Anatolian Shepherd

Other names/Nicknames:
  • Karabash
Country/Date of origin:
  • Turkey
  • 1000 BC
  • Females:  from 27 inches
  • Males:  from 29 inches
  • Females:  80 to 120 pounds
  • Males:  110 to 150 pounds
  • Has a possessive attitude toward family, property, and livestock.  Most definitely a guard dog.
  • Quick to learn, it exhibits great versatility and has been known to perform well as a search and rescue dog.
  • Needs mental stimulation to prevent boredom.
  • This is a lot of very dominant dog to cope with.
  • Not for the first time dog owner.

This guard dog was developed by shepherds to protect their flocks of sheep from wolves.  An ancient breed, depicted in ancient Babylonian sculptures, it has come down through the centuries relatively unchanged.  Strict selection for working qualities, type, and strength has ensured that the breed is immensely tough and has great stamina.  Large numbers of Anatolian Shepherds are still used to guard the flocks in Turkey today.  In 1970, a club was set up in the United States to promote the interests of the breed.  This coincided with an upsurge in the coyote population in the American West and a movement to use guardian dogs for predator control instead of poison and other methods that had not been effective.  The dogs have proven to be cost effective and a more humane way to control predators than indiscriminate poisoning.

Body Type:
  • Typical of the large, sheep-guardian breeds.
  • The long tail is carried low with the end curled over.  It is not altered.
  • The drop ears are not altered.
  • The coat is short and dense with a thick undercoat.
  • The allowed colors are cream to fawn, or striped brindle with black mask and ears.
  • Minimal grooming required, except during annual shedding.
Health and Wellness:
  • Can be subject to hip dysplasia.
What you should know:
  • This dog does better in an outdoor situation and is not recommended as a house pet.
  • Obedience training is highly recommended.
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