We are a large herding and guarding dog descending from Turkey, where we are highly valued by the Anatolian shepherds. We have been bred from mastiffs that existed in the Middle Eastern and Babylonian empires. Our origin extends back as far as around 6,000 years. We are sometimes referred to as the Karabash – a reference to our markings of cream and fawn with a black mask and ears.
What do I look like?
The Anatolian Shepherd dog resembles the mastiff – being tall and powerfully built. Our ears are triangular and our eyes are fairly small which belies the fact that we have excellent eyesight – as you would expect from a dog that manages herds! We have a thick double coat that is somewhat wiry and have very thick hair on our necks. We are naturally lean, so if we look heavy its probably more to do with the thickness of our coat – the canine excuse equivalent of humans being “big boned”!
What do I need from you?
A coat as thick as ours will need to be brushed 1-2 times a week in warm weather due to excessive shedding. Due to our breeding we are independent and forceful dogs, responsible for guarding our master’s flocks. This can make us challenging as a pet so we will need a lot patience and socializing to help us obey. Anatolians like to roam, as we were bred to travel with our herd and leave the herd to hunt for predators. This trait won’t have been bred out of us so micro-chipping us is probably a good idea. In all honesty, Anatolian Shepherd dogs don’t live happily in small quarters so a good open space with plenty of room to roam would be great. We like our food too and plenty of exercise!
What I will give in return
We do well with other animals, including cats if they are introduced to us young. I guess we tend not to be the most playful dog, it’s not in our nature to do the usual fetching and stick chewing stuff. That said, we are fiercely loyal to our owners. We are fearlessly brave and therefore make an excellent guard dog. You will need to keep us in check as we are capable of extreme aggression – you see, our nature is to take on and defeat wolves. In all honesty, we are not ideally suited to a family life with small children. Although we are likely to be hugely protective of them, we cannot guarantee to offer the same patience and welcome to their friends, who to us are strangers and a potential threat.
How big will I get?
We range from 28in – 32 in (71cm – 82cm) and anything from 90lb – 140lb (41kg – 64kg) with the male dog being typically larger and heavier.
How long should I be around for?
Our lifespan is quite good for a breed of our size. Anatolian Shepherd dogs will typically live for 12-15 years depending upon quality of life.
How big is our litter?
7 puppies is about average but it can go up to about 10 or down to 4-5.
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Disclaimer: the views expressed on this page and any comments below are only a guide to typical traits and views on the breed. Individual circumstance and traits will always vary so we can be in no way responsible for any of the information provided.