Where Are Anatolian Shepherds From?
The Anatolian Shepherd breed has ancient roots in Turkey. The first litter in the United States was bred in 1970 by a Navy lieutenant named Robert Ballard, who mated two dogs obtained while stationed overseas. Unbeknownst to him, the dogs chosen came from a mixture of regional Turkish livestock-guarding dogs, including the Akbash, the Kars, and the Kangal. As such, a variety of coat types were present in the litters and are now considered appropriate variants in the breed standard.
The name “Anatolian” comes from a portion of Turkey known as Anatolia, where the Coban Köpegi was first acknowledged. Weather is very harsh in this region and the local dogs are known for their endurance. Although a pet for some, they are still commonly found working on ranches throughout America today and are categorized as part of the Working Group by the American Kennel Club.