Updated 18-03-2023

Anatolian Shepherd Dog

These dogs were originally raised in Turkey to serve as shepherds' companions and guardians of cattle. They were designed to imitate the size and colour of the animals they protected so that predators would not be able to distinguish them from the rest of the herd.

Many dog clubs consider the Anatolian Karabash Dog a different breed from the Kangal (which is also known as the Anatolian Karabash Dog), a huge, stunning breed that can weigh 120 to 150 pounds at maturity.

Dogs of the Anatolian Shepherd lineage are rugged, imposing, and have a long history of protecting their flocks. These strong avengers are highly sought after as working guard dogs since they are not just protective and territorial but also clever, patient, and profoundly devoted. When measured from shoulder to withers, the Anatolian Shepherd Dog is between 27 and 29 inches tall.

An Anatolian Shepherd that has been properly socialised and trained is a friend and a protector to those he considers to be part of his "flock," which includes his human family members. Their size makes it easier for them to knock over a toddler when playing vigorously. If their owners don't properly teach them, they may also attack other animals, such as cats and dogs.

Because of their large build and agility on their feet, Anatolians are well-suited to the predators and challenging terrain of their native area. Anatolians are descended from some of the earliest known domestic dog bloodlines in existence. As a result, the breed has a timelessness that brings us back to the Bronze Age 6,000 years ago. Anatolians are highly intelligent, dedicated, responsive, and flexible.

There are many Anatolian Shepherd Dog qualities that can be found below.


  • As with any dog, adequate socialisation and training are essential for the Anatolian Shepherd to learn what's normal and what's dangerous. Anatolian Shepherds who aren't properly socialised and trained might become violent, overprotective, and otherwise difficult to manage.
  • Anatolian Shepherds are less willing to please than other breeds since they are more autonomous. They may not always follow directions, but if they feel threatened, they will take action.
  • Safe fencing is a must-have.
  • When it comes to digging, certain Anatolians have a knack for it.
  • They shed a lot, particularly in the spring.
  • The Anatolian Shepherd will test your leadership abilities at some point. Owners must be willing to consistently and humanely exercise pack authority.
  • Barking can be a sign of territorial guardianship, especially at night.
  • There are some Anatolians who are dog-aggressive. .
  • There will be hefty boarding and medicine expenditures, as well as the necessity of bringing a huge vehicle to transport them.
  • Shepherd Anatolian Anaesthesia has an adverse effect on dogs. Before undergoing any surgical operation, be sure to talk to your veterinarian about this. 
  • Never buy a puppy from a puppy mill, negligent breeder, or pet retailer if you want a healthy dog. Consider adopting from a shelter or rescue that requires prospective adopters to meet with dogs to determine if they are a suitable fit for both the dogs and the adopters. 


Social Appearance 


Contrary to popular belief, only tiny dogs qualify as apartment pets. Tiny dogs can be too rambunctious for high-rise apartments. Apartment dogs are quiet, low-energy, tranquil indoors, and courteous of their other residents. You may acquire a wonderful kennel for your dog right here if you want extra privacy in your apartment.

Sensitivity Level

Some dogs ignore harsh criticism, while others take even the slightest sneer seriously. “Easy-going,” “tolerant,” “resilient,” and even “thick-skinned” dogs tolerate noise and turmoil in the home as well as more assertive masters. Got kids, a busy schedule, or a lot of parties? Preferably not extremely sensitive.

Protective Nature

The proclivity of a breed to inform you when strangers are in the vicinity. All possible threats, whether it is the mailman or a squirrel outside the window, are more likely to be met with aggression in these breeds. Those who live with these breeds are more likely to tolerate strangers who come into the house and to warm up to them.

Potential for Playfulness

Dogs come in all shapes and sizes, and some are everlasting puppies who beg for a game, while others are more serious and staid. Despite the fact that a playful pup seems appealing, think about how many games of fetch or tag you want to play each day and whether you have children or other dogs who can act as substitute playmates for the dog.

Personality Appearance


Just like a dog's muscles, a dog's mind needs exercise if its work includes decision-making, intelligence, and focus. Due to boredom, a youngster may create their own task, usually with actions you dislike, such digging or biting on a stick. Dog sports and jobs like agility and search and rescue can help exercise a dog's brain.

Energy Level

Dogs with lots of energy are always looking for something to do. They may work hard all day since they were developed to fulfill a specific job, such as retrieving game for hunters or herding animals. They'll spend more time jumping, playing, and discovering new sights and smells if they're getting enough physical and mental stimulation.

A low-energy dog is content to lay around all day. When choosing a breed, consider your own level of activity and whether or not you'd appreciate owning a boisterous, energetic dog.

Easy To Train

Easy-to-train dogs can quickly connect a cue (like "sit"), an action (like sitting), and an outcome (like sitting) (such as receiving a treat.). Training different breeds of dogs takes more care and practice.

If your dog approaches training with a "What's in it for me?" mentality, you'll need to use treats and games to motivate him.

Family Affection Level

Affectionate With Family

Some breeds remain distant and independent, while others form close bonds with one individual and are indifferent to others. Not only does a dog's breed influence their amount of connection, but so does their upbringing.


Caution is advised when handling young children and dogs that are not trained to be around children. Among the names on the list are several surprises: Fierce-looking Family dogs, Boxers and American Staffordshire Terriers (which are considered Pit Bulls). Miniature dogs like Chihuahuas aren't necessarily the most family-friendly.

Dog Friendly

Canine friendship is one thing, but human friendship is another. Even if they are friendly to people, some dogs will attack or dominate their opponents in a fight. Some dogs like to play to fight, while others will flee. Other factors come into play. Puppy socialisation is more likely among puppies raised with their littermates and mother during the first six to eight weeks of life.

Physical Appearance

Amount of Shedding

Having a dog in the house means dog hair all over your clothes and home. The amount of shedding varies greatly amongst dog breeds. Some dogs "blow" seasonally, others both ways, and yet others shed very little. Choose a low-shedding breed or decrease your expectations. A de-shedding tool can help keep your home cleaner.

Drooling Potential

Wet spots may be left on your clothing by dogs that are known for dribbling when they meet you for the first time. In the event that drool isn't a concern for you, then go ahead and get a dog that doesn't drool excessively.

Easy To Groom

Some breeds of dogs may simply be brushed and left alone, while others require frequent washing, cutting, and other grooming in order to maintain their health and appearance.. Grooming a dog that requires a lot of time and patience may not be in your best interest if you do not have the time or the money to do so.

Exercise Needs

Evening walks around the neighbourhood are perfectly acceptable for some breeds. Those who were initially developed for physically demanding jobs, such as herding or hunting, require regular, rigorous exercise to maintain their health and fitness.

Some of these breeds may gain weight and act out in ways you don't like if they don't get enough exercise. Those looking to train their dog for an energetic canine activity, such as agility, should consider getting a dog that needs a lot of exercise.

Average sizes and life expectancy of the breed


80 to 150 pounds


11 to 13 years


2 feet, 3 inches to 2 feet, 5 inches tall at the shoulder


Anatolian Shepherds have long been employed to guard people and property. Tibetan Mastiffs and Roman Mollosian fighting dogs are said to be the ancestors of this breed. They were vital in safeguarding livestock from wolves and bears in this area. Because the Anatolians were nomadic shepherds, they had a wide range of coat kinds and colours. But loyalty, independence, and hardiness are among traits that have remained constant throughout all breeds.

A shepherd dog was never used to herd cattle, hence the name is a misnomer. The Turkish call this breed koban kopegi, or "sheepdog." Some argue that the Anatolian is a separate breed from the Kangal (or Karabash).

Due to its efficiency in protecting livestock from coyotes and other predators, the breed remained unknown in America until the 1950s. Only a few decades ago, the Anatolian Shepherd began to gain popularity, still admired for its use rather than its beauty. Owners sought a loyal and capable guardian. Since joining the AKC Working Group in 1996, Anatolian Shepherds have prioritised working dogs. In Africa, Anatolians protect livestock from cheetahs.

Personality and Temperament

Anatolian Shepherds are loyal and kind to those they know and trust, but this breed retains their working mentality, which makes them wary of strangers and quick to react to perceived threats. Since shepherds rely on the Anatolian to protect their flocks, they might be difficult to keep as pets because of their tendency to make decisions on their own rather than following orders.

This is a dog who takes his job as a family guardian and devotion seriously. Despite this, Anatolians are low back and easygoing, seldom on the lookout for danger. They are wary of strangers and fiercely protective of their territory. Despite their ability to relate well to youngsters, they may lack the level of playfulness necessary to satiate the needs of young ones in the long run. When this dog's suspicions are piqued, he will bark nonstop.


In order to have a well-adjusted Anatolian shepherd, proper training and socialisation are a must. Fortunately, this breed has low exercise requirements and simple grooming requirements.


Anatolian Shepherds are no exception to this rule. If you're considering an Anatolian Shepherd, you should be aware of these issues.

Anatolian Shepherds can have hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, hypothyroidism, and von Willebrand's disease. Conditions that may affect this breed include:

Hip Dysplasia

Because of this genetic disorder, the thigh bone does not fit properly in the hip joint. Pain and lameness in one or both hind legs are visible in some dogs, but this is not always the case. Screening with X-rays is the only way to be certain of a diagnosis in this case.) As a dog ages, arthritis can occur. Hip dysplasia should never be bred into a dog population.

Elbow Dysplasia

Like hip dysplasia, it's degenerative. Erratic growth and development is thought to cause a weak or malformed joint. The disease's severity varies from dog to dog: arthritis to total paralysis. Treatment options include surgery, weight loss, medical monitoring, and anti-inflammatories

Demodectic Mange

The demodex mite causes this condition, also called demodicosis. To pass the mite to her pups, the mother must do it within the first few days of their lives. Demodex mites, which live in hair follicles, typically do little harm. Demodectic mange can occur in dogs with weakened immune systems. 

This disorder can cause red, scaly, hairless areas of skin on the head, neck, and legs. It's a typical puppy sickness that normally goes away. The generalised kind affects dogs of all ages, including puppies and young adults. If you have concerns about your dog's health, take him to the vet straight away. This is recommended by the American Academy of Veterinary Dermatology for all dogs with generalised demodectic mange.


This is a problem with the thyroid. Epilepsy, alopecia (hair loss), obesity, lethargy, hyperpigmentation, pyoderma, and other skin diseases are thought to be caused by it. Medication and dietary changes are used to alleviate the symptoms.


Entropion is a condition in which the lower eyelids of both eyes fold inward. It irritates the eye and impairs vision as a result. Treatment should be postponed until the dog reaches adulthood if it develops before the age of a year. In order to prevent the dog from developing ectropion, or an eyelid that rolls outwards, the treatment involves a series of procedures spread out over time.

Recommended Health Tests 

  1. Hip Evaluation
  2. Elbow Evaluation


Anatolian Shepherds thrive well on commercial dog food. When selecting a formula, keep in mind your dog's age (puppy, adult, senior). Because they are a working breed, Anatolian Shepherds may need a higher protein diet.

When it comes to feeding your dog, always consult your vet. Begin by feeding your Anatolian twice daily, but they can help you decide out a plan based on your dog's diet.

American Journey's Training Bits are great for guard dog training. These are calorie-free treats for your dog that won't spoil him. Remember that treats equal calories, so if you serve lots of sweets, you should eat less meals. Consult your vet if you notice your dog gaining weight quickly. They can work with you to establish a feeding and activity schedule that works for everyone.


Anatolian Shepherds have two coat lengths: one inch short and four inches rough. Anatolians, regardless of coat type, are low maintenance.

Every week, thoroughly brush your hair with a good pin brush to remove tangles and stray hairs. Keep in mind that dogs lose their undercoat twice a year, in the spring and fall. During this time, you'll need to brush and comb them daily to remove dead hairs. You won't acquire a matted undercoat with a shedding rake.

Baths once a month keep your dog smelling fresh. Take them to the groomer instead of doing it yourself. To avoid difficulties, use a good dog shampoo. After bathing, cut their nails with nail clippers or a grinder. Your vet can advise you on nail length, but a monthly cut should be sufficient.

Brush your dog's teeth at least twice a week, and many experts recommend daily brushing. Prevent painful extractions and other health issues by brushing today. Remember to schedule a yearly cleaning with your veterinarian!


Take your dog out for a walk, jog, or game of fetch at least once a day to keep this breed active. Puzzle toys are a great way to get some exercise while also keeping your mind active.

The breed is not suited to live in a compact place, such as an apartment. Ideally, it should be able to run around in a fenced-in area. To ensure that this protective breed doesn't engage with people and dogs it doesn't know, make sure the fence is high and robust.


Anatolian shepherds are naturally apprehensive of outsiders, and they can be extremely protective of their families. Learning to control one's instincts from an early age is essential. It is typical for a dog of this breed who has not been properly socialised to grow hostile toward other animals and even humans.

Obedience training with these dogs usually goes smoothly. Their self-reliance can, on occasion, lead to stubbornness and intransigence. It is critical to begin positive reinforcement training as early as possible in order to achieve long-term success. The inclination toward violence in Anatolian shepherds can be exacerbated by protection or guard dog training, hence this should never be done to them.

Children and Other Pets

Anatolian Shepherds are often dedicated to their family, especially children, whom they calm and protect. It is likely that older youngsters would like them due to their size. Adults should monitor all Anatolian-child interactions because young children are unlikely to respect them as leaders.

Educate children on how to approach and engage with dogs to avoid any bites or ear or tail pulling. The food of a dog should never be taken away by a child. No matter how friendly a dog is, never leave a youngster alone with it.

If raised with other dogs and pets, Anatolian Shepherds are more tolerant. They'll eventually join the flock.


Puppies of Anatolian Shepherds tend to be large and robust. For the first year or two of your dog's life, it is recommended that you minimize your dog's time spent playing or running on hard surfaces. These puppies must be trained and socialised from an early age. Although their instincts will continue to guide them in new situations, it will help them adapt to new people and new environments. Using a crate for house training might also help alleviate anxiety.

Dog breeds related to the Anatolian Shepherd

If you're seeking for a livestock guardian that resembles the Anatolian Shepherd, consider one of these breeds:

Pyrenean Mountain Dog 

This breed of sheep, known as the Great Pyrenees because of its origin on the French side of the Pyrenees, was bred primarily to guard flocks from deadly predators. Currently, it serves as a pet and a nice friend. Although the coat is white, it may contain flecks of black, brown or grey in it.


This huge, muscular, Hungarian breed has had a dual purpose for generations as both a livestock guardian and as a pet for royalty. The thick double coat is white or ivory white and often lacks patches, blotches, or markings of any form.

Caucasian Shepherd Dog 

Once again, this giant cattle guardian hails from the Caucasus Mountains and is known for its protective nature. It is available in a variety of hues and patterns, including solid, spotted, and piebald.