Anatolian Shepherd Dog

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Species group:

Other name(s): Karabash; Karabas; Anatolian Karabas; Anadolulu Karabas; Anadolu Çoban Köpegi

The basics:
The Anatolian Shepherd Dog was a working dog developed in Turkey to herd and protect sheep in the hilly Anatolian plateau. It was a nomadic life that demanded an independent guardian dog capable of making fast decisions. They didn't just herd the sheep. They needed to defend the flock. Often, these unusually large and calm dogs were giving a spiked iron collar to discourage predators from grabbing them around the neck.

This breed entered the United States in the 1950s, and they are still used as guardian dogs on large farms and ranches where they can protect not just sheep but other livestock. This dog must be properly introduced to strangers. Its loyalty is reserved for its own family. Know how to be the responsible owner of a large, powerful, guardian breed. This is unlikely to be a good choice for the novice. Have experience with other large and/or guardian breeds before you tackle this challenge.

Appearance / health:
The Anatolian Shepherd is a large, rugged, muscular dog with a thick neck and heavy head. The ears drop to its sides. These dogs have a long tail that curls upwards slightly. The eyes are almond shaped and dark brown or light amber.

The Anatolian is a heavy shedder yet requires little grooming. In the shedding season, these dogs need to be brushed thoroughly while they require less grooming during the rest of the year.

Anatolians need moderate amounts of exercise.

Anatolians do not suffer from hereditary diseases as much as other large dogs. Hip dysplasia, a condition in which the hip is not formed properly and eventually may cause lameness, may occur. Thyroid problems, eye problems, and bloat occur in some dogs.

Behavior / temperament:
The Anatolian Shepherds are independent and confident dogs that may even disobey their owners when they sense danger. However, their strong natures may cause problems for the owner. Extremely intelligent and alert, these dogs evolved in a terrain that required quick decisions to be taken in the owner's absence.

Anatolians are fiercely protective and do not like other dogs entering their territory. Socialization needs to start early in their case. They can be extremely aggressive and can intimidate people by their huge size. They need lifelong training and supervision. Anatolians may try to dominate their owners. Without training and socialization, they can be difficult to control. They may try to expand their territories if not fenced in.

They are quick learners and highly intelligent. Training begins when the dog is still very young and includes obedience training. These dogs become bored easily and may not respond to the trainer's instructions. Even after training, they may still disobey the owner when their suspicions are aroused. Learning rate is high.

They tend to bark when they get suspicious.

Is a Anatolian Shepherd Dog right for you?

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What owners are saying about Anatolian Shepherd Dog health

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What owners are saying about Anatolian Shepherd Dog behavior and training

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Rozie the Scared One

My favorite story to tell of Rozie proves that dogs have real, beautiful and sometimes, hilarious personalities. When she was around two, my mom got a promotion at work so we decided to cook a really fancy dinner. Mom and I had things cooking on the stove and the smell was ove...

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