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Anatolian Shepherds weren't bred as sheep herders. Instead, they've served as dedicated guard dogs to protect livestock. They are independent, loyal, hardy, and huge!
Originally from Turkey, this large and somewhat active breed can grow to between 80—150 pounds and lives an average of 11—13 years. The breed is recognized by the American Kennel Club and classified as a member of the Working group.
AKC Recognized: Y
Breed's Original Pastime: Herding
Breed Group: Working
Average Lifespan: 10-13 years
Size: Extra Large
Bark Factor: Moderate
Energy level A couch potato
Exercise needs 30-45 minutes per day
Playfullness and Games A few times per day would be divine
Attachment to People Give me some love when you get home, maybe we'll snuggle later
Behavior with Other Dogs Shy. I may prefer to be the only dog.
Behavior with Other Small Pets I may be ok, when socialized early and often
Behavior Toward Strangers I'm a single-family or person dog at heart
Trainability It's fun, but I may lose focus
Watchdog ability I know all that's going on, all the time
Protection ability I can be highly protective
Grooming needs Easy maintenance, brushes and baths
Cold tolerance I just love winter and snow
Heat tolerance A warm day can be fun, but not too hot please.
BEHAVIOR & TRAINING
WHAT IS AN ANATOLIAN SHEPHERD'S PERSONALITY LIKE?
Anatolian Shepherds are calm, smart, loyal, and independent. They're not particularly affectionate though they can be somewhat playful. Given their size, they'll play best with children and other dogs when supervised and should not be left alone. It's no surprise that Anatolian Shepherds can be suspicious of strangers: they're territorial about their “flock,” whether that flock is made of actual livestock, human children and adults, or other pets.
WHAT IS ANATOLIAN SHEPHERD BEHAVIOR LIKE?
These big dogs enjoy romping with you in the backyard or going for long walks, but they're fairly calm unless they're challenged. They live to guard, so they make vigilant watchdogs and motivated protectors who are
somewhat prone to barking. Anatolian Shepherds are a rugged breed, built for agility and endurance. Puppies and adult Anatolian Shepherds alike love to chew and have strong jaws, so be conscientious about their toys.
HOW EASY IS IT TO TRAIN AN ANATOLIAN SHEPHERD?
Anatolian Shepherds are large and in charge — they are responsive, smart, and affectionate, but it's important to start training early and to be consistent in channeling their guarding instincts. The most successful relationship with an Anatolian Shepherd is one in which you're working together to get the job done. They're not always the best dog park citizens; consider finding a safe area for your buddy to run on their own.
CARE & HEALTH
HOW MUCH DO ANATOLIAN SHEPHERDS SHED AND WHAT ARE THEIR GROOMING NEEDS?
Anatolian Shepherds are seasonal shedders who will require occasional grooming. Use a curry comb and brush with short bristles to shake loose hairs free and to keep your furry friend looking their best.
WHAT HEALTH PROBLEMS DO ANATOLIAN SHEPHERDS HAVE?
With proper feeding and care, Anatolian Shepherds are usually healthy dogs.
This breed can be prone to bloat, a condition that requires immediate attention from your veterinarian. Familiarize yourself with the symptoms of gastric dilatation volvulus (GDV) and contact your vet at once if you suspect your dog might be suffering from this ailment.
Breed history has moved while this section is under construction. Please check out the first tab for fun facts about this breed's history. You can also read on to learn about this breed's ideal family situation.
ARE ANATOLIAN SHEPHERDS GOOD FOR PEOPLE WITH ALLERGIES?
The American Kennel Club doesn't list Anatolian Shepherds among its breeds recommended for allergy sufferers.
You can reduce your furry friend's impact on your allergies with frequent baths and brushings to reduce loose hairs and allergy-aggravating proteins in your pet's dander. Use a damp cloth to wipe off your dog after playing outside. Smaller dogs have less surface area, so they produce comparatively less dander than larger breeds — definitely something to keep in mind when considering a dog as large as an Anatolian Shepherd! Remember that no breed is 100% hypoallergenic, and any breed can aggravate allergies.
WHAT'S AN ANATOLIAN SHEPHERD'S BEST DAY?
Helping you complete a project around the house—like piling up all the sticks in the yard so you can mow—will keep your buddy feeling loved and content to be working next to you.
SHOULD I ADOPT AN ANATOLIAN SHEPHERD?
Anatolian Shepherds do best with experienced dog owners who are willing to work with this breed's strengths. They'd be a particularly good match for cold weather homes, though they do moderately well in the heat. This breed makes for unparalleled guard dogs. So if you're looking for a very big friend to keep an eye on your livestock, your home, or your family, an Anatolian Shepherd might be your match.
Have you decided that an Anatolian Shepherd is the perfect dog for you? Why not be your new best friend's hero and adopt a rescue! Be sure to check out our article on what to expect when you're adopting a dog or cat.