Fierce sheepdogs alarming tourists in SW Colorado

SILVERTON — Turkish sheepdogs prized for their fierceness are raising concerns they may be a little too tough for the southwest Colorado communities where ranchers are using them.

The Akbash dogs weigh up to 120 pounds and are especially aggressive toward animals near the sheep they guard. But that can include hikers and other backcountry tourists, prompting debate about whether the breed should be regulated.

The Durango Herald reports that Silverton town trustees met last week to discuss Akbash conflicts. U.S. Forest Service officials, sheepherders and outdoors enthusiasts have also entered the debate over regulations surrounding the use of the breed.


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