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Anatolian Shepherd Dog

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The Anatolian Shepherd Dog is one of the world’s largest dog breeds. In spite of the name, this dog is not an actual shepherd, like e.g. a Border collie. Instead, it was the shepherd’s guard dog. Today’s breed is still very protective towards its family and does not allow trespassers into its territory. It requires a lot of exercise and is most comfortable out in the open e.g. in a fenced in garden.

Character and behaviour
The Anatolian Shepherd is intelligent and relatively easy to train. However, it is not a breed for first time owners. It is important that the owner projects leadership from day one, otherwise the dog will dominate. Their basic instinct to protect the family may cause problems with guests of the family in case the owner does not come across as the boss. It will act as a protector towards the children of the family, but due to its size it may knock them over, thus constant supervision is necessary.

It takes time for an Anatolian Shepherd Dog to grow up. Not until the age of four is it fully developed mentally. If the dog lives indoor be prepared for barking during the night. The Anatolian Shepherd Dog requires a lot of exercise, firm training, and early socialisation in case it needs to function within a family.

History of the breed
The Anatolian Shepherd Dog originates from the highland in Turkey, where shepherds used the dog as guard dog and fighting dog. And this breed was not afraid to take up the battle against wolfs and other predators.

The Anatolian Shepherd Dog is closely related to the Kangal dog. Some even say that they are the same breed. In 1970 western breeders became more interested in the breed and in 1995 the breed was registered at the AKC.

Appearance, grooming and health
The Anatolian Shepherd Dog is a large and powerful guard dog. It is also slender and agile. It has a large strong head, which is well proportioned with the rest of the long body. The nose is black and the eyes are dark brown. The ears are small, v-shaped, and often dark in colour and hanging down. The legs are long and slender and the chest is deep. The tail is long often carried hanging down or in horizontal position with a bend.

The coat is short and has two layers. Most often it is fawn with a black mask. Requires minimal grooming. Just brush it through two times of year when it sheds the most.

The Anatolian Shepherd Dog is 28-30 inches and weighs 100-150 pounds.

Generally speaking it is a healthy dog, which in spite of its size rarely suffer from hip dysplasia. They are, however, sensitive to anaesthesia and they have a weaker immune system than other dogs, thus they may need additional vaccines.

What you should know about the breed:

  • Cannot live in an apartment.
  • Suspicious with strangers.
  • Self-willed and independent.
  • Requires a lot of exercise and may appear very playful.
  • Not suitable for first time owners.

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