Anatolian Shepherd Dog
November 24, 2020
AZ Animals Staff
Anatolian Shepherd Dog Facts
- Courageous, powerful and sturdy
- Should be trained from an early age and respond best to motivational training as they can be dominant and stubborn
- Average Litter Size
- Common Name
- Anatolian Shepherd Dog
- Guards it's master's flocks!
Anatolian Shepherd Dog Physical Characteristics
- Skin Type
This post may contain affiliate links to our partners. Purchasing through these helps us further the A-Z Animals mission to help us educate about the world’s species so we can all better care for them.
The Anatolian shepherd dog will watch your livestock with little help from you.
This dog is a large guardian dog, with males weighing up to 150 pounds and females weighing in at up to 120. The dog goes back to at least 2000 BC when it was raised to guard the flocks and to protect them from wolves and other predators. This is a dog that can be scary even when it is not looking for trouble, despite the fact that it typically has a friendly, even temperament. The Anatolian shepherd comes from Turkey, where it continues to guard flocks to this day. It also makes a great family pet, though it is not as playful as children might like.
Pros and cons of owning an Anatolian Shepherd
|It can run down predators without any help from its human.||The dog must be trained completely or it won’t obey commands, and it might not obey them anyway if it figures out that the command doesn’t help the flock.|
|The Anatolian shepherd is very friendly with smaller animals, as long as it is properly introduced to them when it is young. It will make an excellent protector of both adults and children if carefully introduced when young.||An Anatolian shepherd must be taught to heed the commands of its master, as these dogs will not blindly obey orders but must instead have some reason to do so.|
|The Anatolian shepherd makes a good protector of flocks in areas such as Namibia, where they are used to protect the livestock from cheetahs and other predators. Because they are natural guardians, the Anatolian shepherd, sometimes called the Karabash dog, does this without challenging the predators, leaving them to hunt for other animals.||This dog wanders through the area without regard for property boundaries, and so dogs that aren’t tagged electronically may be lost.|
Anatolian Shepherds Size and Weight
The Anatolian shepherd is a large dog, weighing in at anywhere from 90 to 150 pounds. This livestock guardian has a thick coat of hair that adds weight to its body, making it look considerably heavier than it is, especially in the area of the mane. The color of this hair is usually either brown, red, tan, or white, and the dog often has a blend of one of these colors together with black on its face and ears.
It needs to be brushed about once a week most of the year to get rid of the heavy coat that would otherwise fall off over time. Twice a year it will need more brushing to get rid of the coat that is coming out. The dog may ignore strangers if it has not been properly socialized, so if you are interested in one of these it is best if you socialize it well from the beginning.
|Weight||110 to 150 pounds||90 to 120 pounds|
There is some disagreement as to whether or not this dog should properly be called a Karabash dog or keep its name as an Anatolian shepherd. Some would change its name to the Karabash dog, but so far the Anatolian shepherd has retained its name.
Anatolian Shepherds: Common Health Issues
Anatolian shepherds come from Turkey where they do have some health problems common to very large dogs. One of these is dermatological defects, which are present on many of the dogs studied. Musculoskeletal defects are also common, with such defects turning up within the skeletal system in a number of dogs. Lipomas are another factor, showing up among the dogs without causing any actual harm. In addition, both canine hip dysplasia and entropion, a problem with the eyelids, show up in some of the dogs. All dogs should be tested for both of these factors before being used for breeding as a means of prevention.
Anatolian Shepherds’ Temperament
The temperament of Anatolian shepherds is basically steady and even. These dogs, which come from Turkey, do not tend to get overly excited when there are new people around, nor do these dogs get wild or crazy when they meet old friends. They are usually fairly steady and even-paced, and rarely get overly excited about anything. The temperament of this dog is steady and it does not get wild or overly stimulated over any situation.
It should be well-socialized so that it can handle trips to the vet and other treatment, but it does not require training to handle its job of guarding the flock. Its natural temperament will handle that on its own. The breed was first recognized by the AKC in 1996. While the Anatolian shepherd can take on flocks of its own, it will also handle being a canine extension to a human family unit if given the chance.
How to Take Care of an Anatolian Shepherd
Anatolian Shepherd Food and Diet
An Anatolian shepherd eats food similar to that of any very large breed dog. They typically eat any type of food made for large dogs, especially if the food is of better quality. They don’t need to have anything special in the way of food. You do need to be careful when giving them treats, as they will gain weight easily if they get too many. If you give him treats in moderation, this dog will do well.
Anatolian Shepherd Maintenance and Grooming
The Anatolian shepherd doesn’t need a lot of attention paid to it. You need to spend some time brushing him, but usually only about once per week to keep his coat in good shape. A couple of times per year you may need to brush him more, maybe two or three times per week, but that’s about it in terms of grooming. He doesn’t need any other routine maintenance to stay in good shape.
Anatolian Shepherd Training
Anatolian Shepherd Exercise
The dog doesn’t need a lot of exercise, but he needs to have some every day if you want him to mind. He should get a long walk daily, or possibly a run. If you don’t get in a long walk every day you are likely to find that your dog doesn’t behave well. The long walk takes the edge off of his natural level of stress and helps him to stay calm.
Anatolian Shepherd Puppies
Anatolian Shepherds and Children
Although Anatolian shepherds may have a positive presence for children, they are likely to be much more focused on their jobs and therefore unlikely to have the play drive that children like. This means that, although they are suited for being children’s companions, the Anatolian shepherd may not have the play drive your child is looking for in a dog.
Dogs similar to the Anatolian Shepherd
Dogs that are similar to the Anatolian shepherd include a variety of dogs that are intended to guard their flocks and humans. Such dogs include the Kuvasv, the Caucasian shepherd dog, and the Great Pyrenees. As with the Anatolian shepherd, these dogs are able to be placed in with their flocks where they will guard them against all types of predators, both two-legged and four-legged.
The Kuvasv is a breed that is excellent with all members of its flock, both human and animal. These large dogs have a white coat, designed to help shepherds be able to tell them apart from the wolves that might be preying on the sheep at night. This dog makes a wonderful pet and is a good listener.
The Caucasian shepherd dog is another breed that is intended for guarding flocks but that has come to be a loyal family protector as well. This breed is intended to be used to protect sheep from predators including jackals, wolves, and bears. A flock with one of these powerful dogs is rarely at risk. They make good family pets, but may be more of a guardian than some of the other breeds.
The great Pyrenees is another livestock guardian who also doubles as a family pet. This dog has made a name for itself among pet owners, but it still finds itself running free if allowed to do so. These big dogs are an awesome guardian of both livestock and people, and they will step in to chase away the bad guys if required to do so. They typically will be either a family pet or a guardian of livestock, but usually can’t do both without some human help.
Famous Anatolian Shepherds
There have been a number of Anatolian shepherds that have made a name for themselves in Hollywood. Among these are Madison, who guarded his home after it burned out in the Camp Fire for a month, Haatchi, a three-legged Anatolian shepherd who formed a special bond with Owen, a child who has Schwartz-Jampel syndrome, and Kurt, an Anatolian shepherd who reached 40 inches from paw to shoulder.
Other famous dogs included an Anatolian shepherd brought to the David Letterman show and an Anatolian shepherd featured in the Sports Nation magazine. An Anatolian shepherd named Duke was also featured as the San Diego Wild Animal Park’s animal ambassador.
Other Anatolians who made a name for themselves in fiction included Corky, from Road Trip, Sam, from Shooter, Bart, featured in Kate and Leopold, Marlowe, from Simon and Simon, and Butch, from Cats and Dogs.
Popular Names for Anatolian Shepherds
Some of the most popular names for an Anatolian shepherd dog include names that sound tough, such as Butch, Sam, and Marlowe. Many other names have been used as well, including Corky and Kurt.View all 57 animals that start with A
Anatolian Shepherd Dog FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Is an Anatolian shepherd a good family dog?
An Anatolian shepherd can make a good family dog and will likely count the family members among those it must protect. It is not playful as other dogs are, but it makes a strong and loyal companion if raised properly from the start.
Are Anatolian shepherds dangerous?
Anatolian shepherds are not dangerous unless you are intent on doing harm to those that it considers being their livestock. If that’s the case, watch out!
How long does an Anatolian shepherd live?
An Anatolian shepherd usually lives about 11 to 13 years. Those dogs that live with their flock may have a much shorter lifespan due to predators.
How big do Anatolian Shepherds get?
An Anatolian shepherd male can reach 29 inches at the shoulder and weigh in at 150 pounds A female is smaller but still impressive, reaching 27 inches at the shoulder and weighing in at 120 pounds.
How much do Anatolian Shepherds cost?
The cost of an Anatolian shepherd varies widely, but the typical puppy runs about $2,500. Older pups, pups not available for breeding, and puppies who are intended to be bred may vary from this, but this is an average cost.
- David Burnie, Dorling Kindersley (2011) Animal, The Definitive Visual Guide To The World's Wildlife
- Tom Jackson, Lorenz Books (2007) The World Encyclopedia Of Animals
- David Burnie, Kingfisher (2011) The Kingfisher Animal Encyclopedia
- David Burnie, Dorling Kindersley (2008) Illustrated Encyclopedia Of Animals
- Dorling Kindersley (2006) Dorling Kindersley Encyclopedia Of Animals
- PetMD, Available here: https://www.petmd.com/dog/breeds/c_dg_anatolian_shepherd
- The Happy Puppy Site, Available here: https://thehappypuppysite.com/anatolian-shepherd/
- American Kennel Club, Available here: https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/anatolian-shepherd-dog/
- Wikipedia, Available here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anatolian_Shepherd
- Anatolian Shepherd Dog Club of America, Available here: http://asdca.org/anatolianshepherd.html#factsataglance