Do You Want an Anatolian Shepherd Dog? Read This First…

Do you have interests in owning an Anatolian Shepherd Dog? Then, your first task (of many) is to learn about the Anatolian Shepherd dog temperament.

You have your work cut out for you with this breed.

Beautify Cream Anatolian Shepherd dog resting

To own an Anatolian Shepherd dog means that you pretty much have to domesticate this dog

The Anatolian Shepherd was bred to be in charge of their master’s flocks without needing any further direction or assistance from humans.

it's a very independent breed.  Because of this, you may find it to be rather challenging to own one of these dogs.

A Bit About the Anatolian Shepherd’s History

Interestingly, there has been some debate about whether or not the Anatolian Shepherd is its own distinct breed, or if it’s just a general umbrella under which other shepherd dogs in Anatolia that look similar would also fall under.

Some dogs that are also considered to be Anatolian Shepherds are the Kangal, the Akbash, and the Aksaray Malaklisi.  Many Turkish breeders consider the Anatolian to be a mix of the Kangal and the Akbash.

Anatolian Shepherd dog in field with livestock

The general classification of “shepherd dog,” however, can be split up into two groups: herding dogs and livestock guardian dogs.  Both can apply to the Anatolian.

Other types of herding dogs include Border Collies, Poodles, and Rottweilers, while livestock guardian dogs include the Himalayan Sheepdog, the Tibetan Mastiff, and the Komondor.

Understanding the Anatolian Shepherd Dog Temperament

What type of work goes into owning a dog like this, you may ask?

Well, for one thing, you need to socialize the Anatolian in order to make them into suitable companions.

These dogs are definitely smart and can learn new tricks quickly. However, they may decide for themselves that they just don’t feel like listening to you.

That's their Independent temperament trait showing up.

They’re also very strong dogs.  Turkish shepherds have reported seeing the Anatolian take on a wolf pack. And actually, bring down one or two of them.

Aggressive looking Anatolian Shepherd dog

Because of their strength and agility, the Anatolian is not only a Proud dog but also a Confident one.  You could almost imagine it puffing out its chest if you asked it to protect your flock.

What’s good about the Anatolian Shepherd dog temperament, though, is that it is not one born from aggression.  These dogs are independent, but they don’t get crazy about it. They simply act with conviction.

Living with an Anatolian Shepherd Dog

Importantly, Anatolian shepherds are roamers.

It is strongly suggested that you both microchip and tag yours in case he decides to run off.  I

It’s in their blood to seek out predators before predators can attack.

This breed is also perhaps not the best to opt for if you live in smaller quarters.  Though, they can do well with other animals (even cats). The key is to introduce them as puppies and also make sure they each have their own space.

This breed, both puppies and adults alike, would rather run and swim than play fetch. So, if you have intentions of taking your Anatolian to the beach to play fetch, he may disappoint you.

Anatolians will still act like puppies up to 1.5 yrs and 2.5 years old. After that: they mean business.

8 Physical Characteristics of an Anatolian Shepherd Dog

The agility and strength of this speed contribute greatly to the Anatolian Shepherd dog temperament.

This breed is essentially the dog version of a lumberjack. It’s rugged, large, and incredibly strong. The American Kennel Club (AKC) considers the Anatolian to be a working dog.

Anatolian Shepherd dog resting in field

Here's what you can expect to see when you encounter the Anatolian Shepherd Dog:

  1. It has a well-developed sight and hearing to aid it in protecting livestock.
  2. The Anatolian is incredibly fast and equally agile. It to quickly find and take down any potentially encroaching predators.
  3. This dog is “muscular.”  Their necks are thick, their heads are broad, and their bodies are stocky.
  4. Males are usually between 26 and 31 inches tall, while females are typically 27 to 30 inches tall.
  5. The Anatolian weighs between 90 and 150 pounds. Males weigh in on the larger end of the spectrum and females at the smaller end.
  6. Their coats can be a variety of colors, though the most common ones are white cream, “sesame,”.  Also common is white with large spots that don’t usually cover anything more than 30 percent of their bodies.  They may also have a black mask and/or ears, but not always.
  7. Like some of the other shepherd dogs, the Anatolian has a thick double coat. The coat needs to be brushed once or twice a week in warmer weather as a result of excessive shedding.
  8. The hair on an Anatolian’s neck is thicker in order to protect their throats. This makes sense if you’re hunting dangerous predators. Although they may look heavier than they actually are, thanks to their thicker coats.

The Lifespan of an Anatolian Shepherd Dog

The Anatolian typically lives, on average, about 10.75 years. This is on the longer end of the spectrum when compared to similar sized breeds.

Other breeds usually only make it to between six and eight years old.

During a small sample study (23 deceased dogs), it was discovered that the most common causes of death were:

  • Cancer “combinations”
  • Cardiac-related,
  • Or simply old age.

So Is The Anatolian Shepherd Dog Temperament Right for You?

In a nutshell, the Anatolian Shepherd dog is a demanding breed. And will require time and effort from you.

If you’re up for it then the end results of a well-trained dog are very rewarding

The Anatolian Shepherd dog temperament may be difficult to work with at first. What you need are patience and consistency.

Mix those in with exposure to other animals. And lastly, give this breed room to roam ( just make sure you microchip er first).

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