The Anatolian Shepherd Dog is a large breed that originates from Turkey, where they were developed as a companion to shepherds and a guardian of livestock. To help protect the flock, they were bred to resemble the size and colour of the animals they defended, making it difficult for predators to detect them.
At maturity, these dogs can weigh anywhere from 80 to 150 pounds, making them an impressive and formidable presence. They are known for their fierce loyalty and make excellent guard dogs. Despite their size and protective nature, they have a calm and friendly demeanour towards their family.
Anatolian Shepherd Dogs are highly intelligent, independent, and dominant. They have a self-reliant nature that's essential for their role as roaming livestock guardians. Their curiosity and intelligence mean they can pick up scents from miles away.
Anatolian Shepherds have an easy-going and slow lifestyle, preferring to conserve their energy until necessary.
While they're reserved by nature and may take time to warm up to new people, these dogs are fiercely loyal and protective of their family and loved ones.
Anatolian Shepherds, like all dog breeds, are susceptible to certain health conditions. These include hip dysplasia, which causes pain and lameness, and can be diagnosed through X-ray screening.
Elbow dysplasia is a degenerative disease that weakens the joint and can be treated with surgery, weight management, medication, and anti-inflammatory drugs.
Hypothyroidism affects the thyroid gland and can cause a range of symptoms, including epilepsy, hair loss, and obesity.
It's important to be aware of these conditions, although not all Anatolian Shepherds will develop them.
COAT AND GROOMING
Anatolian Shepherd Dogs have a distinctive short and thick coat, typically around one inch in length, with a dense undercoat. They come in a range of colours, including pinto, brindle, white, and fawn with a black mask, which is the most common.
In terms of grooming, Anatolian Shepherds are generally low maintenance. They're naturally clean dogs that require minimal brushing, but they do shed heavily a few times a year. Regular brushing during shedding season can help remove dead hair and maintain a healthy coat.
CHILDREN AND OTHER PETS
The Anatolian Shepherd is a devoted and protective companion who loves spending time with their family, including children.
While Anatolians are generally patient and gentle with children, they may not always realize their own strength and size. Teaching children how to interact with them safely and respectfully, such as avoiding pulling their tail or ears, is important.
As they have a strong prey drive, Anatolian Shepherds may see smaller animals like cats or rabbits as prey. Proper training and socialisation are necessary to ensure they can coexist peacefully with other pets in the household.
Anatolian Shepherds have varying energy levels and moods, which can influence the type of walk they enjoy. There are different approaches to walking them:
🔸 Structured walk: Using a hands-free or slip leash to work on engagement and training
🔸 Adventure walk: Using a 20ft long line for hikes or long adventures on the trails
🔸 Structured/adventure combo: Using a flexi leash for relaxed walks while working on recall
Choosing the right type of walk can help keep your Anatolian Shepherd mentally stimulated and physically fit. It's essential to tailor your walks to their needs and preferences for an enjoyable experience.
Anatolian Shepherds typically prefer a laid-back and leisurely lifestyle, and may not be as interested in playing with toys or engaging in games of fetch. They enjoy taking relaxed strolls in the woods or a calm walk in the neighbourhood.
While they are generally friendly towards other dogs, they may be more focused on seeking attention from humans than actively seeking out playtime with other pups.
It's important to remember that every dog has their own unique personality and preferences, so some Anatolian Shepherds may enjoy more playtime than others. It's essential to observe and understand your dog's behaviour to provide them with the best possible experience.
TRAINABILITY & SOCIAL LIFE
While Anatolian Shepherds are highly trainable when approached correctly.
They are quick learners, easily trained to walk on a leash, and respond well to food rewards.
Anatolian Shepherds are fairly independent dogs, and they prefer a stroll through the woods with their pack over being surrounded by other dogs. However, it's important to socialise them with other dogs in controlled environments.
Anatolian Shepherds, due to their territorial and protective nature, may exhibit resource guarding behaviour around other dogs. However, there are ways to manage this behaviour.
One approach is to control their surroundings by removing toys, treats, or any objects that may trigger the behaviour. It's also best to avoid dog parks since these places can be overly stimulating and hostile. Instead, continue to expose them to different environments and practice engagement. In situations where control is not possible, a muzzle can be used.
It's important to work with an experienced trainer to address any resource guarding issues and prevent them from escalating.
FEEDBACK FROM ANATOLIAN SHEPHARD ADOPTORS
To summarise ARLO in one sentence; he is an oversized teddy bear. He’s the big friendly brown dog that everyone loves. To expand, he loves meeting new friends, Human and K9 and is 100% an extrovert and wants all the attention. I can’t take him on walks or outings without him getting and loving the attention. He’s very confident, which is great, but sometimes he can be over eager and excitable and is learning how to not be excitable-reactive on walks. He never barks, he jumps though because he wants kiss your face. He is learning because he loves to please, me, his main person but does have some stubborn “shepherd tendencies”. For example, I don’t think Arlo will ever have snap recall, he comes when he feels like it…he is very smart though. After Arlo has his walk he’s satisfied and becomes a couch potato and sleeps all day. But when 5pm hit its time for his evening walk and he will come find me and chat in my face until I take him! Super smart guy! All neighbours love him.
He’s met unaltered puppies, male and female and was a gentleman. Arlo really doesn’t have a bad bone in his body. Just an absolutely sweetheart disposition. He is medium energy, just needs his 2 short walks a day and doesn’t care for any other stimulation (Puzzles, toys) but is food motivated. Shedding: holy cow does he shed. Year round it does not stop, he sheds continuously and I vacuum 2-3 times/day. I used to have a Husky and thought they shed the most. No, Arlo is a non stop dog fur production factory and has a standing groom appointment for every 6 weeks.
Follow Arlo's advetures on Instagram @greatguyarlo
From my experience with RUFUS, he has been an extremely sweet and well mannered dog. He walks right next to me while on his leash, and really only tugs for squirrels. Though it was quick to train him not to. He was also quick to learn basic commands, definitely very smart, but can be stubborn at times. When he is stubborn, he is very food motivated, lol. He is relatively quiet and relaxed, and doesn't bark much. Ultimately a very calm demeanor, even if he does get zoomies from time to time. He has a sense of independence in which he likes to sleep on his own bed at night (By choice), but he still enjoys being in the same surrounding space as me and his family 🙂 He has curious tendencies, and likes to "find things," so he prefers toys with hidden treats or stealing something that smells like me to play with. (I've started purposely hiding old clothes in the house for him to "steal" while I'm at work 😂) He loves walks, being outside, and sunbathing. Definitely a great outdoor companion and enjoys having space to explore and sprawl out in. He is easy to cuddle with and give love to, he loves attention from people and has never once shown any sign of aggression. A loyal boy who loves getting pets and brushed 😊🐕 He is also very respectful to the other animals in our home and immediately just wanted to make friends with everyone, both the cats and bunnies.
HESNA was easy going from the moment we met at the airport. She’s learned her new name in under two weeks. She was cautious for a while, but enjoyed being around us.
Took her about 3 months to let my face next to hers, 4 months before she would sit next to us on the couch, and 6 months before she could sleep in the same room with the door closed. We had to earn her trust and affection, so we savor these special moments.
A couple things amazed us since she was a street dog, she didn’t potty inside, but she did learn to open the deck door (she’s highly intelligent!) She is great on leash, loves all people and animals, is vocal, and wants to be outside a lot, though recently she’s been asking to be let in.
She is respectful of our 6lbs bossy senior dog, which we are thankful for since she’s a whopping 100lbs!!
She listens when she wants to, but she’s food motivated, so we always win that battle!
She loves going for walks and dances with joy when she sees me holding her leash!
Her favorite place is the dog park, and she’s known as the mother hen. If dogs are duking it out, she will go lay on both to stop them from fighting. She has been attacked a handful of times, but she chooses to lay on her aggressors instead of biting back! She knows her size, and chooses to use it to her advantage, instead of biting back. She really has a lovely temperament and we feel so lucky to have her!
There are a couple of disadvantages of having a former street dog. She likes to dig in the yard and chew on our furniture made out of wood, I guess to her, wood is a tree, and she’s never had a human be upset with her for chewing on trees before🙈(but it’s getting better every month) She is independent. We’d love to have her cuddle and sleep with us, but she will only tolerate it for a few minutes.
One interesting thing about Hesna is that she has separation anxiety, poor girl stresses out if no one is home with her. We solved this by enrolling her for Doggy Day care , and she loves going.
Overall she’s a silly girls who often asks for belly rubs, and for walks, and loves “talking”
I’ve always wanted a talking dog, so she’s my dream come true❤️
Follow Hesna's adventures on Instagram @dog_days_with_hesna
EARL AND STEVE are both excellent family dogs and great with kids. However, they have a tendency to resource guard food if not trained properly at a young age, though this was caught early with both dogs and they are now fine. These high-energy breeds require a big yard or long walks daily and must be socialized with guests early on. They are very gentle with other animals but fiercely protective of their yards and land. Recall can be inconsistent, but they make great guard dogs against large predators and love to cuddle. They are easily trained to walk on a leash but require a minimum 6ft tall fence and dig barriers. Due to their size and potential temperament issues if not socialized properly, they are best suited for experienced dog owners.