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Anatolian Shepherd

Country/Date of Origin: Turkey/1000 BC

This guard dog was developed by shepherds to protect their flocks of sheep from wolves. An ancient breed, depicted in ancient Babylonian sculptures, they have come down through the centuries relatively unchanged. Strict selection for working qualities, type and strength has ensured that the breed is immensely tough and has great stamina. A large numbers of Anatolian Shepherds are still used to guard the flocks in Turkey today. A club was set up in the US in 1970 to promote the interests of the breed. This coincided with an upsurgence in the coyote population in the American West and a movement to use guardian dogs for predator control instead of poison and other methods that had not been effective. The dogs have proven to be cost effective and a more humane way to control predators than indiscriminate poisoning.

FCI Group: 2 (Working)

Other Names Body Type Personality Coat Health Concerns

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AKC Group: Working

Breed Club: Anatolian Shepherd Dog Club of America

Rescue Club: Anatolian Shepherd Dog Club of America Rescue

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Body Type:

  • Typical of the large sheep guardian breeds
  • Height: 28-32 inches (at shoulder)
  • Weight: 90-150 pounds
  • The long tail is carried low with the end curled over; it is not altered
  • The drop ears are not altered


  • Has a possessive attitude toward family, property and livestock - most definitely a guard dog
  • Quick to learn, they exhibit great versatility and have been known to perform as well as a search and rescue dog
  • Needs mental stimulation to prevent boredom


  • Short (one inch minimum, not tight) to Rough (approximately 4 inches in length) with neck hair slightly longer. Somewhat longer and thicker at the neck and mane
  • A thick undercoat is common to all
  • Feathering may occur on the ear fringes, legs, breeching and tail
  • The allowed colors are pure white to fawn or striped brindle with black mask and ears
  • Minimal grooming required except during annual shedding

Health Concerns:

  • Can be subject to hip dysplasia
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Tasty Tidbits:
  • This dog does better in an outdoor situation and is not recommended as a house pet
  • Obedience training is highly recommended
  • This is a lot of very dominant dog to cope with; not for the first time dog owner

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