Anatolian Shepherd Dog
AKC Group: Working
At least 27 inches (Male)
80 pounds (Male)
Click on a thumbnail to enlarge
Anatolian Shepherds are loyal, hardy and independent. They're stubborn dogs; however, and professional obedience training is highly recommended. Anatolians are highly territorial and suspicious of strangers.
Double coat varies from short to rough (medium length), with a thick undercoat.
All colors, patterns and markings.
The Anatolian Shepherd dog was once used as a combat dog and for hunting big game such as lions and horses. He was bred to withstand the demanding environment of the Anatolian Plains, where summers are hot and winters are cold, while serving as an unerring protector. The breed stems directly from ancient flock-guarding and mastiff dogs of the Middle East and is now used as the front-line defense for Turkish flocks. His strength and speed are legendary in his homeland, allowing him to take on such formidable opponents as wolves.
Bred to be fiercely loyal, the Anatolian Shepherd can be highly possessive toward anything he considers
"his," including family, property and livestock. Loyal to their owners, they are guarded and reserved toward strangers, making socialization an absolute must. This large, powerful and impressive breed usually appears calm, but when challenged, it has few rivals. An experienced owner will be able to bring out the best in this protective guardian.
Although not overly active indoors, Anatolian Shepherds don't make ideal apartment dogs - they need space and "territory" to patrol. A secure yard with a six-foot (2-m) fence is absolutely necessary so that he can safely get out and stretch his legs. This is an all-weather dog who can withstand both hot and cold weather. He is not prone to barking indiscriminately, but he will alert you to anyone approaching the home.
Anatolian Shepherd Dogs aren't typically seen winning at obedience competitions, but that doesn't mean that you can't try! Agility, rally or even tracking could also be up his alley. He may also enjoy nonorganized outings like hiking or camping trips with the family.
The Anatolian Shepherd Dog doesn't need huge amounts of exercise compared to other dogs his size, but he does require a long walk and active playtime every day. He thrives on being outdoors so that he can explore and sniff around.
This breed requires a balanced, high-quality diet to stay healthy. The Anatolian Shepherd is a conservative eater who does best on a low-protein diet, such as one containing lamb and rice.
The Anatolian's strong guarding and protective instincts must be properly channeled if he is to live happily as a companion dog. That means socialization and lots of it from an early age and well into adulthood. He needs a trainer who understands and respects who he is. Only a strong, positive and consistent leader will do. He may be slower to respond to commands than other, more eager-to-please breeds, but with enough practice, he will get it.
The Anatolian Shepherd is fiercely protective of the children in his family, and he will most likely see young children as under his leadership and not the other way around. For this reason, he may not be best for families with very young kids. He must be properly socialized from puppyhood to get along with other pets.
The average life span of the Anatolian Shepherd Dog is 11 to 13 years. Breed health concerns may include cancer; ear infections; entropion; hip dysplasia; and hypothyroidism.
Anatolian Shepherds have protected their flocks from bears, wolves and jackals.
Whether rough or smooth coated, the Anatolian Shepherd Dog is generally a low-maintenance breed, requiring little more than regular brushing with a bristle brush and an occasional bath. He "blows his coat" (sheds heavily) twice a year.
Copyright by T.F.H. Publications, Inc. This document has been published with the intent to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter within. While every reasonable precaution has been taken in preparation of this document, the author and publisher expressly disclaim responsibility for any errors, omissions, or adverse effects arising from the use or application of the information contained herein. The techniques and suggestions are used at the reader's discretion.