Anatolian Shepherd Dog Facts
The Anatolian Shepherd dog is a stunningly beautiful guardian dog that originates from Turkey. Known for being large, powerful and muscular, the Anatolian Shepherd dog is a reliable and loving animal with a sharp intelligence.
Origins and History:
The Anatolian Shepherd dog originated in the area known as Anatolia (modern day Turkey) around 6,000 – 4,000 years ago. They were the companions of shepherds and guarded the flocks from predators. It is believed that the ancient shepherds would place a protective band (somewhat like a spiked collar) to protect them from predators who went to bite their necks.
Anatolian Shepherds were used for hunting against bears and wolves; the Anatolian Shepherd was able to stand his ground even these formidable opponents. They would protect the flock in all kinds of weather – neither the summer heat nor winter cold could deter them from their job. Even today, Anatolian Shepherds are still used as sheepdogs.
They were first brought over to the USA until the 1950’s and were not recognised as a breed until 1996 where they were classed as working dogs.
The head of an Anatolian Shepherd dog is large, emphasising his strong and powerful muzzle. Males will generally have broader heads than females. He will have pendulous lips and a black nose.
Eyes are generally small and range from a soft gold colour to brown. Ears are carried close to the head and triangular in shape. Necks are strong, muscular and thick, leading to a deep chest.
The forelegs of an Anatolian Shepherd dog are straight, well-boned and set well apart from each other. The hindquarters, in comparison, are generally lighter than the forelegs. Tails are carried low when relaxed. When he is alert the tail will be carried over the back.
Coats should be short, flat and smooth to the touch but slightly longer and thicker in the neck, tails and shoulder regions. All colours are accepted but mostly cream is the most preferred colouring. Ears and muzzles are generally black.
The typical weight and height of an Anatolian Shepherd dog is 29 – 31 inches and 110 – 141 kg in males, 26 – 31 inches and 80 – 130 kg for bitches.
The Anatolian Shepherd dog is a highly intelligent and friendly animal. Easy going in temperament, they make wonderful family pets as they are wholly devoted to their owners. They make wonderful watch dogs as they are highly suspicious of strangers.
Due to their large builds and high energy levels, they do not make good pets for those who live in apartments or where there is a small garden. They need lots of outdoor space to roam in, with a six-foot high fence.
The Anatolian Shepherd dog is not a ‘gentle giant’; he can become highly aggressive with other same-sex dogs and homes with cats should not bring one home. Although they are great with children, they should be watched at all times due to their intimidating size.
The Anatolian Shepherd dog was recognised with the American Kennel Club in 1996. The AKC has more information on breeders and the breed itself for those interested on them