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Anatolian Shepherd Dog: A Watchful Giant with Plenty of Character

07.10.2022 - Reading time: 2 minutes

Seitenprofil vom Anatolischer Hirtenhund auf einem Hügel

“Anatolian Shepherd Dog” was the name for the Turkish herd guardian dogs, under which the FCI (Fédération Cynologique Internationale) grouped several breeds together until 2018. Even though the animals differ in terms of appearance, their character is similar. These are large, solid dogs which are intelligent and attentive with great stamina. Keeping them requires genuine skill and consistent training, as these dogs are used to independence and do not easily accept a lower rank in the pack.

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Newsletter Anatolian Shepherd Dog

Breed
Anatolian Shepherd Dog (Akbaş, Kangal and Karabaş)
Origin
Anatolia/Turkey
Classification
Shepherd dog; Molossian, mountain dog
Size
large, height approximately 71 to 81 centimetres at the withers
Weight
40 to 60 kilograms
Physique
powerful, solid, muscular
Eyes
small, wide-set eyes; gold-coloured to dark brown
Ears
medium-sized, flat, close-lying or hanging to the sides
Coat and colour
thick covering coat with undercoat, Colours: white to light brown, partially dark colouration on the head
Special features
in some countries, the Kangal is a listed dog
Nature
vigilant, intelligent, lots of stamina, independent, calm, dominant
Health
considered a robust breed without known heritable diseases

A vigilant giant with personality

“Anatolian Shepherd Dog” was the name for the Turkish herd guardian dogs, under which the FCI (Fédération Cynologique Internationale) grouped several breeds together until 2018. Even though the animals differ in terms of appearance, their character is similar. These are large, solid dogs which are intelligent and attentive with great stamina. Keeping them requires genuine skill and consistent training, as these dogs are used to independence and do not easily accept a lower rank in the pack.

The personality of the Anatolian Shepherd Dog

These herd guardians naturally are exceptionally vigilant and have great stamina. In the dark, their vigilance increases. That is why Anatolian Shepherd Dogs make perfect shepherds and guard dogs. They are highly intelligent and used to acting independently to protect their herds. That is why they are particularly willful and do not lightly accept a lower rank in the pack.

These self-confident Anatolians develop a close bond with their owners, but are mistrustful and reserved around strangers. However, these shepherds are peaceful and not very aggressive. If danger threatens, however, they are ready and courageous defenders.

Training and keeping an Anatolian Shepherd Dog

These large and powerful shepherding dogs can demonstrate dominant behaviour with incorrect or inconsistent training. Experienced dog owners who can provide competent training and visits to a puppy or obedience school are suitable as owners. This intelligent breed recognises weaknesses in training quickly and will attempt to exploit them.

Once the Anatolian Shepherd Dog has developed a close bond with his people and receives proper leadership, he can become a very affectionate and devoted companion. Due to his stately size and character, a house with a garden where he can run around freely is ideal. He requires lots of exercise in the form of extended walks.

Caring for an Anatolian Shepherd Dog

The Anatolian Shepherd Dogs are not particularly demanding in terms of care. As shepherding dogs, they live with the sheep herds they protect, often for weeks alone, and are very self-sufficient and robust. However, you should still regularly brush the coat, especially during shedding season.

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