The Anatolian Shepherd Dog, a breed that is also known as the Anatolian Karabash Dog or Kangal, is one of the largest and powerful breeds that originated in Turkey. This ancient breed was bred as a companion and guardian for shepherds, and their livestock. They were designed to look like the animals they protected in size and color. This ensured that the predators could not spot them, making this breed highly successful at its job.
They are fiercely loyal dogs and are known for their impressive size, often weighing between 110-150 pounds at maturity. However, owning an Anatolian Shepherd Dog is not for novice pet owners. They require firm, consistent training and an experienced hand to handle their stubbornness. Additionally, be prepared for regular grooming to maintain their thick coat. With proper training and socialization, an Anatolian Shepherd Dog can be a loving and devoted companion and guardian for their family.
Here, we will discuss the breed characteristics, vital stats, history, personality, health, care, and other important information about the Anatolian Shepherd Dog.[wpdatatable id=58]
History of Anatolian Shepherd Dog
The Anatolian Shepherd Dog has been used as a livestock protector and guardian in Turkey for centuries. Predators are prevented from detecting them among the flock; this breed was developed to look like livestock. They protected sheep, goats, and cattle from predators such as wolves, bears, and jackals. Due to their strength, intelligence, and independence, they were also used as guard dogs for their human families and property. The dogs of this breed have also been used in the military and as rescue dogs.
This breed was first imported to the US in the 1970s, and it has since been recognized by the American Kennel Club.
Anatolian Shepherds are recognized for their smarts and trainability, as well as their devotion and protective nature. These dogs are not suitable for novice dog owners as they need handlers with experience with this breed.
More About Anatolian Shepherd Dog
Anatolian Shepherds are big and strong dogs, with some individuals weighing up to 150 pounds and reaching a height of 29 to 32 inches. They have a strong, muscular build and a thick double coat, usually a mix of gray, fawn, or white. They have a thick, fluffy coat that helps shield them from extreme weather conditions. They have a sharp, alert expression and a strong, wide jaw. The dogs of this breed also have distinctive bushy tails.
Anatolian Shepherds are big dogs, with some weighing as much as 150 pounds and reaching a height of 32 inches, giving them an intimidating presence. The dogs of this breed require a lot of space to run and exercise and therefore are not recommended to first-time pet owners, and even for apartment living.
Anatolian Shepherds are known for their independent and protective nature. They are loyal and protective of their family and property, making them an excellent choice for those looking for a guardian dog. The dogs of this breed are also especially renowned for their intelligence. They are also easy to train, but only by experienced trainers.
Anatolian Shepherds are independent and self-sufficient dogs. In their relationships with strangers, they can seem aloof and reserved. Still, when it comes to their families, they are loyal and protective. They have a strong prey drive which requires them to be socialized at an early age. This will prevent them from becoming aggressive, mainly towards other animals that live in the same household.
The dogs are usually healthy. However, just like other large breeds, they can be prone to certain health conditions, some of which are listed below. They should be fed high-quality food and regular veterinary checkups to ensure good health.
Some conditions that are common in Anatolian Shepherds:
- Hip Dysplasia: A genetic condition where the thighbone does not fit properly in the hip joint, leading to pain and lameness in some dogs. X-rays are the best way to diagnose it.
- Elbow Dysplasia: The elbow joint becomes malformed and weak due to abnormal growth and development. In addition to surgery, anti-inflammatory medications are available for this condition.
- Hypothyroidism: Epilepsy, obesity, hyperpigmentation, and skin disorders are among the conditions brought on by thyroid disorders. It is treated with medication and diet.
- Entropion: In this condition, the eyelid rolls inward, causing irritation and vision impairment. It usually affects both lower eyelids and occurs before the dog reaches one year of age. Treatment includes multiple surgeries to prevent the eyelid from rolling out.
It’s also important to mention that Anatolian Shepherds are also prone to Demodectic Mange, which is caused by the Demodex mite. It is not contagious to humans or other dogs, and it’s usually passed from the mother to her puppies during the first few days of life.
It is considered a disease that affects puppies and typically resolves on its own. However, in older puppies and young adult dogs with a compromised immune system, it can progress into a more severe form that affects the entire body.
As mentioned earlier, Anatolian Shepherd is a breed that requires a lot of exercise; it is not something that any pet owner can compromise on. They should be taken on long daily walks or runs and allowed to run and play in a large, fenced-in yard. They have a thick double coat that needs regular grooming as well. They should be brushed at least once weekly and bathed as needed. They also require regular dental care, including teeth brushing and regular checkups.
Anatolian Shepherds have a large and muscular build and require a diet high in protein and fat. High-quality, large-breed dog food should be fed to them. Also, they should be fed in smaller, more frequent meals to prevent bloat, which can occur in large breeds.
Coat Color and Grooming
Anatolian Shepherds have a thick double coat that is usually a mix of gray, fawn, or white. Due to their thick and fluffy coat, they require regular grooming to prevent matting and tangling.
They should be brushed at least once a week. It is also important to bathe this breed of dog regularly.
Children and Other Pets
The Anatolian Shepherd is a protective breed and can be a great family pet. However, they need to be socialized at a young age to prevent becoming aggressive toward other dogs.
They have a strong prey drive and should be supervised around small pets such as cats or rabbits. This breed is also not recommended for families with small children as they are large and powerful dogs that require experienced handlers.
They are highly inclined to pursue prey, so they should be monitored around pets like cats or rabbits. Due to their size and power, this breed is not recommended for households with young children, as they require handlers with experience.
Anatolian Shepherds are a big and strong breed renowned for their intelligence, self-reliance, and physical prowess. They protect their family and property, making them an ideal choice for those needing a guard dog. They require handlers with experience and plenty of room for running and exercise.
The lifespan of an Anatolian Shepherd Dog is 11-13 years.
Anatolian Shepherds can be a good fit for families with children, but proper socialization and supervision are necessary. Anatolian Shepherds are big and powerful dogs and require handlers with experience, so they may not be the most appropriate choice for families with very young children.
The dogs of this breed require space to run. They should be taken on long daily walks or runs and allowed to run and play in a large, fenced-in yard.
Anatolian Shepherds are generally healthy dogs. However, like other large dog breeds, they can be prone to some health conditions. They should be fed high-quality food and receive regular veterinary checkups to make sure they are in good health.
No, the dogs of this breed are not suitable for living in an apartment. They are best suited for homes with large yards and plenty of room for them to run and play.
Forrest is a lover of dogs, the wild outdoors, deep mysterious conversations… and coffee. He is the owner of several websites, including Canine Weekly. He resides in Austin, Texas.