The Anatolian Shepherd Dog: A Complete Guide

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The Anatolian Shepherd Dog is a native of Turkey where he was developed as a shepherd’s companion and livestock guardian.

He was bred to look like the livestock he protected so predators would not identify him among the flock. He is also sometimes called the Anatolian Karabash Dog.

This dog is not inclined to play fetch or Frisbee. You should also not expect animated responsiveness from this dog.

The Anatolian Shepherd Dog often looks serious and magnificent, and calm and quiet, unless he is challenged by an animal or human intruder.

They bond with flock animals with a fierce possessiveness. They make their own decisions about who is a friend and who is a foe, and what is a threat and what is not.

They react to every situation as they see fit.

Potential owners who don’t have the experience to control their powerful instincts should look for another breed.

Anatolian Shepherd Dogs are not casual pets. They are assertive, independent dogs who will try to manage everyone, unless you are a confident leader who can teach respect.

This dog needs a formal introduction to people they don’t know before they are touched by them. He will stay vigilant as long as they are in their territory.

He is patient with his young humans and with tame family pets. But don’t expect them to be very warm and welcoming to those who are not part of the family.

Despite his bulk, the Anatolian Shepherd Dog is remarkably agile and reactive. He needs a spacious yard with a six-foot-high fence that is extremely secure.

Anatolian Shepherd Dog Puppies – Before You Buy…

Anatolian Shepherd Dog standing in snow
The Anatolian Shepherd is very loving and affectionate with his humans.

What Price are Anatolian Shepherd Dog Puppies?

The price of Anatolian Shepherd Dog puppies is anywhere between $700 to $900.

How to Find Reputable Anatolian Shepherd Dog Breeders?

Good research provides potential dog owners with checkpoints to ensure they are getting a dog from a reputable source.

Unfortunately, it’s so easy to err in the process, resulting in a puppy that lacks the benefits of being bred by a good breeder.

Bad breeders do not educate or support their puppy buyers, and they prove disinterested after the point of sale.

Reputable breeders only produce a litter, with the goal of improving their breed and with the full intent of keeping a puppy from the litter with which to continue their efforts.

They do not breed to make money, to supply the pet market during a wave of breed popularity, or to give the kids sex education.

Reputable breeders nearly always belong to a local or national breed club, and they actively compete with their dogs.

Competitions include licensed dog shows, field trials, obedience trials, herding trials, tracking events, earth dog trials, and sled dog racing.

If the breeder does not belong to any dog organizations or compete with their dogs, beware!

Reputable breeders should be willing and eager to spend time with you, explaining, teaching and advising you about their breed.

A responsible breeder makes sure that you want and are prepared to take care of this kind of dog.

That means taking care of it not just during the cute puppy stage but until its adult years.

Reputable breeders screen potential dog owners carefully, assuring suitability for owning their breed.

They will not sell a large, active dog to an apartment dweller or someone without a fence, or a tiny toy dog to a home with small children.

A reputable breeder will refuse a sale, regardless of any personal financial strain or the amount of work involved.

If the breeder does not question you closely about your home, your family, and your expectations of the dog, beware!

3 Little-Known Facts About Anatolian Shepherd Dog Puppies

  1. Anatolian Shepherd Dogs are independent and less eager to please than other breeds. They won’t necessarily wait for instructions but will act if they think their “flock” is threatened.
  2. As guardians of their territory, some can be barkers, especially at night.
  3. Some Anatolian Shepherd Dogs can be dog-aggressive.

Physical Traits of the Anatolian Shepherd Dog

Anatolian Shepherd Dog sitting in woods
The Anatolian Shepherd Dog is a calm and friendly breed.

This dog has a short coat and a thick undercoat. There may be feathering on the tail, legs, and ears.

His coat comes in many colors, including pinto, white, and brindle, but the most common is fawn with a black mask.

He’s naturally clean, so he should not be very hard to groom. His coat requires very little brushing, but you can expect shedding to happen several times a year.

Extra brushing removes dead hair. Minimal bathing, approximately three to four times a year, is all that is required.

Brush your Anatolian Shepherd Dog’s teeth at least two or three times a week to remove bacteria and tartar buildup.

Daily brushing is even better if you want to prevent gum disease and bad breath. Trim the nails once or twice a month.

Begin accustoming your Anatolian Shepherd to being brushed and examined while he’s still a puppy.

Handle his paws frequently and look inside his mouth. Make grooming a delightful experience that is filled with rewards and praise.

As you groom him, look out for rashes, sores, or any signs of infection, including skin inflammation, tenderness, or redness.

Their eyes must be clear, without any discharge or redness. Performing this weekly exam will help you detect potential health problems as they arise.

How Big is a Full-Grown Anatolian Shepherd Dog?

Male Anatolian Shepherd Dogs stands 29 inches tall and weigh 110 to 150 pounds.

Females stand 27 inches tall and weigh 80 to 120 pounds.

What is the Life Expectancy of the Anatolian Shepherd Dog?

The life expectancy of the Anatolian Shepherd Dog is around 10 to 13 years.

Intelligence, Temperament and Personality Traits of the Anatolian Shepherd Dog

Anatolian Shepherd Dog looking curious
The Anatolian Shepherd Dog often looks serious and magnificent.

The Anatolian Shepherd Dog is considered a livestock protector or guardian dog.

He is a rugged, self-confident guardian who knows how much protection or intimidation is necessary in any situation.

The Anatolian Shepherd Dog has been working independently for centuries, making decisions regarding threats to his property.

As a puppy, he adopts whomever he lives with, be it a family or a herd of sheep. As he grows, he takes on the protector role.

It doesn’t matter whether his “flock” is human or animal. He is extremely protective and possessive.

He backs up his guardian nature with presence. He appears intimidating, but he’s calm and friendly with his family.

The Anatolian Shepherd Dog is suspicious of strangers and reserved with those outside his “flock.”

He takes his job seriously. When his humans are not home, he will not let even friends or extended family who are not known to him come into their property.

At the same time, the Anatolian Shepherd Dog is a very intelligent, loyal, steady working dog.

He’s highly trainable, though he tends to think about whether he will choose to obey or not.

He needs an owner who is strong, kind, and consistent as a pack leader.

The Anatolian Shepherd Dog is tolerant of older children and is good with them. To him, they are part of the flock that needs guarding along with the rest of the family.

The Anatolian Shepherd Dog is not the perfect breed for everyone.

He can be a fine and loyal companion if you and your family understand his unique qualities and requirements.

The Anatolian Shepherd Dog’s Diet

Even if it’s a large breed, this dog is a conservative eater. It does not do so well with high protein commercial foods.

The Anatolian Shepherd Dog mostly sticks to a vegetarian diet.

But your dog will thrive quite well on a quality lamb/rice or chicken-based diet.

You may choose commercially produced holistic foods, or supplement their dry food diet with cooked rice, cooked chicken, cottage cheese, or yogurt.

Adding vitamin C to their diet will also provide health benefits to your Anatolian Shepherd Dog’s diet.

How Much Exercise Does an Anatolian Shepherd Dog Need?

Owners of this dog need to take them for walks and give them plenty of room to run around.

This breed wants nothing to do with games of catch or fetch. It needs a challenge, such as pulling a sled or a cart or performing tracking activities.

Because of its instinct to guard flocks, the Anatolian Shepherd Dog works best on farms.

Anatolian Shepherd Dog Health and Conditions

Overall, the Anatolian Shepherd Dog is a healthy breed. However, some health concerns include ear infections, entropion, hypothyroidism, hip dysplasia, and cancer.

My Final Thoughts on the Anatolian Shepherd DogAnatolian Shepherd Dog guide

The Anatolian Shepherd is very loving and affectionate with his humans. Whenever he’s around them, he’s calm and settled.

But because of his large size, he’s better suited to families with older children.

He’s unlikely to respect young children as leaders, so all interactions between them should be supervised by responsible adults.

The Anatolian Shepherd Dog is highly intelligent, independent, and dominant. He considers himself to be constantly on duty.

Though protective, the Anatolian Shepherd Dog is calm, friendly, and affectionate with his immediate family.

Like every dog, the Anatolian Shepherd Dog needs early socialization.

This helps ensure that your Anatolian Shepherd puppy grows up to be a happy, healthy, and well-rounded dog.

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