All About Anatolian Shepherds

The Anatolian Shepherd

is a large boned, very muscular dog that is able to walk, run and work for long periods of time without tiring. They have a dense, straight weather resistant coat that is brown in color but may vary from fawn with a black mask to pinto, white or even brindle. The coat may vary in length depending on the particular breeding lines but it is always slightly thicker and longer around the neck and the tail area.
Anatolian Shepherd

Anatolian Shepherd

The head is very broad and noble looking with the nose and rims of the eyes black in all color except liver, where the nose and eye rims are brown. The eyes are gold to brown in color and slightly darker eyebrows add expression to the face. The ears are folded over and hang down the sizes of the head about halfway. The tail may be carried high and curled or lower and curved, depending on what the dog is doing. The legs are strong, straight and well-boned and give the impression of sturdiness and strength.

Temperament of an Anatolian Shepherd

The Anatolian Shepherd is a loving, devoted and calm family dog that can also become an excellent watch and guard dog if it senses danger. When properly socialized the breed is very accepting of new people and will respond well to new animals, including non-canine pets. They may become somewhat aggressive with other large dogs of the same sex, especially the males. The breed is gentle and patient with children although they are not overly playful. They tend to learn very quickly and respond to both verbal and hand commands well. Typically the breed is a bit independent due to its herding instincts so may not respond to commands immediately. A firm and consistent training routine works best with this breed, allowing them to be challenge is ideal for keeping them mentally and physically exercised.

Grooming & Shedding

Although a very heavy shedder in the spring and fall season shed times, they are only a light to moderate shedder the rest of the year. The coat is naturally very clean and easy to care for, not usually developing mats or tangles. Twice a week brushing with a pin brush or stiff bristle brush is all that is needed. Anatolian Shepherds should not be bathed unless absolutely necessary to avoid stripping the natural oils from the hair.

History of the Anatolian Shepherd

The Anatolian Shepherd was bred from the Roman war dogs and the Tibetan Mastiffs. They were historically used some 4000 years ago on the Anatolian Plateau in Turkey to guard flocks of sheep. The temperatures in this area vary greatly from freezing winters to incredibly hot summers and the breed evolved able to withstand great temperature changes.  The Anatolian Shepherd dog has also been used for hunting wolves, and its natural proactive nature made it a reliable guard dog for the vast flocks of sheep. Currently Anatolians are used as sheep dogs as well as companion dogs.

Health Issues of an Anatolian Shepherd

  • Major Concerns: hip dysplasia
  • Minor Concerns: entropion
  • Occasionally seen: none
  • Suggested tests: eye, hip

Characteristics of the Anatolian Shepherd


Males 28-30 inches (71-76 cm)
Females 26-28 inches (66-71 cm)


Males 100-150 pounds (45-68 kg)
Females 90-130 pounds (41-59 kg)


10-13 years







Young Children


Need exercise space

Yes– large fenced yard

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