The Anatolian Shepherd (Turkish: Çoban Köpeği) is a breed of dogs originating from Anatolia, Turkey, and its history dates back thousands of years. The Anatolian Shepherd is used by nomadic Anatolian population to protect the herds from wolves, bears, jackals, and even cheetahs. This breed was first described about 6000 years ago in ancient Mesopotamia. The dog wasn't known in the West until 1970. The archaeologist Chermian Hussey proved that the breed originated from Central Turkey.
Most probably it's a cross between Kangal and Akbash dog breeds. The AKC recognized the breed in 1997.
The Anatolian Shepherd has a large, muscular body, reaches a height between 71 and 82 cm and weight between 41 and 66 kg. The head is large and wide with square muzzle and almond-shaped eyes. The ears are V-shaped and slacked down. The tail is thick and curled at the end. The coat is short and in different colors like fawn, red, white, etc. The fur is very thick with dense undercoat. The Anatolian Shepherd dog has a strong body structure and alert expression.
Character and behavior
The Anatolian Shepherd is brave, strong and stubborn dog, which can be very dignified, calm and would meet any challenge without hesitation. This independent dog is not particularly obedient.
The temperament of the Anatolian Shepherd is a hard matter so training and socializations are of great importance.
Puppies of this breed can show their potential in the litter. So when you are choosing from a number of puppies for sale, don't take the fighting or the hiding one.
Training and education
Extremely skittish, this breed is difficult to train and is more suitable for people with experience in growing dogs. The Anatolian Shepherd is a dog that likes to do everything on his own, especially to take the role of commander in chief and protector. If you are looking for Anatolian Shepherd, you must have experience in training dogs. Otherwise in a blink of an eye you will find yourself with an undisciplined pet who wants to be your Boss!
You have to begin the education of the puppy with patience and severity or your dog may become very wayward. If you live in an apartment this is not a suitable breed for you.
The life expectancy of the Anatolian Shepherd is around 12-15 years which is a lot longer than the life span of other large breeds. A number of diseases are associated with this breed as thyroid problems, knee dysplasia and sensitivity to chemicals and drugs. Parents of your puppy should have OFA certificates.
Grooming and care
The coat of the Anatolian Shepherd dog requires relatively little maintenance. It is necessary to comb once a week and more often during the time when it falls a little bit more.
Anatolian Shepherds are not used to be touched a lot, so if you planning to regularly brush your dog at home, you should start from his early days.
Children and other pets
The Anatolian Shepherd puppy gets along well with older and familiar children, but when it comes to other children it needed some time to get used to them. Usually gets along well with other pets too, especially if they are not challenging or aggressive. These dogs are very patronizing and therefore can be suspicious to strangers, unless properly socialized.
Dog breeds are separated into different types called Dog Groups. The Dog Group for the Anatolian Shepherd is Working Dog.
According to Turkish farmers, three Anatolian Shepherd Dogs can overcome a pack of five wolves and even kill one or two. Anatolian Shepherd dogs are also used by the Cheetah Conservation Fund to prevent cheetah attacks.