The Anatolian Shepherd is a livestock guardian dog breed that does not depend on human guidance for most of its tasks. These dogs can be really social towards other animals and humans if made comfortable with them at an early age.
In general, Anatolian Shepherd is an aggressive dog breed and can be really dangerous for others. So it should be controlled by their owners if they are not used to function in a social setting.
If you are looking for an Anatolian Shepherd dog to be your pet or even an emotional support animal, read the guide below to learn everything about it and make the right decision.
Anatolian Shepherd History and Origin
The Anatolian Shepherd is an ancient dog breed that has its origin in the Babylonian Empire. Today’s Anatolian breed traces its beginning in the Anatolian region of Turkey, where the developed line of Shepherds is seen that protects and guards the livestock.
The locals developed the breed to protect their goat and sheep herds, calling them ‘Coban Kopegi’ or the shepherd’s dog. These dogs can be related to the hunting dogs of Mesopotamia. Anatolian Shepherds are observed to be the best breed to work primarily on farms as they protect the livestock from predators like cheetahs and wolves.
If we analyze its history in detail, the Anatolian Shepherd came to the United States during World War II on a secret project. The U.S Department of Agriculture was heading a project in which this breed was to be evaluated to see if they are suited for the sheep pasture work.
Unfortunately, the “Sheepdog Project” was overlooked because of the country’s unstable conditions during the war, and the project was sold to the Virgin Islands.
However, the Anatolian Shepherds re-entered the US premises in the 1970s when Lieutenant Robert Ballard bought a pair from Turkey to the U.S and started breeding. In 1996 the breed entered the American Kennel Club, and in 1998 the breed was officially established under AKC Working Group.
Today, this dog breed is commonly being petted and is prominent on ranches and other agricultural settings. Because of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) of 1973, Anatolian Shepherd’s prominence continued with ranches.
The Anatolian dogs have been proved very loyal and true ranch dogs to protect and guard the sheep, goats, llamas, and ostriches without violently attacking the predators.
Anatolian Shepherd Characteristics
There are particular personality traits and characteristics of Anatolian Shepherds that distinguish them from other dog breeds. Following are the specifications of the breed that a person should know to understand the Anatolians better.
The Anatolian Shepherd dogs are large and have a very rugged look. Their looks are indicative of the work they do. Being a livestock guardian, these dogs are muscular and heavy-boned creatures that were developed purely for utilitarian purposes.
The Anatolian Shepherds have a strong head structure attached to an even stronger and contorted neck. While the eyes are almond-shaped, that beautifully conveys how intelligent and vigilant this breed is.
This breed has two coating variations; one short and one long. The long coat is often known as a rough coat as well. Irrespective of the coat type, the Anatolian Shepherd has longer and thicker hair at the neck and mane.
These dogs have some feathers around the ears, tail, and legs. Moreover, they come in different color patterns such as light golden, grey, dun, fawn sable.
The Anatolian dog breed is impulsive and aggressive as generally perceived. But, they can be loyal and calm if treated right.
People often ask whether Anatolian Shepherds are a good family dog or not. The answer is yes! They can be great family dogs as they are loving and devoted to the ones they are familiar with. But when it comes to strangers, they can be very territorial.
As they are intelligent furry beings, they can be self-controlled, independent, and extremely protective.
Health and Nutrition
Generally, the Anatolian Shepherd is a healthy and hardy dog breed. They are prone to certain health conditions, but it is essential to know the common health problems that Anatolian Shepherds might get.
- Hip Dysplasia - This is an inherited condition in which the dog’s thigh bone does not fit perfectly to the hip hip joint. All dogs respond to this condition differently. Some dogs feel pain and show lameness on rare legs, while others do not explicitly show any kind of discomfort.
Early diagnosis of this condition is important as it may cause arthritis with the dog’s growing age.
- Elbow Dysplasia - This condition is a degenerative disease in dogs similar to hip dysplasia. This condition is observed when an abnormal development on the arm happens due to a weak or malformed joint. The disease’s severity varies from dog to dog and can be treated by surgery, inflammatory medication, medical management, and weight management.
- Hypothyroidism - This condition occurs when the thyroid gland malfunctions. This disorder can be treated by medication and diet. Hypothyroidism can lead to other diseases and disorders, including epilepsy, hyperpigmentation, alopecia, obesity, and pyoderma.
- Demodectic Mange - This is a condition caused by Demodex mites and is also known as demodicosis. The mother dog passes these mites to her young puppies in the early days of their life. If your dog’s immune system is not strong, these mites present in the hair follicle can cause demodectic mange.
This disease’s symptoms include red patches on the skin and hair loss from the head, neck, and forelegs. As a weaker immune system causes this condition, young puppies and adult dogs usually face this disease.
Although the disease can be treated on its own, you should still take your furry pal to the vet.
- Entropion - This is a condition in which the inward rolling of the eyelid is observed. The lower eyelids of both eyes get irritated, which causes vision problems. However, this condition occurs when a dog is a few months old, but the treatment should extend to its adulthood in which different surgeries are included.
The diet of the Anatolian Shepherd plays a vivid role in its health. High-quality dog food should be fed to the dog. No matter if you choose a good manufacturing company or go with the food prepared in the house on the vet’s approval, it should be nutritious.
The Anatolian Shepherd dog breed do not generally overeat, which is another reason for their muscular body. Owners can give their dogs different treats as a part of their training but make sure to limit the quantity as it may cause obesity.
Pay frequent visits to your vet to keep the diet of the dog monitored and ensure getting appropriate nutrition and feeding instructions.
As much as the Anatolian Shepherd’s health depends on its nutritious diet, hygiene and grooming are equally contributing factors. These dogs are a working breed, which means that they have a working dog’s coat fur.
They have a thick undercoat and an outer coat on the body that needs proper brushing to untangle all the knots once a week. It will not only make the dog healthy but good looking as well.
The Anatolian Shepherds shed twice a year, and because of this, they require proper brushing to get rid of the dead hair. Use the best flea treatment for dogs in case of an infestation, make sure you consult your vet first.
Moreover, maintaining good dental and body hygiene is essential as well. Make you Anatolian Shepherd habitual of getting his teeth brushed in the house as well as professionally. Take your dog to the vet for a proper bath, ear cleaning, and nail cutting to keep it fresh and healthy.
Exercise and Training
The Anatolian Shepherds are working and guard dogs, but they do not require tough exercises to be healthy. Unlike other shepherd breeds, moderate activities are enough to keep them active and healthy.
For this breed, long walks and playing in the backyard are enough to be healthy. As these dogs are a little aggressive in nature, it is advised to make sure that your backyard is fenced and the gates are locked when you are playing with them.
Moreover, when taking Anatolian shepherd for a walk, put it on a leash to not threaten other humans and animals outside.
Although these dogs can be very loyal and loving to their owners and the ones they are familiar with, their attitude can be wary towards other people. It is the reason why obedience training of your Anatolian Shepherd is necessary.
As these dogs are free and independent in nature, training them can be a challenging task. So it is preferred that you expose them to people and other animals at a very young age.
Anatolian Shepherd is a breed that easily adapts living indoor as well as outdoor or both. However, this breed does not like living in a kennel or a chain. However, as they are not super friendly to everyone, they should be kept in a fenced yard in an outdoor setting.
For this giant breed, the height of the fence should be six feet or more. Else they can be a threat to unfamiliar people, animals, and situations. Moreover, if you are expecting guests, keep your dog on a leash.
It is innate in this dog breed to protect and guard without any training. This intelligent breed doesn’t need to be given any attack training as it can be dangerous for the people and animals around.
The protecting sense of the Anatolian Shepherd gets developed with time, and when they are about 18 months old, they exactly know how to and who to guard.
Facts About Anatolian Shepherd
Anatolian Shepherd is a fiercely independent breed that has the best sense of protecting others. This amazing dog breed with countless positive and common personality traits has other unique characteristics that distinguish it from other dog breeds
Continue reading to know some interesting things about Anatolian Shepherd dogs that are not known to everyone.
If you are getting an Anatolian Shepherd as a pet or to be your playmate, it is important to know that they live for 10 to 13 years. The lifespan of this breed depends on its health. If you want your dog to live long, ensure healthy living by following a nutritious diet plan and exercise routine.
Height and Weight
The height of an average female Anatolian Shepherd is between 28 to 31 inches, while a male stands between 29 to 32 inches. On the other hand, the weight of a female Shepherd is around 88 to 120 pounds, and the male weighs between 110 to 140 pounds.
It is suggested that you consult a vet if any abnormality in height or weight is observed. Generally, Anatolian Shepherds are not overeaters, which protects them from obesity, but you should be careful with them and avoid treating them a lot.
The Anatolian Shepherd is a fiercely strong and protective breed with the most potent bite force of about 743 psi. For this dog breed, the bite force is not surprising for the people as it is guard dogs to protect livestock and keep wild animals such as wolves and cheetahs away from the farm.
Anatolian Shepherds are an active and strong breed that runs at a speed of 31mph. Due to this speed, they easily chase animals and protect goats and sheep from getting attacked by wolves, cheetahs, and other predators.
The Anatolian Shepherds gain popularity after the Endangered Species Act (ESA) was passed in 1973. According to this act, the animals attacking farms and their livestock were endangered animals that can not be killed.
So to save both the endangered species and the livestock, Anatolian Shepherd dogs were selected. They guard the livestock keeping away the predators.
Difference Between Anatolian Shepherd and Kangal
Anatolian Shepherds and Kangals are commonly confused while they are separate breeds and have some differences. Kangals are slightly larger and faster than the Anatolian Shepherds.
Moreover, the coat on the Kangals is slightly shorter and less dense than Anatolian’s. They both can be kept as pets, but Kangas are relatively calmer, so it can be safer to keep them in the house with children.
Anatolian Shepherd vs. German Shepherd
Similar to Kangals, Anatolian Shepherds are mistakenly confused with the German Shepherds as well. German Shepherds are extremely protective guard dogs that bite other humans and animals more often.
On the other hand, Anatolian Shepherds are less aggressive and more family dogs as they only play-bite, chew, nip, or herd people. Moreover, German Shepherds are cooperative works, and Anatolians are independent workers.
Getting an Anatolian Shepherd
Getting an Anatolian Shepherd for your farm or as a pet is possible and simple. There are many adoption centers and rescue organizations that provide shelter to the Anatolian Shepherds.
If you are looking for these dogs, contact national or local breed clubs to find out the rescue houses in your area. They can guide you accordingly and will help you find a perfect companion.
Moreover, an Anatolian Shepherd can be found in breed organizations as well. There are clubs and associations that encourage people to get Anatolian Shepherds so if you are looking for it, contact them. These clubs can better guide you about the dog’s health and temperament. Whether you need a puppy or an aged dog, breeders will be the source to connect you to the perfect choice.
The cost of getting an Anatolian Shepherd puppy can range from $1,700 to $5,000 as this is the superior dog breed. Get a breeder to help you look for the best choice at the best price.
Anatolian Shepherds can be the best guards and protectors and because of this, they can be great emotional support animals. To get this dog breed to assist you emotionally you only require an ESA letter that is prescribed by a mental health expert
To see if you qualify to get the authorization of keeping an Anatolian Shepherd as a pet, visit RealESALetter.com. Choosing them to be a part of your life will be the best decision.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Anatolian Shepherds dangerous?
Anatolian Shepherds are an aggressive breed. Their nature of not coming along with every human and animal makes it a dangerous dog breed. Anatolian Shepherd owners should be vigilant and careful when taking their dogs to public places as they are not good socially.
Can an Anatolian Shepherd kill a wolf?
Anatolian Shepherds can easily kill a wolf as they are a hunting dog breed. Anatolians were bred to protect and guard livestock from wild animals and other threats.
At what age do Anatolian Shepherds stop growing?
Anatolian Shepherds are a dog breed that instantly grows. They reach their full size by the age of 12 to 14 months. Their average height is 28 inches, and they weigh around 115 pounds.
Do Anatolian Shepherds bark?
Anatolian Shepherds do not bark all the time. However, when they sense a threat, they often bark, which is usually at night when they guard something.
How do you take care of an Anatolian Shepherd?
Taking care of an Anatolian Shepherd is not hard. It is a very low maintenance dog breed that does not require extreme grooming. Just brush them once or twice a week to get rid of dead hair and knots.
Are Anatolian Shepherds good with chickens?
Anatolian Shepherds are great guard dogs that were developed to protect livestock, including goats and chickens. They are not social around other animals and humans, but when they are comfortable and on duty to guard, these dogs can be really faithful.
How much exercise does an Anatolian Shepherd needs?
Anatolian Shepherds are a very energetic breed. To stay active and use all their pent-up energy, Anatolian Shepherds require a lot of exercise and activities such as playing outdoor in a yard.
Do Anatolian Shepherds have double dew claws?
It is rare that dogs are born with double dewclaws. Dog breeds such as Anatolian Shepherds, Australian Shepherds, Spanish Mastiff, Estrela Mountain Dogs, and Icelandic Sheepdogs have double dewclaws.