Dog breeds: the Anatolian Shepherd Dog

Dog breeds: the Anatolian Shepherd Dog

Anatolian Shepherd Dog

The Anatolian Shepherd Dog was developed in the Anatolia region of Turkey. He is a strong and very agile dog that protects their herd from predators. The kennel club of the United Kingdom classifies him as a shepherd dog but he is a guard dog, not a herding dog.


This dog is large, strong, and will guard the flock against any predator at any cost. He is considered of superior ability to complete this job due to his great sight and hearing. The Anatolian Shepherd Dog was developed in Turkey to make him resemble the livestock he protects for predators not to detect him.

The working ancestors of this breed go back 6,000 years. Tribes from Asia probably brought mastiff-type dogs to the region now known as Turkey. They were introduced to the United States in 1970.  The American Kennel Club recognized them a breed in 1996.

Physical characteristics

This muscular breed has a broad head and a sturdy body. Males are 27 to 31 inches tall and females are 26 to 30 inches. Males weight 110 to 150 pounds and females are 80 to 120 pounds.


The Anatolian Shepherd Dog is reserved, loyal, intelligent, independent, and a dominant dog. He is very protective of his family and the flock. Since he is a working dog, he always considers himself on duty.

He is not friendly to strangers and your relatives and friends are unlikely to grow on him.

Caring for the Anatolian Shepherd Dog

This breed is not recommended for small spaces and is definitively not a first-time owner pet. He can do well indoors and outdoors. If left outside, make sure he has at least a six-foot tall fence. This is safe not only for him but for anyone who might come too close as he will defend his property with all his might. It is important that you socialize this dog from an early age. This is the only way he will accept living with a cat, for example.


This dog is intelligent but is also independent. He is willing to obey after training, but sometimes he might decide not to do so. Provide obedience training with a strong leadership.

Fun facts

  • They shed a lot.
  • They are big and strong, massive dogs.  This means you will need to invest in food, boarding, and medication.
  • Training them in obedience is a true challenge.

Follow us here in Dogalize to learn more about this breed and many others. We also have all the tips and tricks you need to know to better train your dog.