Anatolian Shepherd Dog

Temperament: Loyal, Independent, Reserved

  • Height: 29 inches (male), 27 inches (female)
  • Weight: 110-150 pounds (male), 80-120 pounds (female)
  • Life Expectancy: 11-13 years
  • Group: Working Group 

An Anatolian Shepherd Dog is a rugged, imposing flock guardian of ancient lineage. Protective and territorial, but also intelligent, patient, and profoundly loyal, these muscular avengers are prized as working guard dogs without equal.


Large, rugged, powerful and impressive, possessing great endurance and agility. Developed through a set of very demanding circumstances for a purely utilitarian purpose; he is a working guard dog without equal, with a unique ability to protect livestock. General impression – Appears bold, but calm, unless challenged. He possesses size, good bone, a well-muscled torso with a strong head. Reserve out of its territory is acceptable. Fluid movement and even temperament is desirable.

About the Anatolian Shepherd Dog

The Anatolian Shepherd Dog stands between 27 and 29 inches at the shoulder and can weigh as much as 150 pounds. Profusely muscled but nimble afoot, Anatolian are more than a match for the predators and harsh terrain of their homeland. Anatolian descend from some of the oldest known domestic-canine bloodlines. This lends the breed a sense of timelessness, a no-frills, untouched quality that takes us back 6,000 years to the Bronze Age.

Anatolian are smart, devoted, responsive, and adaptable. They will protect their flock—livestock, children, smaller dogs, even the family cat—with intensity. Anatolian owners must be strong leaders, willing and able to handle a dog as dominating and demanding as he is calm and loving.

NUTRITION The Anatolian Shepherd Dog should do well on a high-quality dog food, whether commercially manufactured or home-prepared with your veterinarian’s supervision and approval. Any diet should be appropriate to the dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior). The Anatolian does not tend to overeat. Treats can be an important aid in training, but giving too many can cause obesity. Learn about which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.

GROOMING Bred to work outdoors, the Anatolian has a thick undercoat that protects him from the elements. Some Anatolian have a long outer coat, but on most it is quite short, and a quick brushing once a week will keep it looking good. Keep in mind, though, that the Anatolian sheds his undercoat twice a year. During shedding season, he will need to given a thorough brushing-out to remove the dead hair, with a short-bristle brush and possibly a comb as well, every few days. As with all breeds, the Anatolian’s nails should be trimmed regularly.

EXERCISE Because he only needs a moderate amount of exercise, an Anatolian will be happy with time in a yard—be sure it has a tall, strong fence and a locked gate—and a long walk once or twice a day. Remember, though, that an Anatolian must be kept on leash whenever he is taken out of the home. As one breeder says, “Don’t assume that your dogs will be reliable off leash. False security on your part can become a disaster.”

TRAINING Because the breed tends to be wary toward others and instinctively protective, an Anatolian puppy must be socialised. Obedience training is a must with the breed. The Anatolian was bred to work independently, make decisions on his own, and protect his flock from outsiders, and training the breed to respond to commands can be a challenge. Under no circumstances should an Anatolian receive protection or guard-dog training.

HEALTH The Anatolian is overall a healthy and hardy breed. Hip dysplasia is not common in Anatolian, nor is bloat, a life-threatening twisting and inversion of the stomach. Owners should know the symptoms of bloat, however, so as to act quickly should it occur. The breed can be sensitive to anaesthesia, and owners should ensure that their vet is aware of this before any procedures. Good breeders will screen for entropion, in which the eyelids invert, which can be surgically corrected. An Anatolian’s ears should be checked regularly for any signs of infection, and the dog’s teeth should be brushed frequently.

Recommended Health Tests from the National Breed Club:

  1. Hip Evaluation
  2. Elbow Evaluation

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *