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Anatolian Shepherd Dog

Quick facts

Anatolian Shepherd Dog AKC Group: Working
Height: Male: 29 inches, Female: 27 inches
Weight: Male: 110-150 pounds, Female: 80-120 pounds
Colors: White, biscuit, brindle, fawn (blue, red or gray) and liver double coat with black, brown or silver mask or Dutch markings
AKC recognized in: 1996

The Anatolian Shepherd Dog has a long history of being associated with the Tibetan Mastiff and Roman Mollosian war dogs that lived in Turkey and in the area of Asia Minor more than forty centuries ago.

This dog breed is known especially for its flock guarding capabilities. It can withstand the extreme weather conditions then present in the Anatolian Plateau territories. During the summer, it can get very dry and hot while during winters, it could be freezing cold. This dog breed still took defense of its owner’s livestock against wolves and bears.

Despite its long existence in the said regions, it was only in the 1950s to 1960s that the dog enthusiasts in the United States knew about this breed. From then on, the Anatolian Shepherd dog has been considered one of the most effective flock guard dogs against coyotes and other predators.

Since it came from a working breed, the Anatolian Shepherd Dog possesses a tough build. It can be very agile and enduring. It has muscular shoulders, slightly arched and muscular neck, straight and sturdy long front legs and broad muscular thighs. Its other features are characteristically strong as well, from its nails, pads to muzzle and teeth.


Anatolian Shepherd Dog Summary
Affection three paws
Cold Tolerance five paws
Ease of Training four paws
Energy level three paws
Exercise Requirements three paws
Friendliness : Children two paws
Friendliness: Other Animals two paws
Friendliness: Other Pets two paws
Grooming Requirements two paws
Heat Tolerance three paws
Playfulness three paws
Protection Ability five paws
Watchdog Ability five paws

Like other working dog breeds and shepherd dogs, the Anatolian tends to be very protective of its territory and owners. It can easily get wary of strangers and other pets. Its common reaction when it faces something foreign is to bark vigorously. With these traits, it makes an effective watch or guard dog.

On the other hand, while it does not possess a playful character, it can work well with children. For this to be ensured, expert breeders recommend that this dog breed be exposed to their company right from the start.

Another notable characteristic of the Anatolian Shepherd Dog is its intelligent nature. It is quick to learn. But in some occasions, it does not automatically follow instructions of its owner as its independent and strong nature gets the best of it.


The average lifespan of the Anatolian Shepherd Dog is 11 to 13 years.

While the Anatolian Shepherd Dog is generally a healthy dog, it is susceptable to certain health problems. These problems include:

  • Hip Dysplasia - Where the thigh bone does not fit snugly into the hip joint. This can lead to severe lameness or arthritis. A dog diagnosed with hip dysplasia should never be bred, as this is an inherited condition.
  • Elbow Dysplasia - A condition involving several developmental anomalies of the elbow joint in the dog. This keeps the three bones that make up the joint to fit together imperfectly, causing irritation and pain.
  • Hyperthyroidism -
  • Gastric Dilatation-volvulus - This is a life-threatening condition where the stomach becomes distended with gas or air, and then twists. This can happen with all deep chested dogs, especially if they eat their meal rapidly or drink large volumns of water. If this happens, it is extremely important that you get your dog to a vet immediately.
  • Entropion - A condition where the eyelid (usually the lower) rolls inward, causing irritation and vision loss. This can usually be corrected with surgery.


The Anatolian Shepherd Dog requires regular, although moderate exercise, including a long walk daily. Although it is possible to keep an Anatolian Shepherd Dog in an appartment with this excercise, it is best suited with a house with a large fenced in yard.

A regular brushing to remove dead hair should be done at least once a week. Anatolian Shepherd Dogs shed seasonally, when they blow out their thick undercoat. During this time, a thorough brushing will be required.

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