An Anatolian Shepherd in the snow.
An Anatolian Shepherd in the snow.

Anatolian Shepherd

avatarJenna Kahn, MBA, VMD

Height27 - 29"
Weight100 - 150 lbs
TypeWorking
Life Expectancy12 - 13 years
Area of OriginTurkey

Energy Level

Playfulness

Friendliness to dogs

Friendliness to strangers

exercise requirements

affection level

friendliness to other pets

watchfulness

Grooming Requirements

Vocality

The Anatolian Shepherd is a dog breed of impressive stature that has been protecting livestock in Turkey for thousands of years. They are often referred to as Coban Köpegi, which means “Shepherd’s Dog” in Turkish. Anatolian Shepherds strike a balance between being protective and territorial, but are also capable of patience, intelligence, and loyalty. Stubborness is also a quality that comes with their territorial nature, so they'll need consistent training from puppyhood. Given adequate time and dedication, they can easily become a wonderful guardian and beloved pet.

Energy Level

Playfulness

Friendliness to dogs

Friendliness to strangers

exercise requirements

affection level

friendliness to other pets

watchfulness

Grooming Requirements

Vocality

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.

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.

Care

What Kind of Diet Does an Anatolian Shepherd Need?

Anatolian Shepherds need a nutrient-rich diet specifically designed for large-breed dogs. Be sure to exercise portion control, as they are prone to overeating.

Caring for an Anatolian Shepherd

What Kind of Diet Does an Anatolian Shepherd Need?

How Much Grooming Does an Anatolian Shepherd Need?

Are Anatolian Shepherds Healthy Dogs?

How Much Training Does an Anatolian Shepherd Need?

How Much Exercise Does an Anatolian Shepherd Need?

What Kind of Diet Does an Anatolian Shepherd Need?

Anatolian Shepherds need a nutrient-rich diet specifically designed for large-breed dogs. Be sure to exercise portion control, as they are prone to overeating.

What Are the Physical Characteristics of an Anatolian Shepherd?

Yes, the Anatolian Shepherd is a dog of considerable size, standing 27 to 29 inches at the shoulder and weighing around 100 to 150 pounds.

Anatolian Shepherds’ eyes are almond shaped and range from dark to light amber in color. The surrounding skin is dark, typically either black or brown.

The Anatolian Shepherd is an agile and powerful breed with an impressively muscled torso. They are deep-chested, with a well-muscled back that slopes downward behind the shoulders and arches upward over the abdomen.

The Anatolian Shepherd tail is long, curly, and carried high when on guard.

The forelimbs are straight, strong, and long. Shoulders are sloped and muscular, and feet are compact, with a good arch and tough, protective pads.

Although a fawn coloring is most commonly seen, all variations of coat color and pattern are acceptable.

The hind limbs have an impressive musculature, broad thighs, and nicely arched toes.

Anatolian Shepherd Facts

1

Anatolian Shepherds have made their way to the big screen, starring in noteworthy films like Road Trip, Cats and Dogs, and Kate & Leopold.

2

In an effort to preserve Namibia's cheetah population, Anatolian Shepherds are used to guard livestock and act as a deterrent for hungry predators. This, in turn, limits the number of cheetahs killed by protective ranchers.

3

Biblical references to "shepherds" were likely made in regard to canine descendants of the Anatolian Shepherd.

Other Breeds to Explore

Great Pyrenees
Choosing a Kuvasz
Tibetan Mastiff

References

  • Morris, Desmond. Dogs: The Ultimate Dictionary of Over 1,000 Dog Breeds. Trafalgar Square, 2002.
  • American Kennel Club. The Complete Dog Book. Random House Digital, Inc., 2006.

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