Anatolian Shepherd Photo

Anatolian Shepherd Dog Breed Info & Pictures

One look at this towering dog and the word “guardian” springs to mind. Actually categorized as a giant, don’t let the enormous size of the Anatolian Shepherd fool you into thinking they are slow and cumbersome. On top of being big and strong, they are lightning fast.

Everything about this dog says protector when they puff out their powerful chest and stand firmly on their strong legs. The tail often curls into a half circle as they lope about. Their undercoat is thick, and their outer coat is short and smooth, but sometimes longer and rougher. Anatolian Shepherd dogs get a little shaggy around the neck. Their fur coat can be any color, but light tan with a black mask over their face is common. Like many shepherds, they have an intelligent face with dark brown eyes. Their V-shaped ears are rounded and rest on the side of the dog’s head.

Anatolian Shepherd Fast Facts

Working
10 - 13 years
Turkey
Antiquity
110 - 150 lbs
80 - 120 lbs
29"
27"
Anotolian Shepherd, Anatolin Shepherd or Anatolion Shepherd.
Coban Kopegi, Kangal Dog, Kara bas, Karabash Dog

Temperament

Swift and strong, this mountain of a dog lives to protect....

Like many guardians, the Anatolian Shepherd is pretty territorial. Even if youre not home, the dog will still protect the area. When introduced to new places or people, they are typically reserved and content to observe.

Due to their crazy-big size, Anatolian Shepherd puppies need obedience training. They are very independent dogs, so training them requires experience and a keen understanding of how to establish yourself as a pack leader. Between their size, strength, speed, and stubborn streak, they arent a good choice for first-time dog owners or a house with little kids toddling about.

Anatolian Shepherds are large enough that its easy for them to injure a toddler completely on accident as they are moving their bulk around. They have a strong prey drive, so socializing them early and often is important to overcome their natural instinct to chase small animals which, to them, is just about everybody.

Caring For a Anatolian Shepherd

Big, strong, and fast, these big dogs crave daily activity....

Anatolian Shepherds must be walked daily at a bare minimum. A long run is preferred, or better yet, free-roaming in a big yard. While they are incredibly cute as puppies, dont let that plush-toy physique fool you into taking them home to a studio apartment. They are going to really big, really fast. They are better suited to a home with a yard and a high fence where they can follow their natural urge to patrol the perimeter.

Anatolian Shepherds dont ask for much in the way of grooming, except during shedding time. They blow out their coats a few times a year, and theyll need daily brushing. Because of their large size, if a fully grown adult doesnt want you touching their ears or paws, its going to be tough to argue with them. Get your Anatolian Shepherd puppy used to having their paws fiddled with, teeth brushed, nails trimmed, and ears cleaned so they dont object as adults.

Anatolian Shepherd History

Breed History

The Anatolian Shepherd was bred to protect big flocks against large predators....

Originally bred in Turkey, this breeds history goes way back. For nomadic tribes in Turkey, survival of the fittest was a way of life. Everything depended on their flocks: food, clothing, and shelter. Their whole lives depended on their ability to maintain a healthy, productive herd. A big, nasty predator could come from any direction, at any moment, day or night. Given such a harsh life, it was clear that the nomads couldnt do it alone. So, they put their entire lives into the very responsible paws of the Anatolian Shepherd.

In order to keep everybody safe, the Anatolian Shepherd had to be strong, smart, fast, aware of their surroundings, and exceptionally brave. Over many centuries, they wandered the lands with their nomadic tribes, protecting the herds and even finding their own food. In time, Anatolian Shepherd dogs learned to become very capable and independent guardians.

Eventually, after a long career doing a phenomenal job as protector, they found their way to the US during the 1950s. The AKC recognized them in 1996, fairly recently compared to how long theyve been around. In America, they have found a great role as loving family pets for experienced owners.