner’s consistent training from the time he is brought home. Most importantly, the Turkish Boz Shepherd is an intelligent, perceptive dog that learns the expectations of the owner and adapts accordingly.
Outside the Turkish Boz Shepherd’s territory, he behaves very differently toward complete strangers and other dogs. If socialized from a young age, he is aware that outside his territory he is “off duty” and is not overly dog aggressive and much more accepting of strangers, often allowing them to pet him and love on him in a way that wouldn’t be imagined while at home without introduction. He will often reflect the comfort level of his owner, being very perceptive to accept most new situations with ease as long as the owner is also calm and assured. A nervous handler will create a nervousness in the dog; he will sense that the handler is uneasy and his instinctual protectiveness dominates.
More information about the Boz Shepherd can be found at http://bozkennelusa.com/
To find out more about the Boz Shepherd from owners in the USA and Canada, please visit the Facebook group Turkish Boz Shepherds. There is alot of misinformation out there about Boz.
I am going to write a breed profile very soon.
I like this breed!