Aksaray Malaklisi Dog Breed Facts & Info

Aksaray Malaklisi is a fierce guardian of Turkish origin.

Though rare outside Turkey, Malaklisis have gained sufficient attention for their protectiveness and readiness to defend those they know.

Their courage, steadiness, loyalty, and strength may be what you need.

Dog lovers have many reasons to surf the internet in search of dog breeds. Some want to know which dog would end up prowling their yard or sitting comfy in their living room. 

They are on a pet hunt, one that’s challenging, yet satisfying. The reward is worth it. 

Others are information seekers. They want to know all they can about dog breeds either for formal research or simply as a hobby.

In this article on Aksaray Malaklisi dog breed facts, information, we’ll examine their characteristics, interesting facts, gender differences, personality, history, caring procedures, and more.

Let’s look into the inner and outer world of the Aksaray Malaklisi to discover more about this Turkish mastiff to help you decide if this is the right dog for you.

Aksaray Malaklisi Dog Breed Facts & Info

Key Aksaray Malaklisi Facts & Information

Dog Breed GroupMastiff
Height29 to 31 inches
Weight110 to 264 pounds
Color(s)Black, white, tan, brown, grey
Life Expectancy12 – 16 years
TemperamentIndependent, territorial, obedient to the master
Bred ForHerding
Nickname(s) /Other Name(s)Turkish mastiff, Malakli Karabas
Recognized by the AKCNo
Recognized by the UKCNo

 Aksaray Malaklisi Dog Breed Characteristics

Child Friendly2/5
Pet Friendly1/5
General Health4/5
Grooming Needs3/5
Exercise Needs3/5
Energy Level3/5
Tendency to Bark2/5
Tendency to Drool3/5
Tendency to Snore1/5
Tendency to Dig3/5

Interesting facts about Aksaray Malaklisi dog breed

Fact #1: They were named after a region 

Aksaray is a province in Turkey. It lies in the central area and is bordered by Konya, Nigde, Nevsehir, and Kirsehir. It is also the region in the Malaklisi was born.

Thus, the practice of naming dogs with their region (like the German Shepherd or Tibetan Mastiff) was upheld. Hence the name Aksaray Malaklisi. 

Fact #2: They are not internationally recognized

Sadly, neither the American Kennel Club nor the United Kennel Club recognized this breed as a formal one.

They aren’t well known outside Turkey. This may be a good thing, however, as some people aren’t given to popularity and would rather go for the unusual. 

Fact #3: They are similar to the Kangal dog

According to some sources, the Kangal Dog and Aksaray Malaklisi share the same ancestor. They are so similar in looks, people confuse one for the other.

They are also similar in some characteristics and roles they play. However, the Aksaray Malaklisi is bigger than the Kangal Dog. 

Fact #4: They guarded sheep against wolves

Aksaray Malaklisi were tough guardians of sheep against wolves. Their fighting skills came in handy against their wild, distant relatives in the woods. 

Malaklisis often moved in pairs of two—male and female—and both can defend close to a thousand sheep. Their guardian skills make them good guard dogs today.

Fact #5: They have sagging lips 

Malaklisis have distinctive lax lips that make them appear lazy and laid-back, qualities that are a far cry from their main temperament.

The lips are so characteristic of them that they were named ‘Malakli’ after it. 

Aksaray Malaklisi Dog Breed History & Origin

Aksaray Malaklisi originated from Turkey, the same as the Anatolian Shepherd. This remains a strong reason for their confusion. 

In fact, the name ‘Anatolian Shepherds’ also refers to a type of dog breed of which the Malaklisi is one of the largest. 

The Aksaray Malaklisi is specifically from the province of Aksaray from which he derives his name. 

While there isn’t much documentation to this breed, one can learn a thing or two about the Malaklisi by looking into the origin of his close relative, the Anatolian Shepherd.

The Anatolian Shepherd is also from Turkey, but of a different region. 

They are more popular than the Aksaray Malaklisi, though there are few differences between them in terms of characteristics and personality. 

It is believed that the ancestry of both the Anatolian Shepherd and the Aksaray Malaklisi goes as far back as 6,000 years. 

Aksaray Malaklisi Temperament & Intelligence

The Aksaray Malaklisi may have a lazy, tired look, but don’t judge a book by its cover. 

Far from being like a cool spring, this breed is a burning fire that must be tamed or it’ll burn. 

Ever the guardian, Malaklisi is best kept as a guard dog than a sweet indoor pet. They definitely aren’t out for hugs and sweetness. 

This doesn’t mean, however, that they don’t love their family. Aksaray is fiercely loyal, territorial, and protective. 

They won’t hesitate to attack anyone who’s out to harm those they love. Their love is more action than cuddles and clinginess. 

Like the way they protected sheep from wolves in the woods, they take their guard job seriously, approaching danger with courage and zeal. 

They’d take on any intruder with force. Owners of the Malakli may have to put up a ‘beware of dog’ signpost.

They’re also intelligent dogs who love to think on their own and have a dominant streak. New dog owners should be wary of this breed. 

Of course, their intelligence and independence helped them as sheep guardians. They had to learn to think and act without the orders of a human. 

Don’t blame them for not being willing to listen to you now, it’s nature. 

Aside from that, Malaklisis are friendly and loving with family. They will obey any master who’s willing to take on their dominant nature and be the leader. 

They don’t do this for strangers, however. Their reaction towards a stranger ranges from aloofness to aggression.

Aksaray Malaklisi Puppy

Is an Aksaray Malaklisi a good family dog?

Aksaray Malaklisis have transitioned from being out in the fields guarding a large number of sheep to being out in the front yard guarding humans and property. 

Their loyalty is admirable, their courage stays on and their protectiveness is a tough shield.

They are not for every household, however. If what you need is a sweet, docile pet who’ll keep you company and play around with visitors, the Malaklisi is not for you. They are work dogs, not party animals.

If you’re a new pet parent, it is not advisable for you to have an Aksaray too.

Basic obedience training may not work for them as they are both intelligent and dominant. Only with a firm, experienced master would they be willing to obey.

Are Aksaray Malaklisis good with kids?

The Malaklisi is loyal and protective of everyone in the family, adults, and children. 

Like other guard dogs, they’d be defensive of your kids and ensure that the latter doesn’t come to harm. 

However, there are things to consider. Their size is the first factor that may not make them a good fit for a family with little children.

To prevent accidents, it is best to have a Malaklisi only around grown kids.

Also, while they can be trained to see you as a leader, they may not extend the same courtesy to your children. 

Your supervision is necessary when your kid is playing with a Malaklisi, even a grown child. 

Are Aksaray Malaklisis good with other dogs and pets?

Aksaray Malaklisis are better for families who want just one dog. They are territorial to a fault.

Once they have marked your house as their territory, any other dog or pet that comes through is seen as ‘the enemy’. 

So if you have a Malaklisi and you get another dog, they are likely to get aggressive. 

Training them as puppies alongside other dogs and pets can go a long way towards getting them to share their ‘territory’, but they do not naturally get along with others.

With outside dogs, don’t expect them to be friendly, even if they are trained. They do not owe you that compromise. 

Male vs Female Aksaray Malaklisi Dog

Should you get a male dog or a female? Lovers of either gender would have their reasons and points. 

In the end, it is a matter of choice. Both genders have their pros and cons which you should take into account if you want to purchase a dog. 

There are no set rules to dog genders. While the male tends to be bigger than the female, in some breeds they are the same size. They may also share similar personalities, though with slight differences. 

For example, in some genders, the males are more aggressive, in others the ladies top the aggression chart. 

The first major difference between the male Malaklisi and the female is in the size. While the males weigh 154 to 265 pounds, the females are smaller with a weight of 110 to 176 pounds. The males are also taller than the females. 

Another obvious difference is in their genitals, just like in humans. The male genitals stick out while the females have reproductive quality. 

A final point on the topic of male and female dogs is on neutering and spaying. This is the removal of a dog’s reproductive organ.

Many consider it because of the numerous advantages like birth control. However, they have side effects too.

Do your homework before making a decision on this.

Caring for an Aksaray Malaklisi Dog

One of the first things to consider when getting a dog is how you’d take care of it. Like humans, dogs need care, love, and attention.

They want their minds stimulated, their bodies exercised, their stomach full with their whole selves clean and healthy. 

Neglect is not only dangerous to humans, it is to dogs too. The best way to make a dog go wild is to show neglect. 

This is why you shouldn’t consider being a pet parent if you won’t step up to the responsibility of ensuring your pet turns outright. 

Here are the major needs of dogs:

  • Exercise
  • Feeding
  • Good health
  • Training
  • Socialization
  • Grooming
  • Love 

The Malaklisi is an outdoor dog who thrives in a fenced yard. They require enough exercise and activities to drive away boredom. 

When an Aksaray Malaklisi is bored, like other dogs, they tend to keep themselves busy in ways that won’t be good for you and your environment. 

Be ready for a challenge of authority from Malaklisis. They are not so eager to please and may want to take over leadership from you.

You need to maintain your position as an alpha of the pack with firmness and confidence. 

Also, keep them well-fed, healthy, and clean. 

Aksaray Malaklisi Food and Diet

Feeding is fundamental to the growth of a dog. The Malaklisi is no exception to this rule.

With proper diet served at intervals in the right ration, you’d have a satisfied guard dog who’s ready to play his role. 

Take your time to understand what to feed your Malaklisi and how to feed him. Do your research and speak to experts when in doubt. 

Also, observe your dog and know his individual quirks. Is he a selective eater? What does she prefer? Is he overweight or can you feel some ribs?

When you grasp these details, feeding a Malaklisi becomes easier. 

Malaklisis require meals with top nutrients and high quality. It shouldn’t be stale too. Don’t give your Malaklisi what you should throw in the bin. 

Also, keep in mind their size and give them a meal fit for them. 

About 3 to 4 cups of adult dog food daily is an average requirement. Do consult your vet to know exactly how to go about feeding. 

The information here serves as a guideline, not a general rule set on stone. 

Do not overfeed a Malaklisi. He is a large dog, so obesity will be both unhealthy and damaging. 

This doesn’t mean they should be lean, however. Being underweight is also unhealthy.

Some nutrients that’d do your Malaklisi good include calcium, protein, and water. There are some human foods they can eat and others they should avoid. Do due diligence when feeding.


Note that age matters in feeding and diet. Do not feed a Malaklisi puppy what you would an adult as that can be damaging. Seniors have a specific nutritional requirement as well. 

Aksaray Malaklisi Exercise

As a guard dog and a worker, Malaklisi is a friend of exercise and needs it in regular, moderate quantity. 

Without exercise, don’t be surprised when he acts up and gets destructive. The same goes for many other dog breeds. 

Even laid-back couch potatoes who may not throw fits when they lack exercise need it. 

Some of the benefits of exercise to dogs are:

  • It prevents obesity and serious medical conditions like bloating.
  • It keeps them fit
  • It gives highly energetic dogs an outlet to use up their energy
  • It is a good tool for training and socialization

The exercise need of dogs is of benefit to humans, as well. Many dog owners are compelled by their pets to go for an early morning jog.

If you get a dog, be ready to make exercise a lifestyle. Understand how long you can exercise before getting a breed. 

Some require thirty minutes, others go as long as two hours. 

The Malaklisi has a normal level of exercise and enjoys an old-school stroll around the neighborhood.

Some other physical activities good for a Malaklisi include:

  • Brisk walks
  • Jogs
  • Playing in a fenced yard
  • Fetch
  • Tug of War 
  • Frisbee

Don’t limit exercise to their physical body alone. Work on their minds through activities like:

  • Puzzle
  • Games 
  • Learning words and commands

The Malaklisi puppy should not be made to exercise like an adult as he is still developing and delicate. If the activities are too tough, you risk injuring them. 

You can start with a few minutes of strolling or you get them toys they can play within the yard. 

Senior dogs, in general, are vulnerable to arthritis and other joint problems. 

They can also get obese if allowed to lie around all day. Ensure your senior Malaklisi gets sufficient exercise. 

Aksaray Malaklisi Training and Socialization

Like other breeds, Malaklisis need training to tame them. Dogs never come fully formed. As puppies, they display a lot of behaviors. 

Some are good, others aren’t. As they grow, the behavioral problems increase. Thus, an untrained dog has wild tendencies, even when the breed isn’t a highly aggressive one. These behaviors should be cut off from puppyhood.

Training equally builds dog confidence, provides opportunities for growth, makes your pet more devoted and loyal to you. 

Having said that, a typical Malaklisi will resist training. They are not used to people telling them what to do and may want to do things their own way. 

Their dominant streak may push them to want to lead the ‘pack’, especially if they sense a lack of confidence from you. 

You need to be firm, bold, and consistent with them. That’s the only way you’d get results. 

Obedience training is essential for the Malaklisi. You have to be patient when working with them. 

As we’ve said, obedience doesn’t come to them easily. They are not like the Labrador Retriever who’s eager to please. 

Left to them, they’d want to live their way. However, because they don’t know what’s good and bad, it is left to you to point those out. 

Socialization is another important aspect of training your Malaklisi needs. This breed, like most guard dogs, is suspicious of strangers and tends to get aggressive at unfamiliar places. Expose them to new people, places, and experiences. A walk to the park is a good start. 

Aksaray Malaklisi Grooming Needs

Aksarays comes with an undercoat that’s thick enough to protect them from the weather. 

This breed is low maintenance, and a simple brushing of the undercoat weekly is enough. However, they have shedding seasons. 

During this moment, give them some extra brushing to clear off excess hair and have a vacuum cleaner on standby.

They don’t need regular bathing to be clean. In a year, bathe them at least 2 or 3  times. That usually is enough. 

Take care of their teeth, nails, and ears. The teeth should be brushed two or three times a week. Nails need to be trimmed before they get too long and make your dog uncomfortable. 

A litmus test to know if their nails are long is to listen while they walk. If you can hear clicking sounds, you need to get trimming.

Clean ears with a cotton ball and an ear cleaner. Avoid sticking any object into their ears.

Be observant while going about your grooming. You may detect signs of infection or injury on your dog like sores, red eyes, inflammation, and otherwise.

You can equally detect symptoms of illnesses while grooming because you’re up close. If you do, get them to a vet. 

Aksaray Malaklisi Health Conditions

Aksarays have a long lifespan, much longer than what we expect from many breeds. With proper care, they hang around for years. However, there are medical conditions you should look out for. Without adequate treatment, they can shorten your dog’s life span.

Some of the major health conditions that affect the Aksaray Malaklisi include hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia.

Hip dysplasia

Hip dysplasia passes down from a dog parent to a puppy. You can prevent having to deal with this condition with a proper check into the medical background of the parents before getting the puppy. 

Go to a responsible breeder who can provide this information. 

Hip dysplasia occurs when the hip joint gets lax. If your dog wobbles, shows signs of pain, or is reluctant to move, he could be coming down with hip dysplasia

It leads to arthritis and atrophy.

Elbow Dysplasia

Large dogs are prone to this condition. Elbow dysplasia occurs when the three bones that make up the elbow joint don’t fit. Left untreated, it leads to lameness. 

Large Aksaray Malaklisi Dog Outdoor

Frequently Asked Questions

What are Aksaray Malaklisi known for?

Aksaray Malaklisis are rare outside Turkey and not recognized by any international organization. In Turkey, they are known for being good guardians of livestock.

Their independent spirit, courage, and protectiveness made them excellent guards. 

Do Aksaray Malaklisi shed?

Aksaray Malaklisis have an undercoat that preserves them from the cold. This coat sheds during some seasons of the year. They need extra grooming then. 

How much are Aksaray Malaklisi?

Malaklisis are not well known in many countries. Thus, their price eats deep into your wallet. A Malklisi pup can be bought at an estimated price of $1,200 to $4,000. 

How Long do Aksaray Malaklisis live?

Aksaray Malaklısıs have a long lifespan. They live longer than many other breeds. They have a lifespan of 12 to 16 years.

Is it hard to train and care for an Aksaray Malaklisi?

Malaklisis have certain requirements you should fulfill to take care of them. They are large, rare dogs with a dominant streak that can make it a challenge to train and cater for them.

It is possible though if you have enough experience with big dogs. 

Do Aksaray Malaklisi like to cuddle?

Aksaray Malaklisis are guardians who don’t do well indoors. They’d rather be out in the yard. If you’re looking for a dog who likes to cuddle, you may want to look for another breed. 

How big is a full-grown Aksaray Malaklisi?

Aksaray Malaklisis are large dogs. An adult Malaklisi weighs 110 to 264 pounds, a whole lot when compared to other breeds. They also grow up to 31 inches.

Is an Aksaray Malaklisi right for you?

Aksaray Malaklisis are fierce, courageous, and strong guardians who don’t slack in their job of guarding your property. They’re a perfect choice for dog owners in need of a guard dog.

They, however, won’t be right for you if you need a docile, eager to please, indoor pet.

They are also not good for new pet owners, families with other pets, families with small children, or someone who lives in an apartment.

Related: Complete Alphabetical List of Dog Breeds

Wrap Up

Hopefully, the above Aksaray Malaklisi facts and dog breed information have helped you to determine if the Aksaray is the right canine for you or your family.

The Aksaray Malaklisi is a breed for those in need of a proper guardian.

Though not recognized on the international level, their reputation as powerful guards precedes them. Have a shot at the Malaklisi if you want efficient security.

You need to know if you can handle the Malaklisi before making a move to get one.

If you know that won’t be possible, it is best to look for another breed than proceeding and get frustrated mid-way. There’s always a canine for everyone. You just have to find yours.

Authored By

Ben Pierce

Ben Pierce is a canine behavioral and nutritional specialist, professional dog trainer, and the CEO of Puplore. A former military working dog handler, Ben founded Puplore to provide owners with breed-specific information and to act as a go-to guide to health, nutrition, care, and to help them find the confidence they need to step up to the plate and become the best pup parents they can possibly be. A firm believer in treating all animals with kindness and compassion, and that positive discipline is paramount in achieving a harmonious canine-human relationship, Ben’s former and present careers have enabled him to become a leading light in his chosen profession and business.

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