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Anatolian Shepherd Dog


Anatolian Shepherd Dog Facts

  • Group
  • Working
  • Affiliations
  • UKC, AKC
  • Height
  • 27" - 29" (68.5 - 73.6cm)
  • Weight
  • 88 - 160lbs (40 - 72.5kg)
  • Lifespan
  • 12 years | Add yours

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  • Exercise Requirement
  • Moderate - This breed enjoys typical daily activity
  • Training Requirement
  • A Quick Learner
  • Grooming Requirement
  • Easy
  • Colors
    • Tan
    • Fawn
    • Cream
    • Various Colors
  • Breed Characteristics
    • Can be trained as a watch dog or guard dog
    • Can be trained for defense
    • Ok outdoors

True Cost Of Ownership

Alternate Names

The Anatolian Shepherd Dog is also known as coban kopeg, Karabas, Kangal Dig, and Karabash.


The Anatolian Shepherd Dog originated in Anatolia, (central) Turkey and was soon brought to Asia Minor. It was introduced in the United States in 1968.

Date Of Origin

The Anatolian Shepherd Dog is descended from ancient livestock guardian dog types that migrated with their shepherds, guarding livestock from wolves, bears, and other predators. The Anatolian Shepherd Dog (or a dog of similar type) existed 6,000 years ago in Mesopotamia.


The Anatolian Shepherd Dog descended from Mastiff's and sight hounds with the sole purpose of protecting the flock and family. About 1,000 years ago, the Turkic-speaking people entered Asia Minor, occupying the region that is now Turkey. These settlers brought a large herd-guarding dogs that were the ancestors of the Anatolian Shepherd Dog. Breeders aimed to create a dog of the same size and colors as the livestock they guarded so that they would remain undetected by these predators. The breed has evolved over the ages to suit a specific set of environments including hot and very dry summers and very cold winters, various changes in people's lifestyles, and different types of work. The Anatolian Shepherd Dog was used to guard flocks traveling great distances on the Central Anatolian Plateau, through all weather conditions.


The Anatolian Shepherd Dog is a very large, powerful dog with a large head; broad muzzle; dark nose; and almond shaped brown eyes. The drop ears are of medium size. The chest is deep and the long tail may curve at the end. The Anatolian Shepherd Dog is double coated with a short or rough coat, ranging from 1 to 4 inches in length. There is a thick undercoat. All colors are acceptable. Some have a dark mask. The Anatolian Shepherd Dog is similar to the Great Pyrenees and Kuvasz, but is more slender and agile.


The Anatolian Shepherd Dog is a highly protective and territorial dog who is reserved with strangers but affectionate with friends and family. It is intelligent, independent, easy to train, patient with children, watchful, and calm but alert. This dog is weary of strangers but affectionate with family. He is calm and alert, making him an excellent guard dog. It is necessary to provide a secure, fenced yard.

While the Anatolian Shepherd Dog is good with children, he should be supervised around them in case he interprets rough play (with others) as a need to guard "his" child. This breed is very intelligent and learns quickly, however they were bred for thousands of years to think on their own and may not comply with all commands.

The Anatolian Shepherd Dog is good with other pets and dogs that were raised in the family / on the farm. Because of its strong willed and independent nature, the Anatolian Shepherd Dog is not an entirely suitable companion.

Anatolian Shepherd Dogs need daily exercise. A long daily walk or jog will be enough to keep them satisfied. Although puppies are playful, adult dogs tend to be very serious in nature and few enjoy games.


For centuries, the Anatolian Shepherd Dog was used as a combat dog in war and for hunting. It was exceedingly effective in it's role as a herd guardian. Large, rugged and powerful, the Anatolian Shepherd Dog is a working guard dog, possessing a superior ability to protect livestock.

Health Concerns

Potential health concerns for the Anatolian Shepherd Dog include hip dysplasia, and sensitivity to anesthesia.

Additional Information

The Anatolian Shepherd Dog was created to protect and think for himself. He is a willing student but he will ultimately decide what commands he wants to follow. He will need a dog-experienced owner who is consistent and firm with time for proper socialization and training. The ideal living situation includes a ranch, farm, or large suburban fenced yard.

Show Sources & Contributors +


Simon & Schusters Guide to Dogs

Publisher: Simon & Schuster inc, 1980

Website: http://www.simonandschuster.com

Author: Elizabeth Meriwether Schuler

Dog Bible

Publisher: BowTie Press, 2005

Website: http://www.bowtiepress.com/bowtie/

Authors: Kristin Meuh-Roe, Jarelle S. Stein

The Howell Book Of Dogs

Publisher: Wiley Publishing Inc, 2007

Website: http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/

Author: Liz Palika

The New Encyclopedia of the Dog

Publisher: Dorling Kindersley Publishing, 2000

Website: http://www.dk.com

Author: Bruce Fogle

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