Anatolian Shepherd

Breed summary

The Anatolian Shepherd Dog is a large, tall, rugged, powerful and impressive livestock guardian dog with a dense double coat, a broad, strong head, well-developed muscular shoulders, and a long tail with a slight curl that is carried high and curled over the dog's back when the dog is alert. This dog possesses size, good bone, a well-muscled torso with a strong head. This breed is extremely independent. They are well-balanced, supple, and powerful. A low head carriage, which shows the head, neck, and top-line being level when moving - creating the impression that the dog is stalking - is an important characteristic of the breed.

Country of Origin: Anatolia, Turkey

AKC Breed Popularity: Ranks 90 of 196

AKC Classification: Working Group

UKC Classification: Guardian Dog

Exercise Requirements: 20-40 minutes/day

Height: Female: 27 inches; Male: 29 inches

Weight: Female: 80-120 lbs; Male: 110-150 lbs

Physical traits: Large, Tall, Strong, Rugged

Coat: Length: Medium

Characteristics: Double coat

Overall Grooming Needs: Moderate

Personality traits/Temperament: Loyal, Independent, Reserved

Energy Level: Average

Tendency to Drool: Low

Tendency to Snore: Low

Tendency to Bark: High

Tendency to Dig: Moderate

Social/Attention Needs: Moderate

Life Expectancy: 11-13 years


The Anatolian is overall a healthy and hardy breed. As like other breeds, hip dysplasia, bloat is not common in Anatolians. Although, the most common health issues cited by owners were dermatological and musculoskeletal defects and lipomas. The Anatolian Shepherd is sensitive to anaesthesia, which requires special attention before any surgical procedures. Good breeders will screen for entropion before breeding, 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.


The Anatolian Shepherd depends on high-quality dog food, whether manufactured commercially or home-made under the supervision and approval of a veterinarian. Add a high quality multivitamin to complete the nutritional circle. Any diet should be appropriate to the different stages of a dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior). Some senior dogs are prone to getting overweight, so look after your dog’s energy consumption and weight level. Over treats during training can cause obesity. Don’t give human foods that are not safe for dogs. Always provide clean and fresh water all the time. In case of any emergency condition, consult with your veterinarian first.


Early socialization training is necessary for the Anatolian puppy because the breed tends to be wary toward others and instinctively protective. 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.


The Anatolian needs only a moderate amount of exercise to live healthy. An Anatolian will be happy with time in a yard and a long walk once or twice a day. Use paw balm to protect their feet. Remember to keep them on leash whenever they are 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.”

Fun Fact

Anatolian Shepherd dogs are used by the Cheetah Conservation Fund in Namibia in their ongoing efforts to prevent livestock-hunting cheetahs from being killed by farmers.

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