Dog Breeds 101: Anatolian Shepherd Dog

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Dog Breeds 101 - Anatolian Shepherd Dog
Photo – Wikipedia – lic. under GNU

The Anatolian Shepherd was developed strictly for utilitarian purposes as a guardian of livestock. It is not inclined to play fetch and people shouldn’t expect for it to respond in an animated manner. They are very serious, calm and quiet – unless provoked. [1]

The breed is named after its place of origin – Anatolia which is located at the central part of Turkey. It is thought that the ancestors of the Anatolian Shepherd are working dogs that were already around 6,000 years ago. Mastiff-type dogs were first brought to Turkey by wandering tribes from central Asia. These mastiffs bred with the sighthounds from Turkey’s southern regions and resulted to a dog which is incredibly agile and has an aloof nature. The dogs became known as the “coban kopegi”, Turkish for “shepherd dog” and the breed was developed overtime. [2]

Anatolians have thick necks, broad heads, dropped ears and sturdy bodies. This is a muscular breed that is really suited to be a livestock guardian. It’s wiry, double coat can be of any color but the most common is white cream. They look as if they are bigger and heavier than they actually are because of their thick coat that needs to be brushed regularly to avoid excessive shedding. [3]

The Anatolian Shepherd was bred to be a flock guardian and as a result, it is very protective and sometimes possessive if not kept in its rightful place. It will act affectionately with its family but be very suspicious of strangers to the point that it becomes a problem. That is why it needs extensive socialization while still young. This breed is known to mature slowly, reaching full adulthood at four years old. [4]

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dog training

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