The Anatolian Shepherd Dog is a livestock guardian breed that originates from Turkey. This giant, muscular canine has an ancient lineage and ranks at number 84 according to the American Kennel Club (AKC) popularity ranking. It has been categorized as a Working Dog by the AKC. Here’s everything that you must know about it.
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Anatolian Shepherd Dog Appearance
The Anatolian Shepherd has an average height of 28 inches, and it weighs as much as 150 pounds. These animals have been born and raised in the rugged terrain of Anatolia and, hence, feature a muscular build. While the male weighs 150 pounds, the female has an average weight of 100 pounds, but it’s just as sturdy as its male counterpart.
Its strong build allows it to perform difficult tasks. It features a smooth yet powerful gait. It is a medium-sized dog that flaunts a large head, the bone structure is quite impressive, and its expression is tough enough to keep all predators at a reasonable distance.
The dog comes in a variety of colors such as pinto, fawn, white and brindle. It has a thick but short undercoat, and you’ll see a lot of feathering around the ears, legs and tail.
Anatolian Shepherd Dog Grooming
Since the coat is not very long, the grooming of the Anatolian is not much of a hassle. The dog is naturally very clean and sheds profusely only a couple of times during the year. Hence, you’ll be required to give it minimal brushing every now and then to remove dead hair.
Moreover, this canine does not require extensive bathing; three to four showers are all it needs on an annual basis.
However, the dog is prone to oral hygiene issues and dental problems, so brushing its teeth is a must! Make sure to brush its teeth two to three times on a weekly basis to avoid tartar buildup and bad breath. A daily brushing routine will be phenomenal for its gum health and pleasant breath.
Other areas that need pampering include its ears and nails. You must clip its nails once or twice each month. As for the ears, they must be monitored for signs of redness, itching and bad odor. If any of these signs become visible, get it to a vet immediately. Otherwise, wipe its ears clean using a damp cotton ball to keep the pH level balanced and prevent potential ear infections.
Anatolian Shepherd Dog Temperament
The Anatolian is an intelligent and dominant canine that is quite protective of its family. To the family, it displays tremendous affection and loyalty, but it won’t easily socialize with strangers. While the Anatolian puppies are generally playful and friendly, even with strangers, the grown-ups tend to remain quite reserved when they encounter new faces.
Thus, you may be required to begin early socialization to expose the dog to new sounds, places, and people. Moreover, early socialization will result in fewer temperament issues in the future. On the whole, this breed is an easy-going one that behaves well indoors as well as outdoors and is hardly ever looking for trouble.
Anatolian Shepherd Dog Training
As already identified in the previous section, the Anatolian must be socialized while it’s only a puppy. In addition to socialization, you must conduct obedience training so that it will listen to you. Since it has been bred to make its own decisions, having these dogs respond to humanly commands can sometimes be a real challenge.
The Anatolian does not require protection or guard-dog training. It has a naturally protective nature, so that’s something you can skip.
Training is essential to ensure that the dog remains in control when faced with unfamiliar situations and people. This is because it tends to get extremely overprotective, aggressive and difficult to control.
Anatolian Shepherd Dog History
In Turkey, the Anatolian Shepherd is called Coban Kopegi in the native language, which translates to a shepherd’s dog. It has a long history of being a protector of property and livestock, even before its discovery as a unique breed. The Anatolian has been protecting sheep from wolves and other predators for over a thousand years.
The breed’s history in America begins prior to the outbreak of World War II, when it was imported from Turkey’s central region to become part of the top-secret ‘Sheepdog Project.’ The objective of this project had been to identify which canines could potentially be deployed on American sheep pastures. However, as soon as the war erupted, the project discontinued and the Anatolians were dispersed.
The first Anatolian bred on the lands of America was in the 1970s, when the US Navy Lieutenant Robert Ballard brought a pair to his homeland. It was recognized by the AKC in 1999 and was categorized as a Working Dog.
Karabas (Blackhead), Anatolian Blackhead (Anadolulu Karabas), Kangal. It’s also known as Coban Kopegi in its land of origin.