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Anatolian Shepherd Dog

Nomadic flock guard from Turkey

BREED HISTORY

Anatolia, or Asia Minor, is the peninsula that constitutes the Asian portion of Turkey. It was at this crossroads of early civilisation that sheep and goat herders developed a livestock guardian known as the Coban Kopegi (“shepherd’s dog”), forerunner of today’s Anatolian Shepherd. The central region of Anatolia is a high plateau of endless plains and rolling hills. Summers are dry and brutally hot, and the winters are snowy, with sub-zero temperatures. In this harsh, unforgiving crucible the Anatolian Shepherd forged their longstanding reputation as the flock guardian supreme. They lived a nomadic life with their master, travelling great distances across the Central Anatolian Plateau. They lived outdoors all year in very hot summers and freezing winters. The breed was developed with the physical qualities to survive; they are hardy and agile loyal to their master, naturally independent and wary of strangers. Even though the Anatolian Shepherd Dog has likely been around for thousands of years, the Turkish people never exported them until the 20th century, because they considered them to be so valuable. It wasn’t until the 1950’s that American ranchers started importing Anatolians, but they still remained virtually unheard of until the 1970’s.

Read more about the history of this breedHERE

OTHER NAMES – Blackhead Karabaş, Coban Kopegi


LIVING WITH THIS BREED

Anatolian Shepherd Dog are smart, devoted, responsive, and adaptable. Owners must be strong leaders, willing and able to handle a dog that is as dominating and demanding as they are calm and loving. They need to be properly socialised from puppyhood on to ensure they don’t become reclusive and aggressive towards humans. When properly socialised, the Anatolian Shepherd will become deeply bonded to their caregiver. They were bred to be protectors and that instinct is still strong in the breed, they will protect their flock: livestock, children, smaller dogs, even the family cat – with intensity. They should never be allowed off their property unleashed and a substantial fence is recommended unless they have been trained in an open range setting with a flock or herd to protect. Training is strongly recommended for the Anatolian Shepherd Dog, obedience school and consistency in their training is a must as they can be strong-willed and training the breed to respond to commands can be a challenge. Introduce other household pets slowly to an Anatolian Shepherd. Anatolian puppies can bond with other household pets, but an adult Anatolian is less likely to form a bond or even accept other household pets. If bringing in an adult Anatolian Shepherd into your home be firm, confident and consistent. They need to have a leader they can respect established quickly.


BREED INFORMATION

This information is taken from kennel clubs and other reliable sources.

COUNTRY OF ORIGINTurkey
PURPOSE BRED FORFlock Guardian
OVERALL SIZELarge
TEMPERAMENTConfident, Proud, Independent
EXERCISE NEEDEDUp to 2 hours per day
IDEAL SIZE OF HOMELarge
HEIGHT – MALE74-81 cm / 29-32 in (to shoulder)
HEIGHT – FEMALE71-79 cm / 28-31 in (to shoulder)
COAT TYPEShort, dense with thick undercoat
GROOMING NEEDSSeveral times a week
RARE BREEDNo
LIFE EXPECTANCY11 – 13 years

MORE INFORMATION

  • In modern-day Turkey, where the breed originated, Anatolian Shepherd Dogs are still used to guard flocks and property.
  • They are extremely independent. They often had to find their own food, so they survived by hunting gophers and other small animals.
  • They are not for beginners and require a firm and experienced handler.
  • Anatolian Shepherds need extensive exposure to friendly people so they learn to recognise the normal behaviours of “good guys.” Then they can recognise the difference when someone acts abnormally.
  • Anatolian Shepherds have a deep, booming bark which they use freely, especially at night when they are most vigilant.

LINKS TO KENNEL CLUB BREED STANDARDS AROUND THE WORLD

Breed standards vary throughout the world, click the buttons below to view the kennel clubs from around the world for more information of those standards, and for further information about Anatolian Shepherd Dogs.


PHOTO GALLERY

Click on any image to view these pictures larger and in a slideshow.


VIDEOS

Enjoy this video about Anatolian Shepherd Dogs, you can view the entire playlist of videos about this breed on our YouTube Channel by clicking the button below:


WEBSITES ABOUT ANATOLIAN SHEPHERD DOGS

Here’s some websites specifically dedicated to the Anatolian Shepherd Dog breed, click to view them. I am not affiliated with any of these sites, they’re just here for further information. Please note I will not advertise breeders on this site and as many websites dedicated to a specific breed are run by breeders, sometimes there’s fewer sites listed here.

Thanks for reading!

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