Anatolian Shepherd Dog Breed Information

Anatolian Sheperd Dog

The Anatolian Sheperd dog is a large and a powerful working dog. A native of Turkey, this dog has a superb capability to defend the livestock with strong protective instincts. It is an ancient breed that has originated almost 6000 years ago. The dog has a strong bodyline comprising of a thick neck, broad chest, broad head, blunt muzzle and floppy triangle shaped ears. It has strong legs that are good enough to chase away large animals who attack their flocks.

Their eyes are set apart and comes in colors ranging from dark brown to light amber. Anatolians are intelligent, smart and devoted to their family members. With their strong protective instinct, they can go to any extent to safeguard the kids of the family, livestock and the cats of the house too. The owners of the Anatolians posses strong leadership capabilities. They must be able to handle the dog's dominating behavior and his demand for love and care.

Anatolian Shepherd Dog Pictures

History and Development

It is an ancient breed that was devoloped around 6000 years ago in the Central Anatolian Plateau of Turkey. The dog got its name from this region. The Anatolian Shepherds which are currently found in the United States is believed to be the mixture of three guarding breeds like Kars which are found in eastern part of Turkey, Akbash from the western part and Kangal that hails from the central region. The central part of Anatolia is a high plateau region that has endless plains and rolling hills. The weather here can be unforgiving with summer brutally hot and winters extremely cold that reaches sub-zero temperature.

In these type of harsh weather condition, the  Anatolian Shepherds shaped their reputation as an excellent flock guardian. They were very useful in guarding the horses and sheep flock of their masters from wild animals and did not back down from fighting and chasing predators bigger to its size.

These dogs were considered too valuable, and after existing for nearly thousands of years, the export of the dogs began only after 20th century. The American ranchers may have started to import the Anatolian Shepherd Dog in the 1950s; it was in the 1970s the dog came into limelight. Lieutenant Robert Ballard of the US Navy, brought the dog in the year in 1967, who was posted in Turkey. The pair of the dog produced their first litter in 1970 that solidified the breeds position in the United States. The American Kennel Club (AKC) recognized the breed in 1996.

Anatolian Shepherd Temperament

The Anatolian Shepherd is an intelligent, calm, friendly dog and is highly protective of its immediate family members. They are not friendly with outsiders and have an inherent suspicious tendency towards strangers. This tendency makes them territorial too which qualifies this dogs for a great 'guard dog' or 'watchdog'. These dogs are not vocal and will bark only on provocation.

They have a calm disposition and seldom involves into any trouble. Their reserved and unemotional nature might not make them a good playmate for the kids. These dogs are better preferred for homes with older kids.  The interaction between the children and the dogs must be supervised by adults.

Quick Information

Other Names Karabaş (Blackhead), Anatolian Blackhead (Anadolulu Karabaş), Kangal, Coban Kopegi, Karabash, Kara Bas, Kham Kepiji Dog, Scandinavian Nygaard Dog
Coat Short, wire, thick, double, rough
Colors Black, light brown, beige
Type Livestock Guardian Dog
Group (of Breed) Purebred
Lifespan 10-13 years
Weight Male: 110–143 pounds
Female: 88–121 pounds
Height (Size) Large; Male: 29–32 inches
           Female: 28–31 inches
Personality Traits Brave, alert, loyal, intelligent, protective, reserved, peaceful
Litter Size 5-10 puppies at a time
Good with Children Yes
Good with Pets Yes (including dogs, if socialized)
Good for New/First-time Owners No
Shedding Heavy
Barking Moderate
Drooling Moderate
Hypoallergenic No
Country of Origin Turkey
Time of Origin Approximately 6000 years ago
Competitive Registration/ Qualification Information AKC, FCI, ANKC, CKC, KC (UK), NZKC, UKC

anatolian shepherd puppies



These dogs have a tendency to wander and needs exercise like daily long walks and jogging. Allow them to play in an enclosed area off the leash with a high fence. This type of activities will help in keeping the dogs physically and mentally healthy.


The dog sheds quite often and needs to be thoroughly brushed for removing the dead hair and mats. Use a soft-bristle brush and comb for brushing. They have a double coat which is a bit wiry and is dense around the neck area. Do not bathe the dog on a regular basis. Trim the nails of the Anatolian dogs regularly.

Medical issues

These dogs are a healthy and hardy breed. The problem of hip dysplasia and bloat rarely happens in them. Owners are advised to know the symptoms of bloat and take necessary action on it occurrence quickly. The dog is sensitive to anesthesia, and the owners of the dog must inform the vets ahead of planning any procedure for treatment of the dog.  These dogs might suffer from dermatologic and musculoskeletal issues. Brush the dog's teeth to keep it clean the ears regularly to check for infections.

Anatolian Shepherds


This breed is wary towards strangers and is indistinctively protective about its territory. To curtail this behavior, socialization of these dogs must begin at a tender age. Try to mingle your dog with strangers by asking your friends and relatives to visit your home often. Those who own pets are more preferred.

Let the dog hear your doorbell's ring, watch people coming in, sitting and talking to you. Make sure that you do not draw away your attention on doing these activities.  Do not let the dogs feel insulted in front of those people whom the dog would have considered strangers. Ask the visiting people to try to make friends with the dog by giving them treats and praising them. This procedure will be extremely helpful in socializing the dogs.

Eating routine/Feeding

You should give the Anatolian Shepherd dogs 4-5 cups of high-quality dry dog food per day, divided into two meals.

Interesting Facts

At the San Diego Zoo, an Anatolian Shepherd named Duke is the animal ambassador of the zoo.

A three-legged Anatolian Shepherd Dog named Hatchi has developed an outstanding bond with a very young and sick boy Owen. Both of them together won in the “Friends for Life” category at the ‘Crufts’ in the year 2013 (an international annual canine event held in the UK).

In 2016, they were ranked 84th most popular dog around the world. (source: AKC).

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